Blown Away – Netflix Season 1 Review


 

Season 1

Episode Guide

Snapshot
Potluck Party
Lighten Up
Clash of the Robots
Thirsty Work
Pop Art Blowup
Dual Intent
The Glass is Greener
Body Parts
Best in Blow

 

 

There’s something really hypnotic with watching glass-blowers at work. As a child I vaguely remember watching these incredibly talented people at a medieval battle reenactment, sculpting a beautiful blue swan which remains on the window-sill at my Mum’s house. Netflix’s latest reality show Blown Away brings this talented profession to the masses in a well paced, simple reality competition format. With humble professionals at the helm and a profound lack of over the top drama, Blown Away plays much closer to The Great British Bake Off in tone, offering some real home comforts in the process.

After a brief introduction to the profession and the craft itself, we begin with our 10 glassblowers entering America’s biggest Hot Shop for a competition that sees them collaborating and competing in a series of difficult challenges. Split into three core parts (Create, Design and Present), each 20 minute episode splits the focus into three parts, with the artists designing their showstopping piece, crafting it with glory holes and puntys, and eventually presenting their beautiful and oftentimes abstract piece. Each episode sees someone eliminated at the end until we reach the finale where two finalists compete for $60,000 and a lucrative prize that’ll help catapult them to glass-blowing excellence.

Given how precious and fragile this material is, there are inevitably breakages and things do go wrong. It would have been easy for Blown Away to devolve into the usual tropes you’d expect in this genre with overly dramatized shots, zoomed close-up cameras and a myriad of emotionally charged segments. Thankfully, Blown Away learns from The Great British Bake-Off and instead shrugs, proclaiming “Que Sera, sera”. There’s something really refreshing about the way this is shot and it helps to keep the feel breezy and entertaining throughout the ten episodes.

By the end we learn a lot about each of the artists and the showstopping pieces are obviously personal, drawing inspiration from each person’s life experience. The final glass pieces are stunning, to say the least.  From a glass hand holding a globe to intricately detailed body parts showing off the movement of dance, each episode pushes the contestants to their limits and really shows off what can be made with this material. The final interactive piece in the finale really typifies this, as the creme de la creme pull out every trick in the glass-blower’s arsenal to deliver truly incredible spectacles.

The judges themselves are experts in the field too and help add some depth when explaining their thought processes around each contestant’s piece. They’re also not afraid to project this on the artists themselves either, with the first episode seeing one judge proclaim “Your piece looks like it should be in a gift shop”. The judges are never rude or harsh for the sake of it though but their input is enough to spur each of the competitors to drive that little bit harder.

Blown Away doesn’t reinvent the wheel and sticks closely to the usual structure you’d expect from this genre. Having said that, Blown Away’s simple but effective tone coupled with some educational content around the whole process of creating glass sculptures helps to make this a reality show well worth checking out. If you’re looking for an engrossing but breezy competition to tide you over until The Great British Bake-Off returns, Blown Away ticks all the glass boxes.

 


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17 thoughts on “Blown Away – Netflix Season 1 Review”

  1. Im sorry but this was a amazingly well done… piece of LGBTQ/Liberalism propaganda. debra was talking shit on literally every male in the show, and while she is very good at what she does, she didn’t deserve the win.

    first off the team round was a highway robbery, Debras chalice looked like complete shit being disproportionate and simple while the “concept” of religion and science being a opposite duality was dodgy at best, while the others was a concept of multiple different opposite dualities combined into one (heavy/light, solid/clear, strong/brittle, black/light) and done beautifully and i think the judges knew that and ignored it to push the LGBTQ/Liberalism message they didnt even eliminate the others because they blatantly robbed them.

    Secondly (and more importantly) while debra is incredibly skilled and should be recognized for her skills it is complete bull shit to LITERALLY ADMIT that Janusz Poźniak is the better glass blower, then turn around and give the competition to the LGBT, transgender, sexist, feminist for her “concepts” when she was pushing the same “concept” the entirety of the show, its not original 8 times in a row. not to mention they claimed that their performance would be judged based off of their work throughout the show, which debra clearly lost in overall, dont get me wrong she did have some amazing pieces that should have won and did (the movement one in particular) but the overall average was definitely lower than Janusz (the hand sucked, the wine glass sucked, the chalice was tacky af, etc.). Finally i agree with Janusz final statement, the appeal of glass is that its glass what she made at the end while cool looking could have been made with ceramics it looked like ceramics not like glass. sure it was glass but she didn’t show off glass she showed off a transgender concept and won for it. It saddens me to say but again this show is just propaganda.

  2. How netflix managed to find three feminist glassblowers is beyond me

  3. How can the producers and directors clearly disregard the core principles of the show in order to empower an over emotional gender hating feminist? All Deborah did was slate the others work which was far superior to hers. The whole show turned into a political joke!

  4. The glass blowing was great. The judging was a joke. They all said Janusz was the best but they gave it to Deborah. So much for reality. Forget season 2.

  5. What a total crap show waste of time.
    Deborah is incredibly annoying and her petty, non stop prattle was tiresome.
    Also unimpressed with her shite ideas and botched execution, whilst bad mouthing others work and technical skills.

  6. This was such a disappointment. The truly talented artists, Alex and Janusz, were let go while the gender-confused feminazi was given preference even though her glass blowing skills were far inferior. Is this show about glass blowing expertise or an attempt at political correctness to make a disgruntled, socially awkward feminist feel placated?

  7. who ever decided that the lady at the end was a winner ,, what a rip off, the guy should be jumping up and down screaming robbery,, all his stuff was so much better than hers , the last episode was the tell all,, a bunch of glass meat ,, REALLY ,, what a rip off, and the woman judge , she was the worst ,, how about real glass blower judges . the work was great ,, the end a disappointment.

  8. Blown away needs better judges and criteria. When you judge glass blowing not by technique, execution, aesthetics or artistic merits but rather an explanation and sob story you take away from the actual craft.
    When the outright winning piece looks like a butcher’s storefront window display and the losing piece something you’d expect to see in a gallery you know the show is an absolute joke..
    Janusz lost because he himself is too ordinary not his work, it’s like reverse discrimination.

  9. Man loses art competition with beautiful world art piece. To a man hating sausage art piece made and judged by feminists. He was by far the most talented through the entire competition and never had a chance of winning. The judge had negative things to say about every piece except her fellow fem. I didn’t notice it till about half way through and that’s when I realized it was over. And so did all the guys you could tell by their actions the last three or four episodes.

  10. Won’t be watching if there is a season 2. Biased and super political. The much better glassblowers were overlooked to support the lesbian/tranny? Contestant. But what do you expect from Netflix? More garbage. Cancelled my subscription due to repeated bias.

  11. Debra is a conceptual artist, yes, talented but the show isn’t called “Conceptual Glass Blowing”. Janusz should have won. That much technical skill, patience, and pure joy just to be able to perform his craft is what art is really about. You can put a stupid, demeaning concept on pretty much anything these days and all Debra did was trash talk the other competitors and make most of her pieces a gender discussion. How pitiful to engage such an ugly persona on tv and reward them with a grand prize. It should have come down between Janusz and Alex. That would have been a great ending.

  12. All Craftsmanship and Technique thrown out the window in support of a cause. Much better and qualified contestants than Debra that never had a chance. Very disappointed in this show.

  13. I agree with Patrick. The lady judge, Katherine, was horrible. Clueless about Japanese art and to come on television and be so ignorant about it, what an embarrassment! Momo had some awesome pieces and Katherine always found a way to put Momo’s art down. Katherine seemed to be for Janusz from the beginning. When they had a team competition, Janusz was clearly the one to be eliminated but surprise… he wasn’t. Bias decision so Jansuz could remain in the competition. Although he is a really talented glass blower the rules was twisted to keep him.
    Loved the show for the art of glass blowing. It has always intrigued me.

  14. The show obviously knew the outcome of the show before it was even started. Making sure that a Debra won for obvious reasons, over by far better glass blowing skills of other contestants, was very disappointing. Like Corning would rather have someone who does no more than belittle men throughout the entire compilation, that the man who had extrodinary skills. Shame on you Netflix and Blown away for belittling an otherwise highly enjoyable show. I for one may or may not be watching next season, if I do it will only be for the beauty of the art., not the outcome of the true winner. And before any of you start calling me a homophobe etc… my Son it Transgender and we couldn’t be prouder of our Marine.

  15. I was kind of disappointed with the first few episodes of Blown Away simply due to the closed minded lady judge. It feels she’s negative almost the entire time rather than pointing out the artists good qualities all she ever mentions is the things she dislikes. Additionally, I noticed she seemed clueless to the Japanese style art that one of the competitors was trying for and rather than be open minded she seemed to dismiss certain aspects of the art as “unnecessary” and wrong color choice. It’s kind of sad since art as long as it fits the challenge parameters is not subjective. When a judge says an art piece lacks sophistication that’s just sad.

  16. Hated the perverse attack on feminism that Debra took, trying to attack males by degrading and perverting the essence of womanhood. What a gross disappointment and embarrassment as a representative of woman. Clearly Netflix is more about the political minority that about the honest majority! Lost respect, and continues to do so, Stranger Things with its token lesbian. Despite what your sexual preferences are it is So very tacky and disrespectful to capitalize on that.

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