I would have preferred another season of "9 By Design" Bravo's last design series, but I guess that partnership with the Novogratz family didn't work out.
Instead the network regrouped and developed "Million Dollar Decorators" (10 tonight), a show about 5 people, based in Los Angeles, who decorate the homes of the wealthy.
In "9 By Design" there were upscale projects, but somehow the felt accessible to us po' folks. But I guess that's why it didn't last; it seems we Bravo viewers really want to feel a bit out of our elements. "Million Dollar Decorators" gives us yet another peak into a level of extravagance most of us will really experience.
Happily, it's also pretty entertaining. Even better, designers Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Jeffrey Alan Marks, Mary McDonald, Nathan Turner and Kathryn Ireland get along! No fights, backstabbing, crying, and yelling here. The drama comes from meeting deadlines and catering to the whims of their wealthy clients, like when Sharon Osbourne first gives Bullard two weeks for a project and then shrinks the window to three days.
Ireland is a bawdy British babe who calls her mothering 'tragic' (the kids love her but kind of walk over her); McDonald is said to be the model for Karen on "Will and Grace" because she's said to be a beloved figure among gays; Marks and Turner are a couple with one of those prickly but loving relationships; Bullard is wry and cocky. All of them are talented, but none of them takes themselves too seriously.
I'm not sure you can glean as many ideas as I did from "9 By Design"; it's hard to imagine how a detail might look in your house when your house could fit in the living room of a million-dollar project.
But if you're feeling aspirational, "Million Dollar Decorators" will make you smile.