Top Design Recap, Episode 5: All in the Family (garage): or You can't just design a room around a car!
Legal disclaimer: Eric Three Thousand recaps are a mix of fact and fantasy and most of the quotes are fake, blah, blah, blah ...
Ugh. Just when you thought this show couldn't get any more annoying, say hello to the Bell family. The Bells have just flown in from Planet Clueless:
Bell Family: "We live in a forty thousand square foot mansion so obviously we want to spend all our time in the garage. We need a theater, a home office, storage for tons of garbage, room for our new GMC Aircraft Carrier, and we would be very disappointed if you didn't also put in an Olympic-size swimming pool."
Ryan: "Here's an idea: why don't you donate all that shit to charity and just park your fucking cars in the garage?"
Wow, I am so with Ryan on this one. If something doesn't fit inside your house, you do not need it! I can almost understand wanting a stage area for the girls to put on shows (although I bet it would fit in the family room) but I have a hard time believing there is no place in that house to put a small desk.
And why do the designers have to clean up all the crap these people have stuffed in their garage? That's just disgusting! As you can tell, I did not enjoy this episode. But let's get on with it:
First we find out that every member of the Bell family, including the dog, likes a different color. The designers are torn between making the garage look like a giant gay rainbow flag or going with the standard color palette of grape and banana.
Then Todd informs the designers that they will be working with models this week:
Carisa: "God, I hate models! They always complain when you try to make them wear a thong and they are so damn skinny it makes me sick!"
Todd: "Sorry, by models I mean maquettes."
Carisa: "Oh, that makes more sense."
The designers have to present their maquettes to the Bell family and the person who is chosen becomes the team leader and has immunity in this challenge. I have to say that this is the only thing I liked about this group challenge. Usually there is very little motivation for someone to want to be chosen as a team leader because they get blamed for everything so I thought this was an interesting way to do it. It actually made all the designers want to be picked as the leader. On the one hand, it doesn't give the leader much motivation to do a good job in the actual challenge but, on the other hand, the leader also has no motivation to have someone else screw up. It would have been good to have an additional reward for anyone, including the leader, who did the best job.
The designers present their ideas to the Bell family:
Ryan: "As I said, I think you should simplify your lives a little and get rid of some of that junk, which would give you a lot more space in the garage."
Bell Family: "Our revolting conspicuous consumption is part of the American way of life! If we don't keep buying and hoarding unnecessary consumer products then the terrorists have already won! This is the best way we know how to support the troops in Iraq, you freedom-hating communist freak!"
Michael talks so fast that his voice reaches frequencies only the dog can hear.
Bell Children: "Mommy, I think that's the gayest person we've ever met."
Mother: "I think you're right. Other than the time we met Tom Cruise, of course."
Children: "Oh, yeah. And also our priest."
[That was for you, Michael!]
Andrea has the winning design so she gets immunity and is the team leader for this challenge. Before we begin, the designers pick carpenters, though it will have absolutely nothing to do with this challenge. Why didn't they just wait until next week? Anyway, Carisa chooses first because she won last week. She chooses Carl, Andrea chooses Blair, Matt chooses Ed, Goil chooses Sarah, Michael chooses someone (I can't read my writing), and Erik is stuck with Jared. Are there only six people left? Wow.
So they get $5,100 dollars (that's an oddly specific amount) and one day. Andrea divides up the responsibilities pretty well. Everyone seems to be in charge of something: Goil helps in designing the architectural spaces, Matt is in charge of storage, Carisa is in charge of the office area, Erik and Michael are in charge of fabrics, and Ryan is in charge of painting. This probably would have worked fine if the designers didn't have to spend most of their time clearing out the garage and organizing the family's junk. Oh, yeah, and then there was this:
Bell Mother: "In your spare time, maybe you could redesign this four-square-foot shed and turn it into a beautiful, spacious office."
Andrea: "Well, I don't see why not. We have several hours for this project. Let me just redraw all the plans."
If the shed was part of the project, they should have been told that in the beginning! Anyway, since Carisa was in charge of the office space, it now means she is in charge of the shed. Since the office space seems to be one quarter of the project (stage, storage, parking, office) I don't see why one of the six designers shouldn't be focused on it. But, for some reason, everybody gives Carisa a hard time about the fact that she was working in a separate space and wasn't part of the team. If Andrea had wanted her to stop working on the office space and help in the garage, she should have said so. Other than Matt, nobody seems to mention to Carisa that she should be doing something other than her assigned task until they all complain about it afterward.
And then we get the charming scene with Matt and Michael giggling and joking about how fat Carisa is. Why don't those two just get a room.
Well, they finish and it's not very exciting but they gave the family everything they asked for and like I said, considering the fact that they had to spend most of the time cleaning, I think they did a good job. Everyone complains about Carisa but she did the job she was assigned to do. Michael picks out terrible colors, as usual, but he was probably given color swatches to work with so I don't know who's fault that is. While I don't like purple, a royal purple could have worked for a theater curtain (maybe even in velvet) but that subdued color he picked didn't quite work. According to the guest judge, Mark Rios, Matt organized but did not compose. Since nobody has any idea what the hell that means Matt is safe. Goil and Erik didn't do anything very inspiring but I think they did their jobs. Ryan seemed to be working really hard but he didn't add the artistic touch that should have been his main objective:
Margaret: "Yeah, Kelly! You're the one who is so in love with Ryan! Where was his 'big idea' this week?"
Kelly: "I got your big idea right here, Margaret!"
Margaret: "Oh, yeah? Bring it, bitch!"
Ryan: "I hate to break this up but I'd just like to say something. First, I'd like to apologize for saying such insulting things in previous challenges and then I'd like to say some even more insulting things."
Jonathan: "Go on."
Ryan: "I'm sorry for the things I said about interior design. However, I still think all designers are idiots and it's a pointless profession. I'd like to be an interior designer who just tells people they don't need an interior designer. I hope I've gotten my sociopolitical message out there."
Jonathan: "Wow. You've totally changed all of our lives. We're all going to give up designing and join the Peace Corps."
Jonathan: "No, of course not. Goodbye. See you later, anti-decorator."