Kelly Wearstler was a Playboy centerfold!

Top Yawn

February 18, 2007

I’m having trouble getting excited about Top Design. When I first heard about it, I thought great! It’ll be like a Project Runway for interior design. But no, not so much. Maybe the show is still getting its legs, but so far it’s been a disappointment. Why? I think it’s two things: the host and the challenges.

Todd Oldham is no Tim Gunn, that’s for sure. Everything he says sounds like he’s reading it off a cue card, even “hello”. I don’t know if he’s drugged or terrified or both, but he could not be more wooden. This is the most charismatic design personality they could dig up? I’m not sure what to make of the judges yet, except that Margaret Russell seems promisingly bitchy and Kelly Wearstler looks embalmed.

The challenges: must they make them so ridiculous? It’s a design show, not Fear Factor. For example, what is accomplished by not telling them that they’re designing for children, so that they all have to rush around in a desperate last minute attempt to modify their design and furniture? Why couldn’t they just tell them up front that their client was a child? I watch the show because I want to see the best that these creative minds can come up with– not because I want to see what they can salvage from a bad situation. The team challenges, too, seem like more of an attempt to create drama than to demonstrate the designer’s potential. It’s a no-win situation: if they fight for what they want, then they get criticized for not being able to work as a team, and if they try to keep the peace by compromising, then they’re criticized for allowing the team to make a bad decision and for not following their own vision. It’s frustrating to watch; I just want to see what they can do without artificial, improbable hurdles being set in their way.