Whoever thought a reality TV show about a bunch of crazy Beverly Hills hairdressers could make “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” look downright suspenseful? “Blow Out” achieves that feat. It is not a good omen that the show’s first two hours are devoted to the monthlong renovation of a Rodeo Drive storefront. Worse, when the building makeover is finished and stylist extraordinaire Jonathan Antin finally opens his eponymous shop, he has forgotten to install a hot tub! Messing with the reality TV formula is all well and good, but he should endure hair plugs for this infringement.
“Blowout” shares some creative auspices with NBC’s “The Restaurant,” and it’s safe to say that Antin — a dead ringer for Patrick Swayze –is no Rocco DiSpirito. Did Bravo not make available tapes of its “Queer Eye For the Straight Guy”? The collars of a white shirt never flare outside the jacket lapel. Tuck them in.
And for a TV show that’s all about hair, it’s a problem when your leading man appears to be wearing a toupee. On this score, Antin may be to Grecian Formula what Carson Kressley is to Clorox.
Antin’s heterosexuality is established early on when a female stylist hits on him; he doesn’t hire her, but then calls her for a date anyway. OK. Antin also is photographed a lot in his car checking out girls on the street. His cruise mantra: “And she has great hair, too.”
The major problem with the show’s first two hours, however, is the contrived rush to finish construction of the Rodeo Drive space. Will it be done in time? InStyle magazine is sponsoring the opening-night party, which is a total TV fantasy. InStyle wouldn’t be there if Bravo wasn’t there. Antin freaks out at alienating the cheesy fashion bible, and worries about having to cancel a party with all the press, all the celebs.
The big night comes and there are no celebs and no press at the fete. Everyone calls it a huge success despite the fact the party guest list pretty much replicates the people in Antin’s employ.
If InStyle’s editors had bothered to show up, they might have told Antin not to try for celebs if you can’t deliver the A-list. “Blow Out” tries. Those who stop by for haircuts include Kate Bosworth, Peter Reckell of “Days of Our Lives” and some ladies who call themselves the Pussycat Dolls — and look just like they sound.
Throughout the show, we’re told Rodeo Drive is the acme of beauty and style. But let’s be honest: The place has only so many good camera angles to offer. After you’ve seen the Bachelor schnor for an engagement ring or one of the “Extreme Makeover” swans do her Pretty Woman thing here, the Gucci signs begin to look like so many lizards on “Survivor.”
The last century produced “Shampoo.” This one gives us “Blow Out.” Install the hot tub.