Thursday Watch List: Runway Hits Its Stride

Welcome to Watch List, where we identify five things on TV to watch while you stay at home and declare yourself mayor of the alley two blocks behind your house. You OWN that piece of town, and you’ll be darned if some hipster on FourSquare will knock you down. LET’S GO!

PROJECT RUNWAY – 9:00PM (Bravo – n NBC/Universal network) Last week’s party store episode “Runway” was, to my mind, one of the best in the show’s history and one of the best episodes of TV I’ve watched so far this year. While expanding the timeslot for a reality show usually means endless padding (“The Bachelorette”), stretching to 90 minutes has served “Runway” incredibly well. The show can really breathe now. We get little touches we never got before, like contestants talking to each other as their clothes go down the runway, and contestants in the backroom speculating on who’s in the top and who’s in the bottom. It’s brilliant television, and the designs they came up with for such a weird challenge were extremely impressive.

Anyway, thanks to the expanded format, we’ve gotten to know a good deal of the field in just a handful of episodes. It’s clear now that Gretchen is pure evil and must be stopped at all costs. I hate people who give unsolicited advice. Valerie is a delight and I hope she finally beats Gretchen in the end. Mondo looks like he’s the lead signer of a Bay Area Weezer tribute band. And Casanova is fun to have around to mock. I don’t even think he’s a designer. I think he was just some homeless dude they pulled off the street. Tonight, the contestants have do dresses inspired by hats. Expect the Red Sox hat dress to be frayed and covered in old tobacco juice. ANTICIPATION: HIGH!

JERSEY SHORE – 10:00PM (MTV) The girls feel bad about keeping Sammi in the dark about Ronnie hooking up with every warm animal in sight (triple kisses for all!), so they decide to write her an “anonymous” letter telling her the truth. I have a copy of that letter:

OMFG Ronnie iz freakin’ creepn out on u gurl!!! Sinseerly, Prez O-Bamma

No way Sammi can tell that Snooki and J-Woww spent three hours composing that. ANTICIPATION: JUICY!

YOU’RE WEARING THAT?!? – 10:00PM (WE TV) It’s a new makeover show featuring mothers and the daughters they don’t like to see walking out of the house in fishnets and a sports bra. ANTICIPATION: STRIPPERRIFFIC!

NIGHTLINE PRESENTS: SECRETS OF YOUR MIND – WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO – 10:00PM (ABC) This four-part special explores the complexity and fragility of the human brain, and how it controls our behavior. No doubt they’ll be researching the ability of the brain to process news magazine special titles that are wayyyy too long. ANTICIPATION: INCEPTIVE!

PITCHMEN – 10:00PM (A&E) A former Marine aims to improve the common household flashlight. How about a full-size one that doesn’t require D batteries? For real, those things are heavier than a baseball bat. ANTICIPATION: SHINY!

Contact Us