October 13, 2011

This Show Sucks

Lighten up, Morgan! 
I usually enjoy competition-style reality shows that are based on creating some sort of tangible product. Even though eliminations are based on judging which is totally subjective, usually the panels do a good job of explaining the rationale behind the decision on who gets the ax in a given week...

On Project Runway, for example, clothes can be deemed to be constructed poorly or they don't fit the model properly, and I can understand and see that. On Top Chef, while I can't taste the food for myself, when a judge spits out the entree into a napkin, one can easily see the writing on the wall for that soon-to-be saying sayonara contestant.

Which brings me to Work of Art, which debuted last night, and featured a contestant that the show has no problem referring to as "The Sucklord" (real name Morgan, pictured above). It fails on so many levels... first, it tries way too hard to copy the Bravo mold of: model host/eccentric mentor/stern, hard-to-please judges. However, Simon de Pury (below with China "Not Heidi" Chow) is no Tim Gunn and has such a thick accent, he's often impossible to understand. 

"Veldt, we cat some find heart, donuts China?"
A typical exchange with an artist goes something like this: 

Simon: "Well, I don't know what you are doing here, but I am sure it can be something fabulous if you do it, you know?"

Contestant: "Um...."

Simon: "Go for it and be sure to be bowler or the juice willow son horn! Yes?"

Contestant: "Um...."

The actual creative process is interesting to watch as we see the artists struggle to interpret the particular instructions of the challenge... but in the end, it is the pompous judging panel that ruins the program. 

The assignment this week was to take a shlocky piece of art of the "velvet Elvis" variety and transform it into something of "quality." So they praise one contestant for taking a sculpture of a blindfolded woman and painting a picture of it -- "Changing the medium was so clever!" and she is in the top three. Then they scold The Sucklord for taking a painting of Gandalf and making a sculpture based on it -- "You didn't change anything!"

Ugo? You go.
I get that it is a matter of opinion, but when I watch other shows, I marvel at how the contestants can do something I cannot (make a glamorous dress, cook a five-star meal) and in such little time. 

When someone has eight hours to work on a challenge, and does little more than crumpling up a piece of paper, splattering a little paint on it, throwing it on the floor and calling it a day? I can do that. And when that contestant ends up in the top three for their "work" while the esteemed panel eliminates a guy for doing an intricate work that reminded them of Keith Haring (you know, an actual artist)...

Sorry Bravo. I won't be hanging around your gallery.

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