Daft ‘Craft Wars’

As host of TLC’s “Craft Wars” (Tues., 10 p.m.), Tori Spelling is described as a “passionate crafter.” Do you doubt that the onetime “Beverly Hills, 90210” star is a crafting devotee? Pishtosh! Her very hair seems to be spun from gold and straw, and her pillowy lips were clearly crafted from a secret recipe of Play-Doh, wax and red enamel.

So there Spelling is, presiding over a weekly contest in which crafters vie for a prize of $10,000. I asked my friend Eleanor Levie, author of “Unforgettable Tote Bags,” to critique the challenge of making a tote from wiffle balls, ballet slippers and cheerleader uniforms in one hour. “The time frame was ridiculous,” she says. The bags were “pathetic.” The winner was “commercial and conservative, not creative.” As for Spelling: “Such a cold fish!”

Spelling could take a lesson from Jason Jones, the Jon Stewart correspondent, who hosted a TV craft show in 2005: “Craft Corner Deathmatch.” On a clip from Vimeo.com, crafters dismember a stuffed bear and turn it into a fashion accessory. Jones snips off a bear arm just for the heck of it. When time is up, he shouts, “Let the plushicide come to an end!” Now that’s passion!

Marc Silver has been watching TV since the days when people wrapped aluminum foil around TV antennae to improve reception.
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