It’s a Brad, Brad World

Posted on January 03, 2012

We have to wonder what the thinking was behind the development of this series. When it was announced, we thought it was a no-brainer. Brad was the wildly telegenic, funny, and stylish assistant to Rachel Zoe in her styling empire and on her own reality show. In a lot of ways he was the breakout character and, in our eyes at least, tended to overshadow the show’s star. So, yeah; a Brad Goreski reality series seems almost like an inevitability. We just weren’t prepared for it being such a disappointment.

We should preface this by saying that we firmly believe almost all reality shows need a couple episodes to find their footing, so what we saw last night may not be indicative of the series as a whole. But then you have to figure that any decent show creator would ensure that the strongest material comes flying out of the gate first and if what we saw last night was the strongest material then this show’s in trouble.

Probably our biggest issue with the show is that it’s practically a shot-for-shot remake of a typical Rachel Zoe Project episode. In fact, Brad sounded so eerily like Rachel when discussing his clients and projects -right down to the weary style of talking, clipped phrases and looking up when trying to come up with a word – that we were a bit put off by it. He didn’t talk like her when he worked for her, so why is he trying so hard to sound like her now? And “assistant drama,” Brad? Really? We guess  there was supposed to be some irony in watching Brad stress out over an underling not doing her work correctly, but it just came off like RZP B-roll. We would have thought this show would be developed along Brad’s extremely likeable on-camera personality, but it seems to have been developed along these lines: “Rachel Zoe Project, but gayer and low rent!”

Playing the part of Rodger to Brad’s Rachel is Brad’s “boyfriend of ten years” (We think you can call him your husband or partner by now, Brad), whose name we can’t remember. That’s probably fine; the guy gave the distinct impression that he didn’t want anyone to remember his name or that he appeared on this show. To be honest, it was a little bit disconcerting. You rarely find someone on reality television who’s so disdainful of reality television. And hey, we don’t blame the guy for finding the whole thing a little humiliating, but once you sign on, you better give it your all or you just come across like a humorless prig.

On a related note, despite the attempts to make us believe it, we didn’t find any of the “tension” between these two to be anything more than typical married couple moodiness. We suppose much will be made of boyfriend’s rather cavalier attitude toward Brad’s career struggles, but we got the distinct impression it’s all for the cameras.

And not to get all political on yo’ asses, but given the current mood in America, is this really the time to watch someone shedding tears over their career mobility while living in a gorgeously appointed house? We’re a little surprised that Brad seems to have so little going on in his career right now, but we gather that will be the story arc for the season: from struggling to successful. Expect a major job for the season finale. Then again, watching a stylist stress out over lack of career prospects in the same episode where he’s dressing two celebrities in couture for the Met Ball doesn’t quite scan. And ultimately, we think that’s why the show failed: It really doesn’t seem to know what it’s about. If it is just The Rachel Zoe Project with more penises, then we wonder if that’s enough for an audience. And it it’s “watch a struggling stylist come into his own,” then it’s a bit hard to swallow when “struggling” is defined as someone who supplies Atelier Versace gowns to stars.

To be fair, the one thing about this show that’ll keep us coming back is the menswear aspect of it, which really could set it apart from RZP. The high point of the episode was watching him dress male models for a shoot. More of that and the show will have its own identity.


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