Flippin’ crazy

Posted on 05 Aug 2010 at 6:00pm

The ex is gone, but OCD real estate designer Jeff Lewis is not a ‘fun gay’

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor jones@dallasvoice.com

2.5 out of 5 stars
FLIPPING OUT
airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Bravo. Season 4 premiere Aug. 10.

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DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY | Jeff Lewis and his stable of largely incompetent assistants make you wonder why the unemployment rate isn’t even higher.

It’s ironic that the most fun gay reality program on Bravo is the one about a straight woman, but with the season finale of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List now in the books, our sluggish replacement is settling into her time slot.

“I used to be a fun gay,” Jeff Lewis, the OCD real estate speculator on Flipping Out, says in the season 4 debut. “Now I’m not a fun gay anymore.”
Ummm, I’ve watched this show for three years … when exactly was he ever a “fun gay”?

The Botoxed, demanding little martinet who drives his (admittedly) incompetent staff crazy with his nitpicking is an oddly compelling reality TV personality. His drama doesn’t seem manufactured — he really is a black hole of bad vibes.

The new season kicks off with some major changes. Gone from the series is Ryan, Jeff’s ex lover and long-time business partner, who last season apparently Google-pirated search engine results from Jeff, building his own company at his friend’s expense. The post-season reunion wrap-up last year was the most dramatic moment in the show’s history, and Ryan’s absence lingers like a ghost over all relationships gone sour.

But there’s still Zoila (the deadpan Latina maid) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus lookalike Jenni, Jeff’s Zen assistant, plus relative newcomer Jett, the hunky house assistant, and Sarah, his useless helper.

Jeff’s flat affect belies a droll sense of humor, but ultimately, as with most non-competition reality series, it’s a mystery as to why we should care at all about his life: The business is not all that interesting, his life no harder than mine and the season opener feels unfocused, even rote. What I’d give for a decent flip out this time.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 6, 2010.

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