Thursday, July 8, 2010

Have you seen this man?

I wouldn't let this man use my toilet, let alone choose the material for my sofa covers slipcovers.

Well since Mr. Peenee opened the can of worms, here's my rant.

In our house, if my husband isn't watching cartoons and the SyFy channel, then we're watching HGTV because I love to hiss at Suzanne Wong and her stable of unstable house hunters.

So HGTV has started "Season 4" of its "Design Star" - the highly touted, but contrived reality TVesque design competition to find the network's next STAR personality.  And they make into this HUGE production because not only (presumably) can the person decorate BUT they have enough star power to carry the weight of their own show.  Yeah, thats it.

The first year an aging but vapid Circuit Boi named David won the contest and was awarded with his own "show" called "Color Splash"  Because they weren't so sure it would work, they mated him  to a female (a first for Missy Bromstad, I'm sure)"minder" who was his "co-designer".  Missy proved himself to be a big old girl and devised "designs" that reminded me of a seventh grader arranging furniture for their home ec classes. With every room,  he added a personal touch - his "color splash! - one of his own "matches the sofa" painted "art" on par with my next door neighbor's seven year old.  

How did they reward him?

He got a second season, but without the woman.

The second year, the contest was won by a black woman (but not too black) who was bubbly and fun.  She got her own series but she didn't do anything very memorable and "Myles of Style" faded into the "B" rotation on HGTV.

So far we have a gay guy, and a black woman.  Do we see a pattern? Who do you think they picked for Season 3?  White woman.  Do we remember her name?  Nope.  Do we remember her show? Nope. So much for "star power".

Season 4 however gave us something totally different.  The final show comes down to another hot party boi named Dan (who unlike Missy Bromstad had a killer smile and a killer 8-pack)  and a straight male artist who went to great care to dress like a roady for a rock band that would play on a stage in a bar behind a wire mesh guards.  His name was named Antonio.  ANTONIO!    "Ooh, ANTONIO!" Vern Yip gushed.  "Oh, Antonio!" the two other judges said.  Since they already had a gay winner, they gave it to Antonio.  Antonio was edgy!  Antonio understood the world of rock music, Harley's and edgy design.  Good bye pretty boy.

ANTONIO!  He ain't no sissy.

Then HGTV started the commercials that asked "Are you ready for the Antonio Treatment" shot with scenes with him high fiving the guys, sitting back with a guitar and his love of air brushed murals.  And that edgy design?  Well, to showcase that immediatly they ran a special where Antonio gave his own home the "Antonio Treatment"  His bedroom featured white walls, a RED accent wall (featuring an air brushed painting of a virago) black leather and dark oak.   And the crowning glory for his living room - which must have been inspired by Robin Williams and Nathan Lane's sanitized living room from The Birdcage - was a Spanish throne, placed at the end of a table better suited to a monastary than a dinner party.  If you had a stoner brother who was a metal head (or knew someone who had a brother who was a metal head) then you know what the EDGY means.  It had all the charm of a 1970s customized van, minus the shag walls.

Oddly, these were the same types of rooms that HGTV's stable of real estate professionals of shows like "Get It Sold" would walk into and say "Do college kids live here?  This is not a room that buyers would feel comfortable with; YUCK!"  Sabrina Soto would have a literal kniption!

For weeks, HGTV kept demanding of us: "Are Your Ready For the Antonio Treatment?"  And for weeks, my husband and I said "nope" and mute the volume.

And then, nothing.  Not a peep.  Nada.  Not even da nada.  And the date of his shows premiere comes and goes and not-a-promotion.  Nothing.

Now by the time Design Star rolls around for another season, the previous season winner is on the air. and doing fine and where is Antonio?

According to HGTV's web site - they are "looking for people who would like the Antonio Treatment."

I''m just wondering what they have done with Antonio. 

And wondering who to thank.


  1. Wow. I had no idea that all this went on in reality land!

    But I'm still stickin' to TCM.

  2. Apparently nobody wants the Antonio Treatment.

    I've retitled the show, 'Antonio's Get's the Cold Shoulder Silent Treatment'.

  3. I vowed never to watch Design Star after Antonio won.( I also think they ditched the white girl because she was pregnant.)
    After "Gardening by the Yard" was cancelled I gave up on the channel completely.

  4. Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God! I agree with every single word you've written here (and I mean EVERY SINGLE WORD). I could not have expressed my feelings any better. I feel like I've just stepped into "Fight Club" and we're actually the same person.
    Just in case you weren't aware, it turns out the people featured on House Hunters are not actually "deciding" on a home to buy. The buyers are already in escrow with one of the properties and they showcase two others for the sake of the show. I just found this out recently (apparently a lot of people already knew about it), but I still watch because I like looking at different places (especially House Hunters International).
    Thanks for a great overview of Design Star and it's bogus history!

  5. Oh, yeah, I know House Hunters is a scam. Like they just "happen" to have the cameras rolling when the call from the realtor calls if for the "we got the house, we got the house" moment? Oh, yeah; I've seen Christmas pagents starring first graders with mmore believeable acting.

    And if you have ever bought a house, immediatly after hearing the news, there is a momentary second of panic, "I'm going to be sick - what have I/we done?"

    But I agree with you on House Hunters International. We watch it and all I can do is say "They paid how much for that?

    Did you catch the episode with thecruel Asian second wife who wanted a vaction home in Argentina? Every room "Its not big enough for me to tango in!" or "I cannot possibly hold my tango party in this!" Seriously - a seventy year old woman vacations in Argentina so that her friends can come and see her tango? Why biother when there's an Arthur Murray in you town?

    Its such low brow entertainment - I love it!

  6. Did you see the one with the Asian second wife where they were searching for a vacation home in some place like Costa Rica? And every house had to have an enormous gourmet kitchen. I mean the kitchens in these places were bigger than my entire house. She kept complaining about how was she going to be able to prepare a meal in such a space.

    “But honey it’s a vacation home. We can order out or go to restaurants.” Somehow I think the husband was sick of his wife’s ‘gourmet’ cooking.

    She also complained about where was ‘little Jimmys’ room going to be? Every house. Every room. It was all about her cooking and little Jimmy’s room.

    I think they wanted a place far away from ‘little Jimmy‘s mother’ so they could spoil little Jimmy who is obviously the recreation of their dead son and the wife was getting in the way of their plans.

    At the end they show the grandpa swimming with little Jimmy and the Asian lady sitting poolside with no mother in sight!

    My favorite was the lesbian couple looking for a place in Sweden or Switzerland. Every place was like an 18th century palace with parquet floors and gorgeous windows and those wonderful white freestanding porcelain glazed heaters.

    In the end they bought a place knocked down a wall and made this beautiful spa bathroom. Loved it.

    What about the one where the American couple bought a huge Parisian apartment?

    Or the one where the couple bought the Spanish Palazzo ruin with the arcaded back balcony. I kept rooting for them to buy the ruin buy the ruin. And they did!

    I could go on forever. I love seeing real estate in other countries. Love this show except for the jerks that buy a place in Costa Rica every week.

  7. Did you see the one with the two british gay guys in Spain? I know, you're saying which gay guys in Spain. One was an artist and wanted a studio and the other was a SUN lover and looked leathery. They went to this one place and there was a goat muching on the crispy dry grass in the "yard" and the real estate lady said "And if you like this, we can always see if they will include this law service," waving to the goat "in the price of the house." And the older, leathery one said that they would prefer to employ one of the local lads.

    One of my favorites was the one in which the old Italian/Jewish couple from Boston wanted a place in Bermuda that was on the beach but kept bitching about the "unsightly" roll-up hurricane shutters. I kept wanting to scream at them "DO YOU HAVE SHIT FOR BRAINS?" They finally bought a place inland because the wife could stand owning a house with those damned shutters. I'm betting dollars to donuts that she'll get swept out to sea in a storm.