August 13, 2008

Discovery’s Planet Green’s (HBO’s Entourage’s) Adrian Grenier’s…Alter Eco.


Just a little change in motivation…and LA ego becomes LA eco.

I watched two episodes of Alter Eco last night—no kidding, Planet Green inspired (forced) me to get a huge TV offa craigslist and cable for the first time in my life—and I gotta say, as a yogi yuppie hipster hippie, it’s a good show.

Initially, it seemed like a ill-conceived mesh between reality tv and a porn-quality scriptconcocted casually post-bowl. But then model Angela Lindvall’s surprisingly earthy, no-BS character got its hooks in me, and kept me watching. Then the hunky ecocarpenter guy seemed grounded and talented enough…and then even Boise, who I know from gliving.tv, started working his charm on me. Adrian, only present in the first of two episodes, was his usual mix of too-cool wholesomeness. You gotta give it to him—with half the wattage of established celebs, he’s talked the environment up twice as much. Make him a movie star and we’ll have our first bonafide green celeb since Redford. 

Overall impression: it’s like a hit of satori: green-minded commercials and earnestly-green programming—Planet Green feels as if my eco ethnic minority just got its first channel on the tube, and now there’s something we can watch.

Constructive criticism: “You could fit 17 women in this eco shower, it’s so big?” Either show us their lives, which you’re not doing, or skip the wannabe titillating boy talk. Design and titles and editing and shots generally are casual—my video crew’s edits and titles are twice as hip, I’m just sayin’. On-screen tips shouldn’t be left to uninspired interns: “teamwork is good for mental and physical health.” Really?! What science textbook you find that one in, US Weekly? Overall ‘plot’ was sloppy and all over the place initially, but got tighter after pilot.

Highlights: Farmer’s market and the flower lady choking up discussing her departure from PR for gardening. Picnic on penthouse top floor of Adrian’s skeletal/deconstructed house. Eco boutiques. Shepard Fairey’s studio and home and wife and daughter. Paul Frank (maker of…lots of different cool things, including one of the coolest commuter bikes and the loveliest full page ads; see DWELL magazine) in a subsequent episode. Specifics about Adrian’s green home renovation (ecovation). Angela’s groundedness and, duh, looks. Boise’s boyish enthusiasm (I’ll take the compost! I’ll haul out 500 pounds of denim!). Whassisname, the hunky carpenter guy, and his dog Frosty (funny I can remember the dog’s name, not the dude’s) will make women swoon—and his just-add-eco carpenter creations are fun to witness. Adrian’s starpower. The sleazy LA eco contractor’s lack of sleazyness (his cheap expensive suits and fancy ugly sunglasses are somehow made wholesome by his enthusiasm for re-use and cisterns. Overall ‘plot’ is all over the place…but kind of in a good way…the second episode was tighter. 

To learn more re the minds behind Planet Green, click here, here, here or here (okay, three outta four will get you where you wanna go). And yes, I still want to do our nightly-fun-fundamentally serious Green-minded talk show for ’em, and no, they’re not into it (…thus far. We’ll get ’em—it’d be a great way, ala Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, to change the world and have a good time doing so).



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