It basically is a piece regarding fame and reality shows, centering most on BRAVO's Project Runway and Top Chef.
From the article:
If you’re a viewer, Bravo’s competition reality shows—Top Chef and Project Runway in particular—make up some of the most addictive programming on television. In part, their appeal comes from the simple, old-fashioned pleasure of watching people make something with their hands. But they also come with a television-ready arc: Each episode starts with a mystery and asks the contestants to solve it, as if they were cops: Your challenge is to make a dress out of coffee filters and azaleas. For “coastal, educated” people, the base of Bravo’s viewers, these shows offer idealized reflections of their lives—urban, verbal, multiethnic, creative, gay—and, like an idealized life in the city, they’re mini-meritocracies, driven not just by personality but talent.
For the contestants, the implicit promise of these shows is that they’re time machines, compressing the brutal urban mechanics of getting ahead—the political maneuvering, the grinding incremental labor—from a matter of years to months. The problem is that reality-show success is no substitute for real-world experience. “There is something a little bit cruel about all the attention,” says Ted Allen, the dignified cooking guru of Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and a recurring judge on Top Chef. “Because during the season you’re in one of the shows, you are famous for a while, and you get to enjoy all the fun of that. But you’re not someone who has any sort of expertise that’s going to keep you on television. There’s no certain road map for translating that kind of ephemeral success into a life of yachts and bling.”
Read it all, if you like your BRAVO as much as I do you will appreciate and easily understand all the points of view.