Candice Olson has a new show, titled, “Candice Tells All.” I have to say, I miss her old show, “Divine Design.” Candice’s old show focused on design, showing Candice in her studio drawing room elevations and choosing finishes. The old show did not worry about the tactics of construction and install, but more on the design process and final product. The new show is about Candice finding inspiration from others—using the color black was inspired by a Mies van der Rohe skyscraper and Candice’s friend a fashion designer. This part of the show isn’t so bad. But the majority of the show is focused on construction and the “problems” that her team solves along the way. I put problems in quotation marks because the problems are actually common sense knowledge a contractor/designer should have. Like:
- Not pre-measuring doorways and furniture to make sure it will be able to move in. On the first episode, the team shoved a piece of furniture up the stairs, scuffing and ripping up the walls. That’s just embarrassing.
- Spending 10 minutes on the show trying to figure out how to install a fireplace without installing gas lines. Ding! (ten minutes later) the crew realizes they can install a clean burning, vent-less ethanol fireplace. Duh.
- Doing a “primer test” to see which primer will be the best to use as a base over wood paneling—the cheap stuff or the stuff designed for this purpose. Painting it on the walls and then coming back after it has dried to see which primer passes the “scratch test.” Just buy the right product the first time. And if you’re trying to educate the audience, have one of the contractors talk to the camera, explaining they purchased the type of primer that is best suited for wood paneling.
- Needing to tear down an entire ceiling to install recessed lights because there is plumbing up there. This should not be a surprise to a contractor. The show should showcase the knowledge of it’s contractors and designers, not dumb them down to show “problem solving” to the audience. Oh shoot, Candice needs to do another lighting plan. “And I hate doing lighting plans and extra work,” exclaims Candice.
When Candice says things like, “Hopefully we won’t have any more surprises,” it just further proves my point that the “problems” are built into the show. The fake problems (and don’t even get me started on the fake hair bun) are enough to keep me from tuning in.
This is what I think happened. Candice’s contract was up. And she decided she wanted to work less and get paid more. So she hired design assistants (who do all the work). And then Candice just shows up on TV for discussion. It’s likely that the producers changed the show’s format based on the success of other shows like “Holmes on Homes” and David Bromstad’s “Color Splash.” But it doesn’t work for Candice.
What happened to Candice’s brain, personality and humor? And what about Chico the electrician? Candice’s new project manager Steve is super boring. I miss the “swee daw” intro music. I miss the focus on design thinking and finishing options. But mostly, I miss the smart and funny Candice.
One more word on the fake hair bun—Candice, you’re not fooling anyone. We all know you don’t have long enough hair to wind up into a giant hair bun. Especially when we see you in a scene with the bun and the next scene is a nubby pony tail.
Basically, the producers have dumbed down the show to appeal to a different audience. And that new audience is not me.