Friday, April 06, 2007

wayne's world

and other ideas for Top Design improvements and spinoffs

They are down to three designers: Andrea, Matt and Carisa.

This is actual dialogue:
Matt: We’re Charlie’s Angels.
[They are entering the PDC.[
Matt: I’m Farrah.
Andrea: Yes. Yes you are.

The Angels head to the PDC to get their orders.

Charlie/Todd: Pick an Elle Décor cover. Design a room like this cover but not like this cover.

Make it for $7,500. That shouldn’t be a problem after you’ve had the PDC discounts and budgets of 40K. You have all of Los Angeles to shop in. Oh? You don’t know the city? No problem – here’s a computer. You can enter the names of the shops you don’t know into the computer and get their addresses here.

It’s another damned PDC pod assignment. What? They couldn’t find three rooms in all of Los Angeles that they could use?

Andrea goes straight to an architectural shop. She’s going to focus on how she is an architect rather than a designer. That is what the judges are looking for in her right? She is also looking for “natural looking” furnishings. I guess because her style is so natural—very crunchy and earthy.

Carisa – god love her – is having a fabulous time shopping. One thing I admire about Carisa is that when she isn’t stressed she is incredibly cheerful about what she is doing.

That does look like a fun shop.

Andrea is being very smug about how she has the advantage since she’s from Los Angeles. Uh-oh.

Then there is Matt. He is freaking out. This was painful but it was also entertaining. I did not realize that he was THAT much of a decorator prima donna.

Now I have not jumped on the whole Matt-is-gay bandwagon. I've been amused by it, sure. But I've not insisted that it must be so. I’ve a penchant for those lean intellectual guys. (And of course there is the whole “Jesus-is-My-Boyfriend- um, let’s call it an “unresolved issue”.”)

Anyhoo, I can go with the whole Charlies Angels / Farrah thing – that was a self-conscious joke - however, THIS was one of the gayest things I’ve heard:
“Like, bargain shopping – that’s not what I do.”
Of course he may have momentarily been possessed by Cher from Clueless.

Anyway, there is more fun to be had with Matt -- lots more -- when we meet his tailor Wayne Yazzie, who, guessing from his hat and glasses, appears to have been in the midst of a poker game.

I would like to find a picture of Wayne to use here.
If anyone has a screen cap I can use let me know.

The enigmatic Wayne inspired the sidebar below:


1. wayne
I have this to say about the sudden introduction of Wayne:


Where has HE been? We are just NOW meeting this character?!!! Are there more of them in the PDC upholstery center? Has Bravo been hiding some treasure trove of nutcases from viewers?

I feel completely cheated. It is like there was this whole other show that I missed -- the fun, entertaining version of Top Design -- the show that included kooks like Wayne.

2. todd
Speaking of which, that show would also have included a lot more of Todd. Could Todd be more wonderful? I think not.

Todd is completely and utterly the Voice of Reason. And you need that if you have a show populated by people who are increasingly becoming more and more insane.

Todd has a similar role to Tim Gunn but he plays it in a very different way. Todd is very understated. He’s much kinder, gentler. Tim Gunn seems more informed because he acts the role of the expert: imperious and opinionated. It is hilarious and theatrical; it is perfect for the world of fashion which has so much to do with performance.

Todd is actually much more informed; he has far more experience in the field and unlike Gunn he provides real hands-on instructions – tips and tricks -- on how to do things. Frankly we did not get enough Todd time. We could even use a little Todd segment each episode. Like on how to do that little upholstery trick he showed Matt.

3. the carpenters
The carpenters should be standing up there with the designers. They do a hell of a lot of work. I mean Goil had Sarah make a lot of aesthetic decisions for him. Carl sees himself as an artisan and that may lead to a lot of arguing with Carisa but it is also why she succeeds. Plus, from the start Carisa’s designs have had a lot of built-ins so – although she would never admit it – her work is very much a team effort. Some of those carpenters are craftsmen (and women) and as a potter you’d think Jonathan Adler would realize that the ones that are doing that level of work deserve a little more of the credit.

4. the weasel
Get rid of that sick little mofo “The Assistant.” Bravo should be ashamed of itself for encouraging this by letting it continue. You would never have someone write things in the name of Bravo that were that homophobic or racist. Why is it okay to be that virulently misogynist?


Matt says he has Margaret in the back of his head.

Kelly claims that Matt confessed "a distracting crush on Margaret."

Oh, that will go over well back at home.

Through the NSA we've been able to get excerpts from Matt's phone calls following this revelation.

Wife: Who is this Margaret? Where does this whore live? I swear to god I'll cut her.

Daughter: Daddy what's a switchblade?

Wife: I'm coming to get your skinny-ass. I'll kill you and your whore-bitch girlfriend.

Daughter: Mommy went on a trip. Uncles Hoboy and Kilo are here. They make sugar and they said I can try some if I'm good.

Wife: You bastard. I liked it better when you were gay.

Well, I'm sure they've patched things up by now.

Unfortunately either Margaret isn't talking to Carisa or the voices in Carisa's head are bickering so much that she can't hear what Margaret is saying this week. Because what Margaret is saying is that there is no way in hell that Elle Décor would publish any of her designs, which is what Margaret says at the judging.

This is why it is bizarre that they kicked Andrea off. Carisa’s room was basically the best room. If it wasn’t going to win because it was not up to Elle Décor ’s standards then you might as well kick Carisa off now. Why have her go on to the finals if in the finals Margaret is just going to say the same thing: this isn't Elle Décor 's style.

Part of this is Carisa's fault. It was like she was trying to irk Margaret. She knew what Margaret's pet peeve was -- and so that was what she did.

Oh Carisa -- pillows on the Jacobson chair? WhyWhyWhy?

If you have listened to anything Margaret has said to you then why in gods name do you have pillows everywhere?

Maybe she has the wrong Margaret voice in her head. Maybe she has the voice of Marge Simpson.

"I say there should be more pillows and knick-knacks!"


Andrea and Carisa are such opposites that they are like a comedy team. Andrea is so understated that she seems morose. Her statements are often unintentionally droll. Carisa can be very funny and of course she is also comically awful at times.

Carisa (sharing her unsolicited opinion with Andrea): "I’m not sure why you painted it at all . . . Nothing says happy like grey.”

Andrea is pissed off at Carisa for saying this and yet in the next scene she realizes that her grey room is depressing. To brighten it up and make it happy she paints it taupe. That’s the spirit Andrea.

Andrea: “Carisa is different from me in thinking and vocalizing” which is a rather quaint way of saying that Carisa is a bitch.

Andrea: “I love hearing other people freak out.“ For Andrea “vocalizing” (a primitive animal act) or any sort of expression of emotion would involve a massive surgical procedure. She can’t help it. Let us not forget that Andrea is Swiss and emotions are for ethnic people.

If that comedy team doesn’t work out perhaps there could be a sitcom with Carl and Carisa. I think we all cheered when Carl finally snapped at Carisa. I also thought it was hilarious that Carisa didn’t miss a beat. Neither one of them did. The two of them just kept on working and bickering. It is amazing that they can concentrate. It is amazing that someone hasn’t lost a finger.

Or a head.

Even so, I thought Carisa was going to win.

Carisa's room really captured the cover of Elle magazine -- so I don't know how you can then say it isn't Elle's style or standard. If it isn't up to that level of luxury maybe that is because the budget was $7500.

It says a lot about how much Margaret hates Carisa’s style. Or something. It almost seems like there is some class snobbery going on that makes Margaret biased against Carisa.

Jonathan, on the other hand, is clearly charmed by her. He likes her style but he also likes that "be happy" part of Clarisa.

However, Margaret was dressed in a silver silk satin dress in the style of a 1930s film goddess so you know her word was the final word.

As if it ever isn’t.

Kelly, by the way, had gotten rid of her bad perm this week. That's the good news.

The bad news is that she had plates hanging from her ears -- not dinner or salad plates, more like bread plates.

The look was sort of Apocalypto by way of Fort Lauderdale.

It was understated for her.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

shameless commerce

I finally got the critics notebook up in the shop.
(There is also a critics magnet and a mug.) So if you want to take notes for your recaps or for your hate mail to the producers or whatnot you should check it out. I'm working on t-shirts. I don't make enough money to open the kind of shop where I can have more than one design per product so I have to switch things around. (The CafePress people keep telling me to promote my shop but this is the best I can do and even so it's rather embarrassing--plus the stuff isn't cheap.) Anyhoo --if you want something specific let me know, it is easy for me to switch out the designs.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

back to nature

This week I kept thinking of Robert Frost's lines
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
How can you not think of "Fire and Ice" when you see fire and ice? The poem is rather dark, although also quite funny. If you have a dark sense of humor that is.

That said, none of the rooms struck me as harbingers of the end of the world -- despite Goil's hystrionics, Carisa's haranging, Andrea's complaining, and Matt's guilt (not to mention the blood).

You just can't get a better design theme than the four elements. With that in mind, Andy Goldsworthy is the artist who works with the natural world in a way that I find most inspiring:


Water /Ice



top design : 1.8 posts (in order below) :
it's a weird mix this week -- wallace stevens to the ohio players. plus jesus returns...and he's feeling minnesota.