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S01.E04: Clash of the Robots

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When the contestants design glass robots fit for the future, smashed sculptures and outsize ambitions threaten to crush their chances.

Original Canadian air date: 3/13/19
Original U.S. air date: 7/12/19

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There is an assembling process before the presentation that we do not get to see. Apparently the are glueing pieces together, do etching ...

This was a weird one, because some of their concepts and designs where a bit odd.

Janusz' was very abstract and Alex' looked like and Edwardian medical device. They were both stunning though.

The judge pointed out that Momoko and Annette did things that are more about the present than the past. This time Annette's looked like the airport gift shop item. It was the right decision to send her home.

While I wouldn't be able to tell how Deborah's man bun baking machine would work, it looked great and I am ok with her winning the challenge. Patrick did well, but while the story was certainly relevant, the gas mask didn't look futuristic to me.

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Now that we've seen three challenges, I'm getting a better sense of each contestant's style and skill set. I'm not sure if anyone has the specific skills or style to make a futuristic glass robot though. That seems oddly specific.

I liked when Leah showed how she used the optic twist to create Venetian glassware. I also liked that she mentioned if you heat the glass too much after using the optic twist, you'll lose the ridges so you have to work quickly and pay attention. That explanation took all of 20 seconds so you CAN educate the audience about the technical aspects of glass blowing without spending ten minutes explaining it, show!

Similarly, Annette's explanation about adding water to the jack line in order to separate a piece of glass from the blow pipe took only 10 seconds. It would have been nice if the show had added that talking head segment in the first episode instead of waiting until we were almost halfway through the season. I felt bad for Annette when, as she put it, her robot decapitated itself with only one hour left. The fact that she was able to recreate the cloud and the little alien in that amount of time was pretty impressive. I agree that nothing about it was futuristic though.

While I understand Katherine's concern that Janusz was being overly ambitious, I'd much rather see someone try to do more than see someone like Edgar finish two hours early every week. I appreciate when people try to push themselves. What he created was very sleek but I thought it looked like an old fashioned science lab rather than a robot from the future. When Katherine said she was having a hard time reconciling his written statement about the piece with what he created, I got frustrated that she didn't tell us what he had written.

Momo shot herself in the foot when she flat out told Katherine that she wasn't going to make a robot. But that's the assignment! I wonder if she was doing it as a middle finger to the judges because she was mad about the critique from the previous challenge. But I knew she was doomed when she broke her piece with less than half an hour left. I'm glad she was able to salvage enough to create something to present to the judges but I knew she was a goner.

Deborah fell into Edgar's trap and finished with two hours left on the clock. I am fine with conceptual art, but not when it has to be explained in order to know what it even is. Without Deborah's explanation that her piece was to enable men to carry a gestating baby, I would have thought it was just a big glass ball with something sticking out of the end. I also don't understand how it would work. If you could grow a baby inside the chamber, why would anyone (man or woman) need to carry it around? Couldn't you just leave the chamber somewhere safe like the hospital or your house?

When Alex was talking the possibility of air being commodified in the future, all I could think about was Spaceballs. When the guest judge talked about Alex's concept and then said, "But it looks like a bong," I totally cracked up.

Patrick's diving mask looked a little too similar to the lamp he made in the previous challenge, but the technical aspect of putting one ball of glass inside another to create the rounded eye hole domes was really cool.

Leah's compatibility glasses were pretty but again, that's not the future. There are already apps that alert you when you're near someone who you're compatible with. On a shallow note, I liked Leah in black glasses so much more than those awful white glasses she wore in the previous episodes.

I am really disappointed that Annette was eliminated because she did so well in the first three challenges. If I were judging this like Project Runway, I'm more interested in seeing what she can create than some of the other remaining artists.

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On 7/13/2019 at 12:11 AM, Aulty said:

There is an assembling process before the presentation that we do not get to see. Apparently the are glueing pieces together, do etching ...

Yes, & it's really annoying that we don't get to see it. This show really hurt itself by only making the episodes half an hour IMO.

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Frustrating once again that they didn't completely cover all the artists.  I did appreciate the various process details. One or the other, I guess, with so little time.

I thought both Deborah and Patrick stepped up their games and wasn't sure which of them would win. Either would have been fine, but Deborah's was the most futuristic concept. Although... really, it was more of a device than a robot. Not sure any of them were terribly robotic.

Kind of becoming disappointed in Alex, though, who I thought would really stand out. I understand his environmental bent, but it seems like everything has been about some bleak future prediction. 

I'm sad to see Annette go. Having to re-do twice really hurt her. They didn't seem to care that Momo said straight out that she wasn't making a robot, and hers wasn't really futuristic, either, so I'm curious about the choice. 

Seriously, if there's another season, they need to make the episodes longer.

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Alexander: Once again, I'm impressed at his ability to make such a clean, polished version of a sort of real-world object. The breathing mask was great. On the other hand, machines can make beakers and glass cloches and I don't know that his art is really making much of a statement. 

Patrick: The robot was cute and cartoon-y. I wish it had been smiling. The gas mask was beautiful. 

Momoko: Not sure it's technically difficult but it was cool to look at.

Leah: Pretty glassware but it feels like she's ignoring the challenge again. Also, not surprised she's single.

Deborah: Concept was... interesting but the piece looked fantastic. 

Janusz: Meh. Phallic + some science-y looking stuff. It doesn't feel robotic or futuristic. It feels like an outdated version of "modern" minimalism.

Annette: To me this does not look like what she made before it broke. Like her cake doll thing I think she was probably hurt by making some of this piece very quickly. It feels like a children's book character made in glass. 

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