Surely, there is a point here somewhere. Bravo’s “9 By Design” is a mashup of genres -- old-fashioned sitcom meets new-fashioned reality decorating show. And there’s no particular reason the ideas shouldn’t work. In fact, though, they don’t.
Robert and Cortney Novogratz are the parents of seven children; they’re also Manhattan-based builders/home renovators/decorators/you-name-its. On the May 4 episode of the new show, they undertake a blitz of a renovation in the Hamptons designed to bring a tired-looking ‘70s Amagansett beach house into the 21st century. All of which might be interesting enough, except the story sprawls all over the place -- from a debate over whether the couple’s 10-year-old daughters should have cell phones (they finally get them) to how to hire a nanny (complete with the predictable wackos) to how to throw a birthday party for sons Five and Holleder (bake a cake and invite plenty of kids).
All of which leaves very little room for the decorating project, beyond Cortney’s run-through: Hey kids, we’ll tear everything out. We’ll open everything up. We’ll put in new front doors and rip out the sliders. We’ll put in French doors. We’ll put in white tile in the bathroom (which turns out to be a mistake). We’ll rip out the walls. We’ll put in a kitchen island. We’ll build shadow-box lights at the entrance. We’ll do the show right here …
Not to worry, though. All comes right in the end. Our heroes work through the nights and meet their deadline. We don’t see a lot of what actually gets done, but we’ll take their word that the project is a success. This is television, after all.