Thoughts on the first episode of Man Shops Globe

So what did you think? As pilot episodes go I thought “Man Shops Globe” was pretty good. I learned a few new things about Anthropologie including that everything in the store is for sale. Who hasn’t looked at the furniture and wanted a piece or two…or three or four? I’ve always loved the headboards. Next time I’ll have to check out the prices! The show itself held my attention for the duration. It helps that host and head Anthropologie buyer Keith Johnson seems like a very cool guy. Calm, affable, and talented, I’d love to tag along with the gentleman on one of his trips. Which is exactly what this show allows us to do.

I was green with envy that they were in France. My family has close friends there but I have not been in quite a while. This traffic doesn’t look like much fun though. I was glad the producers didn’t spend much time setting the scene. As beautiful as Paris and Avignon are, I was much more interested in the goods.

How sweet is it that Mr. Johnson shops with his sister-in-law, Pam Senk? Ms. Senk was a supportive travel companion and I spotted her in several Anthropologie items (of course). The show moved along at a good clip and they didn’t waste much time sightseeing. It was all business.

Overall I rather liked the show. It was great to see the fleas and markets from which the amazing visual displays come. Mr. Johnson has a keen eye for distressed, old world style and charm. His sense of architectural scale is at times mesmerizing. The scene where he buys an old facade was in particular riveting for me.

The one thing that was missing for me was a greater sense of purpose. At one point Mr. Johnson alluded to needing pieces to go into “the UK stores.” It would have been great to set up the trip by showing the audience the UK stores in progress, along with any conversations Mr. Johnson had with store visual display artists to talk about what pieces were needed. When he said “this piece will look great behind the cash register” it was hard for me to agree or disagree since I had no frame of reference. Likewise, each piece he selected was beautiful but I had no sense if they were going to one store, multiple stores, any store??

With no allusion to budget the negotiations also lacked drama. We learn how much each piece was purchased for but we have little idea if that is more than Mr. Johnson planned on spending or a steal. At one point Mr. Johnson saw a stunning chest of drawers and he told his travel partners he planned to make what he considered a fair offer and then walk away, since it was far below what the seller wanted. I took that to mean he would come back later to renegotiate once the seller softened but Mr. Johnson ended up buying a different chest of drawers instead. At the end of the espisode he seemed satisfied with his work and I wanted to be too but I had no idea if he’d completed his mental shopping list, made fair progress or was just happy to come away with anything.

Despite these criticisms I enjoyed the show quite a bit. It’s already on my DVR season pass. I very much look forward to seeing where else Mr. Johnson and Ms. Senk travel to. Below is a preview for what I believe is the next episode:


  1. October 8, 2009 / 2:09 pm

    You know, I enjoyed it too, even though I could see all the flaws in it. My biggest peeve was that it seemed like he was just walking around saying, "I need things. Big things. Really big things to put in the UK stores. Do you have any big things?" and so on. Watching a guy buy lots of big things isn't really the most compelling thing, but I enjoyed it for a glimpse at an unusual job. And lots of pretty stuff, let's face it.

  2. October 8, 2009 / 3:47 pm

    I really enjoyed it, but I was a little disappointed that so much of the episode focused on finding one-of-a-kind pieces for individual stores and not pieces that would be going online or in the catalog for a wider market. While he found some beautiful pieces what really complete the stores, I most enjoy when he found what would become the Calligraphy Bed. I love seeing the history behind pieces that I could potentially buy (if only I could afford it!).Also, I don't understand why but the premier was at midnight for us Central-timezone Anthro-lovers. Not very convenient.

  3. October 8, 2009 / 5:12 pm

    Hey Roxy!Long time, no talk. :-)Just wanted to say that I also watched the episode last night and really enjoyed it. I love Paris! I did check the Twitter trending for "Man Shops Globe" after and noticed someone posted that the episodes are On Demand. I went to check, and what did I find? NEXT WEEK'S EPISODE was already up! Needless to say, I watched it. I needed more (the epis are so short!). Just wanted to let you know! 🙂

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