Lessons to be learned from Blow Out

I'm a reality-show junkie. And I've been in it from the beginning, as Andrea and I watched with curious glee the goings on of "seven strangers picked to live in a loft," in 1992. Throughout the years, it's been interesting seeing all the new concepts and ideas that networks come up with for reality shows. Most of it is literally crap. Silly, stupid and downright naughty. These are the ones I find more fascinating, of course. Even with the worst ones, I've found that once you sift through all the bad editing (sound and otherwise) and forced storylines, there's bound to be some life lessons to be learned. Believe it or not.

Bravo's Blow Out is one particular show. The debut season was interesting to watch for the noted opening of famed (in his own head, of course) hair stylist, Jonathan's newest salon in Beverly Hills. Will he or won't he open on time? Can he subdue his workers? Can't everyone just get along? A good amount of it was fluff and vapid, but I did enjoy the characters. And that's one of the main reasons I get into shows like this: the characters. Sure, some (most) of them are completely concocted by the show's producers through editing and clip choices, but all-in-all I do enjoy watching these pre-fabricated reality nobodies unleash their pseudo-dramas before us. I guess it's sort of comforting to watch others make bad life choices, and perhaps I like to think that I'll never make these same choices, especially not in front of millions of viewers. You may call it a character flaw, I call it a guilty pleasure.

Anyway, as I watching an earlier episode of Blow Out, I did some sketches of some of the crazy characters on the show:

Jonathan: all drama, no substance.

Kimberly: squarest jaws in the business.

Odd-looking Daniel, a stylist.

I think his name is Jason, another stylist.

Scott: graphic designer with issues.

So, what are the lessons to be learned from this shallow freakfest of a show? Some of my thoughts on how Scott, the graphic designer of Zorbit, became the epitome of all selfish, rude, ego-centric designers out there. If you want to be a designer, then learn what you can by NOT doing what Scott did on the show. A couple of notes:

Made the mistake by talking down to Jonathan and being rude by calling his outfit a "dog and pony show" as well as the slip-up by calling Jonathan a hair-dresser, not a stylist. Oopsie! Do your homework. Learn who your client is, what they do, how they do it, know how they speak. That was very disrespectful.

Bad designer! Bad! Listen to your client. Even if they are a pompous, arrogant egomaniac (much like yourself, right, Scott?), you must bend over backwards for them. You are there to do their bidding. They are paying you, even if you think their ideas or personality are not what you are down with. Even though he may be the worst client EVER, if you can get through the job relatively unscathed, you will have that job as experience that you can learn from, and be able to handle any type of client afterwards. Plus, positive feedback from clients will almost ensure more work your way. Do not make enemies. Do not burn bridges. Connections and who you know are essential in this line of work.

When Jonathan and Scott started to make the other wait for excessive amounts of time before a scheduled meeting, it became the equivalent of a pissing match between the two. Basically each of them were putting up a front, a barrier, while at each other's turfs. Meet at a neutral place. Sit down. Talk to one another. Try to work on being on the same page.

There are more, but I'm afraid I'm coming across as being some big nerd for the show. I'm not, I just think it's interesting. Honest!

Oh, and some more irritating points: the constant plugs of his hard-looking sister's show-girl group the Baby Dolls (?) in Las Vegas. It was similar to last season's plugs of Lenscrafters and Revlon makeup products. Shameless. What's worse is that now we've got his 'Jonathan' product line that he's endlessly promoting on the show. Just one big infomercial. But it is sorta fun seeing him get all blubbery over the slightest mention of how he started his salon from scratch, blah, blah, blah. Aw, the sensitive type.


  1. I saw the whole Scott & Johnathan interaction, and I think they're both a bunch of morons. Its been quite difficult to watch.

    First of all, you dont make your client wait for you to show up - I dont care who you are. And if you're made to wait - you dont turn around and do the same thing back to the designer the next week... even if the designer shouldn't have made you wait. If I were scott, and Johnathan had made me wait 3 hours in his salon while he cut some hair... I dont know how well I would have handled that.

    Bottom line is, I dont care who you are... both parties are way too full of themselves and I'm amazed there was a camera lens with a wide enough angle to get them both in the shot at the same time.

    Come to think of it... I can't remember seeing them both in the same shot. Maybe they're the same person!

  2. Excellent drawings, by the way... I could tell who they were very distinctly before I even say your descriptions.

  3. Thanks for the compliment, Mike!

    Yeah, I wanted to strangle both Scott and Jonathan while watching the drama unfold before me. It's funny how the final design made the two make up. Aww, that's sweet: Design brings the world together.

    I don't know how I would've handled it either, if I was Scott, if I had to wait that long. Rude business practices. It's a wonder they even got anything out of it, too. Probably they both knew they had to because of the cameras rolling. I'm surprised they allowed Bravo to show that much in the first place.

  4. I never saw this show but I did want to check it out. Is it still showing on Bravo. Years (and years and years ago...my god, probably a decade now) I used to go to Jonathan's salon in West Hollywood. My "stylist's" name was Morrissey. Yep, that's right...that really was his name. Was he on the show??? I really liked him though I couldn't help but think he'd given himself the name (you know, it was the mid-ninety's and all!!)

  5. No, there wasn't a Morrissey featured, Paige, but he does sound like some kind of character, though.

    The season two finale is tomorrow night, I believe at 9pm. They'll probably run the whole season as part of a marathon soon. They always do. Run that sucker in the ground!

    I'm waiting with bated breath for the next season of Project: Runway. Now THAT show was fascinating!

  6. Love the sketches. Between graduation and day one at the office I had a couple of weeks to sit around a lot, during that time i was able to catch a Blow Out marathon and must say, got hooked. It's good to know there are others out there who are Blow Out fans and not afraid to admit it.

    I can't even think of anything to write because I'm laughing too hard... Great drawings! They're DEAD ON!

  8. Yanno... something inside me really wants to strangle Johnathan this year. I mean, last year it was like, "Ok, he's stressed out and trying to open a new salon. Things are going to be tough."

    But this year, he's really been a prick from what I can see. His whole "I'm the king" sort of business practice drives me nuts... and everyone just takes it. Perhaps this is the way things go in this industry... but most of the world wouldn't deal with a primadona like him on a day to day basis.

    In the end, it'll be interesting to see if his product line takes off... and who sticks around and continues to put up with him.

  9. Ha ha! Love the characters you portray here, Ward! Anyway, I am not really a fan of reality shows: the first time I watched the first Survivor show (took place in Pulau Tiga, located near my country, Sabah), the concept seems fresh until some crappy imitators steal much of the values from the first show. Since then, they just begin to irritate me whenever I see its kind in a great many, many ways.

    - Glen!

  10. well, I love me some hair salon drama. I don't know why. you totally nailed square-jawed kimberly and egomaniac jonathan. however, I'm most taken with your sketch of daniel. seriously...

  11. this is so funny! i totally loved this show when it was here last year - but i haven't seen the 2nd season - maybe it'll show up here now that its over there. (ha)! Andrea's right - you are spot on with Daniel!

  12. this show is great, i love this post! so hillarious

  13. Hiya! I love your illustrations. My husband is an artist (www.omahaperez.com) and a friend of Paige's, which is how I came across your blog. Shoot, maybe you two know each other. I can't keep up with all the people he knows...

    Do you like the "Rock Star: INXS" show? It's a little weird because of the whole circumstances of why the show is even on, but it's very entertaining. There's even a rock chick who looks like Marcia Gay Harden with red streaks in her hair!

  14. Great illustrations and insight. I'm a closet junkie (only my hairstylist - who thinks they're all morons - and my family know!)
    What I totally laugh about is his sessions with his shrink that show his "soft" side...I just watch this show and am SO glad I don't live in Hollywood.

  15. I LOVE your sketches--they are so perfect. I too watch the show. My sisters and I gather around to laugh at everybody. Jonathan cries about 5 times in every episode. I feel bad for his "girl" (Sesie I think). I would NEVER have anything to do with a man that arrogant.

  16. Lisa, I have not watched the Rock Star show yet, although a good amount of people around me swear that it's a great show. Thanks for checking out the blog! It's funny how we are all connected, isn't it?

    Yeah, sharkeysday, I asked my stylist about the show last season, and he pretty much thought the same of the characters -- idiots. I swear I felt that Jonathan's "sessions" with his shrink were made just for the show, to somehow get another side of him. Did you see how forced the scenes were? Made for awkward moments. The same for his "girlfriend," or who I'd like to politely call his "beard." It looks like he's going to pop the question to her for the big finale coming up next week. Oh yipee.

    Koukla, I think that that is why Andrea and i watch: to laugh at such stupidity. Again, all to make us feel a whole lot better about ourselves knowing that we aren't selfish, arrogant poo-holes, like the people they showcase shows like Blow Out.

    And that's why we'll probably watch for next season!

    Oh, and what kind of idea was that -- to make a filter for your showerhead??? He was riding that Jonathan Product success high, that's what was going on there. See how they just went back and did some shots of him going through this revelatory moment in the shower? C'mon now, producers. We viewers not that stupid.

    Speaking of stupid (and oh, so deliciously fun to watch) anybody getting into Big Brother 6?

  17. Rene
    I'm notafraid to admit it.I saw the first episode and was completely hooked. I actually loved Jonathan, and thought he was a great stylist.His staff are the ones I personally wanted to strangle.Gripe, gripe, complain, complain.Like little freakin kids.He actually was a little too nice. I haven't seen show 2 because I no longer have Bravo. Tell me, will they sale these on dvd's? I hope so.