February 3, 2005

Rules are rules.

The legalistic argument did not win on "The Apprentice" tonight. Ah! How I wanted Michael to be fired. Here's the situation, in case you did not watch. Michael was given immunity last week because he was the team leader, and his team won. That meant he could not be fired this week. He then took advantage of his immunity to act like a jackass throughout this week's task. He took advantage of his immunity! How absolute is this immunity that is given to each week's team leader? Is the person with immunity allowed to behave so badly that he causes his team to lose? Ha, ha, I don't care. I can do whatever I want, and only you, not I, am at risk! There must be some end to this immunity!

In the boardroom, the lawyer, Erin, made an argument -- which I liked -- that there is a limit to immunity, that there are things you can do that forfeit immunity. Danny, the team leader, brought the immunized Michael into the Boardroom, exposing him to firing, on the theory that there is a point, as Erin the lawyer argued, when you have waived your immunity. But in the end, Trump said "rules are rules," and he wouldn't fire Michael, and Danny took the blow. I was disappointed. Immunity can't go on forever. And Danny was a strong and unique character. In the beginning of tonight's show, Danny was the one who cared for Verna, the woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and everyone else was hard-nosed and competitive. Danny impressed me, not that he didn't show a weakness now and then. He was the heart of the show, and now he's gone.

I liked the way Danny used the taxicab send-off segment to play on his guitar and sing a nice song about his experience. We all love Danny. I don't know who all these other people are, other than I can't stand Michael and I'm pulling for Erin, despite her folksinger hair, but Danny was really a cool guy, and we'll miss him.

UPDATE: Hey, Nina took my advice and simul-blogged, which is especially interesting because she'd never seen the show before: "Sixteen candidates are left. Who will be fired next? Oh. We only lose one tonight? Fifteen to go? To be resolved in fifteen weeks of shows? The Apprentice seems terribly long suddenly. Like a commitment to a semester of classes." Oh! Nina poops out early. I should have told her, you have to hang on for the Boardroom scene. It's all about the set up for the big Boardroom showdown! That, and the nice shots of NYC.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Rereading this Friday morning, I see I "corrected" something in the Nina quote that wasn't a mistake. I've de-miscorrected it. Apologies for Nina, who once observed that I don't blog in the evenings. That was back in the days when I was being more careful. Now, I'm willing to toss things up on the blog even when I'm kind of tired, which I was at 9 o'clock last night, having been up since 4 a.m.

Anyway, another thing about the show last night. As usual, the task was a big bore. Typical product placement garbage: develop an ad campaign for a new product by some company using the show as a big, long ad. At least, if you're going to subject us to product placement, make the competition different in some way. We've seen the ad campaign thing way too many times. Bizarrely, both teams used irritating huckster-y street promotion and giveaways to push the new product, which didn't make any sense, because the product was an upscaled Nescafé coffee that the company needed to associate with luxury and elegance and because the teams were not going to be judged on the number of coffees sold that afternoon, but on how well the company's message was conveyed. Both teams failed get the right message across, but the team that the Nescafé people judged the loser -- Magna -- at least tried to connect the product with something that has an upscale image (an iPod). The team that won -- Net Worth -- had an incredibly stupid and annoying cornball Americana Uncle Sam theme and just gave away money. Why did they win? My answer: because the show's producers knew it would be way more interesting to get the Magna people in the Boardroom this week, given the footage they had with Danny, Verna, and Michael.

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