Framework Episode 8: Chainsaw Nightmare

Jory gets up close to his project on Spike's Framework.
Framework (Photo: Spike)

How much wood would Framework chuck if the builders can’t chuck wood? Sorry.

First, have we all recovered from learning that Common’s real name is Lonnie Lynn? Congrats on the Academy Award, good sir.

Anyway, this week’s Framework challenge had the five remaining contestants selecting tree trunks to serve as the primary material for the build. Unlike in previous weeks, Jory only got first dibs in wood selection for winning the last challenge rather than assigning all the materials. Each tree came with a chainsaw user who would be available for advice prior to making incisions. Here’s how the designs shook out:

Jory picked ash and tried to make a y-shaped bench. However, during a critical cut of the tree, Jory was distracted and the wrong part of the trunk was removed. Jory tried to recover, but too much time was spent trying to compensate for the mistake. This was coupled with a backstory of how he almost drowned as a child and developed a stutter as a result of the incident.1 The bench, which looked rather stylish, could not function: the tipping point was too far forward, so sitting back on the bench caused it to fall back hazardously.

Freddy made a table from his ficus that looked ultra-modern and was a nice piece of business. Brandon called it a “homerun,” which I would agree with. Freddy may be a jerk, but at least he has skills to back it up. I think this was the quality of work that was expected from everyone in the competition earlier on.

Lacey created a love seat out of her ficus. The design included several details that would remind the customer that this piece came from a tree, but was not overly cutesy. There were some pitch problems with the seat, making the overall piece uncomfortable to sit in, but Lacey paid careful attention to smoothness and finishing. Also, she finished the piece, which is a major accomplishment.

Jason was freaked out through the entire challenge, as he is a metalworker and not a woodworker. Also, since he has been on the bubble the last couple of weeks, this challenge is the last thing he would want to encounter. Jason built a table, highlighting the natural blemishes from within the tree. Jason got dinged for not incorporating that much design into his piece, essentially slapping legs onto a slab of trunk and calling it a table. Also, the metalworking of the legs looked shoddy at best.

Rahil created what he called a coffee table but what looked a lot like the weird seat thing Jess made way back during the first challenge. The color of the wood looked great, but everything else about the design was…off. When the phrase “aesthetically not pleasing” gets tossed around, you know you are in trouble.

Freddy won the challenge, which is the correct call. The judges—joined by guest judge Thom Jones of Semigood Design—ranked Jory, Jason, and Rahil as the worst. Despite all the indications that Jory would be going home, he got zero votes. Jason got one vote, but the other judges decided that four visits to the bottom was enough for Rahil.

This was another great challenge, even if the parameters were overwhelming for most of the contestants. The edit Jory got in this episode suggests that he will probably be the overall winner, but at least we will get one episode where there won’t be endless Rahil-bashing.

Next week on Framework: The final four get frustrated and throw things. Sounds like fun?

  1. To quote Mooch, in a text during the episode: “Jebus… Had we heard Jory’s backstory before? It’s like he was made to be on a reality furniture building show.”  

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About Mike McComb 647 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv
  • Aaron Mucciolo

    I was going to comment something about the craftsmanship occasionally on display and the structure (ha!) of the competition being really uneven over the last several episodes, but I’m watching Wizard Wars and Close-Up Kings right now and they’re making me happy and all I can think of is basically everyone involved with Framework is not someone with whom I would want to spend any amount of time.

    Somehow Spike is keeping me watching a show about people I don’t like who barely demonstrate the skill around which the show is ostensibly based. Mike, you studied this stuff – explain that to me. Is it just schadenfreude?

    • I wouldn’t call it schadenfreude, since “shameful joy” doesn’t really describe the experience. I’ve been struggling with this quandary as well. Much like last summer’s American Dream Builders (http://whatelseison.tv/2014/05/19/bitter-enders-game-american-dream-builders/), I do not want to be in the same room with most of the participants and the work produced averages out to OK-minus.

      For me, I think my interest in the craft and the potential to learn outweighs the failure of execution in the reality competition components. Perhaps that’s Spike’s niche, at least that’s how I found myself watching every episode of Hungry Investors and $10 Million Bigfoot Bounty (yeah I did!). I suppose this may fall into the definition of “hate-watching,” but I don’t think that description is accurate at all. First, I don’t hate this show: annoyed at times, yes, but I’m neutral emotionally most of the time. Also, I do not have the time to waste with shows I actively hate—I barely have time for the shows I adore.

      I’ll have to ponder this some more…it’s an intriguing question.