Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Fourth Impressions - Phaolo's Take

The spotlight on Bravo will soon shift from the second season of Top Chef to the brand new Top Design. I got a chance to preview the first episode of Top Design (without the ending) and I think the show has a lot of promise.

I must agree with Tbone that the format stays closer to Project Runway than Top Chef. Even though the characters and the challenges on Top Chef seem engaging, the viewers have to rely on the judges' opinions when it comes to taste. With fashion designers and interior designers, we know right away who has taste - and who doesn't.

Not unlike the first season of Project Runway, these designers waded through uncharted waters. They really didn't know what to expect. In fact, in this first episode we get to see the designers' jubilant reactions when they find out Todd Oldham will be the host.

Todd does an admirable job taking on the hosting and mentoring duties for Top Design. He does make it a point to tell the designers upfront that he will NOT be a part of the judging process. That task is placed in the very capable hands of the venerable Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, and Margaret Russell.

Even though the Magical Elves (the production company behind both Project Runway and Top Chef) were not involved, the winning formula seems to be there. The producers found a great group of competent and able designers. Hopefully, they will give them exciting and challenging projects to work on.

At first, Laura K, Scarlett, Tbone and I were a little disinclined to commit to this new show. But after taking a sneak peek, we're all onboard for what we hope is going to be a fun ride. At the very least, this could be a nice way to pass the time until Project Runway returns. Oh, and I'll have more people to joke about on Project Yawnur.

All aboard!