The Apprentice was presumed dead until the threat of a Writers’ strike resulted in its return to NBC’s schedule with a twist: celebrities. It’s a twist which few American competition shows have really used in the past, although it is far more popular worldwide. It’s a last stretch towards relevance on the part of Donald Trump, and its quality is really not the question.
Cultural Learnings won’t be spending any considerable time on the series (We’ll pick up Survivor again before considering it), but I couldn’t ignore the potential hilarity which could follow from its premiere. I haven’t been able to get my snark on in a while, so I thought this might be a return to form of sorts.
Except that…it really isn’t. See, here’s the thing: Celebrity Apprentice is really no different than the normal Apprentice, except that the self-congratulatory mugging and parade of celebrities have become the focus. Trump introduced how he invited people who were commodities, but in reality he is really just attempting to save his own fading commodity.
The result is a series where Trump is the ultimate philanthropist and where the name of the game is celebrities arguing and bickering but ultimately coming together for the little people. And rather than being humorous, it’s just kind of bland – a few are objectionable enough to transcend into humor, but most are genuinely in this for good reason and it’s just sad to see them sit through this tripe.