Guess this answers the question of whether or not there will be another DS season - I just got a message from one of the PAs for HGTV asking me to try out. This past season was much better than previous ones in terms of challenges and the caliber of contestants - one remaining problem to be solved is the idiocy of the judges. Any bets as to if they can/will pull it off?
Did your PA friend say when he/she thought they would start auditions? This time last year they had already started at the end of August.
Hey Doodles, would you consider it? I'm pretty handy with tools and such, but I'm too chicken.
It just said that auditions were being held in Houston coming up pretty soon - it did give the date but I don't remember offhand what it was.
Charles, I honestly have given it thought in previous years but don't think so. Like you, I'm confident in my design capabilities but the things they put these contestants thru are purely crazy. I guess I cannot use the age excuse anymore because this past season they did have Miera on and she was almost my age - however, I'm too dependent on the people I have working for me like contractors, handymen, etc to do all the nitty gritty stuff. I cringed when I saw Miera climbing that ladder last season attempting to install something because I knew I'd never be able to do that.
Charles, I really wish you would try for this - you know what you're doing and you've been in this crazy business long enough and are successful enough to have a good shot at it. BTW, how is that Florida project coming? I'd love to see pictures if you're able.
Doodles, thanks for the vote of confidence. Several of my friends have said they thought I would make a viable contestant. After seeing Tom struggle, I decided DS was not for me. I have renovated my past two homes, laying reclaimed antique flooring, doing real plaster on walls, electrical work,soldering, crown molding, etc., ect. But I can't hang wallpaper, and I have no desire to try turning a mannequin into a bureau or any of the other ridiculous nonsense DS comes up with.
I think my biggest reservation comes from the fact that I have no respect for neither Genevieve nor Vern, and I would have a hard time taking criticism from smirky, smarmy, mediocre media fabricated "stars".
I hear you loud and clear on that! And, you know that would happen - I'd imagine you're way out of their league and that would shoot you down pretty quick. They don't want "fabulous", they want "about the same as us".
Speaking as an outsider here, Charles and Doodles, but as some one who has learned from and admired both of your posts for over a year...
There is NO doubt in my mind that you are both contenders, with the chops to bury any contestant I've seen in all these seasons. I don't have access to your work, but in my work, I have to do a lot of text analysis. I read your comments on design as specific, detailed, and sterling. You understand design concept and style, and you can say why you do what you do. It's also clear that you both have a considerable body of work to celebrate and build on--WITHOUT Design Star.
Here's where I'm coming from: Two of my amazing theatre students, gifted, dedicated, hard-working young people, with some pretty impressive production work, auditioned (against my advice) for reality TV shows, pushed by agents and parents to "get their name out". The young woman, who was rejected, is now an actor in LA with steady stage, TV, and commercial work, though every day is a struggle--because that's the name of the game. The lovely young man, who was accepted for two seasons on a top reality show on a major network (if I mentioned his name here, many of you would know him; others would Google and know his story immediately)--is miserable, vilified by every nasty hack who spends 24/7 judging others on the internet, and stuck in secretive contracts he can't talk about.
The editing made him look like a fool, and the editing of many of these shows does that, to create the drama presumably craved.That's why the judge's comments (and in no way am I defending them,) are so capricious, ill-informed and arbitrary--I doubt THEY see the full picture.
I understand that you are more mature and know how to read contracts and have agents or legal assistance. And I hate to be impositional. But, with your considerable gifts--you don't need it.
Bonactor, what a lovely post - thank you for your kind remarks.
I think that Charles and I both realize that "drama" is the name of the game for t.v. and no matter how many times you can pull off a fabulous room (or house) for your clients, the editing and drivel-seeking producers will make you look as inept as Ramona from DS's first season with her street found vacuum cleaner she turned into a "work of art" (I think that's what it was supposed to be).
Even Candice Olson who is very successful in design, has to come up with inane stupid oopsie moments for her t.v. show to increase the drama and keep the viewing audience breathless over whether or not the headboard will fit or how she's going to come up with a solution to another problem.
I can't speak for Charles, but I think he may feel the same way as I do - the design business is darn hard work and I am so tired of seeing good design dumbed down to a non-existent level so that the almighty drama is created and the likes of HGTV created "stars" like VY and GG can smirk and get rid of true talent.
Anyway - again, thanks for your comment. I appreciate it!!
It's my pleasure, and thank you again for all YOUR comments.
It IS complicated, isn't it? Because I LIKE problem-solving, and I think there is great value in these programs 1.)showing how an unexpected problem does NOT have to mean a compromise of the vision/concept/design; and 2.) showing the ingenuity and creativity of designers in finding a great solution. There is NOTHING inane, stupid or oopsie about that--that's mastery.
When I work with stage designers (and, without exception, ALL have been terrifically competent), issues DO come up--an entrance a degree or two too steep for actor and crew safety, a paint shade that couldn't be lit properly, a set piece that had to be struck because of a recent fire code ban on the material. It happens--not because the designer or director was weak or couldn't plan, but because that's life.
Because I am a member of the "drama department" , I like my drama to be artistic, scripted, and fiction. I know you all know that this whole reality show craze has been manipulated by production companies to avoid not to paying play/script writers.
I feel bad for Candace, too. Next to Sarah, she is about my favorite HGTV designer. But from my amateur eye, I think this extraneous, cutesie stuff is compromising her design now (because I don't see her same spirit).
On another thread, I said I thought DS should have different judging panels week-to-week for the different tasks, depending on the goal (with some kind of point system to be tallied periodically and at the end). Maybe that would get the focus back to content and beautiful design, vs. designer physique and personality. There are lots of production tricks that could make that appeal to a range of audiences.
Whew--sorry! That was a long "you're welcome", wasn't it? Yikes!
Bonactor, I didn't mean in any way to imply that "oopsies" don't happen - they do and with great regularity. Even after being in this business for a long time I still sweat until I see everything in place, promised delivery dates happening, the paint looking great on the wall and everything looking like I'd envisioned (and sold it to the Homeowner). It's just that some of the silliness on the programs focus on things that any first year design student knows better than to do - or at least not more than once.
Sometimes you really are at the mercy of things beyond your control but you always have a Plan B - or C, D, E or F lined up.
Oh, I'm sorry, Doodles, I didn't mean to imply that about anything YOU were saying.
I meant that, like you, I see the focus of DS as all wrong (and yes, it is the basic and elementary "gotchas" you and any relatively new designer would see). Creating stupid mistakes to rush us to the climax is the hallmark of bad drama as well as bad design!
It's tricky to find the language to point out what people do RIGHT, their strengths, as opposed to "error correction". That's what is so disappointing about GG and VY on DS--and Candace's obvious discomfort in seasons past seems to have paralyzed her. Kitty Bartholomew, Cynthia Rowley, Sabrina Soto, Carter Ossterhouse, Lisa LaPorta, Karen McAloon and John Gidding seem to have a much better sense of how to make specific, supportive comments for designers (and amateurs, like me) to build on.
So I tend to watch the beginning and the end of each episode--and I usually enjoy process--but there's NO process, just bad, snarky pseudo-drama... If DS actually chose to go with judging designers from their specific STRENGTH--well that would be a really new concept, wouldn't it?
And one where I would support you and Charles auditioning--
Charles and Doodles - I'd love to see you on DS, but I would not wish the DS experience on you, especially after seeing how Tom was treated on DS All Stars.
I agree with Bonactor that the entire concept of DS is flawed - more reality show than design show, and I'm tuning in looking for design.
The Food Network, which has the same corporate parent as HGTV, completely reconceptualized its version of DS, The Next Food Network Star, this year, and the new concept was really smart and fun to watch. Three FN stars, Alton Brown, Giada diLaurentis, and Bobby Flay each picked a team of chefs and mentored them through the season. Each star was looking for different qualities from their team members. I think it was Alton who said that he was confident that he could teach the tv skills to anyone, so he was looking for great chefs. However, having said that, he clearly also picked people with strong personalities for his team. The judges were two FN executives, Bob Tuchman and Susie ???, and their notes to each contestant were honest, but gentle, and clearly intended to help each contestant develop his/her skills and concept for his/her own show. The eliminations were done respectfully and with reference to past notes to the eliminated contestant.
If FN can reconceptualize The Next Food Network Star, then maybe there is hope for a new and improved DS. I'd love to see Sarah, Mr. Pearce of Pearce and Co. (what is his first name?), and a third designer, maybe John Gidding, maybe Candace, really anyone other than the overexposed David Bromstad, pick and mentor a team through a season of DS with new and improved challenges.
Thanks, sst-a--you said it better than I--
The Food Network Star this year, though I was not able to catch it often, IS a much better model.
And I love the term "reconceptualization"--it suggests that individuals, and companies, and institutions (like networks) can GROW, learn, and
Thanks everyone! This is a subject that Doodles and I have gone over a few times. We want to like DS, and we'd like to think it could be a fun experience. But we've both come to terms with the fact that the design is almost secondary.We all know editing can change the context of any action or conversation, so there is no way to control your own "brand". In the end being an armchair ref sounds better than actually participating,not for lack of nerve or ability, but out of preservation for our dignity.
Well put, Charles!
Wow. Some of you really don't like VY or GG do you? Personally, I think they are great designers who were not HGTV fabricated stars. Did you not watch TLC Trading Spaces? Some of the work they did on that show with only $1000 was amazing and they earned their place on HGTV.
As much as I love design though, DS is a disappoinment. I would prefer a equal platform for competition with no drama, just let the design speak for itself. Get a rotating panel of judges to look at the room and give the room a score, average the scores and you have the lowest score kicked off the show.
Just my two cents from a furniture store owner who helps people everyday with making their home look good.This message has been edited. Last edited by: furnitureguy,
Furnitureguy: Welcome to the boards. Most of us on the boards have opinions about lots of things and we are not shy about sharing them.
Yes,I watched Trading Spaces. Gen had a degree in graphic design, as I recall, and she really learned interior design as she went along on TS. I honestly don't remember any great rooms by Gen on TS, although I do recall some bad ones - the room with moss on the walls; the room with small blocks of wood of varying depths on the walls. She's grown as a designer on HGTV. In her block of shows yesterday she did a couple of really good rooms - the very expensive brownstone kitchen and the charming caboose, but she also did a terribe bathroom with so many different and unrelated tile patterns that it was migraine inducing for me. The rest of her rooms were just okay and relied very heavily on Restoration Hardware for the overall look and the products. On TS Gen seemed warm and friendly. On DS and her own show, Gen often seems both inflated with self importance and silly, as in referring to pieces of furniture as "he" or "she" and as in talking about "bouquets of chandeliers," which means hanging multiple small and cheap-looking chandeliers in a bunch in one room.
Vern entered TS with a degree in architecture and I could see it in his designs - he's great at space planning and scale, but he is really not good with color. Remember the year on TS that he did every single room in red, gold/khaki, and black, without regard to his homeowers' preferences and the other colors in their homes? One room was even draped in fabric in these three colors, falling from the center of the ceiling, with the fabrics alternating to create stripes, and looking just like a cirus tent. Vern's design style still shows the same traits (and colors - he still loves red, gold, and black), but it now is more interesting and sophisticated. On TS, Vern seemed warm and friendly. On DS, Vern has seemed like he has multiple personalities, but I think that is due to the producers of the show, the directors, and the editing. All of the judges were mean in the season of DS produced by Mark Burnett. All of the judges have warmed up considerably since then. Unlike Gen, Vern does not use big and/or silly words to convey his design ideas. He's very good at explaining his ideas and his rationale for any given design.
I thought Laurie Smith was the real design star of Trading Spaces. Many of her rooms were beautiful and memorable, none more so than the basement play space that she transformed into a child's art space with Matisse inspired murals and moving panels that were so beautiful that I forgot that the art space was in a basement. Her book on her remodeling of her home in Mississippi was truly beautiful and inspirational. I really wish that HGTV would find a way to put Laurie back on TV, because I'd love to see where her style has evolved to today.
All of this, of course, is just my humble opinion.This message has been edited. Last edited by: sst-a,
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