Skip to main content

Rising Tempers and Falling Houses: The Season Premiere of Bravo's "Flipping Out"

It's a good day at Jeff Lewis' office.

Longtime readers know that I have an indelible love for the kooky cast of Bravo's addictive and hilarious docusoap Flipping Out, which returned last night after a far-too-long hiatus.

The season opener of Flipping Out ("Beware of Falling Houses") featured a strangely calm Jeff (well, calm for Jeff Lewis, anyway) struggling to stay afloat in the sinking real estate market by taking renovation jobs (rather than his typical speculation-based business) yet continued to expand his entourage to include another assistant (poor, doomed Rachel), clown-haired house assistant Jett, and a design intern Trace, who appears to be a mini-Jeff in the making.

And let's not forget about the aforementioned Zoila, who continues to keep Jeff on his toes with her hysterically haughty put-out attitude and who wants to find a boyfriend for herself... leading her to inadvertently flirt with a married man working on the Valley Oak property. (Meanwhile, Jeff ribbed his maid/non-sexual life partner about her need for hangers and hoarding of pillows.)

Yet this wouldn't be Flipping Out without a major blow-out from Jeff and once again it was directed at oft put-upon executive assistant Jenni, who was ill prepared for the day (she didn't have a crucial phone number with her), leading her to call the contractor at Valley Oak and asking him to look for the contact info among Jeff's belongings. A decision which then turned into a major battle royale between the duo, in which Jeff dragged up the still-biting betrayal of Jenni's now ex-husband Chris.

While Jenni should have had that number in her Blackberry or on her person (we all know how Jeff Lewis feels about precise preparation and his need for absolute privacy), I thought it was absolutely galling that he threw Chris' betrayal in her face almost a year after the incident occurred. As you might recall, Jeff's use of hidden cameras caught Chris in the act of going through Jeff's personal belongings and revealed a side of her husband that Jenni didn't know about... leading to the breakup of their marriage. That Jeff would, a year later, continue to throw this in Jenni's face as she attempts to get her life back on track and re-enter the dating scene after ten years of marriage is not only wrong, it's outright callous.

Now I'm someone who finds Jeff Lewis incredibly funny--his deadpan sense of humor is right up my alley--but even he admits that once he gets to this point in an argument, he "sees red." And that was definitely the case here. Yes, he apologized to Jenni afterward (and I'm amazed that she kept it together as well as she did) but he shouldn't have gone there in the first place. You do need to have a hide as thick as a rhino's in order to work for Jeff.

Which brings us to Rachel, Jeff's longtime friend/new office assistant, a lethal combination that is likely to bring many, many tears in the near future. Jeff is a perfectionist and a demanding boss... and has a tendency to mix friendship and business in a way that's rather like mixing dynamite and matches. Someone is bound to get hurt and I have a feeling that Rachel is not destined to stick around Jeff Lewis' office for long.

However, Jeff seems to have discovered a slight simpatico with his new male design intern Trace (whom he calls "Tracy" and "she"), who might just be as much of a perfectionist and obsessive as Jeff himself. (Witness the iPhone checkers conversation, which resulted in Trace being 15 minutes late to work.) Last season, Chris Kesslar attempted to win Jeff over and be taken under his wing only to encounter resistance from Jeff who wanted to "groom" Chris over several years. However, Trace seems to be fitting in quite nicely in the Lewis menagerie, even sharing Jeff's appetite for dry humor. Could it be that Jeff has found a protege?

All in all, a hilarious episode that points the way toward future plot developments between the cast members and loads of stress ahead for Jeff as he attempts to keep his emotions in check while working for other people. I can't wait to see just how explosive things get over the next few episodes.

Next week on Flipping Out ("Pajamas and Other Games"), Jeff attends a pajama party; new assistant Rachel struggles to keep up with Jeff's numerous and precise demands; Jeff and Ryan's friendship hits a rough patch when Jeff accuses him of not sharing clients.

Car Fight:

Don't Turn Down Booty Calls:

Taco Tuesday in Pyjamas:


So happy to have this show back. I never thought that one of my favorite reality shows would be about an OCD guy who flips houses but I find the antics of Jeff (and his entourage) to be absolutely hilarious and heartbreaking and everything in between.
Asta said…
I couldn't believe that Jeff threw Chris in her face. It was a year ago and Jenni had nothing to do with Chris actions. But Jeff's actions did highlight that Jenni seems to be sticking up for herself more. If Jeff had attacked her a year ago as he did in this episode, Jenni would likely have been driven to tears. I was actually waiting for her to jump out of the car.

I'm curious as to why Jenni only works for Jeff three days a week. Does she have another job or is that as much of him as she can take? ;)
Barbara said…
Asta, I think she only works there three days a week because she "goes on auditions." She is apparently part of the vast wasteland of would-be actors. Although, to be sympathetic, who wouldn't want to hang on to a dream, when reality is Jeff Lewis?
But I agree with Jace, Jeff is the OCD bully we love to hate!

Popular posts from this blog

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous season

Pilot Inspektor: CBS' "Smith"

I may just have to change my original "What I'll Be Watching This Fall" post, as I sat down and finally watched CBS' new crime drama Smith this weekend. (What? It's taken me a long time to make my way through the stack of pilot DVDs.) While it's on following Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars on Tuesday nights (10 pm ET/PT, to be exact), I'm going to be sure to leave enough room on my TiVo to make sure that I catch this compelling, amoral drama. While one can't help but be impressed by what might just be the most marquee-friendly cast in primetime--Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Jonny Lee Miller, Amy Smart, Simon Baker, and Franky G all star and Shohreh Aghdashloo has a recurring role--the pilot's premise alone earned major points in my book: it's a crime drama from the point of view of the criminals, who engage in high-stakes heists. But don't be alarmed; it's nothing like NBC's short-lived Heist . Instead, think of it as The Italian