January 8, 2007

Should I have watched "The Apprentice"?

Sorry. I forgot to watch TV last night. I've got it on the TiVo. Was it any good? The TWOP forum is not encouraging. I knew the tent twist from seeing Trump on Letterman... Eh. Do I need a new (season of an old) reality show? Well, I like to have 2 reality shows to follow. That's about all I can take, but I also like it. "American Idol" is about to re-start. Think I'm going to blog that again this year? Hmmm, I wonder! Currently, I'm still hanging onto "Top Chef." It's pretty good. I was watching "Survivor" and really enjoying it, to the point where, even before it ended, I bought the DVD of the Pearl Islands season. I've now consumed that and -- oh, help me -- bought two more old seasons! What a great show! All that suffering. By comparison, Trump now puts his losers in tents... in LA... Plus, he yells at them a lot... That hurts a little.


MarioStelzner said...

If you like big shots firing the little guys, you should watch the Apprentice. It's a great way to glamourize firings.
Trump fires people and he makes money to boot!
Don't forget to buy his book: I Want Everbody To Be Rich

tiggeril said...

I think I probably won't watch the Apprentice, but I'll keep up with Jacob's recaps, as he's my favorite recapper.

Anonymous said...

The show was better than advertised.
NBC must not have too-high hopes or they wouldn't have relegated this former front-liner to Sunday night. Be that as it may, Ivanka is a suitable replacement for the fabulous Carolyn. The biggest disappointment is the missing George. He provided some gravitas to the show that is now lacking - that certain "realness" that you don't get from The Donald or any of the candidates.

The two twists - the tents & the winning PM taking George's seat in the boardroom - work. The all-too whiny losing candidates really seem to be suffering (it ain't Survivor now, is it) in the tents, and bringing the winning PM across enemy lines to help with the firing was an inspired move that brings a little different flavor to the offering.

The show didn't need to be 90 minutes for the amount of acutal entertainment offered, the opening credits aren't the best the producers have put together compared to past seasons (too long), and Trump's introduction to the show wasn't nearly as good as past seasons. On the other hand, the new boardroom is very reminiscent of the classic from Trump Tower and the winners living in the mansion with the pool and hottub is sure to provide some additional drama - note that all the candidates are sleeping in one room.

Finally, the decision to allow the winning PM to maintain the role ad nauseam until they lose is a nice touch, and promises to provide at least one discussion of torpedoing a task to sink the PM after a sting of successes. In other words, there are more than a few things to keep the fare interesting. One note - there do seem to be an overabundance of lawyers in the field of candidates; nothing wrong with lawyers but we seem to be lacking the variety of backgrounds we've had in years like the book smarts vs. street smarts gang. Nonetheless, we do have an Olympic Gold Medalist and plenty of likeable candidates alongside the usual cast of knuckleheads and loudmouths.

Bottom line, give it a shot - I doubt you'll be nearly as disappointed as the commenters on the board you mentioned would have you believe.

Beth said...

Since you mentioned Top Chef...

I just noticed that last year's runner-up, Tiffini, is executive chef at Riche, the restaurant at Harrah's casino here in New Orleans. I think Todd English owns it. We're going to try it out sometime soon, so I'll report back.

Anonymous said...

I continue to not get the point of reality shows.

My son likes theater, so he made me watch part of the Grease tryouts thing on NBC. I can't imagine who thought it was a good idea to open the doors to every exhibitionist in America to sing a bunch of bad songs poorly and then get insulted.

I also tend to avoid American Idol.

I'm baffled by the notion of watching Donald Trump fire people as entertainment. To me, it's just one step away from a reality show featuring Saddam Hussein condemning people to execution.

I did, however, watch the season premiere of "The L Word." It might not be the best show in TV, but where else are you going to see a scene of a transexual attending his first transsexual support group meeting to listen to other transexuals talk about how their testosterone shots made them unpopular? There was more reality in that scene than in any of the stunts cooked up by Donald Trump.

Ken Begg said...

"I'm baffled by the notion of watching Donald Trump fire people as entertainment. To me, it's just one step away from a reality show featuring Saddam Hussein condemning people to execution."

First, he doesn't really fire anyone, he just removes from from contending for a job. Second..."one step away" from watchign someone ordering another person put to death? Really?

Laura Reynolds said...

I've watched previous seasons but will pass this time.

Mark Burnett does some good work and the show can have some good personalities, but the tendency to have lame product promotion "tasks" has undercut the ability to evaluate the canditates on any more than not being the biggest A-hole.

Glenn Howes said...

I watched it and found it somewhat thought provoking. My wife and I played our game about who would win from just the pictures in the opening montage. She went first and picked Heidi (who I would have picked) while I picked Frank. I don't think my wife has much to worry about.

I wonder if the show is having recruitment problems. After all the last few apprentices haven't really gotten public jobs. Heidi seems to be the only one comfortable in her own skin.

As for the task, I think Frank was right, but he didn't explain himself well. He had all this supposedly high end sales talent, and he's supposed to waste it in pumping through cheap car washes? No, he should be using that talent to sell upgraded washes at a low volume. A volume his small team could handle. His problem was just not having a big enough sign in the beginning.

Joe said...

Once again, Ivanka impressed me far more than her dad. For one, she apparently doesn't share her father's blowhard self-promotion gene. She also seems a whole lot smarter. (Of course, I'm one of those that has always perceived Trump as being more snake oil salesman than businessman.)

George will be missed.

And for goodness sake, do they really want a loud mouth who just can't shut up working for them?

(I do like the tent city if for no other reason it shows just how out-of-touch with reality many of the pampered spoiled contestants are. The best quote "This is like the third world." No, it's nothing like the third world, moron.)

Jonathan said...

I love the Apprentice, mainly because it stokes that base instinct in people: greed. It has the same allure to me that "Deal Or No Deal" has. I love to watch people humiliate themselves over the possibility of that instant fortune. The look of shock on the face of those who attempt to push the envelope and get disappointed is priceless to me.

They have become the shows that portray what everybody does or would likely do in private, faced with a given opportunity, and thrust it glaringly unto a national audience.

It's also fun when the pruducers of said shows obligingly let through the oddball or trouble maker. Martin, last night, had great potential to become both and I'm saddened he was the first to be let go.

Sanjay said...

If I can presume to make a judgement about your TV tastes --- which are different from mine --- I bet you'd have liked the premiere of "Knights of Prosperity." Mick Jagger was truly impressive in it.

Anonymous said...

Okay, fine, so I used a little hyperbole. A few more steps than one, but as for your other comment, I think you're kidding yourself. Telling a contestant he or she's no longer a contestant is what Alan Ludden used to do. Trump's trademarked the term "You're fired," because it's supposed to be a big humiliation; and it's followed by the poor shlub being led off into an elevator with an interviewing goading them into sounding bitter.

Hey, yok it up if it's you're thing. To me it's nasty business.

Ricardo said...

I'm glad to see that you've finally come around to Survivor. It's a fabulous show. And, as if the drama on the show isn't enough, can you believe that the first season winner is in prison for not thinking that anyone (including the IRS) saw him win the $1 million (this was the "hit show" of that summer)? Isn't it amazing what people will do for money, or for a moment of fame?