AFTER EPISODE ONE --
I would have fired:
Sam, for just being intolerably weird - 55%
David, for trying to tackle the customers - 21%
Tammy -- rules, schmules - 16%
Kwame, because...fish market lemonade? - 6%
Troy, for being a very bad, very weird leader - 2%
I swear, I had a heart attack during the board meeting. I mean, whoa. Getting called in a second time, that's baaaad. And then, he stayed! And the fishmen rejoyced!!!! Or, at least, I did. And did anyone else think that Sam looked adorable when he was sleeping? I was all "AWWW! CUTE!" Although, it was sad when Jason got fired. He was crying, poor kid (am ignoring fact that he is ten years older than me). I want one of the guys to win, screw 'grrrl power'!
WARNING!!! Extreme longness and all comments are from TV W/O Pity. I put them here because I must share them. Because the person who wrote them is awesome, and this is effing funny! Bolded items are, of course, Sam-centric ones.
"My bank had worse customer service than several European dictatorships of the past, including some that performed beheadings."
"Several attractive aerial shots of the city follow, and then we hear the distinctive voice of one Donald Trump intone, "New York. My city." He means this literally, of course."
"Okay, let me see if I have this down. Do badly, suffer consequences. Work hard, do well. Donald is going a little bit fast for me, but then, I'm from the Midwest. I'll do my best to keep up. Hold on while I get another piece of hay to chew.
As if you aren't already packing your bags for your exciting new citified life as a non-vagrant, after Donald says "you can hit it big," he says, "I mean, really big." And then they show the Statue of Liberty, so I guess if you make it big enough, that's where you get to live. I didn't even know they had apartments there. That would be cool, I think. You'd look out at all the tourists on the island and yell, "Get off my lawn!" "
"He brags that he owns a lot of buildings, and the editors obligingly show us several of them. He explains that he also owns "model agencies, the Miss Universe pageant, jetliners, golf courses, casinos, and private resorts like Mar-a-Lago, one of the most spectacular estates anywhere in the world." He neglects to add, "And, as of now, I own the sixteen bitches you are about to meet."
Lest you think he leads a charmed life, Donald goes on to explain, "It wasn't always so easy." You see, at one point, Donald was in debt. They show the national debt clock at this point, so apparently he blew all his money on entitlement programs and military doodads. But he fought back. And won, dammit! Now he's richer than ever! And happier than ever! Look, there he is with...with Don King! And nothing says "true happiness" like Don King."
"Donald says that they "come from all walks of life," by which he means "those walks of life in which all the women are hot." Some of them have advanced degrees, while others got their BS (literally) from the University of Life, yo. Some of them have never been to New York before, and upon their arrival, they will be summarily eaten."
"He dramatically wonders aloud, "Who will succeed? Who will fail? Who will steal the ashtrays?" (Okay, not the last one.) "And who will be...the apprentice?" Okay, now that's gotta be credits.
And indeed it is. "Money money money mo-ney," goes the soundtrack. Ah, the O-Jays. An excellent choice. The credits are top-notch, very stylish and cool-looking. They're much hipper in feel, actually, than some parts of the show. We see all of the contestants, but I won't tell you about them now, since they're about to be introduced in a minute. I'll just say that they all kind of come off like sleazeballs, which is appropriate. And, you know, kind of accurate. "
"David went to medical school in addition to business school, so now he's a nurturer-slash-weasel. He's a "health care venture capitalist." Ew. I have visions of a startup devoted to trading gall bladders on the open market. "
"Nick is, according to his own assessment, "the hardest-working salesman in Los Angeles, California." He sells copiers, and he's commission-only. So, as he puts it, "if I don't sell, I don't eat." That's an interesting coincidence, because if I don't have a copier, I don't collate."
"Katrina is wearing a greenish-gold outfit that, while it is not a suit, is at least a dress featuring a jacket. She claims to be ranked in the top three percent of realtors nationwide. On what scale? Who's included as a "realtor"? What the hell does that mean? Who did the ranking? I protest. I can get myself ranked in the top three percent of humans nationwide, provided I get to set the parameters. "
"Sam is director of business development for an internet company. Eh, the internet will never last. Those crazy kids with their computers and their Napster and their sex pictures. "
"Heidi is from Philadelphia, and she's an account executive for a telecommunications company. She has curvy, archless eyebrows and a very shiny chin. "
"On the other side of Donald is Carolyn, the chief operating officer of one of Donald's companies. He calls her "a killer." That's nothing. My boss calls me a piranha. "There are many men buried in [Carolyn's] wake," Donald says. Nick smiles condescendingly, because powerful women are just so darn adorable he could eat them up with a spoon. Donald explains that George and Carolyn will be watching over the candidates for him as they do their tasks. Ultimately, they'll help make the call about who should win and who should get fired. "This isn't a game," Donald says, "this is a thirteen-week job interview." Tammy looks vaguely baffled. You can almost hear drip-drip-dripping in the leaky faucet of her brain. Donald tells them all that there were 215,000 applicants, and this is the group that was chosen. So they're all winners! Except not, because fifteen of them will be losers! But anyway!"
"Donald tells them that each week, they'll get what he calls a "business task." It might be acting as a street vendor, doing something in marketing -- "maybe even put on a rock concert." Does anyone say "rock concert" anymore? Wasn't the last "rock concert" attended by Greg Brady, pretty much?"
"Donald's hair, first of all, has stripes of color. I don't even know how one does that, but he has skunk-like bands of blond in among his generally reddish-brown hair. We're not talking about highlights, either. Bands. Stripes. Like on a flag. An ugly flag, for a country roiled by turmoil and self-hating and civil war. The hair also appears to puff up from the front of his head and sweep backwards to cover what I presume is a very bald top. It's not a traditional comb-over so much as it is a comb-back. (I have also heard the opposite theory, which is that it puffs up from the back and is tucked in somehow at the front. Could be.) And yes, I think it's real hair. I don't think even a guy like Trump would buy a toupee that looked like that. I don't think they would manufacture a toupee that looked like that. His hair is also weirdly straw-like, and looks like each individual strand would snap in half if you bent it around your finger. Which I don't recommend, because he probably wouldn't like it."
"Sam voices over that when he saw Donald, "it all came together, right there." Sam says he wants "access to Trump." He wants to get to know him. In a bar! With his girlfriend! In the bathroom! With a high-powered telescope! While hanging outside his bedroom window in an improvised sling! Sam must have access! Anti-stalking statutes? Never heard of them!"
"There are giant, scary murals on the walls of the living room that show people reading and talking on the phone and engaging in business hubbub...it looks a little like freeze-frames from corporate anime. Completely bizarre. Inside the suite, the candidates find -- you guessed it -- champagne and caviar. It's all about the symbols of opulence, even though everyone probably would have been happier if the caviar had been replaced with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Champagne is poured, and someone proposes a toast to "the enemies," which seems to make everyone laugh uncomfortably. Ah, uncomfortable laughter. Tammy complains to Katrina that she doesn't know why they're even talking to the men, who are the enemy. Are they sure Tammy was a stockbroker in her former life? I was thinking maybe something in professional bridge-burning. In an interview, Bowie says that the girls are smarter than some of the guys were expecting, but "if you put one over on me, I'm gonna ten-times ya, I'm gonna do ya by ten times." It's quite remarkable when you realize that a guy would actually make more sense if he were speaking corporate jargon about paradigm shifts and partnering and...God forbid...thinking outside the box. [Shudder.]"
"Several of the women toast themselves. Elsewhere, there's a wonderful conversation between Sam, Omarosa, and David. Sam inquires about the fact that David has both his MBA and his MD, and he got the MD first. David explains that at the end of medical school, he found himself thinking, "What can I do with an MD besides treat patients?" I just love that. I can just picture David, all, "Now that I'm a doctor, how can I avoid the burdens of giving care and concentrate on accumulating dough for myself and others?" Sam interviews that he just can't relate to David, and goes on to posit that real entrepreneurs shouldn't spend that much time going to school. School, feh! He begins to bounce up and down in the interview as he explains that entrepreneurs should be "sweating," and they should be champing at the bit to go out and try things for themselves. They should be freaking out! They should be getting down! They should be shaking it like a Polaroid picture! They should be rocking you like a hurricane! Sam is easily overexcited, to say the least."
"The women's effort to name their team goes less than smoothly. Omarosa wants the name to communicate power and unity. Ereka would also like it to communicate "shock." Oh, totally. I know I only buy from companies where I hear the name of the company for the first time and yell, "Holy crap! Are they kidding?" Oh, and Amy has something to add: "No idea is stupid." This is known as The Moment When You Realize Amy Has Never Watched Reality Television. "
"Over in the men's area, Bowie is pushing the virtues of an initial-based name, like the BMA Corporation, for Business Men Associated. Wow, catchy. I'm starting to understand how Dilbert got to be so unhappy."
"Later, as everyone is milling around, the phone rings. Not just any phone, mind you, but a red phone. An old-fashioned red phone with a dial and a cord and everything. It actually looks like a toy phone, which makes it easier to understand why Ereka picks it up. It's Trump's secretary, telling them to meet him tomorrow morning at the New York Stock Exchange. They apparently have to leave at 5:45 AM. Ereka interviews that she's never been to the stock exchange, and she expects it to be "overwhelming." I bet she finds revolving doors overwhelming."
"The men are arguing over the dress code for tomorrow. David says that if it's in a building on Wall Street, "it would not be inappropriate to wear a tie." I think the grammar books call that the pretentious double-negative. The guys want to know if they need to wear jackets, and David says that on the floor of the exchange, you would, but he's confident that isn't where they'll be. Confident, I tell you. Nick says he doesn't know what the first task is, but the game is on for sure. Thanks, Nick!"
"So Kristi, in her skin-tight green satin tube top (I'm starting to think this show will need a running Tube Top Tally) held up by teeny little straps, and Amy, in her shiny button-down shirt, are off to buy supplies. The other women are wandering somewhere, as Ereka asks if they know where they're going. "You're the project manager," comes a voice from somewhere, not unfairly. "Lead." Heh."
"Now we cut to Amy and Kristi, who...well, now the signs say they're at 53rd and Broadway. According to my calculations, that would put them just about halfway between where the group was supposed to meet and where Ereka's crew of dimwits wound up."
"Seaport. VersaCorp. The guys are hustling the few people who are around, but there aren't that many. David actually runs down the street beside a guy on a bike, waving the sign in his face and eventually cutting him off while he's still riding by jumping in front of him. Dude. That is a terrible idea. I mean, it's a good idea if you want a free appendix removal without having to go to the hospital, but it's a terrible idea if you're trying to get a guy to buy a drink. Bowie watches this, dismayed. Nick interviews that David may be a brilliant guy, but "he needed a little help moving the product," by which Nick means, "he's a fucking idiot when it comes to people skills." The other guys mutter about how they're going to get Dave to stop attacking the customers. Heh."
"He and Troy discuss the fact that there aren't actually a lot of people in the new location, either. You know, that's the problem with New York -- you can't find people anywhere. In an interview, Sam despairs that they need to "think bigger," and that women are what it takes to sell a product. To test his theory, he grabs a random woman walking by on the street and asks her to hold the lemonade while he sells it to a guy passing by. It doesn't work. Kwame says in his interview that while he got the point of what Sam was trying to do, he thought it was a little goofy and "let the team down." Bill tells Sam, as nicely as he can, that he's doing too much complicated selling, and he needs to just keep it short and sweet and simple. In an interview, Sam explains that the other guys "just don't get it," and that's what makes them think he's out of his bird. I must not get it either, then."
"Next, Sam hatches a new plan, which is to find one guy who will pay a thousand dollars for a lemonade. This would be called The Fat Chance Plan. He approaches a gentleman and explains to him that by buying this lemonade, he will be participating in the American dream and he will have a story to tell. As Sam explains it in an interview, Trump gets people to pay twice what they should for Manhattan real estate -- "thousand-dollar lemonade." It's an interesting theory, aside from the fifty or so reasons why it would never work, starting with the fact that double the value of a cup of warm lemonade on the street is not a thousand dollars. At first, the mark doesn't even think he understands what Sam is proposing. What's the deal, other than a thousand bucks for a cup of lemonade? Nope, that's the whole deal. Sam tells the guy that he's giving him his word that if he buys the lemonade for a thousand bucks, he will experience the American dream. I'm not sure he should say that, and that may be what they're talking about later when the legality of Sam's tactics is briefly discussed. A hopeful Sam interviews that he just thinks Trump will really go for a "killer thing to do" like trying to get people to spend a thousand bucks on lemonade. The guy chooses not to do so, unsurprisingly. Sam says he is sad. He's showing his weaknesses. The team doesn't respect him. Gee, I wonder why that is. After the fact, talking to Bill and Carolyn, Sam still can't own up to the folly of his plan, and he insists that it was worth a shot. Carolyn points out that he spent twenty minutes not contributing to the selling at all. As they go into the last hour, Troy encourages his broken-down team to go for a strong finish to their day. He's getting very high-school-quarterbackish as the task draws to a close."
"Peppy music takes us up to...oh, Lord, it's the Trumpartment. The ladies are just arriving. How can I describe the Trumpartment to you? Okay, imagine a really nice, pretty apartment with nice, pretty furniture. Now, in your mind, cover all of the available flat surfaces with gold leaf, except for the walls, which you should imagine are marble. Now, put an incredibly large, incredibly bright chandelier approximately every six feet as you walk through the apartment, so that all of the gold leaf directs glare into your eyes at all times. Also, stock the apartment with an incredible quantity of expensive clutter, like little statues, and trinkets, and doohickeys -- pure gold doohickeys from Europe, of course. The maid (or whatever) opens the doors to the apartment, which appear to be pure gold, of course. She ushers the women into the inner sanctum. More gold. More marble walls. The chairs, where other chairs would be wood, are gold. The tray ceiling? Gold. "This is, like, rich," Tammy says. "Like, really really rich." I think Tammy has reacted to the apartment just as Donald intended. Kristi interviews, "Words can't describe how beautiful it was." Oh, really? I'll give you some words. "Tacky." There's a word. "Gaudy." There's another word. "Fugly." "Hideous." "Ostentatious." "Ridiculous." "Preposterous." And, oh yes, "offensive." They're all words, and they all flashed in my mind when I observed the wonder that is the Trumpartment. "
"He greets all the women, and tells them that if they're really, really successful, they can live just like this! Or, of course, they could decide to have taste, but why quibble?"
"Back in the suite chat, Sam argues that they should "praise people first, and criticize second." Everyone makes "yeah, yeah" noises, and they're all imagining Sam's head turning into a roast turkey, like people do on those old cartoons about being marooned on a desert island. David interviews that he, unlike the rest, feels good going into the meeting and is looking forward to it. He feels confident in his ability to defend himself, and he's sure he'll be fine. He says "multiple people are worried," but the only really freaked-out guy is Sam. The use of the word "multiple" in that context is rather ridiculous, horrific-overstuffed-jargon-wise-speakin
"Sam's next step is to sit down and make notes on the computer of all the praise and criticism he will have for everyone. (The apartment has a computer with a really big monitor, for some reason.) Sam tells us, as we see him typing, that he's getting "a bad energy from David." He thinks Trump may see immediately that David is not a run-a-company type, but you never know when you're talking about crazy rich guys and the things they'll do. Oh, those crazy rich guys. In the bedroom, Sam pops some pills. Heh. No, I have no idea what they are. Shoulda been tranquilizers, but I suspect they're not. If they are, Sam should return them for a refund."
"Carolyn, however, takes issue with Troy's description of events, because she feels that Troy was inconsistent. While he did back up Kwame, he didn't back up Sam. Well, of course he didn't back up Sam. Who would back up Sam? Sam is insane. You don't back up the crazy guy. You pat him on the head, claim that you see the same flying alligators he does, and send him on his way. "
"Donald asks Sam what the hell's going on with his whole team thinking he sucks the bag. Sam replies that it's Trump, not the guys, making the decision. Donald can only agree. "If I'm your president, Mr. Trump," Sam says, "I'm going to stand right here in front of you [stands up from Boardroom chair] and say in front of everybody here, 'I will not break the rules for your organization!'" Bill and Troy are looking at each other like they're at a party where a guy just got up to the karaoke machine and started singing "With Or Without You" to his girlfriend without a hint of irony. Bill, in fact, is actually laughing at Sam's great dramatic moment. Sam, still standing: "You tell me I'm coming close, I will stop, and if you have to punch me in the stomach and tell me to sit down and shut up, I'll shut up. And I'll learn." Wait, does that count as a spoiler? The stomach-punching? God, I hope so. Sam turns back to Trump. "Mr. Trump, I don't want to work for anybody else in this country." Somehow, he winds up sitting down again. He talks some more about how he wants to work for Donald, follow the rules, be the best...it's very inspirational. Donald says working for him will be "a big stretch." Sam says it won't be, actually, because he learns fast. "You don't believe in the genetic pool, that what you have, you have?" Ouch. Just...wow, ouch. Sam: "I have got genetic pool big-time, Mr. Trump. Just like you got from your father Fred Trump and your mother Mary Trump." Could that be a more obvious "I have researched your parents' names" gambit? Oy."
"Back inside, Carolyn tells Donald that she thinks David was wrong to say Sam "stepped over the line," because she feels Sam didn't. Of course, what David actually said was "over the edge," which could mean the edge of sanity, and not -- as Carolyn says -- the edge of legality. Donald says he had gotten the impression that Sam did break the rules. How? Hard to say. They don't explain.
In the Loser Lobby, Sam tells David and Troy that he will eventually be Trump's guy, even though he's obviously struggling right now. "I can't do it today. You know what I'm doing today?" He gets down on the floor and crawls on his hands and knees. He demonstrates how first, he will get to his knees. Then, he will blow Trump. Oh, no, he doesn't say that. What he will do after he gets to his knees is stand all the way up and eventually rule the world as an evil overlord. "Denial is a river in Africa," David says, mangling the expression, which is more like, "Denial ain't just a river in Africa." Saying denial is a river in Africa doesn't make very much sense, David, no matter how high your IQ may be. Once Sam is fully standing, David also says, "Now you're homo erectus, okay?" It's sad when a guy comes across something like that that's almost funny, but he can't quite get there. He smelled the joke in the vicinity, but he did not actually locate it.
Inside the meeting, George is telling Trump that he likes Sam. Ew. He finds Sam to be a risk-taker. "You've been taking risks all your life," he says to Donald.
Loser Lobby. "We'll find out if I hung myself," Sam says. "I'm not going to say any more.""
"Trump pages the secretary (Robin, it turns out) and has her send in the clowns. Robin watches them walk into the Boardroom like, "I can't believe one of these people is going to have a better job than I do." In the Boardroom, the guys sit down. Trump asks Troy what made him pick David to be in the group. Troy says that David is a logistics person -- a "numbers guy" -- but while he thinks David would be a great assistant to somebody, he doesn't see a leader. He asks if Troy would trust Sam with his bank account, and Troy says no, he wouldn't. Sam freaks out, insisting that for Troy to say he wouldn't trust Sam with his bank account is to say that he thinks Sam is dishonest. "Maybe it's lack of discretion, not lack of honesty," David says, correct on the substance but delivering it with such an obnoxious smirky manner that you can't help wanting to punch his lights out. Trump tells Troy that while he did "a lousy job as the leader," he also stepped up the first time out, and so Trump has decided not to fire him. As Trump starts in on Sam about all his weaknesses, Sam stands up. "Sit down," Donald says. "Thank you, Mr. Trump," Sam says as he sits. Okay, that was hysterically funny, in a way I cannot even explain to you if you didn't see it. He stood up for no apparent reason, got smacked and told to sit the fuck down, and thanked Trump. It's...the guy is just bizarre. Trump tells Sam that he's either going to be great, or he's going to be a total disaster. Now, Trump turns to David. "I don't see that you've stepped up at all." David makes a surprised face. Donald explains that there's an elevator back up to the suite, and an elevator that goes down to the street. Two will get on the up elevator, one will get on the down elevator. And taking that down elevator? Will be David. Because David is fired. Fired!
Sam smirks a lot more than he probably should at this turn of events. There are three people in this room -- he should remember that somebody is probably watching his behavior. He also bows to everyone on his way out. Heh. Trump explains to the Viceroys that he just saw nothing in David. Smart, maybe, but not interesting. Downstairs, David gets into a cab. When you have been fired, no limo for you!
In the back of the cab where his exit interview is apparently happening, David gives you a pretty good idea of why everyone hated him and he got booted: "I take solace in the fact that I have a higher IQ than the other fifteen contestants, which just goes to show you that there's little correlation between IQ and success in lemonade sales." God, what an asshole. I didn't know how relieved I was that they kicked him out first until right then.
Next week: Running in heels! Fist-pounding! Bickering! Threatening! Sleeping on the job! Jets! Donald in a pink tie! I'm embarrassed to say...I'm sort of psyched. Not about the pink tie, though."