Top Design. Season 1. Episode 1. Mystery Judge. Oh my.
Well, I never found the time to recap Project Runway the way I intended to, so I'll just write recaps for
Okay, first things first. Is this Todd Oldham's voice I'm hearing? Kill me now.
Second things second, what in God's name is that opening theme? The singer sound like she (he?) is having a seizure.
So, we are introduced to the designers. Hey, I can still say designers?
First up is Goil. Who is 33, but looks about ten years younger. And who is clearly Top Design's answer to Daniel Vosovic. Goil gets into the men's loft, which is all earth tones except it's all really just shades of brown and it all looks like poo. Goil says he's more of a problem solver than a stylist and immediately starts moving things around, even though it's not really his house at all. Clearly, Goil is my grandma's soulmate. Oh, and Goil thinks design is a puzzle.
Then we have Felicia Bushman, who hash her own interior deshign bushinesh (okay, I'll stop now. She doesn't have a speaking disorder, the 'sh's' in Felicia and Bushman just clash). She wants to be involved in every aspect of design and put food in the fridge, toothbrush in the toothbrush holder, pornos under the mattress. Okay, scratch that last part.
The woman's loft is significantly less fugly than the men's dorm.
Enter Michael and Andrea. And Goil like a gargoyle. Who shall forever be known as GarGoil.
Michael informs us that he always wanted to be an interior designer and when he was a child, he watched Dynasty when other kids played outside. Honey, that doesn't make you a designer, that just makes you gay. Not unlike GarGoil, Michael looks about ten years younger than he actually is. Except that Michael is 23 and he looks like an adolescent.
Andrea just said her hellos to Felicia and sunk into obscurity. She's kinda hot. But judging that if you blinked, you'd have missed her entrance, she's clearly not a very marketable personality for the gods of Bravo, so I predict she'll be gone soon.
Then we have Ryan, the skateboard boy. He's so punk rock. His design is half Henry Rollins, half Evil Knievel. Clearly, Ryan's true calling is designing sets for Rob Zombie movies. He rides a skateboard in the airport and he rides it across the table in the men's loft, as poor little fairy princess Michael looks on, with a weak laugh. Did I mention he's 35?
Erik is next. "No place for my mascara? That's called wasted space." He's fabulous.
In the meanwhile, Heather arrives at the women's loft. We barely see her, too, but she's gorge and I love her outfit and she has the sexiest voice.
Elizabeth arrives next. She's all "Hi, I'm Elizabeth. Nice to meet you. Cross my path and they will find your dismembered body in Todd Oldham's studio." Ooh, she rocks.
Matt is next. He's cute. Too bad he's straight. He has a wonderful wife and a wonderful daughter. Design isn't just a job for him - going to the pumpkin patch and picking out the perfect pumpkin patch with his daughter is design. Uh, Matt? Wendy Pepper called. She wants her "I have a daughter" act back, pronto.
Lisa goes into the women's loft. Yes, she looks like Storm.
Carisa is a design student at F.I.T. in New York City. She wants to alter the environments of people who don't have the financial means to do it themselves. Carisa is apparently the Mother Teresa of interior design.
John arrives and immediately starts bitching to the camera about how it's not going to be a positive experience because of all these queeny young guys. Oh, screw you. Look at Mr. Butchy-Butch-Butch. I hate him already.
Mr. Butchy-Butch-Butch is screaming like a girl at the thought of working with Todd Oldham three minutes later.
The designers meet up with Oldham in front of the Pacific Design center.
"Hey! Welcome to Top Design, you guys. I'm Mr. Oldham. I'm going to give you your class assignments every day, and be prepared to hear my opinion. Whether you take it or not, it is entirely up to you guys, but you may get a detention if you don't take it. Just know that I will not be the one grading your assignments..."
Todd Oldham sounds like a kindergarten teacher. He'd be perfect for Sesame Street. Cute sweater, though.
Blah blah blah eleven of you will die blah blah blah only one Top Design blah blah blah best taste blah blah blah Elle Decor blah blah blah cash and a car blah blah blah Pacific Design Studio is the best design studio in the world!!! blah blah blah expensive.
Then Todd Oldham says 'Are you ready to work? Follow me.' Then I say 'Noooooo! Don't go with him!' and I almost make a really tasteless joke about... uh, I really hate myself right now. Damn you, Todd Oldham. Damn you to hell.
They go into their studio. I covet Heather's coat. Todd gives them the first challenge.
They have to design an inner sanctuary for a secret guest, who left five personal items. The five personal items: drawing of a head, a disco ball on a stick, an Asian porcelain head, a dead butterfly and an unidentifiable roundish object with an antenna. From that we can tell that the owner of the items is a few crayons short of a box, so I would design an inner sanctuary with soft white walls and a cozy jacket... but does anybody ever listen to me? No.
John says all of those things are kind of campy. No shit, Sherlock. He's not a campy decorator. Well, too bad. Ryan says he doesn't know who the guest is. My goodness, this group is too smart for me. Ryan speculates the guest is someone with a sense of humor - perhaps Rick James. Except that he's dead.
Storm's design style is modern and ethnic. She immediately wants to do an Asian themed room.
Oldham asks them to come with him to see the format they will be working with. And he asks them to pick up the paint sample they like the best on their way out. Uh-oh. Why does he do that? Will they have to stick to the color theme of the sample they picked up?
Anyway, the producers created empty rooms for them to build in - three walled, no windows or ceilings. As the designers can see, the rooms are blank canvases. Because, you know, they have nothing in them. Wow, Todd Oldham is so intelligent.
Oldham speculates the designers might have noticed there are only six rooms. The designers all nod their heads. Wow, they can count!
Wait, six rooms? Six rooms? Don't tell me they'll have a team challenge on the first day. It was bad enough with a team challenge on the second episode of PR.
Yes, it is a team challenge. They'll be working with whoever picked up the same paint sample as they did. That's the stupidest thing I had ever seen in a Bravo reality show. Except for that time when they brought back Vincent and Angela and Project Runway.
Heather is so adorable. Michael is scared. John is all over him, and promises he won't hurt him. Uh-huh.
Oldham can already see the problem.
The teams are:
Storm and Heather
GarGoil and Elizabeth
John and Michael
Matt and Felicia
Erik and Carisa
Ryan and Andrea
Storm is a control person who prefers to work alone, but she can work in a group. That does not sound good.
Elizabeth, a production designer, thinks GarGoil is the perfect match for her, because there's something sweet and humble about him. I don't disagree, but I'd worry more about his design skill. Just sayin'.
They get half an hour to caucus with their teammate (no, Oldham didn't actually say caucus. He's not cool enough), pick colors and shit like that. They will also be randomly assigned a carpenter. They will be able to borrow, or as we say in the design industry, awkward finger quotations, memo (?) out, awkward finger quotations, furniture out of the showrooms in PDC. The client asked them to top their budget at 50 grand. They get two days.
Felicia said they couldn't believe they get 50 grand and just fell over.
"You guys ready to get started, you guys? Okay, you guys, begin now, you guys!" Oldham says.
Andrea and Ryan want lights, cause they're going to huff, and puff, and blow the house down. Okay, not really. Ryan just says the lights are gonna *puff.*
Andrea is an architect and a design teacher. The room she and Ryan are designing will be very pop and 70s. Ryan says the room is all about the bed, which is all about sleeping and sex. Ryan is clearly an adolescent boy in his head.
Elizabeth and GarGoil came up with minimal meets retro meets fun meets eclectic meets the Fockers.
Heather wants to bring out the fun, Lisa wants to bring out the peace.
Erik wants to do something different, he is a genius according to Carisa and they're getting club chairs. He's also really cute.
Princess Michael finds working with John very difficult. I don't blame him, but I doubt he's much better, either. John is very dominating (a.k.a. he's probably the top). Princess is thinking like a Chicago suburb, and John and I are both like "wtf?" John's was more interesting than Michael's, apparently, so they went with John's (i.e. John threatened to beet Princess up if he didn't go with John's idea). Princess and John are bickering like hell already. Vincent and Angela, Vincent and Angela.
Oldham talks and talks and talks. PDC is like so totally awesome, you guys! You should go there, you guys!
GarGoil goes "Hoo!" and says the pepper is really cute. I thought owls were carnivores. Anyway, Elizabeth also loves the pepper.
Heather is trying to get Storm out of the Asian showrooms into a more wacky environment, but it doesn't look like she's budging. I don't like where this is going.
More bickering in the John/Princess segment. Princess has more high end, New York design experience that anybody else there. Riiiiight.
The deadline is ahead of you and you have to keep working and get everything done before time is up, Carisa informs us. Thank you, Captain Obvious.
Heather and Storm are 10 grand under budget. Uh-oh.
Princess is an exalted little kid. I hate him. But I also hate John.
You can get OCD from watching the montage of the design process. They stick with one group for like a second and then go right back to John and Princess. Ugh. The Drama Edit strikes again.
Heather looks over at Matt and Felicia who are doing major construction and realizes they're not being designers, they're being decorators. I really love her for making that comment, because it's so true. All of them are being decorators, really.
And it's the next day and Oldham says two of the designers will be sent home. Damn it.
Gargoil goes "When Todd said two designers are going to go home, I'm like 'Todd, I don't want to go home. I want to hang out with you!" He crossed the line from adorable to annoying just now.
Then Oldham goes Tim Gunn all over the designers asses, except he likes everything. God, I hate him.
They're putting the furniture in now. Heather and Lisa's bed is in a Million Little Pieces, and they are going to have to put it together. Welcome to my life, girls. That happens about every single time we buy something from Ikea. Interior designers, they're just like us! Who would've thunk it?
They're done and they're going to go to see the judges in the White Room. Hey, maybe somebody did listen to me! Will they have soft white walls and cozy jackets...
No. They just the judges, including Kelly Wearstler wearing hideous clothes, Oldham and an empty chair. For the surprise guest. The designers come out. Felicia is dressed like the social worker from Sims 2.
The secret guest is Alexis Arquette. Or, as Ryan so kindly put it, Iggy Pop in a drag. Oh, shut up. She's hot in her own, special way. And she looks more like Marilyn Manson in a drag, minus the scary skin and plastic eye. Seriously, though, Alexis is fabulous and she should feel right at home at Bravo, the Gayest Network Ever.
So the judges walk around the rooms and chit-chat with the designers. Yawn. It's like a science fair at Stupidville Junior High.
Okay, onto the rooms:
Matt and Felicia: It's chic, yes. Very chic. I love the couch thing and the niche and table. Now that I see it again, I realize that's probably my favorite from all the rooms, as far as 'I'd love to live there' goes. I love the neutral palette, but I'm not sure how well it works with Arquette's five objects and his/her style.
Heather and Storm: Oh boy. Asian to the hilt. Yao-Ming's General Tsao Chicken Asian, that is. I hate the symmetry and I hate... okay, I hate most of the single pieces. It's not terrible, per se, but it's a bad design and rather tacky.
Erik and Carisa: whoah, Pillow Central. I love the room, especially the fireplace, the shelves, the lamp and the chairs, but they must really like their pillows. Plus, I think it's too tame for Alexis.
Princess and John: meh. It's very masculine, very dull, very unattractive. I really hate it. I hate the color choices, I hate the overwhelming masculinity, I hate the sofa and round table set up in the corner. I just hate it.
Ryan and Andrea: Marcia Brady called. She wants her dorm room back.
Elizabeth and Goil: It's very unique, I'll give them that. At first sight, I really loved this, and I really still love some things about it. The chalkboard? Fantastic. The swing? Love it. The wall design? Excellent. The sandbox? Messy, but I love the idea. The more I think about it, the more I realize I think there's way too much crap standing around. The pepper, the poodle thing, the... cylindrical thing, the... thing, I think there's just too much stuff in there. But it's the room that pushed the envelope the most, and I like it.
Onto the judging.
Margaret beats Erik and Carisa down for all the pillows. Go Margaret! Carisa bullshits about how there was a lot of open space, so she needed to put a lot of pillows as a safety net in case Alexis ever gets stoned and thinks s/he can fly. Or something.
They liked Goil and Elizabeth's. Except for Margaret, she's delightfully bitchy.
Everybody hates Heather and Lisa's. Poor girls. Chinese restaurant all the way.
They like Punkie and Andrea's room. Go figure.
They like Matt and Felicia's, but they don't feel it's enough Alexis.
John and Princess - angst, angst, angst. I'm ignoring them.
God, these judges are lame.
Anyway, Goil and Elizabeth and Matt and Felicia are the top two, Heather and Storm and Princess and John are the bottom two. Goil and Elizabeth win (yay), and as proof that no good deed ever goes unpunished Heather and Storm are sent home (boo!). Poor Heather, she was way too nice. Although, I don't think I'd want to get on Storm's bad side, myself, either.
Princess and John, of course, get to stay, because they make for good television. Oh, please. I shall hate them for eternities, I shall miss Heather, and I shall watch the next episode even if it kills me (and it probably will).
And Todd Oldham? Still sucks. See ya next week.