Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sound Off: Top Design 2 Season Premiere

Did you watch last night?

I'm so, so happy this show is back. I know Season 1 had issues, but in my book, Top Design is still miles better than Design Star. Plus, Kelly Wearstler's hairstyles alone will make this worth watching. (Did you catch the little hairstyle montage in the upcoming-episodes teaser? Oh. My. God.) And Flipping Out's Jeff Lewis as a guest judge? I'm in heaven.

My prediction for Season 2's breakout star: Wisit, the so-gay-it-hurts, opera-singing sprite. He's a strange little bird, but I think he just might have what it takes to create a beautiful and unusual space.

And my prediction for breakout bitch: Andrea (aka Mrs. Ricky Schroder). I like her, and think she has some design chops (even if her aesthetic veers dangerously toward "shabby chic") but suspect it's only a matter of time before she starts ripping her competitors a few new ones.

Anyway, what did you think of the completed lofts, and of the parameters of the challenge? Granted, the $2,000 budgets were a major roadblock, but please spare me from designers who whine about spending that much on a table lamp. Hello! Welcome to the real world, folks.

I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who Tivo'd the show, but I feel bad for the contestant who was sent home for working hard laying wood floors in an entire loft in two days when there was clearly another train wreck on that team ...

And one question: Why was Todd Oldham even there? India Hicks has rendered him completely extraneous.

Thoughts? Discuss.

P.S. I'm going to be seriously despondent if Tom & Lorenzo -- aka the Project RunGay guys -- aren't blogging this season. TLo, I know you must be utterly exhausted from blogging Project Runway and Shear Genius and Mad Men so brilliantly these last few months. But please, for the love of God, I need you and your exquisite bitchery now.

P.P.S. Update: Woo hoo!


katek said...

Loved it. Love that they weren't in those awful white boxes from season one. Am SICK jealous of anyone who has "junk yards" and thrift stores like that near them, god.

I dunno, Todd seems sweet and clearly now that Magic Elves is in charge they decided Project Runway's Model-Host/Judge + Sweet Mentor formula was worth a shot. I am sure he spent more time chatting with them than we saw, and it seemed liked the designers appreciated having an outside eye to help them out?

Leah said...

katek: Agreed, they HAD to get out of those white boxes and the PDC -- If nothing else, to show which designers can handle shopping anywhere but high-end showrooms and which can't (cough -- $2,000 lamp guy -- cough!).

And don't get me wrong, Todd Oldham is a great designer and seems like an incredibly sweet person. But he really lacks presence on this show, and India seems to be functioning in some sort of hybrid Heidi Klum/Tim Gunn role, in terms of being judge and host but also being the one to tell the contestants what their challenges are. So Todd is just left standing there silently, when he's onscreen at all ... Of course, I'm sure he plays a bigger role behind the scenes during the challenges, and perhaps we'll see more of that in upcoming episodes.

VanNugs said...

Can't wait to see more of Kelly Wearstler's hair and her crazy get-ups! I'm so glad this show is back after watching the horrid Design Star. Put that show to bed quick.

I also like the new direction the show has taken with India Hicks. And Jeff Lewis as a guest judge, I'm in heaven.

Design Bitch said...

I want to bring Wisit home for dinner. Mom, Dad here's my new friend Wisit.

And I thought I was the only one who read design mags at age seven.

RiverMist said...

O i LOVE HOW wisit puts his hand in front of his face when he laughs, he's so weird but fun, he reminds me of an old sweet grandman.
what was uo with todd's hairstyle,
and I love kelly's doos..

Tiffany S. said...

I knew I was missing something good last night! Instead I had to watch Sarah Palin between my fingers like a scary movie. Will catch up though!

Topsy Turvy said...

Great comments! I agree that this show is so much better than Design Star. (I quit watching that one). And Todd Oldham, although very talented and sweet, like JA, isn't great on-air. I kinda thought that's why India Hicks was hired. Maybe Todd & JA are on contract?? Kelly is my favorite of all the judges - she's sweet to everyone and always makes intelligent and thoughtful comments. And her hair and clothes are fun. I like Margaret too - she's equally smart, dresses very elegantly, and there always seems to be a tinge of hautiness in her comments. The $2000 budget (for an entire loft) seemed a bit silly. I don't watch the show to see Design on a Dime. But hopefully this was just a one-time, for fun thing and they'll be given better design opportunities in future.

Tracey said...

Oh- I will have to tune in- sounds pretty captivating. I am also not a huge fan of Design Star- seems to me that is more about tv than design...

Anonymous said...

love that wisit! he's a hoot!! angelic voice and talents galore!

kristen / said...

didn't know about this show but adore jeff lewis. must tivo immediately. and hello, leah! can't believe i've never bumped into you in oaktown. scary to think how many years it's been. love the blog. hope you're swell!

becky from hatch said...

I was thrilled with the changes. The PDC thing was so lame, and Design Star totally wore me out with its lameness. I'm so glad this show has real designers, and I'm so jealous of anyone ever having the job as Sex and the City set decorator!

I love Todd and love him in the desk crit role. He's made for it, and he actually offered really good advice to the contestants. I love Tim Gunn, but it seems like all he ever gets to do is hint at what's not working and say "make it work" without giving any direction.

BTW on a side note, I live for Project Runway but feel it has been pretty lame this season. Perhaps they are getting us ready for the Lifetime version that's coming?


Linda Merrill said...

Hi Leah - great post and insights! I've added you to Recapalooza!

Cliff O'Neill said...

Yeah. I was so happy that they (at least so far) have ditched the "big white boxes" and tag-insanely-pricey-items at the PDC thing from last season.

It's always so hard to focus on so many people who are introduced all at once, but I rather liked the new wrinkles.

But the husband pointed out something I hadn't consciously realized before: If Todd is taking a strictly Gunn-ish mentoring role and letting India be Heidi, wouldn't we have still seen more of him, even having him escort folks on their shopping trips?

Looking forward to capping this along with everyone else!

WP said...

Thanks for the sweet review--it made me laugh lots!! I especially love the terms "sprite" and "bird"--right up my alley!!! LOL!


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