Apprentice
Soap Gets In Your Eyes

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Jacob Clifton: A | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Nine: Pain Is Temporary

There's a difference between being proud of who you are and needing other people to validate it, and it's not a subtle difference: they are opposites.

Meanwhile, Arrow is again a breath of fuckin' fresh air, which I hate typing to my very marrow. James is being very nice and plotting out the story with Tim and Nikki, and again: the many, many levels on which this is creepy don't require even an undergraduate degree to comprehend. Their storyline is that a businesswoman comes home to crow about her new job, but her boyfriend -- who's been scrubbing-bubbling the bathroom all day so that he can propose to her, in the bathroom, near the toilet -- gets down on one knee: the cliffhanger is that you don't know if her new job will tear them apart, or something. Now, I don't know if you know this, but Tim and Nicole are dating or something. Another thing you might have forgotten is that this show they're all on is calling itself a fourteen-week job interview, from which Nicole hopes to emerge victorious. So the idea of a storyline in which a girl gets a great new job -- from a realty tycoon, perhaps, named Fronald Frump? -- and comes home to her boyfriend proposing, is understandable I guess, and there's a nice twist in that the majority of the commercial is this guy and his friend scrubbing hell out of the bathroom, but... Jeeeeeeeeesus, Nicole. I feel like I should buy you a copy of The Rules myself. Frankly, if somebody I was casually dating, much less while under the enfakening mortar fire of a reality show, started with that shit, the dumping would occur in a blink. It's just too scary. Like next week Nicole's going to be, like, "It's about a girl who gets married to a guy she met on a reality show! Right? And Fronald Frump gives her away, and she's a swimsuit model for Trina Turk, and also a princess." Or the week after that: "In this task, I will get pregnant. No ifs, ands or buts." Scarier still, what if that is literally as far as Nicole can go, like in her head: what if she's consumed by things in a way that is too intense to deal with? What if maybe that's what they mean by "driven"? Like, if things had gone a different way, and all she was thinking about today was a cheeseburger, or her shoes weren't fitting right, or she was having her period, we'd be sitting through some kind of cheeseburger mess that they had to clean up, or some kind of Mentos issue where her heel breaks and she drops the fruit punch, or a girl discovers that she has the power to destroy anybody who annoys her, with her mind? That's how they live in the wild: whatever the next thing is. Nicole might be scarier than Frank, if that were the case.

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Apprentice

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