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11:34 a.m. - October 14, 2005
The Donald and The Martha - Both Good Things
While mowing the lawn yesterday (and rockin’ out, of course) I was thinking about the Apprentice. Why I would think about a reality TV show when cutting the grass, I don’t know, but my mind works in very odd ways at times. (At times, you say? At times? Hey, enough from the peanut gallery – I hear ya!)

As you may have read I do love the Apprentice. In fact, tossing through my head yesterday was a scenario in which the Donald has some powerful people in the boardroom. Here were his closing comments.

“Bill Frist, you and your buddy in Congress, Tom DeLay, haven’t done well at all. You’ve been trying to change the rules to suit your narrow self-interests, DeLay’s been indicted, and you’re under investigation. It’s not good business to have these clouds over your head. And Bill, you looked ridiculous in diagnosing Terri Schiavo via videotape, then denying you did such a thing. Plus, you haven’t passed any significant legislation in the past year. What are you waiting for?

“Harry Reid, you and Pelosi have also been disasters. You can’t make a coherent case for retaking the House or Senate, when the Republicans have been falling all over themselves. And you can’t even grill a Supreme Court nominee that fails to answer questions. Not taking advantage of an opportunity is a bad thing in my business, and I could easily fire you.

“But George, your second term has been an utter disaster. You can’t get a lot of your initiatives through a supposedly friendly Congress, Iraq looks hopeless right now, you looked weak and inept during a crisis. That was a yoooge mess. Even a lot of your so-called friendly press is sniping at you big time. But the worst thing that I see is that you are hiring a bunch of yes-men and friends and buddies in some very important positions. Look what that got you in FEMA! Now Harriet Miers? I know Rhenquist wasn’t a judge, either, but he was a distinguished scholar. But Miers is like hiring me hiring a desk clerk to run the Trump Towers. Because of that, and the way this whole second term has been a disaster, George…you’re fired.

“Carolyn, George, am I right? You just can’t hire sycophantic yes men in important positions, right?

“I 100% agree.”
“Absolutely, it was the right choice!”
“Robin, get me McCain on the phone. I bet he could fix this mess up!”

See, my mind is odd and strange.

Right now I’m watching both Trump’s version and Martha Stewart’s version of the Apprentice, and right now I’m split. They both have very redeeming qualities, and yet there’s something about each show that unsettles me a bit.

Martha’s show (which is getting clobbered in the ratings, but I think that’s because NBC has its head up its kiester) seems to be more realistic about it being a true job interview for one of Martha’s companies. The tasks seem to be spot on for what Martha’s line of work, and the last task, the hotel suite design, was a true test of leadership and accountability.

It’s also quite funny to see Martha during her ankle-bracelet days. She can’t go hobnobbing around, flying here and there. She’s basically confined to home(s) and office.

And of course, there’s a lot to snark about with Martha. When she talked about her and her husband buying that farm, Liz went off about her divorce and how Martha was just a shrewish hag who was impossible to get along with.

I also luuurve the accent of Martha’s assistant Julia. Lurrrve it! Can I marry the accent, please? (Don’t tell Liz…)

What I don’t like about the Martha version are her henchmen…er…assistants on the show. Charles is trying to get some good snark in, but I can’t get past the fact that he’s Charles Koppleman, who when he ran SBK records foisted Vanilla Ice and Wilson Phillips onto the world. His legacy is the single-most joked about performer of all time, and a group of women with famous fathers that sang light and vapid pop tunes that rotted your teeth out.

And he’s getting another chance to be famous. That’s not fair. (I do think, though, in the after life, the devil will lock him in the room and force him to listen to “Hold On” 24/7/365. And then explain why, in the video they made Carly wear a long sleeved heavy outfit when it was a sunny day on the beach. (I guess it’s the same reason they never showed Nancy Wilson except from the shoulders up during those Heart videos, but it’s still not right in my book)).

Then there’s Alexis. She’s Martha’s daughter. I think she’s said maybe 10 words all season? Now, I don’t think Martha ever beat Alexis with a coat hanger; however, you have to know that growing up as Martha’s daughter was not all fun and games, at all.

“Alexis! Come here! I specifically asked that you pick up your stuffed animals and put them away exactly as you found them. I see that your bunny is about 5/8 of an inch closer to your teddy bear. And Mr. Snoogums is facing to the left, when he was facing right before. This messes up the balance in your room and is not a good thing.”

I think Alexis’ therapists have a yacht, a ski lodge, and a yoooge summer house in the Hamptons.

For the most part, the contestants have been selected fairly well. Except for that Dawn person, who was such a downer of a fool, and Hateful Jim (which is a perfect nickname given to him by Keckler on Television Without Pity. (By the way, I post on that site as well. Imagine that, me with a ‘pinion ‘bout somethin’. Will wonders ever cease??) Jim is just a complete and total dickweed, the heights that I have never seen before on a reality show. He even makes Eddie Haskell seem straightforward, honest, and pleasant. (Oh, and they have a woman named Bethenny, who I think is as miserable of a spelling of a name in recent history.)

Martha does have sound reasons for firing people, and seems fairly consistent. Even in this last one, because Sad Sack Dawn was basically the square peg in the tastefully octagonal hole. The PM was a total idiot, but Dawn’s been an idiot four weeks in a row. Too bad, so sad.

Going over to the Donald, the Donald is who the Donald is, and he’s at his old tricks this season. Firing the right people for the wrong reasons – contradicting himself from week to week on his firing rationale – and making sure EVERYONE knows he has the yooogest and best of everything.

I bet the Donald even brags that his bankruptcies had the yoooogest debt ever recorded.

He supposedly picked the cast this time, and if so, then it’s no different than the other casts. He’s picked two total nutjobs, a snobby prissy princess who belittles everyone, and former beauty queens. This cast is different how?

I did need a cigarette after last night’s firing, as it was soooo satisfying. Toral was a complete and utter jackass. The blond-ettes are cliquey and fairly loathsome, but Toral was totally and completely out of control. When she basically said that only people from Wharton are qualified and smart, I lost all respect for her. And then she has belittled administrative assistants everywhere. What a dope? Do you think anyone will ever want to work for her?

Oh, and her website?? Laughable!

I do feel that there is room for both Apprentices in my life. There are enough differences to keep the show fresh. I stopped watching Survivor re-runs because the game is basically the same – you connive, you weasel, you have challenges, you back-stab, you go home.

So, if you can tear yourself away from Lost, check out Martha’s show, and then watch the Donald. Besides, you always know the good guys win on CSI, right?


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