Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Apprentice

The Apprentice is running out of steam a little, I fear. The show has always been interesting for what it doesn't take the time to say out loud about business tactics, and in previous seasons I have written about it a little.

This third season, however, book smarts (college grads) vs street smarts (high school grads) it has seemed a little repetitive.

The street smarts are much better at thinking outside-the-box, but they lost the last three tasks because their leaders have been thinking outside-the-box about themselves rather than about their clients. In the Gameboy task, the leader's insistence on painting a wall advertisement "for the community," was rejected by the same community as telling them nothing about the game. In the televised auction task, a contestant's insistence about talking about himself instead of about the musicians made it impossible for him to listen to what anyone was telling him.

In the first two seasons, they have left certain interesting things out to focus on other interesting things that had not come up before. This year, they have been repeating themselves when they could make new points that are just as exciting.

For example, every week after the Donald fires someone, George and Caroline stroke the Donald, telling him what a good choice he made.

This week however, it was clear that George and Caroline thought that Chris should have been negotiating the artist deals and should be fired for not doing so. Chris defended himself ferociously, pointing out that the task was about television, and the most important task was sticking to the television end. He made a lot of sense. Chris defended himself so well that George could not respond. George had to resort to pulling rank to avoid conceding that he had lost the point.

In the end the Donald agreed with Chris, and fired John, the person who negotiated the deals.

However, since George and Caroline could not kiss up to the Donald enough post-firing, they decided not to show George and Caroline either disagreeing with the Donald, or more likely, not saying anything much at all. Sulky Caroline, and more intersting still, sulky 70 year old plus George, stewing in his juices. Did not see it.

It would have made for excellent television. However, it would have showed that the Donald's decisions, the decisions of even the most "outstanding" boss, do not always leave the subjects happy.

Subversive talk in these times. Would have hurt the Donald's feelings. Couldn't have that. What would the FCC say if someone questioned the boss's authority?

Can't wait for Martha to take over.