A memo to this season's Project Runway contestants: Enough with the crying already!

A memo to this season's Project Runway contestants: Enough with the crying already!

Not sure if it's the addition of Real World producers Bunim-Murray Productions or just an overly emotional group of designers, but the waterworks were flowing too frequently and way too early during last week's season-six premiere.

Yes, Project Runway is back, after a seemingly endless lawsuit-induced hiatus. And it's nice to have an old, reliably entertaining friend back.

But it's also hard to give a glowing review to this new Lifetime Runway incarnation, thanks to a boring first challenge (design something for the red carpet, with no fabric restrictions, a nice-sized budget and plenty of time? Weak!), some lackluster critiques from the judges, questionable picks for winner and loser, and all those aforementioned tears.

A production from the people who brought you Real World could be worse - at least there's not tons of hot-tub rendezvous footage. But the editing focuses heavily on crying contestants, from Ra'mon, a med-school dropout who tears up because he's so happy to be there, to Johnny, a former crystal meth addict who broke down just moments into the first challenge (he didn't think it would be so hard!).

Falling apart is nothing new for Project Runway contestants, but focusing on it so early in the season felt like a cheap reality-TV move. And it's to the detriment of the competition between the talented, driven designers.

This season's group of contestants is a diverse, likeable one. The ridiculous ones are the easiest to pick out in the first episodes.

In addition to Mr. Meth Addict Johnny, we have plus-size specialist Qristyl ("I call it plus-sexy") and edgy Malvin ("I don't differentiate between different colored carpets"), who also claims nobody can describe his garments because "there's not a vocab for them ... yet."

First-to-be-axed Ari, who preferred doing headstands over sketching, was perhaps the nuttiest of them all, so it's a little surprising they didn't keep her around for the entertainment value - especially when the designers rounding out the bottom three were equally as terrible.

I like 50-year-old dreadlocked Epperson (who points out that his children are older than many of this young bunch of contestants) and "guy's guy" Logan, whose two-tone gray stunner should have made the top three.

Self-taught Christopher, whose ruffly black-and-champagne cocktail dress was the judges' favorite, is another one to watch, although he too started crying after his win. There's no way these people are going to make it through to the end of the season!

It's too early to give up hope, of course. There have to be more creative challenges down the road, and the real pleasure of Runway is getting to know the designers, which you can't do in the first episode.

But after all the wait and the move from New York to Los Angeles, I was foolishly hoping for something a little more cutting-edge, a little less last-season.