Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Say What?!!: Paige Returns to "Trading Spaces"

Photo courtesy: nydailynews.com

A few years ago, the coolest uncool show to be a fan of was TLC's "Trading Spaces". Sadly, that all changed a few years ago when they canned the woman who was the heart and soul of the show, host Paige Davis. Things quickly devolved from there and the show fell into permanent sucktitude. Live and learn, or get rid of the dumbass producers who would commit such an egregious error in the first place I suppose, because Paige is back, bitches!

That's right, tellyphiles, your eyes weren't deceiving you last Saturday night. Immediately following the Miss America Pageant or as I like to call it the "Are Women Still this Needy? Show", Paige's bubbly mug was beamed into our living room and it was like taking a time machine back to 2005. There she was, requisite short & spunky haircut in place, happily chirping the rules to the homeowners just like the good ole days. "Trading Spaces" purists will be happy to know that perky Paige isn't the only "old school" part of the show that was brought back. That cheesy theme song, dada da da da!, the 1,000 budget to do one room, and the designers you either love to hate or love to love were reintroduced to the "Trading Spaces" faithful.

One interesting new twist--homeowners no longer have to be next door neighbors. The season premiere featured ex-spouses redecorating each other's bedrooms. AWK-WARD. Next week, a brave woman redecorates a room that belongs to her mother-in-law. I'm all over it.

Producers played it smart and kicked things off with veteran "Trading Spaces" designer badasses Doug Wilson and Hildi Santo Tomas. Where the roster of designers employed by "Trading Spaces" as of late was as bland as beige, Doug and Hildi are a breath of personality-infused fresh air. Doug is a complex mix of dandified city slicker with just a dollop (or two) of ego and the devil. He's the perfect snotty, sarcastic ying to Paige's upbeat, effervescent yang.
And what can you say about Hildi? She's still fabulous. Still comes with that vaguely European air of reserve and disdain for the mundane entreaties from her suburban homeowners who naively persist in asking her to do something a little more approachable--a design that doesn't require the nailing of a couple thousand rubber rings to a couple's bedroom walls for instance.
I shit you not, people. Black rubber rings were everywhere. The end result was a room that looked like it'd been caught in the net of a fisherman who'd been trolling the Sea of "Hell to the Naw". It was deliciously ugly-beautiful, vintage Hildi. I'm not ashamed to admit, I teared up a little.

Next week "Trading Spaces" airs at its regular time - (TLC) Saturday, 9pm EST.

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