Are You Flipping Out?

by hookedonhouses on July 8, 2008

Okay, here’s another one of my reality-TV addictions that I’m admitting to. I can’t get enough of “Flipping Out” on Bravo. Is anyone else hooked on this show?

Jeff Lewis is a real-estate investor who flips houses in L.A. He is demanding. He’s a perfectionist. He’s impossible. He’s insane. But boy, is he talented. I love to see how he transforms these “tear downs” so they look like a million bucks (and cost even more than that!).

I think part of my fascination with it is that I worked for a “Jeff Lewis” once when I was a designer’s assistant. I know what it’s like to work for crazy creative geniuses who think they can scream, yell, and curse at you one minute and demand your love and loyalty the next. Has anyone else had a boss like that?

I would never want to work for one of these kinds of bosses again, but by golly, it sure is entertaining to watch one on television!

Here are some examples of the homes he has renovated on the show (I took most of the photos while watching the show, so they’re not high quality, I’m afraid). This is the house he’s been living in so far this season (referred to as “Commonwealth”):



Remodeled kitchen:

Rooms from the “Valley Oak 1″ house, which is probably my favorite:

It’s really amazing to see how he transforms these broken-down houses completely. But what I may enjoy even more is his crew of employees. I can really relate to his long-suffering “executive assistant” Jenni since her job is so similar to the one I had for my Jeff Lewis:

In that photo from the opening montage you can also catch a glimpse of her husband Chris, who got promoted from “Trash Guy” last year to “House Assistant” this year. They audition for acting roles whenever they can get away from work long enough.

Then there’s the ever-patient and level-headed Ryan Brown, who is Jeff’s business partner (that’s him on the right):

Zoila, Jeff’s live-in Nicaraguan housekeeper may be my favorite, though:

Did you see the second episode this season when it was Zoila’s birthday and Jeff refused to give her the day off? “Who will do my laundry? Who will cook my breakfast?” he wanted to know. “Didn’t you get Christmas off?” (No, he wasn’t kidding.)

Ryan taught Zoila (whose English isn’t very good) to say, “Bite me, Jeff.” But she couldn’t get it right. She would say, “Don’t bite me, Jeff!” or “Are you biting me, Jeff?” Love her.

Jeff has to have everything a certain way in his house. For example, his assistants have to keep the exact number of Coffeemates lined up in a row in the fridge at all times with the labels facing forward. There is a certain number of each item that must be stocked. Look at all these olives!

I’m afraid I’m not doing this show justice, but if you enjoy watching interesting characters interacting with each other, it sucks you in. A new episode is on every Tuesday night. Tonight Jeff has a surveillance system installed in his house to watch his employees’ every move–because he’s paranoid like that.

They say he’s a kinder, gentler Jeff Lewis this season–are you buying it?

New Post: Flipping Out Over Ryan Brown Design

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    Sara July 8, 2008 at 8:46 am

    I love that show! I just started watching it so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. His house transformations are amazing but I could not imagine working for someone like that. Life it too short to allow yourself to be treated that way! It does make for entertaining tv though.

    Kelli July 8, 2008 at 8:49 am

    This is the second day in a row that I’ve read about this show. I 1) was a psych major and 2) love home decorating, so I really need start watching this! Thanks!

    Amy July 8, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Sadly, I don’t watch it and there’s not much of a chance of me starting since this is “no cable summer”. Love the renovations though.

    TraceyB July 8, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I’ve never heard of it, but now I’m going to make sure I dvr it, sounds good! And yes, my husband has a boss just like that.

    JLB July 8, 2008 at 10:03 am

    I Love “Flipping Out” it is my absolute favorite. Especially since “Design Star” has kind of been a letdown this year. I have had 2 terrible bosses in my life ,but none of them exactly like Jeff. Mostly they were just mean and crazy with zero talent. I cannot wait to watch tonight.

    maya July 8, 2008 at 10:23 am

    I have never seen this show, but I must! I wish I could do that myself, but haven’t got the guts/knowledge.

    janet July 8, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Another show I have never watched! Sounds like fun and If I can remember next Tuesday I will check it out. I actually did a “ride thru” of Hancock Park when I was in LA. What a gorgeous, if somewhat ostentatious, neighborhood.


    hookedonhouses July 8, 2008 at 10:36 am

    It’s on at 10 p.m. here (EST). Not sure about the rest of the country.

    Fifi Flowers July 8, 2008 at 11:46 am

    I love these house flipping shows… I’ve never seen this one… I will have to look into it… thanks for the tip!

    Mamacita July 8, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I’ve seen this show. He amazes me with his creative talent! He’s a remodeling/decorating genius.

    The man has some serious OCD “issues”, though, doesn’t he?! It reminds me of the husband in that Julia Roberts movie, Sleeping with the Enemy, where he shows her how to line up the bathroom towels the right way and the cans all have to be facing the same direction in th cabinets.

    Alana @ Gray Matters July 8, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    I totally agree with Mamacita, sometimes it’s painful to watch his compulsiveness – like the episode with the white/off-white drapes. It has to be exhausting being him and being around him. He is talented though, and very entertaining so I’m sure I’ll keep watching.

    Marie July 8, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Isn’t this show GREAT?? I watched like a maniac last season and was excited when this new one started. Ellen Degeneres had Jeff and Jenni on her show a few months ago and it was so funny! Apparently she is a big fan of the show too? :o)

    I love how Jeff was harrassing Jenni in the car a few weeks ago about her being difficult for wanting meatball AND pepperoni when he and Zoila only wanted meatball. I was literally laughing out loud at the tv. He’s nuts.

    I swear, if it’s on Bravo, I watch it. Best channel, ever.

    Marla July 8, 2008 at 1:55 pm
    Chris July 8, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    I watch the show frequently. Jeff makes me wince when he mistreats people or goes off on some weird place like the whole “spy cam” deal. I agree that he is very talented, and I often wonder how much more he could really accomplish if he wasn’t wasting a good part of each day being a jerk.

    Sometimes, I just have to turn him off…

    Meredith July 8, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Oh, thanks, Julia. I was just bemoaning the fact that nothing good is on tonight. Even the Phillies are losing. I’m watching this.

    abbreviated July 8, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Man…Jeff must drink alot of coffee to have so many rows of coffeemate.

    mrs. french July 8, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    another one of those perfect BRAVO shows that I have been meaning to catch!

    hookedonhouses July 8, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Thanks, Marla, for the link to Ryan’s design site. I love his work! He’s one of my favorite “characters” on the show. -J

    kristy July 8, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    love this show. it’s endearing and hilarious at the same time!

    Robin July 8, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    I’ve watched this a couple of times, and I love his designs, it takes a lot of talent to see beyond the falling down bits and someone else’s old 70s style and turn a dumpy cottage into a CA contemporary. But his OCD issues and the way he treats everyone makes me nuts, so I have to confess, sometimes I DVR it and just fast forward to the before & after!

    Linda B July 8, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    I’m checking into that show. Stat! LOVE your blog, and am adding it to my “blogs I love” category….If you don’t mind? Hooked? I’ll say so!

    my blog

    Starr July 8, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Sometimes it is just fun to watch a trainwreck. As talented as this guy is, he IS a whack job. He reassures me that I am mostly normal. LOL

    rue July 8, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    I haven’t watched this, but it looks great :)

    “Didn’t I give you Christmas off” LOL What a jerk!


    Angela July 8, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    I haven’t seen it because I have sold my soul to the computer. The TV rarely gets face time with me. (He’s crying now). Plus, we don’t have cable–I know, so 1958. BUT my sister has told me all about this show and how I would love it. She actually told me today over the phone that she is mailing some episodes to me on DVD. It must be good!

    I’m sorry that you worked for such a meanie!

    Kristin July 8, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    I watched the first season, but it was just too painful to watch him again. It made my heart hurt to hear the way he spoke to people. I’m a big fan of reality TV and I love house flipping shows (I’m actually flipping two houses right now) but Jeff is just a little too OCD for me.

    “they say” that if you dislike something in someone else, it is probably because you dislike it in yourself. Could be??? LOL

    Billy July 8, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    I think Ryan has done the design work on the houses that have been featured. I know Jeff hires some Euro architect before he buys and then acts as GC,and stagger.

    I hope the boy is on his way to Cascade for a few weeks with Dr. Jaquith, after taping wraps.

    hookedonhouses July 8, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Billy–you’re right. Ryan is an amazing designer who does the work on many of the houses. I think they need to do a spin-off series with him and his design team. That’s a show I’d watch! -J

    Heather July 8, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    I totally fell in love with this show last season…. SO FREAKING HILARIOUS. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it too! That picture of Zoila was absolutely horrendous… SO awkward and I can’t believe Jeff thought it was a good idea. Still, great show. :)

    Michelle July 16, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    I work for a guy just like Jeff. He says Jeff is his freaking idol. I am like WTF? This guy is self centered,mean, and a loser. People like this should not be allowed to supervise other people. They are freaking sick in the head. Good thing is that once you work for someone like this you will love all your other bosses.

    Norma August 16, 2008 at 2:12 am

    I just found out that their auctioning off Zoila’s Picture and she’s going to get the money, good for her,here’s the link. ttp://

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