Not exactly flippin' for new season of Flipping Out

I was probably as excited as just about anyone for the new season of Flipping Out, which premiered last night -- and also probably more disappointed than just about anyone by the time the barely watchable hour was over.

Earlier this week, we published my podcast with the show's star, Jeff Lewis, where he explained how the crumbling LA real estate market changed his business: He lost half his net worth, can't flip houses anymore and is scraping by as a design consultant while he looks to build up capital to start flipping again once the market rebounds.

That's a tough situation for anyone, especially someone as independent-minded as Mr. Lewis: but it doesn't make for good television. The first two seasons featured a nice combination of antics, spectacular homes and real estate finance. But now that flipping is off the table, the show has to get by on Jeff and Jenny's theatrics -- and the new "Zoila needs a boyfriend!" subplot just isn't enough to lure me, or anyone else I know, back week after week.

Flipping Out season three is what could charitably be called a hot mess. Lewis still flips out a lot but without his own money on the line as he looks to sell million dollar homes to move onto the next project, the drama comes across as too manufactured and superficial.

I'll make a prediction here: if the market doesn't turn around in a hurry and let Jeff go back to flipping, there won't be a season 4.

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