Friday, December 17, 2004

THE APPRENTICE FINALE- AFTERMATH

I have a link here to a blog entry at marktaw.com about reality TV shows being scripted: in particular Queer Eye and The Simple Life. Not that I really care. I'm no fan of either show. You know, it will be a cold day in hell before I'd allow those "fab five" guys where I live. I'd take out a baseball bat and get rid of them if they try and rearrange the furniture in my place. There's a reason straight guys don't watch that show, folks.

(I'm kidding! I wouldn't really beat them with a baseball bat. But I definitely wouldn't let them near my house. Oh, and by the way here's another article on the fakery that goes on with reality TV and the state of the whole genre in general. Seems like a lot of these shows are tanking fast.)

Now onto the Apprentice and I can safely say now that last night's show was a disappointment with the audience. A lot of people on the Television Without Pity forums feel Jennifer was really badly treated during the studio audience portion of the show, when all these VIP audience members gave their impressions about who should win. I agree, Jennifer didn't deserve that treatment. In fact, I think it was a really bad idea, letting a studio audience weigh in on who should be hired. It reduced the hiring process to a popularity contest and that's not right. It just cheapened this show.

Then again, maybe they did the Donald a favor by urging him to choose Kelly. One way to look at it is: if a really unpopular, undeserving person is chosen as the Apprentice, that could really sink the franchise. I read on Jump the Shark about what happened on The Last Comic Standing, and the show was widely trashed by people on that website because it was felt that the wrong person won the competition in the first season. The fans of the show thought the people out there in America who voted were idiots who didn't know comedy. They thought the winner basically ripped off Margaret Cho. I can't recall the name of the guy who won- some Chinese guy, Pad something. Anyway, I don't think he's rich and famous right now- if he was I'd remember his name. Bottom line is people thought he was an undeserving, unpopular winner. (On the flip side, Richard Hatch was really unpopular on Survivor I, but people accepted his victory because they recognized that he played a great game.)

Now I know why The Last Comic Standing sunk so quickly: in theory it was a good show, but it had major, major problems and never lived up to its potential. You had stories of Jay Mohr inviting his friends on as contestants, things like that. Anyway, read about it on Jump the Shark, which also has lots to say about the Apprentice. I'll have to see what they say about this studio audience idea from last night. Personally, this show was slipping all season, but last night took the cake for me. I have to say it's official: The Apprentice jumped the shark with last night's lousy studio audience show. The purity of this game is gone forever. And next season is going to be a stupid street smart vs. Ivy Leaguers type of thing, so this show promises to be more contrived and fake, even without a script.

You also get the impression from last night that the Donald really wasn't all that thrilled to hire Kelly in the end--- there was something about him that he wasn't thrilled about. Maybe his robotic personality- who knows? A lot of question marks about leadership. Well, Trump, that's what happens when you senselessly can people every week on your show. The people who showed a lot of leadership on the show- Kevin, Raj, Pamela, Bradford, even Andy- all got hosed by Trump. You know, I didn't like Kelly either, think he'd be terrible to work for (drill sergeant), but he won fair and square. He won as project manager and won consistently as a team member, and worked with people more effectively than Jennifer did. So you had to give him the job, even if you hated him.

And as for Jennifer- I must say, she did make an effort at feistiness in the end, and she is very good in the boardroom. But I think she was ill-served by the format of the show. Because she was stuck in that catfighting Apex tribe for much of the show, she had to keep her head down to avoid all the infighting, just to avoid the boardroom. So she never really did get to show what kind of leader she was- she was too busy trying to survive. Maybe she's had too much legal training drilled into her. I know that in a law firm environment you sort of have to shut up and do your job, and you have to play a lot of office politics to get ahead. Women really do have to be "fembots" to survive in these soulless, uptight Biglaw firms. It was a skill that served Jennifer well, allowing her to duck responsibility and survive the boardroom battles and go far in this game. She showed plenty of fangs but never enough of her leadership skills until it was too late.

It's really sad what happened this year with the Apprentice. There was so much backstabbing and bloodletting that people couldn't show what they could do--- and too many of the people who did go all-out got knifed. This was too much about how people survive office politics- and maybe Mark Burnett thought it was a great idea from the first season of Survivor and wanted to beat it like a drum, but people don't want to see people getting ahead through office politics, or obnoxious people getting into fights. People want to see how you rise above it.

Speaking of which... has SURVIVOR Jumped the Shark already, or what? Aren't people fed up with all these liars like Chris winning millions of dollars? When is somebody going to win that show who ISN'T a complete snake?

(UPDATE- I remember the name of that guy who won Last Comic Standing: Dat Phan. Anyway, I don't know what happened to him.)

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