Remodeled Deserves the Wrecking Ball

By Louis Peitzman

Jan 18, 2012

Okay, it’s not like any of us had high hopes for Remodeled, The CW’s new modeling reality show whose main distinction is not being America’s Next Top Model. But the basic premise had the potential to be fun: “Super agent” Paul Fisher travels to different struggling agencies within his “Network,” Tabatha's Salon Takeover-style, in order to fix them. (First up: a small agency with big problems!) Meanwhile, some of The Network’s standout models travel to New York to try to book gigs for Fashion Week.

But Remodeled isn’t even a little bit fun: It’s half-boring, half-dreadful. While the “models in New York” section of the series merely drags—after all, none of these young people have the charisma of Top Model contestants—everything involving Paul is actively painful. Rarely have we met a person so devoted to becoming a reality TV personality. He may be a powerful agent, but he is a terrible actor. And he’s watched way too many shows like this, which means he utters a lot of forced clichés like, “If you can’t deal with the heat, get out of the kitchen,” and “Let me help you—please, let me help you.”

At Paul’s side is an equally fame-hungry assistant named Joseph, who is doing his best to be a goth Brad Goreski. Joseph provided the premiere episode's asinine title when he suggested that beleaguered agency owner Britta had “a latte to learn.” (Seriously, that was the episode title. I know, right?) He also quips whenever appropriate: “How do you lose 16 models? Are you blind?” “Someone has to buy this woman a dictionary so she knows what ‘exclusive’ means.” Both Paul and Joseph treat their bitchiness as a burden: It’s so clearly an act that you never so much as flinch. They’re not Tabatha or Gordon Ramsay—they just wish they were.

As for the actual remodeling of the struggling agencies, it's mostly a lot of yelling. Paul arrives and screams nonsense like, “Britta has dropped the ball. She has stopped teaching her staff. ... They know less than less than nothing!” Then, once he wrangles some tears out of his "proteges," he extends the olive branch and tells them how to do their jobs better. At least, that’s what he purports to do. In the first episode, Paul’s major influence was advising the staff to keep more fashion magazines on their tables, and to force their models to sign exclusive contracts. (The latter makes total sense, but it also seems like the kind of thing he could have said in an email or over the phone.)

Of course, the major change comes at the end, with a lame cop-out fix: Paul has the offices completely remodeled and throws a ton of new contracts in their direction. That’s not hard work, or teaching the agencies to fend for themselves. That’s a reality show deus ex machina. And not to be a cynic, but if these people were doing so poorly at their jobs before Paul showed up, are they really going to be pros now that they have shinier digs? I would maybe watch Remodeled if it followed up on the agencies: How are they supposed to suddenly keep up with having twice as many exclusive models?

Ugh, what is it with The CW's reality programming? Remodeled is nowhere near as reprehensible as the not-canceled-quickly-enough H8R, but both series prove that the network is not in touch with what its audience wants. I could be wrong, of course: Remodeled could prove to be The CW’s next smash hit—but I’d be shocked. The show feels like a half-assed attempt to stay on-brand while Tyra takes a rare break, and I doubt viewers will last past the flimsy premiere. And you know what they say. If you can’t stand the heat, Paul...

If you missed tonight's premiere, don't worry: Not only did you not miss anything, but you still have two more chances to see it. "A Latte to Learn" encores Wednesday night at 9pm after One Tree Hill, and once more on Friday at 8pm, before Supernatural. If you DID watch, what did you think?

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  • naryha Jan 14, 2014

    For Louis Peitzman ( go to hell ) I've read such a terrible review as this one. I think you are the one who has to many tv shows in your considerable small brain, to not realize what a successful business people make it happen. They're not just talking my dear, they're actually doing what many wish but very few can. And please the next time that you even attempt at going full on a review, abide you'reself to all the information available to you.

  • model_behavior Jul 31, 2012

    I watched Remodeled when it was on the air and now I'm actually catching up with the summer reruns. I love it because it is a real, honest, look at the modeling industry where models THAT WORK are made. America's Next Top Model is pathetic and all drama. I want a show where I can see models work to the top and succeed!

  • Modelgurl2 Jul 16, 2012

    The "Legend in His Own Mind" known as Paul Fisher is an arrogant, obnoxious bully. He has watched way too many shows with Gordon Ramsey because he is constantly doing a wannabe impression of him. What was the CW thinking by putting this deranged, manic, lunatic on the air? He thinks he is going to "save" the modeling industry. Give me a break! The modeling industry in New York and around the world has been doing fine without him. Particularly, when he was out of New York selling bogus photo shoots and conventions throughout middle America the past few years, which was a big fail. Paul Fisher is an egomaniacal con man, and boy has the CW and everyone who works with him been royally conned. I can't wait for this horrendous show to be cancelled, AGAIN!!

  • NickyPaige Jan 25, 2012

    I love this show!! soo funny, and love that it shows behind the scenes of the fashion world. Cant wait for the next episode!!

  • FilmFanatic Jan 19, 2012

    Friday before Supernatural?? No nikita??? r they crazy?

  • JacquelinePre1 Jan 19, 2012

    Well said Tammi.. While we not always agree, you hit the nail right on the head! I too logged on here to enlighten Louis.. YOU don't know Paul Fisher AT ALL! I Had to laugh when you said he can't act! Though it has been many years since I have seen Paul.. (I was also one of Paul and Tammi's roommates), I was amazed at how much Paul HAS NOT CHANGED! I have seen Paul Fisher act and last night on REMODELED wasn't one of those times! It has been a long time since I work in Television Development and took an english class, but the last time I checked Reality ... means real!! I can assure you, if Paul wanted to show off his acting skills he would have pick a different genre to make his debut!! I reiterate what Tammi said, Paul Fisher has always been passionate! It is truly a shame, you don't have the skills to know the difference between acting and passion! I can only assume you have been playing the roll of a writer and critic for so long you can't recognize real passion and talent when you see it!

    My decision not pursue my work in the entertainment industry stems from meeting too many young people like you! My guess is you take YOURSELF VERY seriously and that you KNOW, you know EVERYTHING, when really you know very little! By looking at your picture, I surmise you are still very young. I imagine you thought you had a knack for writing and did get your degree from some medicore college.. maybe you even went to an ivy league school, I don't know, but I would guess not! You give yourself away Mr. Peitzman.. If you had any sense, intelligence or even basic ethics you would have done your homework before writing this piece. I am going to take a guess that your employment stems from a connection your uncle or best friend has and that you did not get this job on you merit! I too challenge you to meet Paul and then write another article with a little more honesty and humility ! Oh and to my old freind Paul... I wish you at least the same amount of success as Tabatha! She has been such a hit, Tabatha now has a second show on televison! What do you have to say about that Mr. Peitzman??????

  • magd1966 Jan 19, 2012

    I have to say that this show was amazing. Paul Fisher is a stand up kind of man. He tells it like it is. He's no actor and wasn't trying to. If he can help people in this industry, then there should be more like him.

    And as for you Mr Peitzman, maybe you should take lessons from Paul.

    And Paul, i wish only the best for you and your company and your show.

    your loving cousin, MG

  • Jacqui27332 Jan 19, 2012

    I am so over haters. Recently there was a young 15 yr old girl in the news who was despondent due to bullying and ran in front of a bus to kill herself. While she was in a coma the haters were still bullying her on Facebook. What is up with this mentality?

    This is a reality show with producers, editors and growing pains aside from the modeling people. The producers "guide" the show, and these modeling folks have to go along with those guidelines. Most likely some of what Paul said and did was edited out due to time constraints.

    They aren't actors, they're real modeling people with personalities in the real world of fashion modeling. Its a face paced highly competitive world which doesn't have alot of time for coddling agents or models. Most have a sink or swim mentality--sorry about the gliche but it's the truth. Models need to work as hard on their careers as the agents do. While the creative side can be alot of fun Its a business first and foremost. Everybody in the business needs to study it. Ms. Arquette needs Italian Vogue aside from the other mags he suggested. Magazines are rated and she needs to study the best in the biz so that her models get the best photos. They need to know the terminology, top models and why they're working, the top photographers and their styles of photography, top designers and their styles, treat this like any other business you need to learn. His advice to Arquette was right on. Its an image-based business and the agents, scouts etc. are judged by their image just as much as the models are. I think Ms. Arquette and her staff need to update their image along to be more competitive against other agents. She doesn't have to wear designer clothing, she can get good knockoffs or stuff at TJ Maxx, etc.

    If anyone thinks outside this business thinks getting contracts is easy they should try it. Its obvious the writer isn't in the business or they'd know how difficult it is. Paul has got some amazing contracts and I know that first hand because we had a black model on the cover of American Vogue and anyone who thinks that its easy really doesn't know the business. He was always interested in different ethnic groups and willing to try a model who wasn't straight "Vanilla".

    Haters, don't be so hasty to judge, think about the behind-the-scenes producing along with the principals. Give the show a chance!!! I know I'll be sssssoooooo excited to keep watching my friend continue "Remodeling." I'm a scout who's known him for 20+ yrs, I'll be looking out for some girls for him to add to The Network. I'm tired of agents who don't care about models as people only $$$$$ signs.

    ANTM is not a reality-based show, some of it is wishful thinking. Tyra takes girls who are way too old or short or whatever on the show. The reality is that if the girl isn't at least 5'10" these days she probably won't do runway. If the model isn't a size 2 she probably won't do much of anything because even a size 4 is "iffy" these days. Paul Fisher shows the biz the way it really IS not wishful thinking. I commend him that he wants to bring more heart into this business while following the basic rules of height and size. I placed a bunch of girls with him and they all adored him. He adored them right back. They'd be working within days of being signed, sometimes even hours. We may not have always agreed on a girl but he at least let me try to prove it to him.

  • TammisanUCSB Jan 19, 2012

    Mr. Peitzman;

    Tantamount to an enlightened interpretation of the above OPINION, one is well advised to consider recent statements you have made regarding yourself. December 21, 2011 (, and I directly quote, "I'm trying to be funny, which is not the same thing as trying to be a comedian...." "On the other [hand], I AM LIVING A LIE."

    Well said. And having read your summation/review of REMODELED, I would add that you have a problem with jealously and projection as well. I happen to base MY opinion on the first hand experience of having been Mr. Fisher's roommate for 3 years as an undergraduate at UCSB. I guarantee you Mr. Peitzman, there is no acting going on here. This is Paul. He has always been refreshingly raw, even when it is to his own recognizable detriment. His motive is neither to get attention nor get paid for it. He simply lives the Paul Fisher story every moment, loud & clear. REMODELED is documentation of the real man Fisher who has been passionate about his every move since the moment he first started moving. I almost feel sorry for you. It is apparent that YOU are so jaded from over exposure to reality television that you don't know the real thing when you see it. If you ever decide to develop an experiential basis for your t.v. soapbox review, spend a day with Paul. In fact, I dare you. At possibly twice your age, at the end of the day he will still be leaping to his remarkable "feats" while you will be dragging behind wondering if you are in fact funny yet. You aren't. (You will however, probably develop a new found deep respect for Joseph.)

    In closing, you appear to like to draw parallels amongst personalities. I would liken you to a Tom Leykis sort. He says outrageously ridiculous things simply to arouse primal instincts in his audience which naturally rings the proverbial cash bell. It doesn't make it true. It just makes it make money. That's what you have done here, ironically what you substantively accuse Paul of doing in REMODELED. Which leads me back to my initial point of your issues with projection. We are reading your mail son. And yes, you are right. You are living a lie.

    Sincerely, Tammi Mason

    P.S. Just for sport, fun & giggles, contact my friend Paul on Facebook. I bet he'd spend the day with you. THEN write your article. I'll stay tuned, and YOU will never be the same!!!

  • NickTarnowski Jan 19, 2012

    If any of you (Including the writer of this article) had a clue about Modeling Agencies, Agents and how they work , then maybe you would have a little more love loL! The Show was Great! And as an agent for 15 years now... Paul is refreshing! I will watch again tonight and soooooo excited for next week... and Yes Louis, It will be CW's next smash hit! chow ; )

  • TimSpot Jan 19, 2012

    0.7 million viewers. 0.3 rating.

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