Category Archives: design star

No Designers Were Harmed in Making this Design Star

This is the last time you will ever see my blog soiled by a reference to Design Star. I’ve gone from liking it a lot, to watching it because it was so bad it was sort of amusing, to now being nothing but irritated by it. Besides, the charming Design Blahg already writes about it much better than I ever did, so I’m happy to let them cover the idiocy. You should go see their site if you haven’t already. Sweet.
I understand Design Star is actually just another game show, but in the first few seasons there was genuinely talented designers competing, which made it more interesting to watch. Last year. they were bad, but this season they are completely without any skill at all. The finished rooms are almost painful to look at, the best they ever come up with is bland.
Here’s what I don’t like: all of it. The cheap ass lack of budget which forces everyone to decorate like impoverished waiters; the stupid and arbitrary time limits which forces everyone to cut corners that the judges then ding them for; the inane challenges “This week, you’ll be required to be inspired by something that means nothing to any of you. Go.”; These stupid, stupid group challenges were everyone has to be a team player but be individualistic at the same time. Just what does that have to do with hosting a design show? Nina. And I didn’t even watch the show where she got a boot up her ass. Damn. And mostly Vern Yip. The Yipster. Yippy, a Chihauhau Among Men.
Mean, petty, blustering, a number of other blogs and comments have suggested that something large in his rectum would improve his disposition. I prefer not to speculate. His own show revels that he has the design skill of those excessively large ladies you see in Bed, Bath and Beyond buying fake grape vines to swag over their curtain rods, and yet, he lays down his dictum in the judge’s section as if it were holy law. And totally arbitrary. Somebody gets the boot for a room that looks “sterile and unfinished,” but the winning room, that he swoons over, looks almost identical. The fuck?
The closest I’ll come to a recap of this week’s show (with Donald Trump! Junior! Did you know there was a Junior? Did you know he looks like a not very successful used car salesman?) is reflecting on how the two contestants who got kicked off both seemed pretty “Yeah, whatever. Just get me off this fucking dog show.”
And the Grand Prize! Hosting your very own HGTV show! Wow! Except this year, now having piled up an excess of mediocre talents from previous years, a couple of which still haven’t gotten their show on the air, and a few of the others with theirs in some 6:00 AM Thursday limbo, the producers have opted to make your show an online production. Again, wow! You know, I have my own online sow, I call it my blog. In fact, you’re reading it right now. And I have 52 followers, which is a few dozen more than whatever lame ass show they come up with will ever manage to scrape up.
Anyway, I’m outa here. It used to be fun, but it was just one of those things. Dear HGTV, it’s not me. It’s you.

Houseboy Pilas Magnus has offered to help everyone get all that nasty Design Star taste off their tongue. We appreciate Pilas’s generous offer.

Design Star. Now Completely Talent-free!

Oh god, is he going to yammer on about Design Star again? Why yes, yes, I am. I can’t help myself.
HGTV’s game show masquerading as a talent-based reality show is back. Back and lamer than ever. A weekly train wreck, I am reduced to watching it solely to see how bad these designettes can be. This week, they took on team decorating a deck because the show is based in Manhattan and I when I think of New York City decorating, patios immediately come to mind, naturally.
As R Man pointed out, the results looked like an outdoor dorm room. And not a very nice dorm room either. Everyone on the show is either stupid and clueless or clueless and stupid. That’s it. That’s the only two flavors they have available this year. One guy, who was supposed to be taking his “inspiration” from a cello, painted a wall yellow and babbled about Sedona. The fuck? He had to ask the cellist to play something since he apparently didn’t know what a cello sounds like. That’s inspiration baby.
And the previous show, when they took on two identical apartments and both wound up with, pretty much, two identical apartments. Generic, bland modern with the furniture arranged the exact same way, and both with the living room oriented so the seating has its back to the wall o’ windows. You know, living in mid-town Manhattan, who would want to see sunlight and sky and stuff when you can stare at the dead wall holding the front door?
Last year, writing about the show, I said:
“… the contestants seem to regularly fall into immediately recognizable clichés, the easier for the audience to pick out who to root for without wasting precious time on getting to know the characters. There’s the vaguely artsy chick (this year with a kind of biker/punky thang going on,) the obnoxious, overconfident nell, the token black woman, the straight guy to prove not all decorators are poofs, the bleach blonde prom queen with good jewelry, and the humpy eye candy guy. The rest are just fodder thrown in there in order to be voted out. Nobody has cried about how they miss their family yet, and no obvious catfights, but it’s still early.”

Gosh golly, it’s like I’m psychic, cause all the same cliches have been rolled out this year, with the exception of the token black chick. Maybe they couldn’t find one. And I have to say the eye candy this year just does not cut it.

Unless it’s supposed to be the silver fox guy.

Either way, there is no comparison with past candyman and my imaginary husband, David Bromstad.

And yet, I will be back each week, deriding the whole circus until the bitter end. This week on the HGTV blog they ask “Who should go home next?” Uh, all of them? Bring back David and Dan and the pornstar cop and start over.

Design Star: Let Me Know When It’s Over


Design Star. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it was three days ago, but I just now watched it because I was reading Sunday night and now, having seen it, I’m glad I didn’t stop. The show is teetering terribly close to Must Skip TV.

In my previous posts about this, I may have been a teeny bit too focused on how irritating the late, unlamented Taschika was, how totally cute little tiny Nathan was (he’s gone! How can that be? He was like a design elf) and speculating about how Dan might look in really tight thongs that I sort of overlooked the fact that none of these losers are any good at design. How did they get on this show? Except Dan and his tight thong, and lucky the talent guy who got to interview THAT. They suck. They all suck.

This show was kids room and none of the finished products looked better than the before pictures. In fact, that’s what they all sort of looked like: the starting point for a before and after show. The shicksa who had the artsy little girl and stapled random fabric up on the wall. Why did she get to stay? Also, I think the tight thong may be cutting the blood off from Dan’s head cause I can’t imagine why else he would pick that dreadful red and green palette. Do you think he’s color blind?

Loni and Antonio? BLAH BLAH BLAH …. You could walk into any IKEA and come out with a better finished product.

I think Jason’s pink princess room, while not any great shakes, was the best one, and he got tossed. The hell? Still any of them could have gone home, they’re all equally bad.

I miss Nathan. But to help us all through these difficult moments, a photo of Dan:My advice? Stick to your day job and your thong.

More Dan Tits, Less Taschika. Moving in the Right Design Star Direction


Some of the most beautiful words uttered on Design Star: “Tashicka, Your Show Has been Canceled. And, By the Way, You’re an Untalented, Whiny, Gasbag Hack.” Even better, the way the judges finally just admitted they were not even going to pretend to deliberate about it, but just shove her ass out onto the street. I’m amazed they let her use the door and didn’t force her to climb out a window. I would have.

Plus, finally, an all-too-brief view of Dan with his shirt off.

The competition? Uhm, I think stupid might be the word I’m looking for here. You’re going to convert your garage to living space, fine. Since you have it filled with crap instead of using it to store your car, why not?

So wouldn’t the primary consideration on the transformation seem to be getting rid of the garage door? I mean, what else defines a big square room as a garage? And yet, neither team did, and one REPLACED the old one with nice new one. Am I missing something? Is there a new decorating rage in suburbia for a wall that rolls up to allow an unobstructed view of the driveway? Maybe if you were shooting at some wacky post-industrial mechanized biker chic, but that’s not the story here.

The results? Dumb. Dull. Lot of shrieking around and flailing and hard work, but no pay off. Plus the ceilings are just raw old garage wood. I’m starting to think none of these guys are exactly design Einstiens.

Lastly, this one got lambasted for being dull.Well, yes, but honey, they’re shopping at Sears. I think they should be commended for not winding up with Early American wagon wheel chandiliers.

I also still claim Nathan, the tiny little gay elf, might be a Hidden Talent. If he can survive being on teams that suck, we’ll see. And I still can’t tell the two blondes Ladies apart.

mrpeenee’s Cameo Appearance


Why is mrpeenee sort of AWOL these days? Because the web filter where I work blocks me from my own damn blog. The nerve!

Thanks to everyone’s comments on my Design Star rant below, especially since you all had the good sense to agree and point out how insightful I am. I went looking for more pictures of the humpy Dan, but struck out (obviously his porn career steams along under an alias) but I did find a picture of his aunt, Vickie, from her blog. Honest.I adore her. I think I may have to adopt her. Even though she got the Crazy Eye.

So I’ve finally replied in the comment section of Tachika Must Go, since I can only access this when I’m not at work. It brings into clear light how a blog is like a time machine: you write your comments in your present, but I read them from the past and reply thinking that my comments are the future, which is the past by the time you see them and now I’m dizzy.

I’ve asked houseboy Saluterius Boniface to bring me a wet cloth for my forehead.

Tachika Must Go


My favorite line ever in Design Star? Candice Olsen asking the contestants “Have you ever seen Design Star? Nobody finishes tile.” Excellent point, on a number of levels, mostly that the contestants should be able to learn from the disasters of past seasons.
• Do not attempt tile back splashes when you don’t have time for it
• Do not bite off more carpentry than the skills of your team can handle
• Do not have your hunky eye candy keep his shirt on.

This week was kitchens. I have to preface my remarks by saying I love to cook and I prefer galley kitchens. They work better. I understand moms might need that bigger space for their adorable tykes to be adorable in, but I say go smoke crack out on the patio and get out of my fucking kitchen. If you do need a big ass kitchen, why then do you stick an island in the middle so you constantly have a traffic block to navigate?

And when people are talking about decorating their kitchens, they now have only two phrases at their disposal: “Tuscan, Italian, Warm, blahblahblah” and “I want to entertain there” which apparently means you want your guests standing around in your way as you’re trying to defrost the shrimp rolls from Costco. Again, crack, patio, out of my fucking kitchen.

So the room that won:
Look, mahmah’s kitchen from the trailer park in Little Rock. This is what they FINISHED with? It looks like a before picture, and a mighty nasty one at that. Too cluttered, ugly colors, crappy finishes. A Buddha in the window, one of them Moroccan ones, no doubt. I now have doubts that tubby know-it-all is gay. No queer would go shopping for accessories and wind up this. Obviously straight trying to pass. So they are the first team in history to actually finish in the time allotted. Big deal. Isn’t it better to have an appealing design? Guess not.

The losers:Judging from the comments on HGTV’s site, I seem to be the only person in the universe who likes it. I know, I know, they didn’t finish the tile (gasp) the counter was fucked up (gasp), but it looks like what they owners asked for. It’s sleek, it’s modern, and I dig it. I agree, more dramatic color on the cabinets would have helped, but still, pretty cool. They couldn’t accessorize the room, but again, I’m ok with that. I don’t want knick-knacks and tchotckes on my counter; that’s where I’m working, bitches; get this fucking flower arrangement out of my way.

Also, my strongest disagreement with both was the cabinets. These kitchens are less than twenty years old, the cabinets are perfectly sturdy and fairly new, and yet both teams ripped them all out to replace them with new cabinets in exactly the same footprint. Have any of them heard about the environment? Yeah, baby, let’s stuff some more wasteful crap into the landfills, trash the resources and energy used to create the originals and wind up with no appreciable difference. Plus the winners, by using smaller cabinets flanking the sink so they could squeeze in some bibelot shelves actually decreased the amount of storage. Fabulous.

Lastly, Tachika (also universally known as the Fuck Up) didn’t do shit, contributed nothing and yet didn’t get booted. What’s with that? Her whole team condemns her and she gets to stay? Did you see the looks when she returned to the green room? A narrow range from stunned to pissed off. I would have been more sympathetic towards Amy getting shafted, but until the actual final line up, I didn’t even know who she was or that there were three blondes, I thought there was just two. That’s how much impact they’ve had on me.

One last thing. When are they going to show Dan with his shirt off? Isn’t that in the contract? I’m not looking for go-go dancing in a thong (although that would not be amiss,) just a couple of nipple shots. Is that asking too much?

Design Star: It’s Back.


We’re all watching HGTV’s Design Star are we not? As a showcase of these poor schlub’s design capabilities, it is to laugh, but as a game show, oh my. It falls only short of Hollywood Squares in terms of the queer amusement factor.

I mentioned last year that the contestants seem to regularly fall into immediately recognizable clichés, the easier for the audience to pick out who to root for without wasting precious time on getting to know the characters. There’s the vaguely artsy chick (this year with a kind of biker/punky thang going on,) the obnoxious, overconfident nell, the token black woman, the straight guy to prove not all decorators are poofs, the bleach blonde prom queen with good jewelry, and the humpy eye candy guy. The rest are just fodder thrown in there in order to be voted out. Nobody has cried about how they miss their family yet, and no obvious catfights, but it’s still early.

You may remember last year’s eye candy turned out to have a wee little porn star past. This year’s humpy boy, Dan, LOOKS like a porn star. And I don’t mean that in a generic way. Mrpeenee’s encyclopedic knowledge of porn points out that he bears an uncanny resemblance to Alex Wilcox, one of our faves from days gone by. Proof provided below:

The big change this year is that the judges are much better than in the past, particularly Candice Olson, who I think has the single best decorator show going. I bow before her.

So, episode 1. I love the big Hollywood house, who could go wrong with that? Turns out a couple of these guys could, and did. But overall, they all seem better than past years with no obvious losers. Yay for that.

Since I can’t remember any of their names (except for my new imaginary boyfriend Dan) I’ll just run through the rooms.

Bunk Bedroom . Eesh. I understand they wanted to be sassy, but it was all so random. And those fake animal heads. Honey, if something was ironic five years ago, chances are you should pass on it now.

The bedroom that wasn’t a hot mess. Dull, fussy and it sort of irritates me to agree with that Genevieve Whatshername judge, but she was right, why shove everything over on one wall? And all three bedrooms had those fabulous huge corner windows that they all ignored. Doofuses. Or Doofai. Whatever.

The bedroom that was a hot mess. I actually think the design and color and scale was the best of all three bedrooms. It could have been really pretty if it was finished. This is where the problem with the show being a game show and not being really about decorating ability comes in. So they couldn’t paint the floor? You think on a real show the talent is doing the grunt work? That’s what stage hands are for. Still, the Lady Who Cried got on my nerves, so ok, shove off.

The living room. Jeebus, what a stunning room to start with and then they wound up just sort of OK. Not bad. Ho hum. Thanks, here’s your cookie. Prom Queen lady announces that since it’s so big they need to break it up into conversational areas. Right on, girl. So what happened with that idea? Pissed away while she squabbles with tattoo biker boy about how to put up wallpaper. Look honey, if you want to do it, take the damn brush out his hands and go to it while he does something productive.

And the hot pink geese? Big deal.

The dining room. Yowzah. Everybody liked the big free-hand mural on the wall down onto the floor, including me. I assume the nerdy little queen who actually did it and designed the room while eye candy put together the table and shopped is the sleeper real talent of the show. I’m also pretty sure he volunteered for the dining room to further his lust for Dan. Who can blame him?

Next week: kitchens. Oh boy, because they’re the greatest potential for true disaster, the Poseidon Adventure of decorating shows. My money is on one of the blondes going, mostly because I can’t tell them apart.

Design Starred


While R Man is fascinated with such gritty TV fare as Oz and Dexter, I prefer the decorating shows on HGTV. As I’ve pointed out before, they always have a happy ending and the crappy homes they reveal people huddled in allow me to feel terribly superior.

Jason over at night is half gone encourages me to reveal that my fave is Design Star, a game show masquerading as the search for the host of a new HGTV show. While the promos for the show emphasize the design talent of the competitors, the stunts that lead to the weekly eliminations would stump the ghosts of Billy Baldwin and Dorothy Chandler. Combined. The challenges always involve bizarrely short time limits and restrictions on supplies that boggle the mind. One memorable one required everyone to whip up a room from stuff they found in a pet shop or auto supply house.

Instead of design, what the show really emphasizes is how well the contestants perform on camera as a host. That, after all, is the true point; you can see HGTV realizes as long as the winner can handle pointing at before and after shots, the producer and other off-camera talent can deal with the actual decorating.

This is the third season winding down (tomorrow night is the finale. Can you hardly wait?) I’ve noticed each year the cast tends to be pretty consistent. There’s always some wacky, artsy type who gets tossed early; some hateful bitch who sticks it out almost to the end cause she’s all the drama and the audience hates her; some earnest sweet straight girl who cries and talks about the family she misses so much so the wifeys at home can have someone to identify with; a bitchy nellie queen for comic relief; and a prime piece of hunky eye candy for visuals.

Two years ago the eye candy won, yay, while generating a storm of pissy message board comments from the heartland complaining that he was a) too wiling to take his shirt off (completely insane considering this boy’s luscious tits and shoulders and b) that he’s “too gay.” Who did these people think most of HGTV’s audience is? Nuns with a freak on for redecorating?
David Bromstad, too gay? Too bad.

Even better, shortly after this season’s humpiness got the boot, it came out that he had performed gay porn a few years ago. And not just any porn, but some substantial, whack-a-mole S&M and bondage cinema verite. Thrilling. If only I could get X-Tube to work I’d be able to report more authoritively on its quality.
Mikey V, too bad? Gay too.

The producers should be making novenas of gratitude for this little peccadillo since otherwise the show this year has mostly been notable for how astonishingly dull the decorating has been. Tidy is about the best you can say for these efforts. One particularly galling show had them doing competing suites in the Grand Ole Opry Hotel in “shabby chic.” God knows they nailed the shabby part. I hate shabby chic, it’s such a cliche and all that ratty, peeling paint just makes me wonder how anyone can dust it.

The only other style demonstrated has been some vaguely contemporary, sort of minimal ho-humnism. Sleek, square, low slung in chocolate browns and reds with some Asian piece thrown in. Wow. Sure didn’t see that coming. Nosiree. The cover of every Metropolitan Home since the first George Bush presidency, who’d a thunk it?

So of course, after nothing but snark about the show, you can count on finding me glued to it Sunday night, rooting for the muscley bald guy. I am so there.