The Apprentice enthralls business-minded audiences
November 18, 2010 • Vijay Viswanathan, News Editor
Filed under Entertainment
First aired in 2004, Donald Trump’s business-reality television show, The Apprentice, has always raised eyebrows. At the same time, its edginess and its hardcore competition have attracted many viewers and made Trump into a household name. Despite some cheesy shortcomings, the show has managed to stay interesting, even through its 10th season.
The basic premise is a group of young businessmen taking on interesting entrepreneurial challenges. For example, in the episode on Oct. 28, the candidates had to attract “potential Broadway investors to an up-and-coming stage musical” (www.tvguide.com).
Typically the group is divided into two teams who simultaneously attempt to accomplish the goal. At the end of the challenge, both teams go to the boardroom, where Trump evaluates each team and declares a winner. Finally, after lots of politicking and discussion, Trump chooses the person who will be fired and uses his trademark line: “You’re fired” (www.csmonitor.com).
The failure of these people is occasionally sad, but typically funny. As Suraj Sundar said, “It’s a pretty sensational show, because at some point you want to see people fail and others succeed. But mostly you want to just see them fail.”
Another of the show’s attractions is Donald Trump. Like many celebrities and businessmen, he is hated by some and loved by others. He maintains style while being rather tough and mean. This led Willem Aloe to say of Trump, “He seems like a tool, but he can be nice when he needs to be.”
On the other hand, some watch the show for the high-class business atmosphere that it induces. All the competitors are impeccably dressed, and they typically maintain politeness and decorum in the public eye. Junior fashonista David Claypool agreed, saying, “I think that Donald Trump is a classy fellow.”
Overall, the show has its ups and downs. The new season is adopting a sense of charity by keeping all of choosing only underemployed or unemployed young businessmen as comptitors. However, occasionally the show becomes unnecessarily sensational. Catherine Wertz captured its appeal, saying, “I only watch it because it’s funny.”
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