An alternate title for E!’s new house flipping show, Flip It Like Disick, could be Scott Disick Has Too Much Time and Money. In the two episodes available for review, the show follows Disick as he invests millions of dollars in fixer-upper Los Angeles mansions, spends several more millions to completely revamp them, and then never makes any of the money back. I don’t know much about real estate, but I’m pretty sure you can’t call it house flipping if you don’t actually sell the houses when you’re done redecorating.
The Kardashian castoff introduces the first episode by announcing, “Most people probably think I’m completely unemployed and I just walk around, and a camera crew follows me, but my real passion is real estate.” That’s right folks, Scott Disick does not just walk around doing nothing, camera crew in tow. He walks around with a camera crew and buys expensive houses. Oh, and he is going by the nickname “the Lord” again.
Flip It Like Disick does not seem to have a rigid format like most other home improvement shows. Rather than focusing on one flipping project per episode, Disick has several different “jobs” going on at one time, varying in scale. In the first episode, he sees several properties in Malibu and Calabasas, buys two of them, and also helps Steve Aoki redecorate a room in his 18,000 square foot Las Vegas estate because it “doesn’t have enough bedrooms.” Scott describes the inspiration for the Aoki project as “Amsterdam chic,” by which he means, “like one of those crazy districts where you have the hookers in the windows, but a classier version.”
About halfway through the first episode, it becomes abundantly clear that the Lord himself does not actually do anything beyond delegating to his team and offering vague, plucked-from-Pinterest descriptions of his interior décor inspiration. He is also throws in an inappropriate sexual joke here and there, like in one scene when he is eyeing a pull-out sofa and remarks, “I’m not known for pulling out.” Lionel Richie is probably making a frantic phone call to Sofia as we speak.
Disick’s team includes his best friend and business partner Benny Luciano, Benny’s wife and real estate agent Kozet, his high-maintenance contractor Miki Moor, and interior designer (and one-time Backstreet Boys opening act) Willa Ford. Much of the drama in the first two episodes centers around creative differences between Moor and Ford; Moor’s aesthetic style of cold, prison-like cement interiors contrasts with Ford’s affinity for giant potted plants and neon wall art. The two bicker over finances until boss man Scott steps in and makes them do a ropes course together that culminates with the rivals hugging it out whilst balancing mid-air on a suspended wooden beam.
The first home to receive “the Lord’s touch” is a ranch in Malibu that Disick bought for $2.5 million and hopes to turn over for five or five and a half million. He tells Willa Ford that she has a week to stage the house with furniture because they have a potential buyer coming to look at the property. Ford panics about how her usual timeline for this kind of project is two months, at which point I thought to myself that redecorating a house in a week would be no problem for Bobby Berk from Queer Eye, who does it in every episode of his much more entertaining show. This, however, turns out to be an elaborate hazing ritual to see if the singer-turned-designer has what it takes to be on the Lord’s team. She passes, and Disick still has no interested buyer and therefore no profit on his multimillion-dollar investment. But sure, joke’s on you, Willa!
Unsurprisingly, the best parts of the show occur when the Kardashians arrive. Kris Jenner makes her first appearance no more than five minutes into the first episode, because nothing happens on E! these days without her involvement and approval. The momager joins Disick for lunch to offer some motherly advice on his latest endeavor. (“Good things take time, just like your beard.”)
The second episode is especially Kourtney-heavy when Disick decides to design and build a luxury playhouse for their three children. Unconcerned with finishing his more high-profile projects, the newly devoted dad explains, “Even though I have millions of dollars caught up in the Malibu house and now in the Jed Smith house, the kids’ project will always come first.” Supposedly, the tricked-out treehouse will be Disick’s way of making up for not being a “soccer dad,” as Kourtney says. Their 9-year-old son Mason, dripping in gold chains layered over his flannel pajama set, requests a mini fridge and a special intercom for sushi deliveries.
Disick enlists expert tiny house-builders for the playhouse and honestly, I wish the entire series was about Scott Disick designing over-the-top treehouses for the uber-rich Kardashian offspring and their friends. That is the kind of niche content I could get behind. He bursts with pride when his toddler son Reign chooses the same fancy “ipe” hardwood flooring he envisioned for the “Baja beach house” inspired structure—which really sheds some light on his parenting priorities.
Tiny house aside, Flip It Like Disick basically just feels like a platform for Disick to explore his rich person hobbies and for Kris Jenner to further milk the Kardashian cash cow. While it is undeniably fun to revel in the frivolity of some of the most expensive, over-the-top homes in California, the show doesn’t have much to offer when the novelty wears off. There are only so many times one can muster up sincere awe at a his-and-hers walk-in closets or a tree growing in the middle of an open-concept living room. The Lord’s passion for real estate would have been better served as a tertiary plot on this season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians in between fights over hamsters, footage from Kanye’s Sunday Service, and the fallout of the Jordyn Woods epic.