Top Design
Chef's Choice

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Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
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Tom's Diner

No matter how grim things get for me, I console myself with the thought that at least I will never have to unironically type the words "Dr. Boogie" in one of my recaps. Tough look, Shear Genius-recapping colleague to be named later.

When we return, we're back to where we started right before the commercial break, with Carisa fretting that the beam is going to snap and Carl ignoring her. But this time, in a Rashomon-like twist, we see that Carisa scootches her $10,000 table free and clear of the beam, before the beam snaps and collapses to terra firma. So the table escaped unharmed. Oh, you editing scamps! Making me think that the beam smashed that expensive table into bits during all those commercials. Of course, to think that, I would actually have had to care one way or the other, and since I don't, I guess the joke's on you. You know who doesn't find this very funny, though? Carisa. "I knew that was going to happen," she says to no one in particular. "Just in fucking time." At least she's not lording it over Carl. That's best left to voice overs: "If Carl had the slightest desire to listen to me, he would have made that beam yesterday and had it up there this whole time... . It's not The Carl Show. It's not Top Carl. It's Top Design. I'm the designer. Listen to me." Couple of thoughts on this. First off, Top Carl would be a totally awesome show, and I hope a lightbulb went off over some producer's head when Carisa mentioned it. Secondly, when assessing the blame for Beamgate, you have to consider all the factors. Yes, Carl needed to accede to his designer's wishes. On the other hand, Carisa seems to like to plan out these oversized wooden structures -- recall the collapsing table of doom that Sarah was ordered to build a few shows back -- that cannot actually be built in the physical world we live in. Also, let's count down the folks whom Carisa has had trouble working with during her time on Top Design -- Goil, Ryan, Sarah the Carpenter, Matt, Michael, and the newest addition to our list, Carl. Awful lot of smoke for there to be no fire. So yeah, Carisa, you're an innocent victim being sabotaged by the tomfoolery of others -- just like always. Except you probably aren't.

We've got an hour to go in this challenge, so it's time to pick up the pace. Goil does so by dumping rocks around the edge of his room. That's not a euphemism for his expanding madness by the way; these are actual rocks, like the kind you find in your yard. Someone's taking the mystery client's love of natural things perhaps a wee bit too literally. Andrea, meanwhile, puts the finishing touches on what looks to be a lovely room and muses that Goil is her toughest competition and that she has to knock him off; that the editors choose to juxtapose this with a shot of Goil arranging rocks in what is supposed to be a dining area only undermines her line of reasoning slightly. As for Carisa, Andrea predicts "she'll just do another Carisa room, and it'll be a strong statement, but it won't have subtlety. Hopefully that'll be a thing that will make her go." Then, perhaps realizing that she's openly wishing for two of her competitors to be eliminated post-haste in full view of a camera, she looks down and chuckles defensively: "Is this terrible?" Well, no. It's a competition; you're kind of supposed to want to win, and for that to happen, it means that other people cannot win. You don't have to be a jerk about that, but I'm getting really tired of competitive reality shows where a contestant appears on camera to express outrage that the other competitors aren't there just to serve as extras for her inevitable victory. Yes, Mirna, I wrote that last sentence with you specifically in mind. I mean it's not as if Andrea is openly plotting to poison her fellow Top Designers' cups of Seattle's Best Coffee ("Our fresh roasted flavor masks the arsenic until it's too late!"). Unless she is, and being really subtle about it.

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Top Design

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