Watching the current series of The Apprentice and The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, I got nostalgic about how the whole thing started, and filled my Netflix queue with the season one DVD set for The Apprentice. My, how things have changed — and how they've stayed the same.
First thing: for some unknown reason, the theme song of The Apprentice, "For the Love of Money" by the O'Jays, has been replaced by a horrible, horrible bland techno-pop song that I not only cannot identify by title, but I have no idea who sings it. Or performs it. Whatever you want to call it, it's just horrible.
Ah, season one. Who can forget Sam Solovey? And the great Omarosa concussion fake-out. The used car salesman charm of Troy McClain (and, I suppose, Nick Warnock). Harvard MBA Kwame Jackson. The blink-and-he's gone first person fired, Dr. David Gould. Heidi Bresler, Omarosa's nemesis. And the rest (you can look at the cast list here, with links to their web sites).
When you watch the first few episodes of the series, you'll see how it was the women, not the men (including the eventual winner, Bill Rancic) who were kicking ass each week. The men were just battered for the first four or five episodes.
It's interesting to watch the performance of Bill Rancic. Frankly, he just didn't stand out much as a leader throughout most of the show, and only had a few wins as project manager. Yet somehow he managed to beat out Kwame who, in my opinion, was the better choice.
But on to this five-disc set. Discs one-four contain four episodes per disc with no extras. Disc five is two-hours worth of extras. I'll get to disc five in a bit.
The Apprentice was created by the creator of Survivor, Mark Burnett. The concept: 16 "job applicants" endure a 13-week "job interview" in order to win a job with Donald Trump, as president of one of Trump's businesses with a six-figure income (but only for one year, which isn't really made apparent) and the chance to be Trump's apprentice and, presumably, one day become a billionaire.
Reality show casting brings us the usual mix of contestants, with enough type "A" personalities to ensure plenty of wacky personality conflicts.
Along with Trump are two of his executives: Carolyn Kepcher and George Ross, who will be keeping an eye on the teams.