Monday, July 11, 2011
Yep, Jeff Lewis is back and we missed him...
Well, at least I missed him, I won't pretend to speak for everyone else. But judging by the number of people who come to the blog looking for info on Jeff, I think it's safe to say that most of us missed him.
It's always fun to watch the hijinx in Jeff's office. I like watching his head explode when someone is being an idiot. I love his quick wit and his humor. But I also really love seeing his design ideas. Sometimes his style is a little spare for me, but it usually ends up so tateful and restrained and it's very inspirational. Last year Jeff designed the Kitchen of the Year:
It's so deceptively simple. But much like modern art, this design is tricky to pull off the right way. It's functional yet beautiful. If you're into clean lines, Jeff's your guy. He does this great combination of contemporary and modern with a splash of California ease in the best possible way.
And the show just wouldn't be the same without the reparte and rapport between Jenni and Jeff (though obviously I love to see him interact with Sarah, Jayce, Zoila, etc too). Every year I sort of wait with baited breath for Flipping Out to come back on for it's short little season it gets each year (and I pray with crossed fingers every year that Bravo will renew for a new season...what would I do without my Jeff fix?)
A few questions I've gotten about Jeff since I became a loyal viewer and Jeff fan:
1. What's to like, doesn't he seem kind of mean?
Yeah, sometimes he does. But in a really sick way I find it funny. I think he appropriately tempers that meanness with a genuine confession of his faults, showing us his OCD on tv for all to see, and a wicked sense of humor that really makes it forgiveable.
2. Jeff kind of seems like someone with an "Id" gone awry - he's vapid and demanding and I can't even watch him, it makes me squirm.
Okay now don't get mad if you're someone who has said something like this or feels something like this, but my opinion of most people who say stuff like this about Jeff? Most of them see something of themself in Jeff that they really don't like. One person who said this to me is very concerned about their looks in a way that's slightly shallow - yes, Jeff does that, but he admits he does that. Big difference than being in denial about being shallow. Someone else who said this to me is very demanding to those under them at work. Is Jeff extraordinarily demanding? Yeah, but again, he tells us he knows that he is and why. Also, Jeff will admit when he's wrong - at least within the logic of the Jeff Lewis world we're being privy to. It's just my opinion that if Jeff makes you really uncomfortable it's because you're seeing a reflection of yourself that makes you really uncomfortable.
3. Don't you think Ryan was the more talented one in terms of decorating? And he's kind of stealing Ryan's schtick?
Well, I do think Ryan was massively talented. I love a lot of Ryan's design. And I think Ryan's design paired with Jeff's sensabilities was a great marriage (though obviously their personal relationship did not fare well). But I do think all along Jeff has shown what his style was and that he was capable of making sensible design choices too. I think he lacks a little of the panache of Ryan. But if you're looking for that thing Jeff does best, I'm not sure you can do better. Most designers have a seriously hard time being as restrained as Jeff is, so he's your guy if you want clean lines, modern meets contemporary and california ease.
4. Do you think this new relationship will work out with Gage?
I'm not sure, we're only on episode one of the new season and I'm thinking maybe I haven't seen enough of Gage to figure out if this will work or not yet. Plus I'm unsure about whether you can really judge their personal relationship from the tv show. If I were chosing someone for Jeff I would pick someone a lot like Jenni actually - someone who 'gets' him, isn't afraid to stand up to him, but ultimately has a great sense of humor about it all. They might have to be slightly TOUGHER than Jenni for it to really work out though. We'll see if Gage fits the bill.
Right now tv is kind of this fabulous design wonderland. With Jeff Lewis on AND Million Dollar Decorators on Bravo AND Design Star AND Novagratz Design on HGTV (shame on you Bravo for not renewing 9 by Design!), it's an awesome summer to make bandanamom happy!