Friday, January 21, 2005


Apprentice 3: #1

I'll admit it. I watch The Apprentice. It's one of two shows I actually make sure I watch, the other being The Shield.

So Season 3 kicked off last night. As usual you had Donald talking about how great New York is and about its "energy", and various other things, many of which were "yooge", whatever that is.

I don't know if it's deliberate self parody, tongue-in-cheek, or if it's done in absolute seriousness, but I always laugh when they use footage of his 'Trump' personal aircraft, or show him getting in and out of his 'Trump' helicopter or limo. But the absolute best bits are when they show him on the street, among 'the masses', with people cheering and clapping him.

Yesterday night, I got the distinct impression that the crowd cheering him were his own employees outside Trump Tower but this may have been due to the editing. I can imagine what went before: "OK Folks, the people from NBC are here and I want a yooge cheer when I get out of my limo. I don't like people with low energy. If I see people not cheering me when I get out of the limo, they'll come back with me to the boardroom and *will* *be* *fired*. Ok. Let's go".

Personally I have a lot of respect for Trump. I like people who dance to their own tune, don't care about convention, and yet manage to make a lot of money.

Trump's making money by turning himself into a Brand. Why do people pay $400 for a purse which some kid in an Asian sweatshop made, at a cost of $2? Because it's got a famous brand name on it. Why do people buy a Jaguar when it shares most of its components with a Ford and is basically the same car? Again it's the name. Why invest in real estate when there are thousands of square feet of unlet space downtown? Because it's got the Trump name on it.

So you have the Trump Tower, the Trump Casinos, the Trump National Golf Course, and for all I know the Trump Extrajudicial Detention Facility, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Apprentice 3: At first glance, the producers seem to have assembled a more down to earth bunch of people than on Apprentice 2. Anyone who saw Apprentice 2 will remember that show's signature moment: Andy the Harvard debating champion's 'shoot-me' expression while Jennifer M and Elizabeth attacked him in stereo. At the end Trump told him, he'd been out debated. If I'd been him I'd have said, that wasn't a debate, it was a cat fight.

Anyway, no surprises that Todd was fired and not Danny. Danny adds some much-needed colour and makes good TV. I sometimes disagree with his firing decisions: firing Pamela in the last series? What was that all about? But in this case he was absolutely right from a ratings perspective at least.

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