I just watched the pilot episode of TLC's new show, Craft Wars, which I DVRed last night. I was skeptical, but I have to say, it's fun!
I honestly didn't know much about it before watching. I had seen the commercials, which of course piqued my interest, but I didn't check the TLC website or do any research to find out how the show would work. As a result, I was really surprised to see only three contestants and figure out during the course of the episode that each one is a whole new competition. I'm used to watching Project Runway, Top Chef, So You Think You Can Dance, and other long-running competition shows that start off with 12+ contestants and narrow them down week by week. I was also surprised that the contestants had family members and teams of assistants. It kind of makes me want to apply for the show and bring Eric with me!
I'm not sure whether I like this 3-player, one competition a week format. It does make things easier for people to compete, though. They don't have to drop their lives for a few months to do it, which is great. But I felt initially like I couldn't get as invested in the contestants like I do with these other shows. When you have one week after another, you get to feel like you know people and have your favorites.
So I was surprised at how much I wanted the schoolteacher who won this episode to come out on top. Of course, that has to do with what I saw in the quality of her design and construction. Really, that's where affinities should lie in a competition like this, not so much with personality.
I was so stressed out for the contestants with their one hour "make a gym bag" initial challenge. Maybe this is where I started to like the schoolteacher. That poor woman trying to get a glued piece through the sewing machine & having issues... that's something I'd do. Totally. I just know it. And though she didn't finish, I did love the design and construction of the bag she was making, so I was glad she got to stay.
It made sense to me that the yellow bag was the loser.
I wasn't a fan of that ruffle around the bottom, and as someone with furry pets and occasionally dusty floors, white on the bottom of a bag seems a little crazy to me. But beyond that, the judges were right about how she glued in the tennis racquet bottom. No way was glue enough for the bottom of a gym bag. I do love my hot glue gun too, but I realize its limitations.
By round two, I kind of went in rooting for the schoolteacher, since I also liked her bag better than the other contestant's, which I thought was just too overdone. My sense of style comports more with the cleaner look of that black/white/red bag.
And during the second round, I felt the same way about the contestants' play houses. While I appreciated the interactivity of the "school bus" play house, the messiness and hodgepodge way it was decorated would honestly drive me nuts.
By contrast, the clean lines and stellar construction of the "schoolhouse" play house really won me over.
This is a play house I'd be proud to have built, and that's what it comes down to. And let's be honest. A play house is a play house. Kids don't necessarily need it to have built-in activities. Kids have toys they'll bring in and imaginations that will populate a play house better than any chalkboard wall. This house could be a school, a club house, a place to "play house," or probably a zillion other things that my 41-year-old brain is too old to fathom.
So, who else watched? What did you think? Love the format? Hate it? What'd you think of the challenges, availability of assistants, and project results?