Apprentice
To Bee Or Not To Bee

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Jacob Clifton: B- | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Five: Speak Up. Or: Don't, Depending

As the team heads into the bee habitat -- which looks like a bunch of filing cabinets in the middle of the desert, crawling with bees -- even the camera has a beekeeper's veil over it. The bee-wrangler guy tells Arrow that bees can smell fear and that they will go kill-crazy if they detect it, so everybody should not be afraid. Frank keeps going, "Are you noticing how more and more bees are showing up for every second we stand here?" And Stefani, adorably, says under her breath, "Shut up, Frankie." Frank's growing on me little by little, but dude I love Stefani. The bee man explains about how they should get smoke up in their little bee grills, and I always wondered about that, so we get to learn something, which is that the smoke makes the bees think there's a fire, which causes them to "start gorging on honey," which keeps them distracted. Which is kind of...horrible, in terms of yelling "fire" in a crowded apiary and sending the bees into a panic. But you know what else is abusive, is how bees will totally sting you for no fucking reason. ["Even after they're dead, which the bottom of my foot and I can tell you from resentful experience." -- Sars] Advantage bees, but not by much. Of course, Stefani is right up at the head of the line dealing with the bees, because she is awesome, cracking the box open, smoking the hives out, doing it all without even like a pronounced shake. She interviews that the bees are "absolutely insane" but that she's just going to her happy place. Frank interviews that she was magnificent and awesome, like a beekeeping unicorn early in the morning mist, and then they all leave. Stefani's adrenaline continues to babble on her behalf even as Arrow's bouncing: "Not a problem. Bees are my friends." Man, if bees were your friends for real, you'd be like the most powerful person. Imagine that!

Arrow heads to the Sue Bee factory, where Surya makes a total effing nuisance of himself almost immediately, lecturing the team about how we do branding and marketing. "Who is the honey consumer?" Surya asks. "What is the household penetration of honey?" Surya asks. He interviews -- at LENGTH -- about how this is literally his job, packaging and branding, and how he has to attend packaging meetings every Friday morning, and how this is what he does for a living. And while I'm sure that's true, did you know you are surrounded by adults that have their own interesting lives and areas of expertise? And that maybe from your little life perspective, nobody but you knows about packaging, but if you were able to de-dorkify yourself for three seconds you'd stop being such a prig about it? I hate that "this is what I do for a living!" mentality so, so much. You're just putting a big X over everybody's mouth at that point: establishing the rules of the conversation such that nobody else is allowed to voice an opinion, because you're the expert. That's the only reason people say that shit, and because they find themselves utterly fascinating, but that's not how grownups work. Particularly if what follows is not completely genius. Which in this case, it's not. "It's called a First Moment Of Truth, the first minute that somebody sees something they'll form an immediate impression," Surya explains. "I think it needs to incorporate versatility somehow," Surya also explains. Sean gets more and more bored, and more and more hostile, as this goes on.

Surya is...basically reading from a New Management Techniques three-ring binder he got at some seminar, that's all he's doing. All these buzzwords and whatever. It's nice to be able to retrieve that information, and display it, but that is not the task. But since it feels good to say these words, and he can convince himself that he's actually adding value to the conversation, he's never going to stop. Add to this the fact that he's already established that he's the only one with the authority to do this, and you have the truth: Surya is now de facto in charge of marketing on this task, even if it's really just a Congressional filibuster in the guise of brainstorming, but what it really is, is ego. Which is how every task in the history of this show is lost, because this is what happens when you put business people (type-A achievers) and reality TV people (showoffs, attention-cravers and the desperately needy) into a Venn diagram: too much tell, not enough show.

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