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“The Cut”

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It’s a new Apprentice type show featured on CBS. The show premiered Thursday, June 9, 2005.

I liked it.

Although make no mistake the show is a total rip-off of The Apprentice. If such blatant plagiarism offends then this show will offend.

I would also suggest, softly, that this version of The Apprentice will not appeal to as broad an audience as its predecessor.

How many guys are going to watch a show about decorators? I’m guessing not near as many as those who tuned into The Apprentice. A show that did appeal to the business-minded as opposed to those who design clothing.

That being said, this Grandmother Blogger enjoyed the show and looks forward to the series and the many designer challenges.

The show begins with sixteen contenders. One, an “Amy” was eliminated last night. Like The Apprentice there are two teams: The Broadway Team and The 50th Street team.

This first night’s challenge was to design a billboard for Tommy Hilfiger, The Donald of this reality show. Tommy too has a grand sanctum into which the teams are assembled. Within this room is something called “The Pit”. Contestants under scrutiny are summoned into the Pit. Eventually the losing contender stands alone in the Pit before being sent on his/her way.

Kind of like a Christian in the coliseum as the lions roar hungrily in the background.

Speaking of lions. The Broadway team’s billboard featured a billboard with Hilfiger’s new logo, a squarish lion shape much like those that guard Chinese palaces. The team didn’t paint the lion onto the billboard, but rather painted around the lion with colorful paint in such a manner that the outline of the lion could be discerned. The team also decided, for whatever insane reason, not to use the entire billboard for their display. Instead they left a large portion of the billboard empty all around. Even more bizarre, they put the designer’s name up in some sort of Chinese script that was not visible from very far away.

Billboard rule number one, keep the design simple and insure that what is being advertised is visible from as far away as possible.

The 50th Street team’s billboard won that night’s competition although it too was subjected to much criticism from Hilfiger. Their team’s billboard featured an outline of the NY skyline, squarish buildings and such jutting into the sky, painted, oddly, with diagonal stripes of colorful paint. The genius of that team’s design was the play on the Hilfiger’s name.

“TomMYNY” was how the designer’s name was used on this billboard. The “MYNY” was a clever ploy that combines the last two digits of the designer’s first name with the letters NY. A billboard observer would certainly get it as Hilfiger’s first name is well known. The last four letters let said billboard observer know that this is Tommy Hilfiger of NY. The background of the NY skyline emphasized this connection.

One member of the 50th street team got it into his head to change the colors of the Tommy Hilfiger flag. Seems he didn’t like the colors of the original.

Second rule of Billboard design, don’t go mucking with the client’s logo, no matter how much you dislike the color scheme.

Hilfiger isn’t quite as dramatic as The Donald, however, something I find a bit refreshing. Sure the contestants squabble amongst themselves and yes, Hilfiger has some criticisms. But, at least on the first episode, the elimination of a contestant was not the main focus of the show as The Donald prefers.

I’d recommend this series to anyone interested in design. Most women and perhaps some young people will quite enjoy the show.

The men will likely stick to football.

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