Robert Verdi, the interior-fashion designer and Fashion Police host who uses sunglasses to frame his bald dome, will star on his own eponymous television show on LOGO. It premieres in February. And we’re worried. Allow us to explain.
This has Rachel Zoe written all over it. Main character: Frighteningly thin stylist with an inflated sense of self-importance and no real understanding of how the world views her. Ensemble cast: Reluctant assistants who bitch about thankless tasks. Plotline: Whining about clients and their needs. The last three things we just said were not examples of good television making.
He’s stealing the worst from Kathy Griffin. One of Griffin’s main shticks, besides her plastic surgery, is that she can do concrete things to increase her celebrity. Like become best friends with Paris Hilton and Bette Midler. Or buy an estate in Gloria Estefan‘s exclusive Miami hood. On his show, Verdi says he wants to become “an internationally beloved children’s cartoon character. I want to control the wallets and minds of children everywhere.” This is gimmicky, without irony, and will end badly. -y. Also, just like Kathy, Verdi has his own catchphrases. Like “vagina.” To be fair, all reality show mainstays have one of these. But vagina? Really?
Robert Verdi is not particularly interesting. He’s flashy, yes. He believes himself to be an A-gay becomes he’s sometimes seen with famous people. But last time we saw Verdi, at LOGO’s own NewNowNext Awards, Verdi was the only awards presenter who absolutely bombed on stage. We’d describe Verdi’s sense of humor as “wry,” if we could even identify when he’s used it.
Nobody cares about Robert Verdi. He may be a nice guy (to your face), but Verdi is barely a name popular among gays, let alone a mass audience. Which explains why the show is on LOGO, and not VH1 or Bravo. But even still, the common metrics to measure someone’s following — his Internet loyalty — fall short. On Twitter, Verdi has just over 7,000 followers, not a huge base compared to others playing the game. But on YouTube, a better indicator of whether people want to watch Verdi, he has just thirteen — 13! — subscribers, a mere 869 channel views, and a dismal 1,248 views for all videos he’s ever uploaded. The one below is Verdi’s most popular, at 111 views.
This doesn’t mean The Robert Verdi Show is D.O.A. If LOGO (and MTV’s network of brands) throw some marketing behind it, and the season takes on a sturdy narrative, it could be a sleeper hit a la Drag Race. And despite our criticisms, we’d love for this show to succeed, at least in part because we need an excuse to continue thinking there’s a reason LOGO exists. But there’s a lot of work to do, and Santa is booked this week delivering miracles.
Judge its prospects for yourself on the following page, where we’ve embedded a couple of preview clips (which auto-play, annoying!).