Here’s a surprise: NBC premiered a new “classic-style” (a.k.a non-celebrity) Apprentice last week, and guess what? It apparently tanked in the ratings. Why? Well, I’d say the stealth campaign had much to do with it. No one I spoke to even knew it was on. I didn’t even know it was on until after the fact (thank you CNBC for airing a rerun the next day). This was a total marketing FAIL, which is actually a shame because here’s the best news of all: the latest Apprentice ROCKS.
Of course, I’ve always been an Apprentice fan, but after having endured a decent but rather toothless celebrity edition last spring, it was downright invigorating to have Trump corral in a group of vicious sharks willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead. That almost all of them are out of work makes their desperation that much more intense. Yes, we have a cast of seemingly very legitimate business types, and man did the fur fly in the first episode.
On the men’s team, named OCTANE, we had tension between Gene (the stylish project manager, who started the episode scatterbrained but then became AWESOME) and David (a guy whose unemployment cost him his family; although, I tend to think it was his psychotic rage issues that were more at fault). There were also flare ups with James (a handsome but smug lawyer) as well as Clint (a seemingly goodhearted Southern due). Clearly, we’ve got some serious testosterone flowing on this team.
However, when it comes to balls, no one seems to have a bigger, brassier set than Mahsa, the Assistant District Attorney from Brooklyn. This woman is a killer in the boardroom — perhaps too much for her own good. She certainly makes her case and then some. No wonder she railroaded right over sweet but wishy-washy Nicole, the losing Project Manager for an office-design task. It was like watching Bambi getting blown to smithereens by a roving tank. And about just as fun (note: I don’t like deer; so I’m not being sarcastic when I say it was fun). Nicole was sent packing, mostly thanks to her inability to defend herself. She tried to throw Tyana under the bus — a fairly easy task, given that Tyana’s alleged design experience led to the failure of the team — but Nicole was clearly outmatched and outclassed.
Keep an eye on Mahsa, people. She won’t go all the way — too abrasive — but she’ll certainly keep things interesting.
Welcome back, Apprentice. You’ve been missed.
“Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the toughest job search in the world. It will kick your ass, which is why we’ve gathered you here at New York’s famed RUMP BUILDING.”
Clint: “Um, Anand, is now really the best time to be playing Farmville?”
“Nice to meet you!”
“Nice to meet you too!”
Tyana: “Oh, look at the problems we have up there.”
Mahsa: “If you think you can make me look away from your dress, you are sadly mistaken. I OBJECT!”
Tyana: “I think this would be a perfect place for a desk, and furthermore, please stop calling me Hoda.”
Nicole: “Is it hard working with Kathy Lee?”
“I’m not Hoda.”
“Then why do you put a picture up of Frank Gifford?”
“I did no such thing.”
“Sure you did. It’s right over there.”
“Even if I were Hoda Kotb, why would I have a painting of Frank Gifford?”
“Well, I’m NOT Hoda.”
“You kind of are.”
Clint: “My goodness. I’ve never touched a black man before!”
Nicole: “They do this in Avatar right?”
“I seeeee you.”
“They don’t do this in Avatar.”
“We must save the ficus in the corner, or as I call it, the Tree of Souls.”
“THIS ISN’T GODDAMN AVATAR.”
Nicole: “Wait a second. Let me see if I got this straight. Pandora is not a real planet, but it IS a music service?”
Gene: “Well, Mr. Trump, here’s the thing about David. He’s totally psychotic. I mean, just look at him. Right? Right? Hahaha, he’s the worst.”
Clint: “Come to me, Alex. Suckle at my teat.”
“As an assistant district attorney, I must say that the Lean Cuisine tilapia I had for dinner last night was an INJUSTICE to all cuisine, particularly of the lean variety!”
Mahsa: “Mr. Trump, I think it’s clear that while much of the fault lies with Nicole, one must also point the finger — or the gavel, as it were (I AM an attorney) — at HODA.”
Tyana: “For the last time, I’m NOT Hoda Kotb!”
Nicole: “Everyone be quiet. I think we can ALL agree that the Na’vi are SORELY misrepresented at this table.”
Mahsa: “As a district attorney, I must say it is an INJUSTICE that Oprah is leaving her show. That is NOT one of my favorite things. CASE CLOSED.”
Mahsa: “As a lawyer, I must say it is an INJUSTICE that Nicole gets to sit in that seat.”
Tyana: “She doesn’t even know what a seat IS.”
Nicole: “Whatever. Mahsa shouldn’t even be on this team. She has a penis. Like, for real. And it’s THIS big.”
Tyana: “And thick too!”
Did you see the premiere? If you didn’t, SET YOUR DVR. If you did, what did you think?