Apprentice
Store Wars

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Jacob Clifton: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Eight: If There Is No "Try," You're All Screwed

Felisha interviews all crazy-like, "Alla is the PM on this task!" Cut to Alla giving specs to the design guy, sitting next to him at the computer while Clay leans languorously against things and says shit like, "I'll sign off on that." Felisha voices her regret to us about letting Clay be the PM, and what a terrible, terrible job he's doing. Which normally earns you the short sermon on how if you think like a hammer everything starts looking like a nail, but I can see how frustrating this would be, if it was like we're seeing. Clay as PM is exactly like Clay not as PM, but with even less doing.

There's a commercial that goes, "There is only one APPRENTICE…" and then you see the DVD. That's clever. I didn't mind that at all. But it draws a weird parallel, because if there's only one, that's Randal, right? So is Randal going to get the glowy eyes and [redacted] Samuel L. Jackson? Because that would be sad. It's like I just realized for the first time this movie makes no sense whatsoever. Why does he turn evil? Why does he go, "Noooooooo!" Why is Anakin such a freaking Markus, you guys? No, actually, he's neither of them, he's Adam, you were right.

So now we're at Best Buy, and Clay is being a total turkey, deferring to Alla and moving the cut-outs around wherever she wants them, and fetching things and asking her opinion all over the place. Bill comes in, and watches them moving the things around and building the "interactive retail experience" or whatever, and Clay's entirely up Alla's ass to the point where she giggles and winks at one of the camera guys, like, "Can you believe this guy?" Bill interviews about the "lost" quality Clay's got going, and notes how "every decision that was made" required "affirmation from Alla." Remember the infantilized playschool-pinafore hand-holding at Dick's? Call this Episode III of that:

Clay: "Alla happy?"
Alla: "Alla happy."
Clay: "Alla happy? Okay! Alla eat lunch!"

Baby talk, now. That taste you're tasting? Is my breakfast.

In Excel World, Randal and Brian are moving all the stuff around and building their way less cool exhibit (described by correspondent Aaron S. as totally "seventh grade science fair"), but at least doing it without any goddamned baby talk. Of course, Marshawn's going to present, because A) she's awesome at it and B) it's totally her job, but also C) she hasn't done anything yet. More ugliness out of nowhere: "I love doing the presentations, but I was surprised -- I haven't been asked to do anything that was a key role up to this point." Over discussion of the presentation, she continues about how either Brian wants her to feel like a part of the task, or else -- and this is a big ugly jump here -- he's not "confident" about a win, and thinks it could come down to the presentation. I'm afraid I know what she's saying, but I prefer to think she's not saying she's going to be the scapegoat, and in fact means that he's counting on her to save their asses. Cut to Marshawn looking worried but doing absolutely jack shit about this obvious misstep.

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Apprentice

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