ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Trump makes reality TV cool
Gazette file photo
“MY APPRENTICE FAME CERTAINLY SEEMS TO BE PAYING OFF... HAR HAR.” Donald
Trump (erect centre) enjoys the admiration of a bevy of skanks.
If you think reality shows are becoming crappier by the week,
well, you’re right. But there’s always a diamond in the rough,
and The Apprentice (Thursdays, 9 p.m., NBC and Global) is by far the best new
reality show of the season. It has given Ivey students something to watch besides
CNBC and old wrestling videos of “The Million Dollar Man” Ted
A quick recap: 14 young executives (seven men and seven women) compete for
the chance to win a year operating one of Donald Trump’s many businesses.
They are split into teams, and each week must undertake a new business venture — everything
from selling bottled water to increasing a restaurant’s profit margin
to running a rickshaw cab service. The team that makes the least profit must
send its “project manager” and two others into “The Boardroom” to
face the wrath of Trump and his two underlings. Trump gets the final verdict
on “firing” the least worthy player.
The brilliance of the show is that it’s totally unpredictable from week
to week. A player that does well in every challenge could find him or herself
totally out of his element one week and be “fired” by Trump. What’s
unclear is if Donald is firing people based on their weekly performance, overall
performance or because he just doesn’t like them.
The key is not only the interesting premise, but the fact that Trump himself
is so oddly fascinating as the host. He is clearly an egomaniac and a bit of
a nut, but his business instincts are second-to-none, and may God have mercy
on your soul if you try to deceive him. The show is never funnier than when
players try to smooth-talk their way out of The Boardroom and Trump calls them
on their bullshit.
Another part of Trump’s strange appeal is that — let’s face
it — the man is ridiculously rich. He is the closest human analogue to
Scrooge McDuck. One jaw-dropping episode featured a tour of Trump’s apartment,
which was wall-to-wall marble and gold. Some might consider this a sickening
display of materialism, but you won’t hear that from me. Hey, Mr. Trump,
if you’re reading this, give me a call if you ever want to start a Trump
Times. You can buy and sell my sorry ass a dozen times over!
Anyway, only six of the 14 contestants remain, and though I only started watching
a few weeks ago, my picks to win are either Amy (who is a perfect 10-0 in challenges
thus far) or Nick, who seems to have gotten on Trump’s good side despite
having questionable salesmanship.
The real winner, however, was Omarosa, who went down in Reality TV Villain
history before being fired two weeks ago. Omarosa bitched and moaned through
every challenge, treated everyone like dirt, complained of a concussion after
being hit on the head with a tiny piece of plaster and managed to leave the
show with everyone hating her. All in all, a job well done.
NBC is sure to make a sequel, hopefully as soon as possible. My suggestion:
make all the contestants arts students and let the hilarity ensue.