"America's Next Top Model is about dreams, plain and simple," the voice-over punditry of Tyra "Tyra, Pants On Fyra" Banks shares with us from its disembodied, godlike perch. "And it's about accomplishing these dreams through hard work, talent, and passion." And sheer, mind-blowing bitchcakes, flame-broiled on high and tossed back up in the restaurant's bathroom stall with a carefully placed finger at the back of the soft palate. A career retrospective's worth of Tyra headshots and b-roll fly before our eyes as she continues introducing herself through the fine art of hiring herself as her own publicist, informing us, "I worked my butt off to get to the top of the modeling industry." Oh, is that what informs the frequently-noted butt-free quality of the average model's body? See, because I thought it was a thirty million pack of Diet Coke and a big Hoover-looking thing that sucks the offending cellulite right outta said butt. But it's just the work. And now we know. And all my teachers said UPN wasn't educational television.
Now, let me preface by saying this: I didn't watch so much as one minute of last season. But let me also say that, having watched one episode of this season...well, I get it. Tyra agrees that past is past, regaling us with the one-sentence glory that was the fifteen minutes of first-season winner Adrienne's fame, adding, "But this business moves fast, and fashion waits for no one." After a "nationwide search" (and I'm just saying, but no one came to my door) that we see in a millisecond montage of skinny girls picking up telephones, Tyra discovered twelve fresh faces: from all "ethnicities" (shot of an African-American girl) "figures" (shot of a girl who owes her doctor a sizable chunk of change, not to mention Dupont's entire supply of saline products), including "edgy" (girl in a ripped shirt); "waif" (girl who got lost on her way to audition for American Juniors); "plus-size" (girl who's really skinny); and "petite" (girl who's really skinny). Tyra all but sneers that each of these girls believes that she has "it," which she signifies with giant hand-quotes, because everyone knows that the correct grammatical purpose of quotes is always to signal emphasis, such as in the sentiments "Please Do Not 'Smoke' Here or I Know Your Breasts Are 'Fake.'"
Opening credits. A "W" train chugs on an outdoor track. I can literally see my house from here. We meet twelve girls we're going to meet again a hundred more times. Theme songs are played. Phat beats not in short supply.