Room for improvement

April 13, 2007

Top Design is over, and I’m glad. Glad, I say! Like the second season of Top Chef, the show erred in favor of contestant drama over illustrating the creative process. While the first-season designers weren’t as loathsome as the second-season chefs, they weren’t even able to generate sufficient drama to compensate for the lack of design insight.

There were some minor compensations. While their judging criteria generally didn’t make much sense, I often loved the casual cruelty of Kelly Wearstler and Margaret Russell. (“I felt like I had walked into an assisted living facility.”) Jonathan Adler’s tag line, “See you later, decorator,” was deeply grating, but it did open the door for all kinds of variations on, “After a while, ____phile.” And Wearstler’s wardrobe was so clinically insane that she almost had to have been styled by Jeffrey Sebelia.

My mental jury is still out on Shear Genius, though any show that seriously considers Meg Ryan’s shag haircut an enduring professional legacy can’t be all bad.

But seriously, when is someone going to produce Top Mangaka?