I think the American Project Runway should be compulsory viewing for PhD students.
a) Because it follows a group of people striving to: build their knowledge base; utilise historical sources; develop construction and presentation skills; cooperate and take (sometimes brutal) criticism; develop and communicate their own unique style; and fulfill a brief which seems impossible. Watching how different people respond in this situation is a study in personality types and stress management.
b) Because Tim Gunn is in it. And everything he says is amazing and applicable. (This is why you must watch the American show. The Aussie version is fine, but it suffers from a lack of Tim.)
Here he is giving a keynote in 2006:
Are you not inspired? I sure am.
[More historical grotesquerie coming soon, if anyone is interested. So far I have Victor Hugo, John Addington Symonds and G. K. Chesterton in my sights.]