If Arthur Parker’s character in Sanditon turned into some type of emcee for a spin off reality show, it might be The Big Flower Fight — over the top, frivolous, but all the same, fantastic.
I am a reality TV junkie of a special type; the makers’ series: like Making the Cut, Project Runway, American Idol, pretty much everything on HGTV/DIY, and even our current president’s former show, The Apprentice. (Ironically, I’m not a big fan of the GBBO, however, which is the show most compared to The Big Flower Fight. But I do like to eat.) I like to watch art, baking, couture, and companies unfold before me. Gardening at home apparently solves a lot of problems. That, and I like to be edutained — I want to learn something when I watch TV. (Yes, that also means I’m rarely, if ever, into the other type of reality shows about nothing.)
In full disclosure, I bought access to Netflix for my mom for Mother’s Day so she could have access to more shows and movies during the lockdown, and admittedly, for myself a bit, just to see The Big Flower Fight, which was released on May 18, 2020. I’m in to the episode on mobiles thus far — so I’ve managed to not binge on the remainder…yet, anyway. So, being somewhere in the middle, I wanted to share the show’s hits and misses, as I’ve read online reviews, and they seemed to be mixed as well. My feelings on it are a bit mixed as well — but below, I’m going to try an give some ideas on how to make it better for season 2.
(And Dear Netflix, I sincerely hope there will be a season 2.)
What’s awesome now:
- The main judge — Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht I adore. He’s got just the right combination of shrewd eye on judging in combination with positive reinforcement for contestants and Tim Gunn-real-ness about him without being over the top. In fact, I’d like to see him Tim Gunn it a bit more. Or, in season 2, be the teams’ mentor like Tim Gunn, and bring in more guest judges like some of the other shows I mentioned. I don’t know that 2 judges are enough right now.
- The guest judges — I am not in the world of flowers. But I love flowers. So, each episode when we’re introduced to a new judge, I get excited to learn about him or her and what their areas of expertise are…it’s kind of like fashion designers for me. I don’t really know many of them, so when we get to meet them, it’s like meeting an artist.
- The flowers — I love learning about them too.
- The renderings of the ideas — The illustrations of where people were heading with their ideas was beautiful.
- The teams — kudos to the booking agent or talent recruiter for the show. It has a wonderful mix of teams from around the world.
What could be even better:
- Less installations, more reality — another arm chair critic (my mom) and I both commented that the show wasn’t exactly what we thought it was going to be. For example, when do the florists and artists get to work with clients? When are they going to design a wedding? Or a store opening? Or a party? Or a big sustainable character, like Koons’ dog outside the Guggenheim at Bilbao? Or arrangements for patients in a hospital? Are they just going to work out of that geo dome and not interact with the world? I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I think I want them to get out of the field and create in reality more.
- Looser project criteria — Instead of one week animals and the next week fish (I haven’t watched the fish episode yet), why not have them create something they can go really crazy with — like a selfie wall for an event, or a store front opening floral installation of the store of their choice, or an installation in a party room or an art museum or something in reality? The judges kind of bashed the florists a couple of times for not adhering to the rules a little too rigidly in the first few episodes, and then turned right around and gave the best in show award to a team that didn’t adhere to the rules either. 🤷♀️ This is art! Don’t be so bipolar on the criteria.
- Sustainability — Uhm, I love the installations…but what is happening to all that beautiful flora/fruits/vegetables after they create their installations? Were they shared with art museums around the world, or were they put in the dumpster or left in the field out back of the geo dome? I want their art to be shown or used somewhere. Instead, we just leave with it inside a barn (p.s. the barn is way too dark) or out in the field. I do dig the challenges where they’re using recycled materials, however, please keep that. Which leads me to my next suggestion…
- Let the people vote — The third judge could be the public. Now, I know the show was already shot. But, if you create projects where the artists have to interact with the real world, you could get their votes during filming. I did not always agree with the judges, in many instances.
- The time to build — Was it enough? What and how did the teams interact with each other between the episodes? Did they build a project that was 15 hours, for example all in one day, or was it spread out? If it was spread out, why don’t we see the contestants interacting with each other out of the geo dome?
- Who is the welder — What’s her story? I can’t say I run into that many welders these days…
That’s enough for now. I’ll keep watching and report back if anything else pops up. The ideas are still blooming.
I never said I was into comedy. But congrats, Netflix…you have my money for a little longer. 🌸🌼🌻🌺🌹🌷