"Back to Picasso's statement ['Art is a lie that makes us see the truth.']. One take on that is that artists often make the difficult look effortless. How hard is it to put paint on a canvas? Easy if you don't know what you're doing. A little more complex if you do know what you're doing." -- Donald J. Trump, Chairman, Trump University
So is this show idiotic and ham-handed? Or is it art? I maintain it's both, for the reasons above, but we'll see. Think about this, though: what we're watching is 42 minutes long; it's picked and chosen quite deliberately out of probably 72 hours or more of footage, by people who are very good at what they do. People who are paid to create a story, a backbone for the episode along predetermined milestones: wake-up call to task announcement to task to judging to boardroom parts one and two. Every shot, every interview answer, every candid moment, every single thing we see is the result of a decision, made and check-marked by several different smart people. TV isn't pointing a camera at people and waiting for them to do things: it's art; a little more complex if you know what you're doing. And they really do.
Nicole is now the PM for "Arrow," and gives them a huge speech about how losing will cause their lives to be sucky, while if they win, they "will forever have the glory of winning this task." Glory, they'll have. Paging Perspective, anyone? I think it got rained on by the sprinklers on like the first day. "My leadership style is to really motivate." She elaborates that basically this means she wants everybody to be so overjoyed about the task that they give it their all. Which is exactly half of management, I suppose, because the other half is about having a modicum of control over what happens next. I'm sure they're motivated; their asses get motivated right out into the yard again, because "to motivate" is not in and of itself a leadership style, it's a component; on its own, as she describes it here -- and she's true to her word (right to the end, when she regrettably wigs out on James for zero reason) -- it's an attempt to win Miss Congeniality in the popularity contest of life. Which is a fun/pathetic diversion, but has nothing to do with anything.
Carey describes Turk as fun, young and upscale, and tells us how "expired" he is to be designing for Trina Turk, because he's always wanted to design clothes, and this is the apparently only time he'll have the chance to do that. It's awfully telling that his basic comment on the way this episode/season plays out is that he's now started a bathing suit company, as though to somehow get Trump's respect or prove a point or something. In the van, he sketches out a cute boy-cut suit. Oh, it's for boys. I don't know what you call that, I guess spandex man-panties. I've seen people in them, of course, and there's a small margin of not-scary that you can hit with them; there's a window of actual hotness rather than eye-rupturing ill judgment that is attainable. Aaron's queasy about it and tries exactly once to be cool: "Um, gotta be careful... the print's gotta be pretty masculine if the shorts are that... small?" He does a hilarious bunchy fingers gesture at this, like he's squeezing a ripe orange still on the tree. Carey snorts -- "Not if your market's gay" -- and one of the ladies, I don't know which, agrees. Aaron nods, a little off-put, because that was not at all what he was saying, but Carey's got this idea in his head. As we will see, this is not an idea that you can get out of Carey's head, and it is wrong, and if there were a Project Manager maybe he or she could point that out, or introduce Carey to reality, or overrule him, or do anything at all other than "motivating" him to make a terrible error of judgment, but since there's no PM this week, I guess he'll have to hang. (Ahem.)