Tag Archives: Television

The American series AMERICAN DREAM BUILDERS started airing this week in Italy on the channel LEI.

Hosted by Nate Berkus, it’s a mash up between EXTREME MAKEOVERS and TOP DESIGN.  I have always wondered about the reality of the former.  They do a lot of structural changes.  How well was the construction, plumbing, and electrical work executed when they have only a week to demolish and rebuild?  Could the owners afford the increase in property taxes?  So many questions.

One thing I really like about this show is that two teams work on two houses from a similar era and/or style.  It’s compelling to see how the teams agree (or not) on an overall aesthetic for their house and then how the individual designers design their rooms.

There is a mix of designers, contractors, and landscape architects.  Of course, there are some strong personalities.  Reality TV would be boring without them.

We are three episodes in and so far it’s fantastic.  The show is entertaining and educational.  Décor is very subjective but it’s interesting to hear the judges explain why they believe a room doesn’t work.  Sometimes it’s a design issue.  For example, the team did not address the layout issues.  Other times, it’s about the décor.  Those debates get heated.

I cannot wait to see who wins.  There are some very talented designers on this show.

When certain people get on their high horse and say they never watch reality TV because everything sucks, in my head, I’m rolling my eyes.  That’s similar to saying they don’t read novels because FIFTY SHADES OF GREY was terrible.

As with any form of entertainment, there are great reality shows and then the ones that are pure garbage.  Regarding the latter I’m not talking about the ones that are so bad they’re good, but are truly awful.  They’re either boring or showcase the worst stereotypes of the protagonists.

I tend to watch shows where people are making something or doing something, like TOP CHEF, PROJECT RUNWAY, CAKE BOSS, MASTERCHEF ITALIA,  ONE BRYK AT A TIME, CERCO CASA DISPERATAMENTE,  (hmm lots of cooking and decorating shows), etc.

Since SKY Cable dropped the E! channel, my reality show intake has dropped.  That channel used to air most of the Bravo shows.  Tears.

THE FACE, the USA version, started airing in Italy a few months ago on Sky Uno.  I missed the first few episodes.  During one rainy (basta!) Sunday afternoon I happened to catch two episodes and I was hooked.

The format of this show is brilliant.  The wanna-be models are broken up into three teams with one of the supermodels coaching them.

Of course, nobody would watch a show that was all about rainbows and unicorns, so yes there is drama.  Naomi played to win and Coco and Karolina sometimes seemed like they didn’t know what hit them.

The UK version, which is currently on the air, is a little different.  Erin and Caroline give Naomi a run for her money.

I don’t understand why Tyra fired noted photographer™  Nigel Barker and Miss J.  I was so glad to see Nigel on the USA version of THE FACE.

Could someone please hook up Miss J. with a show?




Tonight (10/9c) is the premiere of Bravo’s hit decorating show (in the United States).

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information about the international dates. Last season, it started to air in Italy a few months later on SKY’s Real Time channel.

It better air here this season.  I’m still salty about the E! Channel being dropped.  No more “Fashion Police”, “THS” or those great specials about murderous cheerleaders.

From what I’ve read and heard, there will be a greater focus on decorating/design this season.

Of course this is a reality program and there must be drama as well.  A TV series where everything goes well and everyone gets along all the time would be boring.

I hope they show more of Kathryn M. Ireland’s beautiful home.

I asked Martin Lawrence Bullard if he had a new catchphrase for this season. He does!

For more info about the show and to see clips, check out Bravo’s page HERE.

Those of us outside the United States cannot see the clips. Sigh.

For those who don’t watch NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”, here are two clips explaining what the heck the title of this post is referring to.

Not having a steady paycheck is of course one of the major downsides of starting your own company and/or being a writer.  Your landlord doesn’t care if your latest script is hilarious.  If it doesn’t sell, you can’t pay your rent.

Another downside is the lack of structure.  I work from home.  My laptop is always around.  I don’t take the weekends off.  I feel guilty if I’m not working on novel number two, tweaking the AGD business plan, finishing a rewrite on a spec, working on my TV idea pitches, etc.

The thing is, I’m producing diminishing returns.  I’m fried.

I finally hit the wall last week.  While I do have a slew of pitches coming up, (which I have no control over), I have to get some kind of schedule in place.

I also need to treat myself once in a while.  I have been so severe with my budget, it’s insane.  I can account for every single euro I spend.

I have no desire to have credit card debt or to be irresponsible.  But I cannot continue to live the way I’m living.   Something has to change.

So, I’m going to loosen the reins a little.

Treat. Yo. Self. 2012 has begun.

The Bravo show recently started playing in Italy on SKY Cable, channel 124 on Thursday nights.

I read about the show before it premiered in the States. Many wondered if a show with decorating budgets in the millions would appeal to the public during a recession.

I think they picked a great “cast.”  Some of the decorators’ comments had me on the floor.

“Decorating is totally delicious.”  I agree Mr. Bullard.

“Sometimes, I think my job is more important than the President of the United States.”  “That goes without saying.”  I can’t figure out if Jeffrey Alan Marks is just playing to the camera. (A friend who’s a set designer said he is.  She adores him and said he’s very talented).

“I have clients all over the world and I don’t get out of bed for less than a million dollars.”  Do your thing Ms. Ireland.

All reality shows have a villain, but this one (so far) doesn’t seem to have one.  The designers all know each other.   Some are closer than others, but it’s nice to see a lack of back stabbing in such a competitive field.

A few of the clients don’t come across as well.  Like the one woman who said upon meeting Kathryn that she had a MBA and a law degree so how hard could interior design be?  She quickly changed her mind after spending over $500,000 shopping in Europe only to realize she had no idea where to put anything.

Bullard client Joe Francis, the CEO of that wonderful contribution to society “Girls Gone Wild”, has a 13 million dollar estate in Mexico. The way he spoke to his household staff was out of control.  Perhaps he forgot the cameras were rolling?  Did he think was okay to use that tone because they’re Mexican?  I had some L.A. flashbacks listening to him treat people like dirt.  Like the Countess from RHONYC said, “Money can’t buy you class.”

What do you think of Million Dollar Decorators?


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