Apprentice
Toying With Disaster

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Welcome back, suck-ups
Previously in the same 90-minute block of time supposedly allotted to the second-season premiere of The Apprentice: The last five minutes of Joey. Thanks, NBC scheduling geniuses. I really appreciate all you do for me, like running two versions of the same episode a week. No, really. Appreciate that. LOVE YOU. I'd send you a cake, except you'd probably insist on cutting twenty-seven pieces off of it, cutting the remainder into sixths, giving each of six people selected at random an additional sixth, and referring to each of the original twenty-seven pieces as "the twenty-eight." I can only imagine what you could do to a box of chocolates.

A manhole. No, really. That's the opening image of the second season. It's a manhole. They know you are excited about this season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Greasy Weasels. A taxi drives over the manhole. The manhole spews wildly bright steam into the New York night. Thank you, manhole, you may retire to your trailer and await your residuals. (Did you know that if you type the word "manhole" enough times, it will really start to make you giggle? Because it's true. "Manhole," tee hee. "Maaaaanhooooole.") Manhattan traffic is seen first in real time, and then in time-lapse trick photography that makes it appear that traffic in Manhattan moves such that it is visible to the naked eye. The skyline. The beauty of the city. The music that is normally used to suggest that the scene where the detective confronts the beautiful suspect is going to end with everyone naked, including the sketch artist. The rising sun. And then...the voice of...Trump!

"New York City," he says. "It's the benchmark for success." Bad start, Donzo. "Benchmark" is one of those words like "fortuitous" that's used incorrectly far more often than correctly. The Garner calls a benchmark "a point of reference from which to make measurements," but I think that would mean you're judged by whether you're as successful as New York more than what he's actually saying, which is that you're judged by whether you're successful in New York. (Verdict, Sars? Besides the fact that I'm spending too much time worrying about the usage of a man who can't pronounce "huge"? ["He meant 'standard,' I think. Also, he used the wrong preposition...it's sloppy usage at best." -- Sars]) He then says, "For only the very best make it to the top," as we slide up a not-very-subtle visual metaphor of a tall building until we -- that's right -- make it to the top. And then there is an even less subtle "the sky's the limit" remark as we watch the Much Bigger Than Necessary Trump Airliner Acting As Private Jet skate across the sky. Highly unconvincing CGI graphics allegedly float us in through the window of the MBTNTAAAPJ (known to its friends as the "Moe B.") until we are sitting practically in Trump's lap.

This is where he begins to repeat a lot of the monologue that he used at the beginning of last season's premiere, so I'm not sure I really have anything new to say about it. He talks about how large a developer he is. He's really large! He rattles off the things he owns. He owns a lot! I like how he lumps his two beauty pageants and his modeling agency together, in case you failed to notice just how many really hot chicks he owns. The new addition to his discussion of his empire is the meta-mention of the fact that he's even more of a big shot now, because of the show you are in the process of watching, not that that means he won't sit there and advertise it -- and himself -- to you. So it's like watching Trump watching Trump watching Trump. Are you dizzy yet?

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Apprentice

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