Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Guilty pleasure: the Apprentice

I don't watch much t.v., but one of the few shows I watch is The Apprentice. It's fun seeing the challenges they get assigned each week, and thinking about how **I'd** handle 'em. It's also interesting seeing how some people do really well, some do really poorly -- and analyzing the reasons for the successes and failures after the fact.

I've actually managed to get The Lady to watch with me, and we have some enjoyable de-briefings of the shows.

A lot of the U.S. t.v. shows get imported to Australia a season behind, so this series is probably over and done with in the U.S. I suppose if I did a web search I'd find out who won. But, I'll wait. :)

Curiously, it's also given me a new appreciation for Donald Trump. In this week's episode (I think it's on Monday nights here, but oddly, I can't truly remember) this "Chris" guy got "fired" (i.e. booted off the program). His team had to go to "the boardroom" yet again, meaning they'd lost the day's challenge SEVEN times in a row. All the other times, he'd avoided being fired by being less incompetent and/or less obnoxious than his teammates. Still, he was getting frustrated with always being on the losing team. And this time, he'd been team leader, meaning he'd have to bear more of the responsibility for their loss.

I've only been watching for the last four(?) weeks, and initially I didn't particularly like his personality (EVERYONE on his team was whiny and/or backstabbing, though -- so he wasn't markedly worse than the others). He's a bit of a rough frat-boy type (chewing tobacco; calling everyone "bro," even the 70 y.o. advisor guy), and had a bit of a cussing and anger problem.

Over the last two episodes, however, he decided to give up chewing tobacco, and he **really** mellowed out this episode. So, I thought it was too bad that Donald Trump decided to can this Chris guy. (Saw it coming, though.) Trump didn't even "recess" like usual, to deliberate with his two advisors.

So he tells this Chris guy "You're fired." And Chris starts tearing up. (Which must be **really** hard for him, given his style of masculinity -- double-handed handshakes and all that.) So then Trump tells him, "Hey, don't take it so hard," and calls Chris around to his own side of the boardroom table to give him two bits of advice: stay away from tobacco, and keep working on that anger. Then Trump shakes his hand (which I haven't seen him do for anyone else) and tells Chris he has lots of potential, keep at it. And Chris croaks "O.k., sir" or some-such, and you can totally tell from the crack in his voice that he's trying not to cry.

Then Chris leaves the boardroom, and the camera goes back to Trump. And Trump looks like **he's** about to cry -- or at least, like he feels really bad for making Chris cry. And he turns to his two advisors and says "He's a good kid," to which his advisors agree.

So: I guess Trump isn't completely mean and impersonal.



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