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House Beautiful: The Season Finale of Bravo's Flipping Out

I'm going to miss Flipping Out . The series, which features designer Jeff Lewis and his not-so-merry band of employees, wrapped its fourth season last night ("Rock, Paper and the Kitchen Sink") on a high note, with Jeff and Co. flying to New York to attend the opening of the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year that Jeff had designed in Rockefeller Center. After some back-and-forth with Jenni Pulos about whether or not she was invited or would attend, the entire office gang--including Trace and Sarah--arrived with Jeff in Manhattan to cap off a season of career highs and some interpersonal lows, as Jeff turned out some breathtaking work this season. (I was blown away with the beauty and luscious design of his interiors this year, displaying a confidence and poise that I've come to expect from his work.) While this season was devoid of the sort of headline-grabbing drama that marked the third season (including that season-long feud between Jeff and Ryan Brown ), it

The Daily Beast: "Flipping Out's Real-Life Fall-Out"

Wondering just what went down with Flipping Out 's Jeff Lewis and Ryan Brown? Or where their relationship stands now following last fall's explosive reunion special? Head over to The Daily Beast, where you can read my latest feature, entitled " Flipping Out 's Real-Life Fall-Out," where I talk to Jeff Lewis, Ryan Brown, Jenni Pulos, and Bravo's Andy Cohen about Season Four of Flipping Out , Jeff's now booming design business, and whether television ruined his relationship with Ryan Brown. Were you on Team Jeff or Team Ryan last year? And does the piece change your perspective at all or strengthen your convictions? Head to the comments section to discuss, debate, and analyze. Season Four of Flipping Out begins tomorrow night at 9 pm ET/PT on Bravo. You can read my advance review of the fourth season premiere here .

It's a Great Day at Jeff Lewis' Office: An Advance Review of Season Four of Bravo's Flipping Out

Bravo's addictive and hysterical reality series Flipping Out returns next month with a whole new season of meltdowns, freak outs, and dirty, dirty... martinis. (Yes, martinis.) I had the chance to watch the Season Four opener of Flipping Out a few days ago and instantly fell back in love with this series, which manages to effortlessly remain one of the most consistently funny and eye-opening reality series on television today. (That it remains off the radar of the majority of viewers is a crime against reality TV that simply cannot stand.) Season Four finds the gang at Jeff Lewis Design grappling with some very different problems than when we last saw them. Longtime viewers will remember that Season Three of Flipping Out focused on the economic downturn and how the global financial crisis wreaked havoc with Jeff's business... and with his relationship with ex-boyfriend and business partner Ryan Brown. Yes, the fallout from that, er, fallout resonates sharply through

Tears and Recriminations: The Ugly Truth (or Lack Thereof) on the "Flipping Out" Reunion

Cameras are funny things. They're meant to capture the reality of a moment but there's something inherently artificial about them being there in the first place. Reality television isn't exactly reality as it exists; it's an edited-together version of actual events, threaded together into a cohesive narrative for television. It gives us an image of reality but not the whole picture. The reason I'm bringing this up is that I'm still in shock about last night's dramatic and intensely stressful Flipping Out: Season Three Reunion on Bravo. While the reunion special brought up a number of intriguing (and in some cases hilarious) plot strands from the third season of Flipping Out including "rollover Number Two minutes," Roomba (dubbed a "big bitch" by Zoila), the poisoned bacon, and the status of Valley Oak, the main set piece in the episode was a confrontation between Jeff Lewis and his former business partner Ryan Brown. It was, shall w

Leaping Lizards: Baby Drama on the Season Finale of "Flipping Out"

And just like that, Season Three of Flipping Out came to a close last night. Not with a bang but with Jeff walking off of Ryan's property during Chloe's third birthday party, with what seemed like a heavy heart. I already alluded to much of the action in Flipping Out 's third season finale ("Baby Boom") via my advance review of the episode , but now that the episode has aired, I can speak a little more freely about what actually went down this week. I do feel for Jeff. Given the recent problems in his relationship with business partner Ryan Brown, Jeff is beset by a swirl of change in his professional and personal life: Ryan and his family might be moving to Santa Barbara, Jeff could be selling his own home, and there's a sort of biological clock ticking over the action, a sound that's all the more loud thanks to Jett's news that his girlfriend is expecting a baby. Granted, Jeff isn't one for tact. (That's certainly apparent from the last t

Baby Crazy: An Advance Review of Tonight's Season Finale of "Flipping Out"

Over the past three seasons, I've waxed enthusiastically about the charms of Bravo's unscripted series Flipping Out , which wraps up its third season tonight. Nominally about OCD-afflicted real estate investor Jeff Lewis and the quirky employees of his spec business, the series is in fact a deft portrait of a meticulous businessman and the eccentric individuals that he surrounds himself with. It also happens to be one of the funniest programs, scripted or unscripted, on television, thanks to the biting sarcasm of Lewis, the general awesomeness of his indefatigable right-hand-woman Jenni Pulos, and his surly housekeeper Zoila. While I find myself laughing aloud (sometimes until it hurts) each week, every now and then a rare beat of genuine emotion makes its way into the mix on Flipping Out , lending an aura of poignancy and heartache to an otherwise sunny (if, thanks to Jeff, stressful) series. I had the opportunity to watch an early copy of tonight's season finale (&qu

Clowns, Drag Queens, and Homeless People: Jeff's Fears Loom Large on "Flipping Out"

Throughout its run, Bravo's reality series Flipping Out has always offered some humor along with its drama but last night's episode ("Spirit of the Land") brought the series into a much darker place that hasn't really been seen since the surprising breakup of Jenni's marriage last season. It was an episode that was filled with hurt feelings, high emotions, and a surprising death and, rather strangely, despite the fact that I was laughing only minutes before, I too was affected by the passing of homeless person Spirit, who lived on the salon property of Jeff Lewis' client Chaz. We all know that Jeff Lewis doesn't deal well with emotion; his go-to reaction is often sarcasm and humor and that was no different last night. Considering he had suggested that they put Spirit out in the driveway with the trash, Jeff was at first seemingly unaffected by the homeless woman's death. (Did we ever actually learn if Spirit really was a woman or if that was a f

Battle Royale: Jeff Versus Ryan on "Flipping Out"

It had to happen, really. The tension between Jeff Lewis and sometimes business partner Ryan Brown has been building all season long and things got more than a little heated on last night's episode of Bravo's addictive reality series Flipping Out ("Irreconcilable Differences"), in which Jeff confronted Ryan about his allegedly "shady" business dealings. The confrontation, which went down in the final minutes of the episode, followed an hour where Jeff pulled some rather telling passive-aggressive maneuvers towards Ryan, disregarding his father's advice to cut the cord between the two but also not quite giving Ryan the opportunity to defend himself against Jeff's silent accusations. Who is at fault? It's really difficult say. Obviously, Flipping Out follows Jeff Lewis around on a daily basis and not Ryan Brown, so it's easy to side with Jeff because it's his perspective that we're seeing here. But let's look at the supposed ev

"This Isn't 'Melrose Place'": Poison, High Heels, and Take Charge Attitude on "Flipping Out"

Is it just me or does Jenni Pulos kick some serious butt? Jeff Lewis' oft put-upon assistant Jenni doesn't really get the credit she deserves from her meticulous employer, who is far more likely to criticize her endlessly for the slightest error than to praise her for all of the hard work she actually does. That is, when he's not hitting her in the face with a mobile phone headset or dredging up some painful memories of her shifty ex-husband at the drop of a hat. However, this week's episode of Bravo's addictive reality series Flipping Out ("Jenni 911") had Jenni stepping in to Jeff's shoes for a day (more on that in a bit), allowing both she and Jeff to have a new appreciation for the work that the other does. Could it be that a change in their relationship is on the horizon? Knowing Jeff, probably not. But it's still pretty nice that he recognized Jenni's effort and ability. The main issue this week on Flipping Out was of course Jeff'

Spilled Coffee and Bad Mojo: Scandal on "Flipping Out"

Oh, Jeff. You never learn, do you? This week's episode of Flipping Out ("Bad Mojo") had Jeff Lewis attempting to find a replacement for Rachel after she quit unexpectedly in last week's installment. But rather than stick to his guns and interview multiple candidates, check out references, and, you know, actually look at people's resumes, Jeff ends up hiring a random guy, Shawn. Which would be fine if the duo hadn't hit it off over Shawn's story about his stint in prison for drag racing in a high-speed car chase with highway patrolmen and the police. Could it be that Jeff's hiring ethos isn't quite all that it's cracked up to be and that he has a tendency to act on emotion and impulse rather than logic? You think? And yet when faced with the same dilemma of having to replace an employee, Jeff does the unthinkable yet again and hires Carrie's sister as his newest assistant, thus again creating an uncomfortable situation in which he's

Mint Meltdown: Battles Aplenty on This Week's "Flipping Out"

It was only a matter of time before Jeff Lewis broke down yet another assistant. I just didn't think it would be quite so soon. On this week's episode of Bravo's hysterically addictive reality series Flipping Out ("Never Trust a Contractor"), Jeff learned once again that it never pays to mix business with pleasure. Or in his case that he can't continue to keep hiring his friends to work for him because it never, ever, ever ends well. Thus was the case once again with Jeff's latest assistant, the flighty and disorganized Rachel, a friend of Jeff's hired for three days a week in order to accommodate Jenni's schedule. But the calculated demands of Jeff Lewis, constant tardiness, and a lack of mints in Jeff's car soon spelled doom for Rachel. While I knew from the very first seconds of the season premiere that Rachel wouldn't be long for Jeff Lewis' office, I expected to see her make it through more than three episodes this season. But

Tacos and Trauma: An Early Look at Tonight's Episode of "Flipping Out"

It's a great day at Jeff Lewis' office. The gloves are coming off on tonight's episode of Bravo's addictive docusoap Flipping Out ("Pajamas and Other Games"), which I had a chance to watch last week. While the season premiere gave us a glimpse at what Jeff Lewis and his merry band of misfits has been up to since we last saw them in 2008 , tonight's hysterically stressed installment amps up the tension between the staffers at Jeff Lewis' office. Wondered whether Jeff's newest assistant Rachel will crack under the pressure of Jeff's frequent and extremely precise demands? You're in luck as tonight's episode features Rachel attempting to please her boss and failing miserably in the process. While the fallout doesn't quite match up to onion- and guacamole-related debacles of previous seasons, one argument does revolve once more around Baja Fresh. Two words for you: brown salsa. Meanwhile, Jeff and Jenni go on what must be one of th

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. (M

Channel Surfing: Grant Show Open to "Melrose" Return, Ehle Plays "Game of Thrones," Third Season of "Inbetweeners" on Tap, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Grant Show, set to star on CBS comedy Accidentally on Purpose this fall, has said that he's open to appearing on the CW's revival of Melrose Place . "We've been talking, but nothing solid," Show says. "I'm not opposed to it... They haven't come up with the writing for me yet. I'm not sure they're even going to need me this year — maybe next year." Should Show close a deal to return to the series, he'll join original stars Josie Bissett, Thomas Calabro, Laura Leighton, and Daphne Zuniga as those who have turned up on Melrose 2.0 . ( TVGuide.com ) Jennifer Ehle ( Possession ) has joined the cast for the HBO fantasy drama pilot Game of Thrones , where she will play Catelyn Stark, the wife of Sean Bean's Ned Stark. Ehle's character was originally promised to Ned's older brother who was killed before they could marry; she then "fulfilled her duty by marrying Ned and s

Channel Surfing: Emilie de Ravin to Return to "Lost." Jeff Bell Joins "V" as Showrunner, Knepper Lends Hand to "Heroes," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Emilie de Ravin is set to return to ABC's Lost next season as a series regular after her character Claire Littleton was absent for most of Season Five, leaving her character's fate tantalizingly ambiguous. (It's still not clear, in fact, whether Claire is dead or alive after disappearing and then being spotted in Jacob's cabin with Christian.) "Damon and I are very excited to bring Claire back to the show," said showrunner Carlton Cuse, "and even more excited for people to experience just how she will return." ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) WBTV has signed an two-year overall deal with writer/producer Jeff Bell ( Angel ), under which he will come on board ABC's midseason sci-fi series V as showrunner/executive producer. He'll also develop new series projects for the studio later on as well. "Like many people, I have fond memories of whatching the original miniserie

Channel Surfing: NBC Gives Primetime Timeslot to Jay Leno, Scandal du Jour at "Grey's Anatomy," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. The news that everyone is talking about since yesterday afternoon is that NBC has handed over its 10 pm timeslot Mondays through Thursdays to Jay Leno, beginning Fall 2009. This has been rumored for the last few months but I don't think even NBC was prepared to make it fact until the recent economic (and ratings) downturn of recent times. First, it solves two issues: keeping Leno--who is losing his 11:35 timeslot to Conan O'Brien (while Jimmy Fallon will take over his old digs)--at NBC and thus out of the grabs of rival networks such as ABC and FOX; and allows the Peacock to continue programming the 10 pm hour instead of handing it back to the local affiliates. (Something, believe it or not, that was also widely discussed.) ( Variety ) Which means that scripted television has just taken another hard-to-handle blow. If NBC goes ahead with its plans for a Leno talk/variety series at 10 pm weeknights and has Sunday Night Footb

Quarters, Ugly Portraits, and a Bad Baby: The "Flipping Out" Reunion Special

Did anyone else watch last night's reunion special for Bravo's deliciously addictive reality series Flipping Out ? While not a hell of a lot was revealed that we didn't already know about Flipping Out 's quirky cast, it was great to catch up with Jeff, Jenni, Ryan, and Zoila, even if we had to sit through annoying host Andy Cohen's inane chatter for an hour. Yes, I get that he's one of the executive producers on the series (and a VP at Bravo, to boot), but it doesn't make it any easier to sit through his uncomfortable interviews and endless mugging for the camera. And that's not to say anything about Andy nearly falling out of his chair. Sigh. I was surprised that the reunion special really did downplay Chris Elwood's firing and the NannyCam incident; I half-thought that the producers would trot out Chris for the cameras and make him say a few things about the surveillance incident and the dissolution of his marriage, but I am glad, for Jenni's