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TV Review: The Apprentice Kicks Off With Trump 101 Right Back In Session

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School’s back in session, kids.

That’s right, Boardroom School, taught by the Don himself.

The Don seemed mellower, more wistful during the first episode of the fifth iteration of The Apprentice. He made vague allusions to people getting killed “viciously” in Africa over a gaudy lunch and tried to put the rat race that never ends into perspective. He appeared downright placid and pleasant, in fact. That is, however, until someone had the Audacity to break up his trademarked boardroom rhythm and metaphysical bio-algorithms.

And that’s why it’s time to open up class.

Trump 101 Rule #1
Shut Your Crap Siren When The Don Speaketh

Who are you, puny Mensa member, thou Harvard MBA, wretched Wharton Wharf Rat? Who are you to shine your greasy sheen and throw spittle-inflected words of mortal disgrace before The Brand Called Trump himself, he who cometh down from the very breath of clouds as though Ra made flesh?

That one chick who didn’t make the phone calls to the restaurants might have gotten away with murder and not had her ass streamlined during Week One – if not for her “trying” to speak the truth. Truth? What’s up with that? This is Reality TV, kids. Showtime!

And who did Ra strike down for getting uppity? That’s right, Summer. Summer, who wouldn’t make phone calls to a restaurant during “dinner rush.” Summer, who refused to do what she was asked to do on the first task and then went ahead and predicted that her team would lose. Summer, who… oh hell, might as well make it:

Trump 101 Rule #2
Never Refuse to Call Restaurants on the First Task and Then Predict Your Team Will Lose

I’m not naming names here, I’m just saying, you know?

Trump 101 Rule #3
Know Your Enemy… Or, Don’t Be Stupid

Tarek, otherwise known as Mr. Mensa, “warned” the young and idealistic Lee not to stand up to him in the boardroom and bring up the fact that the task yielded a phat zero on the creativity-ometer. (Giving away “gift bags” with no gift inside them as a sales device? I mean, what genius thought that one up? All non-Mensa folk may now cheer).

Trump 101 Rule #4
Don’t Get Pegged As “The Russian” in Episode #1

Lenny, otherwise known as “The Russian” according to The Don (and who are we to argue), used his knowledge of “the area” to guide the Goodyear Blimp around the sunny skies of East Brunswick, New Jersey. For his troubles, he was dragged into the boardroom and continually pelted, Nerf crotch-gun like, by Mr. Mensa for not “stepping up” enough.

Not stepping up enough? Oh hell, I’m not even going to get to make the Ivan Drago-reference I was so looking forward to…

Trump 101 Rule #5
Enough With the Stupid Corporatese Bromides

Before we know it, someone’s going to end up with a bad Case of the Mondays.

Haven’t we seen enough of stepping up or not stepping up? How about some stepping down for a change? Or stepping out with your lady. Some tap dancing at least, Fred Astaire-flights of fancy for a Bottom Line-driven world. You know, something.

Trump 101 Rule #6
Never Ever Get Pegged As the Creepy Sweaty Crackpot Dude

They love to cast one of these every season. First there was the guy with the leisure suits and the guitar. Then there was the guy who ran his mouth but had almost nothing to say.

And now it’s the creepy chubby guy who claimed to create a diet in which he lost 110 pounds and then proceeded to spend most of the episode waving his arms around and crying to the Heavens about what a “true team player” he is (see: Trump 101 Rule #5).

Honestly, this guy might be the smartest one out there, but he’ll never get a shot because the other kids are gonna band together to Pelt the Freak. So…

Trump 101 Rule #7
Be An Insider’s Insider

That one sounds kind of real, don’t it? Like it should mean something?

That was a test, fools! If you passed the exam, you already know it.

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  • Joanie

    Congrats! Your review has been placed on

  • ClubStyleDJ

    The russian TOLD her to keep her pie hole shut. Did she listen…no. She got what she deserved. Loved the article not much to add …cept on the Apprentice website there’s the catch phrase:

    MENSA SCHMENSA….ya gotta love it.


  • Mary K. Williams

    This was wonderful –
    I barely watch the show, but your insights rock regardless!

  • Eric Berlin

    Thanks all !

    I like Lenny, ClubStyle, I really hope he gets the chance to show his stuff, good or bad. It was also cool that he could barely contain his disdain for Tarek right from Boardroom #1.

    Don’t these people watch the show? There’s very little chance that Tarek is going to be able to work with Lee or Lenny from here on out. Lee, especially, was very stupid to put the knife in that deep. He could have very easily couched his criticisms in praise or at least muddled corporate waffling.

  • Bennett

    I’ve never seen the show, but I loved this review!

    Great job Eric!

  • Eric Berlin

    Thanks Bennett, much appreciated !

  • Mark Saleski

    did i miss something or did captain mensa not get called on the fact that he threated to drag somebody into the boardroom if the (lack of) creativity issue was brought up?

    mensa my ass. my cocker spaniel has more people smarts than that guy.

    great review eric.

  • ClubStyleDJ

    Right EB,

    Lenny’s kinda the guy ya hate to see get kicked. But the language and understandability factor is going to be a major hurdle when and if he becomes PM. I think he’s a short timer.. but not as short as Mensa Schmensa. Once Trump’s got you in the crosshairs…yer goin down! Unless he does a single handed phenom. job down the line, like “what’s her face” from season3. I think the annoying canadian weightloss guy is on short time also. The jury is still out on the rest.
    Three guys and a girl make it to the top. Law of averages/ratings/”whatever other irrelavant stats there are” have me thinking… Two birds with one apprentice can be had here, if the Black girl goes all the way to the top..anyway i got her as my fantasy pick, the mexican if she doesn’t pan out.

  • Mat Brewster

    EB, you simply must put down your Super Duper Godlike Editor hat and throw on that writers hat more often.

    This was great.

  • Eric Berlin

    Like I said, ClubStyle, I’m very curious to see what happens when Lenny has to do stuff and interact more with the others. From the promo for Week Two, it doesn’t look pretty already! It should be noted that he gave Summer perfect advice (keep your mouth shut) pre-boardroom… which she subsequently ignored and got sent straight home.

    Thanks very much Mat!

  • Mark Bellinghaus

    Very entertaining piece. Great job, Eric. Now I regret that I missed it last night. And I forgot to record it, too! ;(
    Good luck.

  • Eric Berlin

    Thanks very much, Mark !