Top Design Episodes

2007, TV Show

Top Design Episode: "Child's Play"

Season 1, Episode 2
Episode Synopsis: The interior designers are tasked to create a bedroom for individual clients, but the challenge comes with big---and tiny---twists.
Original Air Date: Feb 7, 2007

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Season 1, Episode 2
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Length: 44:03
Aired: 2/7/2007
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February 7, 2007: The Mayor of Excuses Village Season 1, Episode 2

There is a really good reason that John and Michael fought so much in the last episode: They are both equally strong-willed and stubborn. You thought I was going to say something else, didn't you? Well OK, yes, within the first few minutes of tonight's episode, John announced to his fellow contestants that he's HIV-positive. After working 48 hours alongside teammate Michael, during which each became livid toward the other, John explained that, prior to joining the show, he had received a high dosage of testosterone as part of his treatment. He added that he wasn't making excuses, but clearly he was attributing his aggressive behavior in part to the medication. But his disclosure didn't have (and won't have) tremendous ramifications in terms of drama because A) this is 2007 and we've learned a lot since the days of Pedro on The Real World, B) this show is serious about design, C) tonight we saw both of them being confrontational, having the gall to argue with the judges and tell them they were wrong, and D) John was booted off the show. (A related aside: What's your opinion of Jonathan Adler's "See ya later, decorator" line?) That said, let's move on to the primary aspect of this show. An individual challenge of designing a client's bedroom allowed the designers to better showcase their tastes and talents and us to get to know them more. I wondered in the first episode how long it would be before the high-end prices of PDC became an issue for the contestants. I didn't have to wait long, since they were given only eight grand, née last week's $50,000. But that wasn't the biggest obstacle: After creating a concept and shopping for furniture, they discovered their clients were 10-year-olds. Adjustments were made; pirate, feline, rainforest and soccer themes ensued. And then another twist: the beds were twin-size. After watching everyone scramble to paint, penny-pinch and think like a child, the overarching obstacle was clearly the time factor. I know giving them only two days creates entertainment, but I wonder whether their creations would be even more "outside the box" if they had more time. Maybe not, I don't know. I was pleased and impressed that Michael put in that wood floor by himself - not to mention the fact that he is now a proud and experienced painter! It seemed like Todd Oldham was also coming into his own; he was less stiff and had more conversations with everyone (that we were privy to, anyway). Of the finished products, I had several faves. Loved the mobility of Goil's room and Andrea's Murphy bed (both useful living situations if their 10-year-old clients are New Yorkers). Being a cat owner, I immediately recognized that the high shelf in Ryan's bedroom was for the cat, not for tchotchkes (though I agree that the bed was too high for the client). Erik's winning pirate theme was incredibly creative and fun. I didn't quite understand why he could go so over-the-top, but the soccer room was said to be too much. And Carisa's room was pretty, but it didn't seem like a child's bedroom. I immediately noted those rough wooden edges; plus, the only real "kid" elements I saw were the hanging ropes. The judges' critique of Michael's reading room was hilarious, comparing it to a nursing home or an assisted-living situation and saying it was depressing, mournful and "very granny." When Adler said that they were ultimately judging on design (as opposed to finishing the task), I assumed Michael would be let go and John would stay. I think I would have preferred to see what John did in future tasks, but maybe the judges see more growth and promise in Michael. Regardless of John's talent, Adler seemed happy to oust the "mayor of Excuses Village." Next week offers up another team challenge, and it looks like that will inevitably lead to much verbal sparring and the clashing of egos. show less
There is a really good reason that John and Michael fought so much in the last episode: They are both equally strong-willed and stubborn. You thought I was going to say something else, didn't you? Well OK, yes, within the first few minutes of tonight's episode, John announced to his fellow contestants that he's HIV-positive. After working 48 hours alongside teammate Michael, during which each became livid toward the other, John explained that, prior to joining the show, he had received a high dosage of testosterone as part of his treatment. He added that he wasn't making excuses, but clearly he was attributing his aggressive behavior in part to the medication. But his disclosure didn't have (and won't have) tremendous ramifications in terms of drama because A) this is 2007 and we've learned a lot since the days of Pedro on The Real World, B) this show is serious about design, C) tonight we saw both of them being confrontational, having the gall to argue with the judges and tell them... read more

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Premiered: January 31, 2007, on Bravo
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (14 ratings)
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Premise: A reality-competition series in which aspiring interior designers square off in challenges that involve decorating rooms and homes. The winning prize includes $100,000 to jump-start a career in design; and a magazine spread.

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