Monday, March 29, 2010

Celebrity Apprentice

When the Apprentice came on as a series it had some interesting scenarios. A group of disparate individuals were brought together to become hire for a job to become an apprentice to Donald Trump. Each week they would form into teams and then do a business task. At the end one would be fired by the Donald.  The original format had some interesting elements.

After a few seasons the show was changed to be a celebrity gig. Last night's episode had all the elements that I have come to dislike about the show.  The task last night was to create an "advertorial" for a product to protect your computer and your identity.   One of Trump's elements of genius (but also in my opinion a failing) is the concentration on something that he touts as being as being current.  What is an advertorial?  In Trump's definition it is an ad that has some extra content.  (i.e. an ad)   This season the teams are divided between men and women.  Last night's episode the women did a clean but uninformative ad and the men did an informative but wordy ad.  While Trump and his toadies threw the concept around of an advertorial they never got to specificity about what they were trying to achieve.

The second element which I have increasingly come to dislike is the key "dramatic" element in the show - where one person from the losing team is fired. For the last couple of weeks it has been clear that there are some players without a great deal of talent and some who have a flair for the business tasks.  Former Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich is clearly the weakest link.  Watching him on the show one sees two capabilities.  First, he seems to have no visible talents.  But second, he is a first rate toady, he will suck up to anybody.

Last night, as it has been for the last couple of weeks Blagojevich showed his limited talents again.  Eventually the person to be "fired", actually quit.  Darryl Strawberry decided to take one for the team.  It was clear he was fed up with the drama that Trump tries to create.   

I realize that part of the show is to dramatize business decisions.  But in the real world a manager like Trump who made personnel decisions with so little basis would be bankrupt.  Say, maybe this is a reality show.

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