Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Bravo's Blow Out Hits on All Style Cylinders

Why do I love Blow Out, Bravo's reality television series about “celebrity stylist” and aspiring hair empire entrepreneur Jonathan Antin? It’s fun, it’s breezy, and has that right combination of bitchiness, tension, and gossip that you like to see from a reality show. And it’s about a service -- getting a hair cut -- that nearly everybody utilizes. But it really works because it’s about the American Dream.

During the first season, we saw the opening of Jonathan Salon Beverly Hills. Antin, a charismatic, driven, petulant, and ultra-LA kind of suave-glam dude, dreams of sitting atop his profession and will allow almost nothing (punk haircutters disrobing in front of clients, trainees who can’t remember the “clip and cut,” employees who won’t eat meat, etc.) to stop him. We witnessed this dream taking shape along with a flavor of the wacky, off-kilter world that is Beverly Hills*, USA.

Last night’s premiere, kicking off Season Two, backs up and takes a wider view of the Universe According to Antin. And it’s an expansive one at that: we get to peak our head into Jonathan Salon West Hollywood along with the now thriving Beverly Hills “shop,” as it’s called. And there’s still the heavy dose of fashion show models who demand the very best in hair care.

“I get $500 per haircut, and almost $5,000 for a house call,” Antin tells the camera at one point. “You do the numbers.”

And then there’s the Golden Globes. One beautiful LA morning saw Antin scrambling to fix up the hair of Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat (Maeby Funke), and then race across town to do the same for Veronica Mars’ Kristen Bell. All in all, according to this non-fashionite, I had to admit that Antin’s services were well worth it as both lovely young ladies underwent a complete follicle transformation.

But it’s the launch of a Jonathan line of hair care products that is really obsessing the man who would take on Videl Sassoon. A redeye flight to Baltimore showcased a race to pump out product, with millions of dollars, nervously anal executives, and sterile lab surroundings contrasting oddly with Antin’s power-glam West Coast persona.

The end of the episode saw a zonked out and teary eyed Antin slumped over his therapist’s couch, talking about how what he really wants is a family one day.

Question: has a reality show camera ever entered the therapist’s office before?

On Blow Out, you just never know where the adventure’s going to take you.

* The first time I ever walked down Rodeo Drive, in the heart of Beverly Hills, I felt physically assaulted by how different, how bizarre the vibe was. It was funny. So funny, in fact, that I began to giggle a la Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop.


Mark Saleski said...

dude, you are SO right.

i had never even heard of this show. last night i turned bravo on, thinking that "blow out" was the movie "blow up". wrong, but oh-so-right.

it's sort of like monster garage or maybe orange county chopper...but with hairstylists!

oh, and the the queer eye/red sox that followed was great (maybe ya have to be a sox fan for that one)

Eric Berlin said...

Thanks very much, Mark.

I'm not a car guy, so I can't make the comparison to Monster Garage (though from what I've seen, the personality of the dudes on that show turn me off).

Then again, I didn't consider myself a "hair guy" either!

Then again, I dig Pimp My Ride on MTV... so who the hell knows?