Remember Sarah Richardson? She of the statement necklace? She of the white jeans? Well, she's back with another new show called Real Potential.
Back in 2010, I was invited to a preview sort of thing about Sarah's then-new show, Sarah 101. Sadly, I did not like the show much, and said so in my blog about it in early 2011. I haven't been invited to a Sarah Richardson event since. Haha. I can't say this bothers me much. So much of PR and Journalism is bullshit, and if I'm no longer in the loop, that must mean I'm not part of the bullshit, and that makes me happy.

Anyway, Sarah 101 wasn't good. It just wasn't. It wasn't horrible, but it was a disappointment. The show seemed to dumb down everything that had been appealing about Richardson's past shows. It was so banal. And it didn't last long. Whether by design or because someone or (many someones) on the team realized it was a bust, it seems to have ended after only two short seasons. 

Now, however, Sarah is back. And I'm happy report that Real Potential is a lot better than Sarah 101. A LOT better.
The show is three quarters about real-estate shopping. Sarah helps a house-hunting couple shop for a place, gives them three options, they pick one and buy it, and then, finally, she helps improve the chosen home by renovating one room or area. The show is 22 minutes long and in my opinion, is a little light on the design and decorating side of things, but considering how much the masses seem to love real estate, the format was probably a smart choice. It debuted a couple of weeks ago and several episodes have already aired. I watched them online, though the HGTV website
The design work is a lot more aspirational than the work on Sarah 101. It's much more in-line with the stuff done on Design Inc., which I was happy to see. Sarah uses a lot more colour than she used to, and the rooms she's done on Real Potential reflect that. I'm not sure how I feel about this change. Colour is good, but sometimes, the blues Sarah highlights, in particular, feel a bit grating to me, but different strokes for different folks and all that. More colour is probably not a bad thing. (I just really hated these chairs, below.)
My final verdict is this: Real Potential is okay. Good, even. The real estate bit isn't that interesting to me, personally, but you might like it. And if you like Sarah, you will probably enjoy the show in general. So far, Tommy hasn't been seen, and I'm sure some fans will be bummed about that, but Richardson herself is there in all her statement-jewellery-wearing, sarcastic glory. Give it a try.


10/04/2013 5:14pm

I just watched a PVRed episode last night and I have to agree. I'm not that big on the real estate part. I would just watch one of the other millions of real estate programs available. I love the design aspect. I was disappointed because I was looking forward to some design but it was mostly real estate. I enjoyed Design Inc. and Sarah 101 enough and loved Sarah's House (and Sarah's Cottage). I'm just not as into this new show. Plus, I'm a Thomas Smythe fan! I needs me some Tommy! I'm still gonna watch Real Potential because I like her designs.

10/05/2013 1:40am

Hey, I've seen a couple eps. and I have to agree -- too much real estate for my taste. Also, If it's about real estate, give me a Realtor (Kirstie & Phil are still my faves!!). This territory jumping doesn't sit right with me. (Like when the contractors try to cast themselves as designers - just don't). Sarah has a wonderful sense of fun and humour and I could watch her Smythe jackets all day every day! But no, Tommy won't be on screen for any of this series :-( So many of us want a pretty, light-hearted, accessible decorating show...but nobody at HGTV is interested in giving us that. Seems like I'll have to content myself with my ongoing House Hunters International addiction and watching Kirstie & Phil on DIYNetwork. Sigh.

Debbie Hopkins
10/12/2013 1:01am

I miss Sarah - she is not a realtor she is a decorator. I have followed her for years and I love her work and her "Team". This is not Sarah - this is showing houses and 5 minutes of Sarah fixing it - we don't see the process - really sad and disappointed. Sarah - has been kidnapped - bad network - bad. Give her and her team back.

10/30/2013 11:32pm

I am getting my Tommy fix on Marilyn Denis

Gail Chapman
12/31/2013 10:40pm

Sorry, but without Tommy or the rest of her team, Real Potential has no real potential. The 'jibber jabber' between Sarah and Tommy made her other shows much more entertaining ... this new show is just a clone of Income Property, but with a lot less entertainment and information. I will most definitely NOT be watching this one.

12/31/2013 10:50pm

Fair enough, Gail! The truth is, since writing this post, I watched a bit more of Real Potential, and while I still think it's better than Sarah 101 (which was TERRIBLE), I was disappointed for the most part, so I think you are justified in your decision not to watch. It's kind of bleh after all.

01/05/2014 5:20pm

I agree with Debbie. The show is like a clone of Income Property. I liked her previous shows where she discussed color choices, fabric patterns, room design etc. I wish she would stick to her strength which is designing and decorating for the WHOLE SHOW!!. The show focuses too much on buying and selling.

04/01/2014 11:32pm

Agree. HGTV programming has changed from interior design based shows to all buying/selling real estate shows. Sarah has joined the pack. I miss those original HGTV shows. HGTV has gone to the dogs.

05/18/2014 6:32pm

Amen! But the US HGTV doesn't care what we think.


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