Bravo’s Top Design ends tonight, and Shear Genius debuts

Bravo’s Top Design ends tonight at 10 p.m. ET; either Carisa or Matt will win $100,000 and an awkward hug from Jonathan Adler. Perhaps because the show hasn’t really been a breakout hit, it concludes with just a one-hour episode, and there’s been no word of a reunion.

The show has never really gotten over its third act problem, because the last part of the show is boring and tedious, in part because of the judges (who’ve grown on me slightly, but are still grating and not fun to watch) and the ridiculously stupid way designers are booted and kept. They’ve managed to strip all of the drama from the most dramatic sequence.

The finale is followed at 11 by the debut of Bravo’s latest competition series, Shear Genius, more filler until Project Runway returns. Hosted by former Charlie’s Angels star Jaclyn Smith, the show follows Top Chef‘s format, with two competitions per episode.

Its ads make it seem identical to every one of Bravo’s other Wednesday night series, but this may be Bravo’s first true miss, as early reviews are tepid at best. The Boston Herald’s Jill Radsken says it “never achieves high style” in part because of “low-rent production value[s].” The New York Post’s Linda Stasi says it is “a ripoff of every competition show that ever came before,” although “on some level this show works.” And The New York Times’ Ginia Bellafante says the show “is, alas, a very dull scissor.”

Top Design and Shear Genius [Bravo]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.