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top design

well, top design debuted last night. i spent most of the night pissed that ilan won top chef (a spanish menu? shocker!) but i tried to give top design the benefit of the doubt. thoughts on last night: kelly wearstler must have forgotten to design mirrors into her home (were those pants or boots with tall leggings?), todd oldham seemed like an overly-perky (but friendly) animatronic host (oh the makeup) and i'm a bit worried that perhaps no one in this group is going to end up being a really fanastic designer. but, i'm going to hold out for another show or two. i think goil seems like a nice guy and i'm hoping that once people are out of the team format their personal style can shine a bit more. we'll see. did anyone else think lisa looked like storm from x-men? feel free to dish away below...

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Anonymous joy said...

i fell asleep 10 minutes into it, so i need to watch it on tivo. but i completely agree with the lisa statement. when i saw her come into the girl's house, i thought she looked like an older storm!

8:40 AM  
Blogger style court said...

I really missed a Tim Gunn mentor figure. Todd Oldham didn't seem to be doing much of that -- unless it was edited out. Guess I'll give the show another try, but so far it's a huge let down.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it seems to me that this show's mission is to show the world just how vapid and completely incapable of conceptual thought (most) interior designers are. so for they're doing a fantastic job.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was calling her Storm the whole show.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

My honey and I agreed that Todd sounded like a Kindergarten teacher and/or grammar school counselor. It would be great if Adler would be the host, he seems to know how to work the camera a bit more.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Jennie said...

Told Oldham really killed the show for me. He sort of sounded like a voice from one of those airline digital menus where you have to yell "FLIGHT TODAY!" and they say overly chipperly, "Okay, let me see if I've got that right: that's a flight tomorrow." A huge letdown. Then again, these shows usually improve in the second season.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous _tango! said...

I too was sad to hear Ilan won...personally i thought Marcel was more edgy though somewhat bad as a chef head chef leadershipwise. Then again, I love new adventures in food.
As for Top Design...hmm...i'll give it a few more episodes..seems different than design star, but has that weird competition vibe in reality shows I dont like.
- Todd sounded like he was reading a script the whole time.
- The designers are well...I'll wait to give my 2 cents after 2 more shows.
- I had high hopes for Top Design since I love bravo, project runway, top chef, etc....but so far..not that addicted.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd Oldham's voice sounded like that travel show host, Rick Steve's. It was a little annoying.

And the first thing I said to my husband... 'hey that lady looks like Storm from X-Men'. How funny.

And the more I thought about it.... I didn't really care for any of the chefs on Top Chef. I originally liked some of them but they just became to whiney. And Ilan seemed a little obsessed with Marcel. He really wanted to pee on him. Ugh.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

I'm still upset that little obnoxious tool Ilan won.

Did anyone else get The Devil Wears Prada vibe from Margaret Russel? Oh... and the sneer she gave Kelly Wearstler when Kelly said she liked the Zen sand garden! You can tell Russel is a total prude.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Oh! I almost forgot: Did anyone catch that Goil and Elizabeth, who picked the same color and thus were partners, were dressed like a matching couple at a theme park? Both were wearing black and both had purple accessories (Elizabeth's necklace and Goil's glasses). It's kinda spooky if you think about it.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Did anyone else get The Devil Wears Prada vibe from Margaret Russel? Oh... and the sneer she gave Kelly Wearstler when Kelly said she liked the Zen sand garden! You can tell Russel is a total prude."

I totally agree!!! I kept saying the whole episode to my husband that it seemed like Todd's lines were edited in after the fact - they just didn't seem natural. I also wondered what he did to his face - cheek implants or was it ALL makeup???

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

todd seems to think america doesn't have a brain. he speaks as if he is talking to an audience of toddler's . his voice is flat and he should get a voice coach. he should also stop talking with his hands. that is just overcompensating for lack of enthusiasm in his voice. what's with the wierd face? did he have lip injections or something? time for a haircut too. adler should be the host he has a bigger tv personality. more expression. you are anxious to see what he has to say!! why the tranny? annoying.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The show SUUUCKED.



11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, I think a mentor figure would have been good. It worked so well for Project Runway, why not give them a mentor here? I think it would have prevented a lot of the problems these designers had.


11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anastasia said...


11:59 AM  
Blogger Mindy said...

Hi Grace! Of Course, I have a zillion opinions about last night's top design.
-I found the whole show awkwardly edited and produced. There were too many lulls and pauses. Don't you think? It is not quite as slick as Top Chef
(yes, I too was pissed that Ilan won. He is such a douche! Did anyone catch Marcel on the View? He is a real cutie, not that I watch that show)
-I thought Joanthan Adler looked like he was puffy from Botox, and not too witty. All of the cleverness from his decorating details were missing from his personality.
-The Elle Decor lady was fabulous! I loved her gear and the look of disdain when she commented on the japanese sand box, "kitty litter box". ha ha.
-I def think it was unfair that the designers had to be kicked off in pairs. The 'storm' lady should have been kicked off with the young, glasses guy who has never held a paint brush. I liked it when he said he was a v.New York designer. Give me a break! and he doesn't know how to paint a wall. What a prima donna!
-I think Goil will be the leader of the bunch. He seems to have it together.
That's it for now. Talk with you soon! Min
p.s. I love your site!

12:06 PM  
Blogger victoria@sfgirlbybay.com said...

I was completely underwhelmed as well. I have met Todd and he so gracious in person, but he needs a coach for this. Awkward!

I felt that only being able to pull from the Pacific Design Center is pretty limiting too. It's pretty freakin' stuffy there, and what about being able to source vintage pieces and artwork? I hope it's not always going to be about the 'Blue Whale', as it it's called (when they ordered the glass for the exterior of the building it was supposed to be black, and someone ordered the wrong color! Thus the nickname).

I despised that whiney, spoiled kid with the glasses, and his partner is a bully. But I did like the Bully's work the best, I think.

The rest was a big snore. And the swing? How do you relax in a swing? People's idea of a retreat seemed way off the mark to me and it seemed as thought they just did what relfected their own personalities, not the client's.

And I stayed up til midnight for this! I think I'm done ranting now.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Grace's comments about the overall level of design - hopefully we'll see something more exciting as the weeks progress. It was just painful to listen to Todd, I used to think the host job was an easy one but apparently it's harder than it seems. Love Margaret Russell and Jonathon Adler - hopefully their inner bitches will be allowed to shine!

1:55 PM  
Blogger Alessandro said...

The Bravo-format is getting a little old (I find myself accurately predicting editing decisions).

Todd could be a great mentor if he wasn't so unnatural infront of the camera. It's painful to watch.

All of the rooms looked like they came from the West Elm catalogue. I sincerely hope the designers will be more progressive and innovative in up-coming weeks.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Kelly and Margaret were both kind of fabulous, and they create a perfect West Coast (lovely, laid-back, laissez-faire) versus East Coast (slick, sophisticated, snooty) dynamic. They're both incredibly talented and successful, so I'm most interested in seeing how these two face off while Jonathan moderates. None of the contestants seem that interesting (Goil reminds me of Vern from way back in the Trading Spaces days) and that obnoxious Michael kid needs to go. Enough with these twits, we've seen his character type 100 times by now and I'm more interested in some actual talent. Todd Oldham ... WHY?! He's not even regarded as a true designer, he's so mass-market and who didn't know from those La-Z-Boy commercials that viewers wouldn't respond well to him? He seems super nice, don't get me wrong, but what is the point of him on this show, he can't run away from the contestants fast enough and he had to do voice-overs for almost every scene he was in.

P.S. Don't get me started on Ilan winning Top Chef. For all the criticism heaped on Marcel, Ilan was consistently far more immature and obnoxious, I couldn't stand to see him smirk one more time. I actually think the judges didn't want Ilan to win, either, they didn't seem convinced and surely the producers weighed in heavily on this one. Shame, but Marcel will have a great career, no doubt.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Hi Grace,

I was bummed about Ilan too. I don't think he seems like such agreat guy and his stuff was probably good but not great...Marcel should have won.

Top Design...I'm going to give a few weeks...let's see some interesting challenges.

I love Todd Oldham but that fake tan/makeup was really bad...I hope he realized it and fixed it.

4:23 PM  
Blogger jwh said...

i was surprised to see ilan win too... even though i could not stand marcel... his dishes seemed to be right on point... but then i fell right asleep and missed top design... i am not sure if todd oldham is the right person for this job... they should have picked tom filicia...

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont get me started on this one! $50,000 to 'create' a room, give me a break!!
T Oldham should never present - weird voice over effect also something funny happened in make up. J Adler is sooo desperate to say something witty every second - it just comes across as lame and tired. I cant even comment on Kelly's superior attitude.
Then bringing on the 'celebrity' tranny with nothing to say!
I miss P Runway, Heidi is a star in comparison, Michael is a talented critic with caustic wit that comes out when needed, making it funnier.
Hope the show improves but so far looks like the poor relation to Runway.....

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont get me started on this one!!
$50,000 to 'design' a room - give me a break - what happened to being creative? that doesn't need$$
Oldham shouldn't present, he also needs a new make up person ASAP - what happened there!?
Adler is sooo desperate to be witty at every turn - he just came across as lame.
As for Kelly and her stuck up designer attitude!
Then wheelin out the 'celebrity' tranny with nothing to say....please...my nerves!!
I miss P Runway - Heidi is a star,Michael is a talented critic who uses his caustic wit when needed making much more interesting TV.
This show just came across as a poor relation to Runway...disapointing

7:47 PM  
Anonymous kate (pm) said...

As I watching I thought seems really nice, but perhaps trying too hard... following speech tips to speak slowly, etc.. It used to sort of make fun of Heidi Klum for practically shouting some of her things (esp. for commercials). I realize it's her enthusiam and personality -- and it had spark! Like other commentors, Todd needs to relax and himself... and not worry about getting right for the camera.

Liked Margaret Russell. She was the judge reminding the contestants about reality! It was kitty litter box, Kelly!

10:23 PM  
Blogger Funfurde said...

Todd isn't a good host. And for a show about design, they really didn't talk too much about the actual design of the rooms, other than things like, "I wanted it to be playful." Great. Although most of the rooms turned out reasonable well in a generic Crate & Barrel way. Also, it's hard to see what they have to work with from the design center's "library" of good. I'll watch one or two more (go Goil!) but not sure this is a keeper.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Kim said...

Please provide a spoiler warning next time -- I still had the Top Chef finale waiting on the Tivo ...

11:15 PM  
Blogger Vajra said...

funfurde: word! You pegged it exactly: the rooms looked like pages from a catalog.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Whew. Thank you all. My Bravo-addiction was hurting with Ilan's win (granted, I have an inappropriate crush on Marcel - - but it did feel like the producers of the show were ready to have him fail - - and angry insecure Ilan is a tool.) And I was under-impressed with Top Design (see all above reasons). And to what Todd Oldham sounds like, may I also add Winnie the Pooh. There's just a bit of Pooh Bear in there.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a fan of D*S. I also work on Top Design and would like to chime in if I may without compromising my non-disclosure agreement.

As Todd is not an actor he probably should be given a little slack and let him come into his own as the episodes progress. He does get better and more comfortable. He's just a good guy.

Heidi, Trump, Padma were all stiff too in their first season. Heidi is always dubbed and she was hardly ever on camera. She still isn't great but she has improved tremendously. First season of the apprentice trump would walk in say hello and then be off camera for two minutes until he said "see you in the board room".

Don't believe that you are clever just because many of you can spot a dubbed line when you hear it.
it doesn't always mean it's because the host gave a poor delivery ( which is sometimes the case ) it's often due to changes and clarity of the information needed to be delivered.

Top Design, although follows in the "style" of PR, it is it's own show that improves as you become invested in the characters this takes time as the cast is whittled down and more editorial time can be given to the cast and the story.

Ironically, The first episode should make the best impression, unfortunately it usually never does as it must do too much: establishment of 12 characters, where they live, where they work,the premise and introductions of judges. all of this eats into the time that a typical show doesn't need to do.

And also, please don't kid your self into thinking the challenges should be "real world". I don't think that making a gourmet dish from vending machines is a real world challenge. Nor making a dress from lamp shades and bathmats as was done last season premiere episode of PR. This is a TV show, have some fun with it. Top Design is "lighter" in tone. Which is to say we don't mind showing the humor of of the judges and designers. Chef is never fun, it's tone is agressive and serious which explains their soundtrack All the shows have a tone.

BTW, TD garnered the highest ratings of any bravo show in regards to premiere episodes. including our beloved PR.

Nuff said.
I will not comment here again.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anne Blick said...

Um, biased much? Why bash other shows on the network just because people didn't like Top Design? I read the reviews everywhere and most people think it was awful. If you're from the show I hope you'll do something about improving it because so far it's soo boooooring.


8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally I'm getting a little tired of this whole reality contest genre and it's use of gay men as contemporary minstrels as entertainment for the masses. Todd Oldham's high school play delivery and carb starved bobble head is a disaster and the producers were clearly banking on his name with no regard for his (lack of) on camera talent. Adler fared no better with his Palm Beach uniform and sad lisp. As for the "contestants", one big yawn though it must be hard to translate any real depth to this tired format. Bravo should have stopped with Top Chef.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Jewell said...

she was totally Storm's mother!

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd would be perfect if they ever bring back the old Romper Room kiddie show, but not for top design.

1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when i first saw Todd i thought Gilligan came back to life. he is the spitting image and even sounds like the little buddy. am i right or not?

1:33 AM  

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