Tuesday, July 22, 2008

HGTV Design Star Coming To New Orleans

Habitat For Humanity built this Musician's Village
in post Katrina New Orleans

Flawed and a failed project in many ways -
too small, too close together, too cheaply made, too cliche,
and most artists who want to live there anyway
cannot pass the credit check to get one,
but hey, beggars can't be choosers -
My apologies to all of you who came down to swing a hammer -
I do not mean to be bitter, or disrespectful or hurtful to you,
and New Orleans does thank you for your kindness

And then there were two.
I don't know why I watch HGTV anymore. Maybe because we are on a budget and only have basic cable which doesn't get the Bravo channel (so I could watch Flipping Out and Project Runway).
All the HGTV shows I like, are either off the air, or in such a repetitive rerun cycle, that I feel like I'm at the mid night screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show mouthing the dialogue along with the actors on the screen.
But I do watch HGTV. Like watching a train wreck, or rubber necking on the freeway.
So I have watched all the episodes of this season's Design Star. Man what a yawn. Not one designer contestant stands out. We had a queen who cried - cancelled. We had a bitch who yelled and cried - cancelled. Now we have nice Mat and nice Jennifer left to duke it out.

Nice Jennifer

They are doing the last challenge in New Orleans. Why do I feel a sense of dread?
If you are anyone that has lived through a major disaster (911, floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes) in your city or town, you know what it feels like. You get the news coverage. You get some help. You get well wishers, and the creeps that dis you for choosing to live where you live from the comfort of their fat ass couches and recliners.
And if you live in an iconic city such as New Orleans, you get a lot of reality TV coming in and doing the post disaster show. Most are cut from the same cookie: cliche ridden, mawkish, and embarrassing for those of us who still are able to live here, and excruciating for those who lost it all, and sad for anyone who really knows what it means to miss New Orleans.
The premise of Design Star is for the contestants to do their final challenge by each one helping a post Katrina family rebuild some portion of their home. You know, it will be Vern Yipped and Ty Penningtoned to death. Sad to say, but I would rather have it Kim Mylesed, popping some hot mess out of her oven.
Why couldn't they watch Anthony Bourdain's post Katrina show, and taken at least one page from that?
You know, we are not ungrateful here in New Orleans for any help. But there comes a point knowing how to give without sacrificing the recipient's dignity. It really is hard to have to take a hand-out, and feel good about it.
So HGTV, even though the show is in the can, please:
  • no happy tropical colors
  • no jazz motifs
  • no cute Cajun signage of any type
  • no French Quarter Disney interpretations - i.e. the bordello the whole family can enjoy

Just look at these families as human beings from our planet earth.
And oh yeah, don't think of them as your family and decorate for them like you did for yours. Think of them as your most important clients who are paying you a ton of money to do the best interior design job ever, something that would end up in Elle Decor, or even Domino, something you can all be proud of.
All Design Star information, message boards, episodes, photos HERE
Design Star final challenge in New Orleans airs Sunday, 8 PM New Orleans time (central).

The room Jennifer did for her family
The excuse for it? She did what they wanted,
not the good design she normally does for strangers

Nice Mat

The Game Room Mat did for his family
Be afraid New Orleans, be very afraid
(para phrasing one of Mat's cute tag lines on the show)


David Dust said...

I'm rooting for Nice Matt on Design Star.

CLICK HERE for DavidDust's Design Star recap.


daneutralground said...

Damn, couldn't have said it any better. Good blogging.

Visual Vamp said...

Thanks! I'll be watching on Sunday!

Sabina said...

When I heard they were going to New Orleans I thought, Oh no! But you know I'll be watching it, and I'll try not to scream at the TV. (Like I did when Ty Pennington was grandstanding his way around the lower ninth.) Thanks for the great post.

Visual Vamp said...

Oh Sabina, I wish you were here to watch it with me so we could scream our heads off together LOL xo xo xo

RHTurner said...

What a great show. We were so happy that they chose to have their finale in New Orleans. It benefited two deserving local families, and it benefited all the local vendors from whom they purchased.
We were fortunate to have Jennifer select two pieces from our store to use in her design.
The antique low cabinet that was under the TV was from Silk Road Collection. She also selected a vintage wooden bucket to use as a planter.
More about our time with Jennifer and the pieces she selected is available on our website at www.SilkRoadCollection.com/hgtv-design-star-new-orleans.html

Visual Vamp said...

rh, thanks for the long post! i love silk road collection! how great that the family got a couple of pieces for their new home from your wonderful shop! i watched the show last night, and it was very emotional. both designers did such a good job, both families were every family in new orleans, and god when st. aug came out, i lost it!