I know! Good one!
I sat through four episodes of Keyshawn Johnson: Tackling Design that’d stacked up on the DVR, so in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the gist:
1. Keyshawn meets with his new clients and gets the overview for the project at hand.
2. He accidently reveals how his income level has completely warped his perception of “normal.” He’ll refer to a guest room as “small” five seconds after I think to myself, “wow, what a nice, big room!” Or he’ll look his clients in the eye and say, “that’s not a big number,” after presenting a remodeling bid that makes their eyeballs pop out of their heads.
3. Keyshawn delegates all tasks aside from one token shopping trip he reserves for himself and a real designer, er, design assistant.
4. The design assistant uses a term to describe the style she thinks the clients are looking for (like “Balinese”) so that Keyshawn knows what he should repeat ad nauseum throughout the episode to make himself sound like a design authority.
5. Catfights ensue between female clients and female design assistants, because in Keyshawn’s misogynistic world, women are completely incapable of diplomacy or client management. Approximately fifteen minutes into every episode, the female assistant declares the female client too difficult to work with, throws her hands up, and tells the viewing audience she’s just going to let Keyshawn handle it from now on.
6. Keyshawn runs interference, being the knight in shining armour and all, and the project is miraculously back on track!
7. More shots of Keyshawn pretending to design stuff.
8. Keyshawn and his design team put finishing touches on the room. No, he’s not awkwardly holding that accessory, confused about what to do with it. He’s being a team player and allowing his assistants more time on-camera!
9. The reveal…and guess what? The room looks beautiful and the women have worked through their differences. Now they’re BFFs! Thanks, Keyshawn!
Seriously, Tackling Design offers a pretty accurate depiction of interior design clients’ typical fears and objections, but the way Keyshawn and his staff handle these objections by bullying their clients only perpetuates negative stereotypes of interior designers. What’s worse, the design team never wins the “fight” anyway (as well they shouldn’t–it’s not their dang house), so it’s a string of meaningless battles and snotty behavior.
The end result is usually a beautiful room, but it remains to be seen who should really get the credit for the look…the design team or Keyshawn.