Category Archives: HGTV

A Foggy Fourth

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Our friends Anne and Mike brought over barbecue ribs for dinner tonight, which was terribly sweet of them, especially since Anne is a vegetarian (she had macaroni.) I had hoped we could watch the (completely illegal) firework shows down in the Mission neighborhood after dinner. Every year, the best displays are put on by the thugs in the ‘hoods below our canyon. We watch them from the hill at the foot of our street, which we refer to as the Loma cause we’re all California and stuff.
So here’s the view of the Loma about 5:00:


And here it is, about 8:00, shortly after dinner and as the fog was blasting in:


Fogific Fourth of Julys are simply the way things roll here more often than not. So instead of fireworks, we had a lovely, cozy fire and listened to disco off my iPod.


Certainly, as a child of the south, I understand how inconceivable curling up by the hearth on a July evening seems, but we do it a lot. The Pacific at our doorstep acts like a big ass air conditioner and I, for one, bless it every day. The idea of owning a set of sweaters I wear all summer is both endearing and ludicrous and you would have to drag me out of here kicking and screaming.
The disco was nice too.

Tachika Must Go

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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.
Duh.

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 Starred

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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.