FabLife Check-in: Gnarly DIY Art, MIA Tyra, the Death of 'Expertise'

You might be surprised to hear that Tyra Banks — host and executive producer of the new daytime roundtable talker FabLife — disappeared 20 minutes into Friday’s episode, and only returned with five minutes left for a “Bye, y’all!” sign-off.

Maybe, though, she simply didn’t want to bear witness to one of the worst art projects in DIY history. Or perhaps she was experiencing gastric distress from a cayenne-infused bacon that food “expert” Chrissy Teigen claimed to have concocted, then refused to sample. Or perhaps — like Julia Louis-Dreyfus in those ubiquitous Old Navy ads — she couldn’t wait another moment to go shopping for “asymmetrical pants” (a topic so hot, it took up the opening four minutes of the episode).

The trouble with the freshman roundtable talker — fashion maven Joe Zee, interior designer Lauren Makk and “home” expert Leah Ashley complete the team with Banks and Teigen — is one that plagues much of daytime TV in 2015: Just because you have an hour of airtime and a camera crew doesn’t mean you necessarily have anything profound — or even accurate — to say.

Friday’s hour contained at least a half-dozen gasp-inducing gaffes. Teigen, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model who’s married to John Legend and enthusiastically overshares on social media, is the purported foodie of the group. But in an unappetizing segment presenting “flights of bacon,” she admitted she didn’t know the meaning of the term “applewood-smoked” until she’d gotten her script that morning.

chrissy-teigen-diy-art-fablifeMakk’s how-to demonstration about freshening up old artwork using tape and acrylic paint devolved into something so macabre it wouldn’t have been out of place in a sequel to Hostel or Saw. Words can’t really express the mess Teigen made of her canvas, so I’ve included a screen grab that raises the question: Couldn’t any pre-schooler in your extended family or circle of friends do better?

Even when the hosts get something right, their “knowledge” is so banal you can actually feel your brain turning to pudding just from trying to soak up the dimness. Ashley’s game of trying to get her co-hosts to guess the price of various homes based on photo and square-footage alone included her earnest declaration that, when one sees “a lot of renovations in the neighborhood, that’s why prices are going up.” (Banks, for her part, went on an extended riff about how saying the word “bacon” causes one’s lips to move into a smiling position — and therefore would make a better pre-photo exclamation than “cheeese!”)

Zee’s makeover of a single mother of five was no different from any other audience-ambush that’s been done on daytime for years, set apart only by his breathless exclamation that “the whole idea of gender fluidity is a big trend right now” — and his aghast response to his subject’s penchant for tennis shoes. (How DARE she!) In Zee’s defense, the segment ended not only with the harried woman getting a new wardrobe (for free) but also Zee’s look-book of ways she could mix and match the components. Too bad he couldn’t leave well enough alone, adding “Emergen-Zee! Like Joe Zee! Get it?” (Methinks dude’s yellow binder emblazoned with the words Emergen-Zee was all the clue we needed.)

The good news for FabLife is that, unlike some of its competitors (hi there, The View), none of its panelists look like they’re fantasizing about jamming a butter knife into a co-worker’s hands. The bad news is, if you have enough grasp of the English language to read this paragraph, any one of your brunches with friends/relatives/co-workers is almost certainly funnier and more informative than what Banks & Co. are currently serving — and I’d bet your sriracha-brown sugar bacon comes out crispier, too.

Are you watching FabLife on the regular? What parts of the lineup are working — and where does it need a makeover of its own? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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56 Comments
  1. Tony Lang says:

    Ouch….

  2. Laura says:

    That painting’s not *that* bad.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      The glare from the screengrab makes it look better than it is.

      • Jay Moir says:

        I like that everyone gets along well and that they give off a happy vibe, but honestly this show is a mess. I can’t tell you how many DIY projects are seriously dangerous or how many of Chrissy’s kitchen “tips” are so very basic ((stop telling us how much you eat and we know who you are married to…you tell us at least once per episode)) The fashion isn’t as bad, but Joe likes to name drop & it gets old fast..I could go on and on, but to sum it up in one word I would choose — simple. Too simple! Daytime TV shouldn’t be made for morons and this show burns brain cells….

  3. LT says:

    Let’s be honest…the show is a mess.

  4. jj says:

    love this recap michael! XD

  5. Eric says:

    Teigen is lucky she’s pretty because she sure as heck isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. She pretty much nails the “dumb model” stereotype every time I see her on TV.

  6. matty says:

    Yup, this sounds about right. Which is why I stopped watching two weeks ago. If this show returns for season 2 it needs to be retooled. I’d say dump Leah, Lauren and Joe and change it into more of a Live with Kelly & Michael type show with Tyra and Chrissy as the hosts, and perhaps a guest host every week, somebody with a far more wide-ranging skill set.

    • bonnie says:

      I like the show because they all seem so down to earth and real just saying what they feel from the heart without thought never saying hurtful things only lifting folks spirits up of course most folk would not understand because they so stuck on fake scripted folk

  7. Glen Collins says:

    Like the show quite a bit. Was alarmed when I saw the diy putting electrical cords inside a paper box. Also a house modem was put into a hollowed out book. Really dumb ideas as these can be extreme fire hazards. Please consult an expert as to safety issues. Heat from resistance in wires & electrical devices needs to dissipate. So hope you don’t burn down someone house. One of my friends was severely burned at age 3 because of an electrical issue. He survived this but was in a lot of pain for the remainder of his life. I once trained people on safety. I always told the people that there are obvious things that can end your life but what will probably kill you you haven’t thought of yet.

  8. Nina Donato says:

    How do I get the recipe formula for preparing different ways to cook bacon that you air”d Fri.Oct.16,2015 ?

  9. Richard D says:

    They may not be fantasizing about butter knives in co-workers hands , but they do seem to enjoy belittling each other’s segments with wild mean girl abandon. It’s a train wreck that provides seconds of entertainment dressed in bright colored fabrics stretched over lacks of personality.

  10. Em says:

    Initially couldn’t find it. It is on at 2:00 AM in ATL. Sounded promising but it was pretty bad all around. Not worth a second look.

  11. Sue says:

    I knew it was an interesting show when Tyra demonstrated how to curl your hair using tampons

    • c-mo says:

      Why on earth would you ever do that? Those things are ridiculously expensive and it’s even worse than being out of toilet paper when you can’t find one!!!!! I’m so glad I’ve never heard of this show and have no clue if it’s even shown in KC.

  12. gs says:

    Chrissy Teigen likes cooking, but she’s not a chef. I don’t think it’s riciculous to not know what applewood is and what specific smoky flavor it gives to meat.

  13. Joy says:

    I watch the show every day and I really enjoy it! I really like how they have various segments on different subjects in our life. I think the hosts have a good rapport with each other and they seem so nice. I am left with a good feeling after watching.😊

    • Pamela says:

      I agree, I think it is fun to watch and they seem like very down to earth people, not uptight celebrities that you normally see on TV.

    • Elaine. Geen says:

      I agree I liked having a show who didn’t have a Guest Star promoting their newest Movie. This last week with Tyra gone, I liked Chrissy Joe Zee.Lauren & Leah, it was also nice to see a pregnant person, not Moaning & Groaning how bad she feels,( that’s not real life) The four of them without Tyra, you could see the comradre between them all. it was also nice seeing Tori Spelling, , they blended beautifully.

  14. Cille Landers says:

    I think Chrissy should demonstrate the difference between a knife sharpener and a honing rod.

  15. Rhenae says:

    My gawd, put some clothes on for daytime TV!! If we want to look at your breast we will look at a Sports Illustrated….so unappropriate and distasteful!!!!

  16. I Super Duper Love this show!! I hurry home from work to kiss my family and tune right into the show @3pm. I really do love this show and want the very best for the entire cast. Tyra, your show has me addicted:) I’ve learned so much from all the cast. You all are just so darn Beautiful…and Smart too!! Tyra you are too hot to top, Crissy is so sexy and never messy in the kitchen, Leah is the creative beauty genius, Joe is The Perfect Fashion Gentleman and Lauren is my Inspiration!! I just Love Lauren’s wardrobe. I would Love to look and dress like Lauren. I would Love to have Lauren make me over, Please?? This show is Tha Bomb!! No other show can come close!I Love you guys!

  17. laura malacina says:

    On today’s show, 10-20-2015, you forgot about the happy positive response of “yeah for you, did you enjoy your hike?”

  18. Oggi says:

    Talk about nasty & negative this was a waste of my time.

  19. Jackie Sherrod says:

    How do I find certain episodes or how to’s? At times I miss something and the search doesn’t seem simple to me. Love the show!!

  20. Salsa says:

    I have watched this show twice. Not my cup of tea to say the least. I find it ridiculously mediocre.

  21. Ellen says:

    Terrible talk show!!!

  22. jones says:

    This show is boring they are all so fake! The show today saying jalapenos make your bum bum hurt funny butt come on.

    • halfpint says:

      not fake just real as I stated just down to earth with flaws like others but sweethearts sharing their imperfections and ups and downs fears etc. etc. though they all have money great careers it shows you still not exempt from unpleasant things for they are still human first and that is what I like about them they let you know thins are not always so rosy as folks think. now you talk about fake their is a guy talk show I will not mention name but fake fake fake he got bunch of money but nothing else he think he is a comedian but I nothing he says is funny to me

  23. Cindy says:

    I truly believe that Leah’s cloud baby mobile idea made with cotton balls though somewhat cute, is very dangerous. What if the cotton balls fall off in the crib and the baby puts it in their mouth and chokes on it? Not a risk that I would take!!!

  24. Ann Williams says:

    Please stop talking about boyfriends and John. On every show the word boyfriend or John are spoken. We don’t want to hear about boyfriend. Bring some talent to your show.

  25. tammy says:

    Sorry, this show is not working at all.I think its boring.

  26. Csense says:

    The show is dreadful, could not agree more with your review. The only thing I’d add, is that having an hour on TV and a camera crew also doesn’t mean we are going to believe that constant self indulging attempts for attention through weird faces and stupid comments are worth watching.

  27. Chelsea says:

    Sadly for tyra the don’t really need her eccept maybe for her name lol

  28. Chelsea says:

    Sadly for tyra the don’t really need her except maybe for her name lol but I like the diy girls but could totally do without joe zee and chrissy!

  29. CynSam says:

    I like it because it has the feel of friends sitting around and thinking of things to do. Everybody had a friend who knows fashion and where to get great sales. A dyi diva, etc.

  30. ZannyT says:

    This has to be one of the worse TV shows in history. It’s a slap to intelligence. The hosts seem to be totally self absorbed in their and everyone else’s looks and how we can one up another…I guess it fits the “Selfee” generation.

  31. Diane says:

    I’m very sorry but I do not like this show at all. I feel the cast are not intelligent. They act very stuffy. Never learn much on show. Not funny either.

  32. Linda Murphy says:

    Love Chrissy. Not fond of Tyra.like the show much better with Tyra gone!! Go fab life!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Kathy Purdy says:

    I was watching Fab Life on Tuesday and I almost scream at the TV when Joe Zee cut that Lady’s nice sweater and it looked expensive. And he could have just tucked it inside. Just layer the vest or jacket over the clothes instead of cutting the people clothes.

  34. Carol moorby says:

    Cheisy talks way too much….Leah smiles too much as if trying too much. There’s is too much talking and interrupting each other……posts about the kardashians and jenners are depressing because they are NOT positive role models ….they lack values and morals and the Only things rhey know how to do is , play with their hair, eat , speak with with Annoying voices( especially Kylie with a fake PHONEY whisper…trying to be so sexy yet isnt), fornicate and total total control freaks ( Jezebel spirits) . Now today on beauty…..God says, ” Man looks at the outer appearance but God looks at the ,heart.” physical beauty is nothing without a pure clean heart.,Most t.v. People rely on their looks a do are evil hearts . In other words IGLY inside! people do NOT like Fakey fakey and there Is way too much phoney smiling and laughing! Overly zealousness is annoying tool. This program is doomed unless you correct these errors

  35. Carol moorby says:

    I don’t understand why people want FISH LIPS? Why they would pay $1,000 for a kit ?.People used to make fun of Lisa Renna ….now they want Big Lips? And then to top it all off They. Wear dark red lipstick. They look like prostitutes.

  36. Rebecca says:

    Joe’s tone super difficult to take for an hour; Lauren doesn’t gel.
    Krissy is the most organically authentic, beautiful and natural.

  37. C Mayoral says:

    I enjoy this show and the segments. The cast is happy and it is refreshing to watch a show that doesn’t focus on the negativity of our world today. To all you critics and your negative vibes. Try and be happy in our world today. Find something you like, a TV show, a movie and watch it.
    Have a good day today and your tomorrows.cr2sons

  38. Shari says:

    I love Fablife and do NOT want it taken off the air. It was so much better without Tyra anyway. Please don’t take it off the air PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON’T. The comments I just read are so wrong about the show. I watch it everyday and totally get ideas from it.

    • Beverly says:

      I am liking Fablife a lot better without Tara. I like Tara, but on this show it seemed like it was mostly about her. It was like she wanted to be the star of it all. Now it is a fun show that I tape and then fast forward what does not interest me. But I do that with most shows. I was curious on how the ratings are now. Should be better as they go along.

  39. Sara says:

    I have watched about a weeks worth of episodes, and I enjoyed it for a bit of time. These hosts don’t seem to have brains in their skulls. I had not thought of the kitchen and bath DIY storage solutions, but I’m just not crafty so I don’t think about that kind of stuff. I would have been more upset about the cancellation if at any point there was mention of natural beauty and skincare products because many of us need them. There was a show dedicated to looking better, but natural skincare only entered the discussion for a few minutes. Most of the products they feature on the show are loaded with chemicals that people with sensitive skin cannot use.
    I don’t want to say Lauren Makk is an idiot, but she brings very little to the conversations other than providing a bit of ghetto sounding language and laughing at herself.
    They just seem to be a bunch of airheads talking about “fluff”.

  40. M. Walters says:

    This show is just awful and I’ve stopped watching it. These women dress terrible. Their clothes are too tight makes them look cheap. Don’t waste your time on this…..

  41. Michele dickerson says:

    I love fablife I watch it every single day I will be so sad if it is not on the television any longer you will break my heart

  42. mary says:

    First let me start off with I am a happy person and was on vacation and had the Resort TV on and saw the FABLIFE show. I have watched all the talk shows over the past 10 years and may of their positives and negatives.

    Ms Teigan cookbook was announced today. I was shocked on what she was saying about how she created this book. I guess anyone can create a book as long as you have money to fund it. Let’s face it, if it wasnt for being married to the singer, she would not be on this show. I don’t follow social media because I advise my daughters that real life isn’t what you see in these electronic channels.

    Very poor show and what they suggested. I couldn’t believe it. This show is not going to last because what they talked about was so crazy to suggest. I know they have to put shows out but a little brains helps.