For Ellen’s Subsequent Nice Designer, Ellen DeGeneres and her producers have chosen seven of the most effective furnishings designers from across the nation. In every episode, they’re given a problem, which they are going to work on in their very own workshops and ship to Los Angeles. There, host Scott Foley and fellow judges Brigette Romanek and Fernando Mastrangelo will consider each bit and determine that are the highest items, and which designer needs to be eradicated. The winner will get $100,000.
Opening Shot: Ellen DeGeneres, towards a white background, tells the digicam, “Anybody who is aware of me, is aware of I like furnishings.”
The Gist: The contestants are the most effective of the most effective in furnishings design; lots of them have been featured in Architectural Digest and Dwell, and have designed furnishings for celebrities and world leaders. They’re Christina Antonio, Arielle Assouline-Lichten, and Erica Sellers, all based mostly in New York Metropolis; Alejandro Artigas in Los Angeles; Mark Grattan in New Hope, PA (although he lives in Mexico Metropolis); Paul Jeffrey in Phoenix, AZ; and Urvi Sharma in Windfall, RI.
Within the first episode of the six-episode competitors, DeGeneres greets the designers through FaceTime and we see their shocked reactions to being chosen. Then Foley tells them that Ellen is sending them a “care bundle.” Once they all go to get it, they see a crate stuffed with rough-cut laborious woods and blocks of stone. The concept, DeGeneres says in a video message, is that they’re to create a bit of furnishings utilizing supplies that the primary craftsmen used. They’re supposed to choose one kind of wooden and one kind of stone, and have 4 days to design and construct their piece. It’ll be judged on performance, craftsmanship and aesthetics.
We see the assorted designers get to work. Lots of them wish to maintain the tough edges of the wooden intact and never clean down the stones, although it results in two designers doing cantilevered “stone jutting via wooden” items. Urvi can’t even conceive of a design till day 2, the place she comes up with one based mostly on a sport she performed as a child in India. Mark has to cope with a half-day energy outage in his workshop. And Arielle has to cope with the thrill of Foley dropping by to see how she’s doing (she was an enormous Felicity fan, you see).
What Exhibits Will It Remind You Of? Ellen’s Subsequent Nice Designer has extra of a Project Runway format than a Great British Baking Show format. However the truth that the designers get to do their design and construct make money working from home reminds us of the much-lower-budget Historical past competitors Assembly Required with Tim Allen and Richard Karn.
Our Take: Let’s go away the problem that DeGeneres has had during the last six months apart; we’re assuming that Ellen’s Subsequent Nice Designer was purchased and produced earlier than the information about misconduct on her speak present got here to gentle. We’ll see Ellen on every episode, both dropping by the studio or on video messages to the designers, however it’s not like she’ll be a relentless presence on this present. For those who’re at present anti-Ellen, her identify on the title shouldn’t dissuade you from watching.
What we see after we take a look at this present is cash. Tons and many it. The manufacturing itself is well-done, with digicam crews unfold throughout capturing the work every designer is doing in a top-shelf movie model you see on reveals like Nice British Baking Present. However there’s additionally the logistics of costly supplies being shipped to totally different locations, and totally different items of furnishings shipped to LA for analysis for every episode. Foley flies to go to at the very least one designer per episode. Did DeGeneres entrance a few of this expense? Maybe. However what we do know is that no expense was spared to present the designers each alternative to supply the most effective items they presumably can.
That’s the facet of this contest that we like. They’re given their alternative of fabric, albeit inside a subset of all the things that’s out there. They’re utilizing their very own workshops. The one factor that actually limiting them is their creativeness and talents. One of many designers who did a cantilevered rock-in-wood piece, for example, was a lot much less exact than the opposite, and it reveals of their ultimate items.
The judging is unquestionably powerful, particularly from Mastrangelo, however Foley, an aficionado of furnishings design, doesn’t spare his criticism, both. We’re not 100% positive if the designers are utterly offered with Foley as a certified decide, however he does present he is aware of what he’s speaking about with some pointed critiques that appear to make plenty of sense.
Both manner, the judging ought to be powerful. These aren’t rookie designers; most have apprenticed with the most effective within the discipline and have risen to the highest of the design sport. There’s a excessive customary required on this present, and we admire that customary.
Intercourse and Pores and skin: Can furnishings be attractive? Why not, proper?
Parting Shot: The eradicated designer leaves, and the remaining six are advised by Romanek that “for those who’re keen about what you’re doing, [the critiques] will solely make you higher.”
Sleeper Star: The primary episode didn’t focus its consideration on a number of of the designers, however certainly one of them, Christina Antonio, produced one of many extra artistic and beautiful items together with her hearth. Hopefully we’ll discover out extra about her in upcoming episodes.
Most Pilot-y Line: When Foley leaves Arielle’s loft, she goes, “Bye, Noel,” referencing his Felicity character. Ugh. We did like Foley’s response: “You’re getting older each of us!”
Our Name: STREAM IT. Even for those who’re not a nut for furnishings design, Ellen’s Subsequent Nice Designer will nonetheless make you go searching your lounge and envisioning the attention-grabbing items these designers made changing the drab stuff to procure at Raymour & Flanigan.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Occasions, Slate, Salon, , , Quick Firm and elsewhere.