• Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Top Set Design

    Ms. Place has been mulling this question all day: Why the lack of excitement about Top Design? There’s no buzz at the water cooler at work and no crackling over the ether.
    Last fall, my coworkers and I couldn’t wait to dish Top Chef and comment on the food, chefs, and judges. We all had our raucous opinions and agreed to disagree. But the reaction to this show amongst my peers has so far been tepid. Why? I wasn’t expecting Extreme Home Makeover, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to see two week’s worth of set designs either. I’ll bet neither were the Interior Designers, who are chafing at the bit, hoping their 15 minutes of fame will arrive despite the lack of fervor the fans have shown thus far.

    Suggestions for improvement (Yoo hoo, Bravo, are you reading this?):

    Get rid of those stagy sets. I know, I know. You wanted to give your designers an equal playing field, Bravo. And in theory this was a brilliant idea. But LOOK at the results, will ya? Mr. and Mrs. America can’t relate to three walls and $10,000 pieces of furniture. Neither could Cary in Sex in the City. Dahlings, admit it. You goofed up bad. Those one dimensional staged rooms are horrors. They are ersatz, fake!Real rooms lead to other rooms. Windows lead to vistas. Crown molding adds richness and visual interest. Stairs lead the eye up, and high ceilings make a different statement from low ceilings. These rooms have no ceilings at all! We fans want to see something we can relate to and a white 12 x 12 room just doesn’t cut it.

    This is a set

    This is a real room

    Get our designers out in the real world. If you MUST place each designer on equal footing, then purchase an apartment building with (now this is a real bright idea) 12 apartments! They could each be responsible for designing and decorating an entire apartment unit during the course of the show. Each could design an entry hall, for example, or a bedroom or living room. Get it, Bravo? Later in the competition, you could even have them enter another designer’s apartment and redecorate the decorating. Oh what fun that would be! Fur rugs would fly!

    Let our designers find objects in the REAL world. Pacific Design Center is nice enough, I suppose. The Real Housewives of Orange County must think their stuff is a real bargain. But I don’t! Let our designtestants find inspiration at yard sales, in consignment shops or antique stores, in alleys and trash heaps, in Lowe’s and Target’s and Haynes, and estate sales as well. Let them shop in a variety of settings. Get my drift?

    Don’t auf two designers right at the start. I felt cheated. Yes I did. And so did a whole lot of other fans.
    And last, place more emphasis on the creative process and less on the judges.
    Yes Jonathan is cute, but I've had enough cute smiles to last me a lifetime. Yes Kelly has glamour, but this is not Top Glamour. And yes, Margaret is a wit. So give her an armchair and let us view the decorating.

    There, I’ve got a load off my mind or auf'd my mind. Let’s hope Wednesday’s show is 100,000% better, or I might give up my tongue-in-cheekiness on this blog and start giving NASTY reviews. Can Ms. Place be nasty? Oh, dahlings, just ask my ex.

    As for tonight? I’m watching the Westminster Dog Show. I’ve had enough of those silly Orange County Housewives and their unreal perspectives on life.

    By Miss Place



    Blogger trixie said...

    Your observation about set design is perfect. I understand that those sorts of exhibitions are part of the profession but we've now had two in a row and they are very artificial.

    It looks like they are moving out this week. I think their logic is that they want to get the cast down to a small number as quickly as possible. That way we can focus on them and really get to know them
    The problem is that we risk losing great people right at the start and by the end we are sick and tired of some of the people who are still there.

    Think about Project Runway last season -- we lost Malan and Alison early and got stuck with 2 jackasses (Vincent and Jeffrey) for the whole season.

    So I agree that they shouldn't be in such a rush to get rid of people.

    February 13, 2007 at 7:39 PM  
    Blogger jinxy said...

    I agree wholeheartedly with your observations. I have already stopped watching the episodes as they air, but rather the re-run the next day when it's more convenient for me. That's not a good sign. This show is not making me want to stay up until 11 and operate on 5 hours of sleep the next day. Project Runway and Season 1 Top Chef have never had that problem for me.

    I think you are right that they need to be able to design real places, instead of sets. I think the apartment idea is awesome. I lie in an apartment myself, and I would LOVE a show with a format geared towards apartment dwellers.

    February 14, 2007 at 5:17 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Miss Place,
    You are exactly right. Currently, the show is not "buzz-worthy". The Mike/John drama fizzled out quick... now that John is gone (Thank heavens) the focus should be on design - AND not decorating an empty box.

    February 14, 2007 at 8:39 AM  

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