It’s official: Bravo’s “Flipping Out” is far out. The new round of the popular series returns Wednesday. Last season, the fourth of the series, showed a major spike in ratings.
San Francisco native Sarah Berkman, comrade in arms to the show’s star, Jeff Lewis (Jeff Lewis Designs), credits the “cast’s” authenticity and how “real” this reality outing actually is.
“It is nonscripted and extremely organic,” Berkman says — more than people might realize. Berkman is Lewis’ sister-in-law.
It’s often challenging to work with any relative, but if your relative is Lewis — perhaps one of the most gregarious if not articulate house-flippers cum high-end design consultants around — that must make for a quirky business relationship.
“Jeff has been a part of my family for many years ... and we agreed, from the beginning of our working together, that it would not affect our personal relationship,” Berkman says. “Understanding that, it can sometimes become very personal, but I have learned a great deal working with him. He can be a very good teacher when he isn’t ‘flipping out’ or ranting over something.”
But the rants can be fun. Gifting his housekeeper a face-lift certainly turned heads.
The new season welcomes back assistant Jenni Pulos, housekeeper Zoila Chavez, house assistant Jett Pink and intern-turned-full-time-employee Trace Lehnhoff. In one episode, the gang holds down the fort while Jeff is in San Francisco for design week.
Watch for the typically guarded Lewis to also open up about his personal life. Boyfriend Gage Edward enters the mix, along with a slew of what Berkman calls “interesting, over-the-top clientele.”
Of course, Lewis will be in top form.
“I’m very passionate about whatever I’m doing, and I tend to see the potential in everything,” he has said.
Berkman herself is no stranger to design, having studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. While she’s not opposed to offering Lewis’ team Chapstick and other treats, she’s more apt to usher in a cheery demeanor, which captured viewers’ interest last season — that and somehow helping Lewis not “flip out.”
“I’ve learned many things — from design to construction and negotiation skills,” Berkman says. “But a particular, unique nuance I’ve learned while working with Jeff is how to walk on eggshells carrying a bar tray of full-to-the-rim martini cocktails. Let’s just say a few eggs were cracked and few cocktails were spilled.”
Figuratively, of course.
IF YOU WATCH
When: Premieres 9 p.m. Wednesday; moves to 9 p.m Tuesdays the following week
Where: Bravo (Comcast Ch. 48)