They're back. Those wild, wacky and underfed models that worldly hipsters just seem to love have returned to strut their stringy stuff on the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show television special. The blessed holiday event was taped in Los Angeles in late November and broadcast on CBS and then repeated a week later on The CW network.


Super model Heidi Klum hosted the festivities with appropriate humor and light heartedness. This is not Playhouse 90 or Shakespeare after all. She was particularly effective in the opening segment leading up to the actual show. Perhaps they should have stopped there.


This was not a simple, every day, little old fashion show with nearly naked supermodels, prancing about for the evening. The special has evolved into an entertainment extravaganza wrapped around a fashion show. The producers reportedly spent up to ten million dollars on the constantly changing and loud sets, the 16 television cameras  deployed to catch the fleshy action, the considerable international marketing efforts and everything else that goes in to a prime time network special. 


Singers Seal, Black Eyed Peas front man and the return of the Spice Girls highlighted the show. Seal performed two songs including a duet with his wife, one Heidi Klum. She probably made a wise choice sticking to modeling. 


The real question to ask about the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is: Why is this thing still on? The television ratings have been in a steady decline since the first broadcast earlier in the decade. And you know virtually no one caught the re-broadcast on The CW since virtually no one is watching The CW network.


There was considerable buzz when the show made its debut way back when. The idea of a squadron of international lovelies cat walking down the stage wearing the skimpiest lingerie available and all of it being broadcast during prime time was alluring and risqué. But viewers wised up. They probably grew a little bored, too.


This years' show was a good example. The staging was impressive, even exciting, but little else matched it. You had your obligatory backstage glimpses complete with stage hands and models scurrying about, desperately trying to avoid tripping on cables while keeping their limited costumes in place. Then you had brief background snippets of the ladies, all of whom seem to have been discovered in their very early teen years. None of the snippets were insightful or informative. The lingerie and outfits were the usual outrageous, goofy but seldom truly sexy stuff. A semi-tribute to Americana was especially silly and almost embarrassingly bad. Even the Victoria's Secret advertisements seemed rather lame and uninspired.


But the biggest problem with the VS special is the main attraction: The models. Everyone, including feminists, if you stretched them out on the rack, would agree that from the shoulders up, these are very attractive young women. It's from the shoulders down where things turn a little ugly. Some might say even grotesque. These are very thin women. They are not quite anorexic but not far from it, either. The public simply does not view these models as sexy, no matter how much firm, taut buttocks is flashing out of a piece of thong underwear. It becomes difficult to watch. One is tempted to turn the channel half way through the broadcast. "I can't stanz it no more," the public screams at their televisions. Some men even pray the girls put on some clothes. So now, most don't bother to tune in at all; certainly not in the numbers of the glory days of Victoria's debut.


Make no mistake. There is a large market for this kind of clothing. Nearly every significant shopping mall in North America has a Victoria's Secret or Frederick's of Hollywood embedded in its hallways. It's just that there is little market for the models borderline skeletal look.


The world of fashion and of super models is a weird one. This is clearly a New York and European thing. That makes sense. London, Paris, NYC and the like, have been garment and fashion centers for a couple of centuries. But there is no great love for this world outside of those metropolises. Most people probably consider this world to be a little odd. They definitely think the self-starving models are odd. 


Yet millions of people tune in to watch every year. The famous date these women. Tom Brady dates an underwear model. Tiger Woods was involved with Tyra Banks and then marries another model. The crowd at the Victoria's show sounded very enthusiastic and very pleased. Perhaps it's just their cup of tea. Now if we can only get the girls on the runway to have a few sandwiches with that tea.