Monday, October 17, 2011

Half-ass TV recap: Work of Art, ep 1 and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 2

Hi everyone! I've been missing in action around here, but not for lack of trying. I was truly blocked this week with lots of real-life adventures and live-in-the-moment situations that did not allow for creative blogging as is my wont. And now, it's time for a truly half-ass TV recap that barely counts as a recap at all. Not because the desire isn't there. It is. Oh, yes. But I just don't have any privacy or time to actually watch television and take notes.

China Chow - Work of ArtSo my diabolical plan was to recap every episode of my favorite reality show, Work of Art, Season 2, since I missed out last season. Didn't we all? Work of Art was kind of snuck into the Bravo line-up last year. I don't really remember much promotion for the show. The network almost seemed a bit embarrassed by a fine-art competition. But it turned out to be one of the greatest experiments in entertainment in the 21st Century. A room full of narcissistic creative types, given impossible-to-accomplish challenges using fine-art media and their whackadoo thinking-caps, all in the name of gallery-industry fame and fortune.

Plus New York Magazine's art critic/Work of Art judge Jerry Saltz added even more layers of entertainment with his often self-lacerating blog and its legion of mega-commenters (myself included). Saltz' recaps quoted Goethe and seriously questioned the concept of the show, the commerce of art, and his own role on both counts. How could you not love this show? I ask you. Because Bravo is very stingy with image-sharing from the show (art copyright laws are a bitch), I will provide half-ass line drawings for your visual pleasure.

Michelle - Work of Art
So episode one of season 2 introduces all the contestant artists, who are looking even prettier than last year. There's no old people (like me), and I can't tell the women apart yet because they're all around the same height, weight, and have straight, longish hair. Not a criticism, but sheesh--last year there was an old person and different body types at least. The guys shuffle in as well. There's a gorgeous French guy named Ugo whose blue eyes during his face-time interviews have me saying, "Hummina, hummina hummina!" There's a guy named The Sucklord, who makes altered action figures. You know he'll be around for a while. There's a performance-artist, Young Sun, who seems to be a prodigy but we'll see. There is nudity and Speedo's when it comes to Young Sun. Leon is from Malaysia and is trying to prove himself as an artist who happens to be deaf. There's more but it's all a blur on the first episode.

The artists are shown a gallery full of crappy, kitschy art pieces and told to pick one and make something high art-ish with the crap as inspiration. It's a glorious beginning! They grab their crap and get cracking. Or some of them do. Lola cannot get it together until the last minute. The judges end up loving her cold, gallery-ready installation of muted paintings and cement structures that represent her longing to settle down in once place. Michelle wins the challenge with an eagle totem and skeletal paper sculpture, evoking a recent near-death experience she had in a hit-and-run car accident. That's about as anti-kitschy a concept as any.

Ugo - Work of Art Ugo (hummina hummina) is deemed dull and Keith-Haring-derivative with his red-on-red pattern thing over more other patterned things, and he is out. No more blue eyes. Truly, Bayeté probably should have gone, with his very bad collage that heaped on the cliches of identity and race, or The Sucklord, who made a piece of kitsch art of Gandalf that was even kitschier than the painting of a wizard he based it upon. Plus he's called The Sucklord. Guest judge Mary Ellen Mark saves Sucklord in the end. His work "speaks to her." This somewhat makes sense when I find an article in the Sunday NY Times about her passion for collecting cute little robots. In the end, handsome guy is dropped. But art marches on.
Simon du Pury - Work of Art

And on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, season 2, Brandi's child peed in some bushes and this became relevant because later at a game party held by Dana, Kim and Kyle called her on that. Camille tried to comfort Kim after Brandi called her a bitch and accused her to doing crystal meth. Kim called Brandi a bitch slut, pig slut, and short-shorts-wearing whore. And Brandi agreed that she was, in all likelihood, a slut. Taylor looked horrified and kept the angry housewives from engaging in fisticuffs and the game party dissolved as a result. I missed the thrilling conclusion because my kid started a pillow fight with me.

Meanwhile at the Vanderpump residence, Lisa's daughter Pandora is finally engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Jason, over formal sit-down family dinner with lots of shiny, mirrored plates and vases. A wedding planner is soon brought on board. He sports a mullet and is like something out of a very late-season, very bad episode of "Will and Grace." Lisa hires him anyway, probably because Bravo will foot some of the bill to keep this obnoxious guy around. There is talk of spending a million dollars for Pandora's wedding, although Lisa would prefer something more "English" in the realm of $150,000. Not gonna happen, even though the wedding planner finds Pandora's wish for a pink-roses-festooned wedding dress to be "tacky." And with air kisses, that's the show. I missed all the earlier episodes. Thank GOD.

Next week I'll do a better job, I promise. In theory.

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