Our summer TV preview continues. Earlier this week, we highlighted new show Pretty Little Liars starring Asian American Shay Mitchell, and the return of favorites Drop Dead Diva with Margaret Cho, The Next Food Network Star, and True Beauty. Here, some more mindless fun on the small screen.
Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, Bravo
Premieres Wednesday, June 9, 11 pm
They’ve done chefs, fashion designers, dancers, singers, hair stylists and interior designers. There’s even talk of a new bartender competition reality show. So it only makes sense that contemporary artists would be the next to join in the reality show fray. Except this one is produced by Sarah Jessica Parker and hosted by Chinese American model China Chow, art enthusiast and daughter of the late model and fashion icon Tina Chow and restaurateur Michael Chow (of the famed Mr. Chow and Eurochow restaurants).
Work of Art: The Next Great Artist is Bravo’s latest entrant into the reality show arena. Fourteen contemporary artists will compete for a solo show at a nationally recognized museum and a cash prize.
Born in London, Chow moved to New York at the age of 5 and grew up in the ’80s art world of Manhattan. Counting famed artists like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Julian Schnabel and Francesco Clemente as family friends, you can say Chow pretty much grew up in art. Chow even learned how draw elephants from renowned artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Even more exciting, the early buzz on the show paints Vietnam-born artist and curator Trong Nguyen as a front-runner. The Brooklyn-based Nguyen has exhibited his work all around the world, and has been reviewed by The New York Times, Paper, Village Voice and loads of other publications. He is currently working on a “metaphysical GPS” application for the iPhone and runs his artist-as-company project, Humanitarians Not Heroes.
HGTV Design Star, HGTV
Premieres Sunday, June 13, 10 pm
Award-winning architectural and interior designer Vern Yip returns to judge the cult hit reality show, HGTV Design Star.
Yip, who just announced that he adopted a baby boy with his partner, runs his own design company in Atlanta, Ga., Vern Yip Designs. With a master’s in management, and a master’s in architecture from The Georgia Institute of Technology, Yip transforms rooms, houses and restaurants — on television and in his private practice — ranging in budget from frugal to eight-figure projects for high-end clients, including the design for a high-profile Oscar party in 2006.
This season, one of the contestants on Design Star is Julie Khuu, a 29-year-old interior designer from Santa Ana, Calif. An interior design graduate from The Art Institute of California, Khuu works on everything from hospitality design to home consultation. A self-described overachiever and socialite, Khuu calls her design style “modern global glamour” and says that her favorite projects involve designing spaces for nightclubs.
Top Chef: Washington D.C., Bravo
Premieres Wednesday, June 16, 9 pm
Host Padma Lakshmi is back. This time, the Indian American model will be judging the culinary contenders in Washington, D.C.
One of the first internationally successful Indian models, Lakshmi has since written two cookbooks, the best-selling Easy Exotic, for which she won the International Versailles Event for best cookbook by a first time writer, and her memoir-filled cookbook Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet. She’s also hosted a variety of cooking and food shows, including Padma’s Passport, and the documentary series Planet Food on The Food Network and worldwide on the Discovery Channel.
But her talents don’t stop there. Lakshmi launched a line of fine jewelry last year at Bergdorf Goodman in New York. And this year, Lakshmi became the new face of Pantene’s Nature Fusion line.
Among the contestants Lakshmi will be judging is Arnold Myint, a 32-year-old Thai-Burmese American from Nashville. He’s the owner and chef of Cha Chah (voted Best New Restaurant by Nashville Scene in 2009), PM, and Suzy Wong’s House of Yum, all located in Nashville. The competitive professional figure-skater-turned-chef is expected to bring his own colorful personality into the mix this season.