Is Tim Gunn’s no-sex revelation a ‘Revolution’ or too much information?

01.27.12 6 years ago 11 Comments

Lifetime Television

Much has been made about Tim Gunn’s recent revelation on “The Revolution” that he hasn’t had sex in 29 years (he’s fine with it, by the way). Still, he didn’t seem fine with sharing this tidbit with millions of people, if this clip is any indication. He seems nervous and shaky, as probably befits someone transitioning from fashion guru to endlessly gabbing talking head. While I’d watch Tim Gunn read the phone book, and I have no doubt he’s a good addition to “The Revolution” as the show’s resident fashion expert, I’m a little unnerved that someone who seems to be so reserved by nature is being tapped for every aspect of this chatty-Cathy show — including sex talk.

Having noticed all the blather about Gunn’s confession, I felt the need to tune in to “The Revolution,” which is yet another show going after “Oprah”‘s audience. But while “The Chew” has a stronger focus (food), “The Revolution” is a bit of “Dr. Oz,” a smattering of the now-defunct “Extreme Makeover: Home Improvement,” and a touch of the Style Network. The idea is that women (and this show is clearly aimed at them) can make over every aspect of their lives just by tuning in, whether that means learning how to patch holes in their drywall or get their, um, “juices flowing” (that’s a quote, not my word choice, by the way). 

Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, therapist Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry, women’s health expert Dr. Jennifer Ashton, design expert Ty Pennington and Gunn are our experts, and as such everyone seems determined to chip in with his or her two cents, whether it’s warranted or not. While the chemistry here is more relaxed and comfortable than what we initially saw on the frenetic “The Chew,” there are still segments that need refining.

While tracking a “hero” each week (condensing a five month make-over process into five days) is pretty genius, Pennington’s home and decorating segments often seem forced (plus Pennington seems to think he’s still on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” often yelling his way through pieces that don’t benefit from it). Dr. Ashton and Dr. Henry have yet to really emerge as engaging personalities (though Henry has the most potential). Gunn, of course, comes to the show as a fully articulated character — and one the show intends to milk thoroughly. 

In addition to his no-sex confession, he’s also tackled his fear of driving (turns out he lives in subway-accessible New York City for a reason) and pops up regularly to administer hugs and show women how to obscure their muffin tops. And all I can think is, “You could do so much better than what this show, Tim.”

On “Project Runway,” it was readily apparent that Gunn is an actual player within the fashion industry. He was CCO of Liz Claiborne and an associate dean at Parsons The New School for Design. He gave insightful advice to designers on how to best improve their work (something his replacement,  Joanna Coles, seems incapable of doing). He was a force to be reckoned with. He was admired and respected. 

On “The Revolution,” he’s doing the same “match a white blouse with a fun leopard print belt!” we expect from any dimbulb who thinks he or she knows fashion. Worse, he seems to be taking on the role of the lovable, slightly weird grandpa whom everyone adores but thinks is a little sad. Aw, poor Tim, he’s alone and lonely (he’s not). Poor Tim, he can’t drive. Poor Tim, he wears suits EVERYWHERE. The quirks that make him unique are now the quirks that make him “relatable” (oh, how I loathe that word) to a broad viewership. 

I have to hope this isn’t ABC’s idea of making an openly gay man palatable. God knows gay characters were a part of the two shows the network canceled to make room for “The Revolution” and “The Chew” (“All My Children” and “One Life to Live”). Of course, Gunn has made the choice to show himself, flaws and all, on “The Revolution,” and that’s to be admired. The show is about making yourself over, after all. But if he continues to be the go-to guy for shocking and/or weird revelations, I hope he rethinks opening up on “The Revolution,” at least not until the rest of the cast fills us in about their secrets. It’s only fair.

Do you think Tim Gunn revealed too much about his sexual dry spell? Do you watch “The Revolution”? Do you miss him on “Project Runway”? 

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