Trump just fucked up in a big way.
A lot of bad shit went down in my Chicago Era. I moved into town flat broke and left 4 years later thousands of dollars in debt. Not surprisingly, I spent a good portion of those years dirt poor. I worked for a pyramid scheme and sold art out of my car. I made decent money slinging phones for 3 years, and hated every single day of it. My dinners would often consist of a Big Grab of Flamin’ Hot Funyuns, a Skor bar, a sixer of Old Style tall boys, a pack of Camel Lights, and nothing else. The Kansas Basketball Jayhawks lost not one, but two first round NCAA tourney games. It was not uncommon for me to wake up hungover, shocked to be in my own bed, only to remember that I never left my apartment the night before. I don’t even want to talk about the girl situation.
Fortunately, the Chicago Era didn’t leave too much of a legacy. Sadly, one major scourge remains.
See, I spent a good portion of the time sitting in my lawn chair watching a 13 inch TV built by a company called Curtis Mathis. I didn’t have cable, I didn’t have money for new video games, and I had a shit internet connection. I would watch, quite literally, anything that was on, short of CBS. I watched The Simple Life. I watched Joe Millionaire. I even watched regular season hockey from time to time. It was during this time that I took up watching The Apprentice. How was I to know that I’d be stuck with it now?
The Apprentice was trash TV, but it had its moments. Season 1 was something of a juggernaut. I remember that the Redeye or one of those Chicago tabloids even had CHICAGO VS NY as the front page on the day of the season finale, when Bill Rancik defeated Kwame Jackson to become the first winner. The show got progressively worse, of course, but it still kept some of its pop. It was well shot, well edited, and Trump got progressively more ridiculous.
Then, they invented the Celebrity Apprentice. A part of my soul died that day. Did I turn it off? Of course not! Not when I can watch a lesser Baldwin argue with the guy who played Big Pussy. Strangely, the winner of the first Celebrity Apprentice was Piers Morgan, who at the time (like many contestants) was by no means a celebrity, but actually is now. It’s not often that this sort of reality show catches somebody on their way up.
Sadly, the first season of Celebrity Apprentice worked and NBC had nothing new in the hopper *cough* Leno *cough* so the viewing public was stuck with more. Things continued to decline. Now, the candidates no longer lived together, taking away a fun domestic aspect of the show. Even worse, the show went to two, sometimes three hours long, when the original one hour format had contained plenty of filler. It was now impossible to watch without skipping over huge parts of the task. The age of up-and-comers winning died as well, as the next two winners (Joan Rivers and Brett Micheals) hadn’t been relevant since the late 80s.
Last fall, Trump kicked it old school. He returned the show to its roots, with real people as candidates. The show also reverted to 60 minute episodes. It worked again. It was unquestionably the most entertaining season since 2005. It wasn’t what America wanted though. Ratings were abysmal. America wanted Sinbad and Sharon Osborne. Trump had to act. Just like his hilarious meta presidential campaign, he had to give the people what they wanted. The horrific carcass of Celebrity Apprentice was exhumed.
And lo does the corpse reek. This season is a new low in negative Q factor. Richard Hatch. That old chick from Psychic Friends. Niki Taylor: Supermodel (in 1991). Jose Conseco. Famously, Busey.
The women’s team had become unwatchable . The last women alive on the show were Star Jones, NeNe Leakes, Marlee Matlin, Hope Dworaczyk, and La Toya Jackson. I took to rooting for the men’s team, as I am delighted to see any of these women given the boot. In order of least obnoxious to most -
Marlee. I have no real problem with Marlee, but I don’t like the dude who signs for her. He’s annoying, and it’s almost like she gets a bonus player, which isn’t really fair.
Hope. Every Celebrity Apprentice, Trump brings in a playmate. I appreciated the sentiment, this show (and this women’s team more than others in the past) needs the eye candy. Ivanka can only do so much. However, the playmates are always way overmatched, always do poorly, and always dress in frumpy concealing clothing. What’s the point?
NeNe. NeNe has no business being here, because she isn’t famous. She’s from the Real Housewives of Atlanta. If I’ve never heard of you and have never heard of your claim to fame, you don’t belong.
Star. Jesus fucking Christ. Not even the chicks on the View like Star Jones. Still, I would rather share a studio apartment with Star than deal with...
La Toya. It’s not her attitude, though I don’t care for it. It’s not her voice, though that adds to it. It’s her face. I know that’s a cold thing to say, but some people are too hideous for TV. Some people are born that way, La Toya made herself that way. I don’t know how the rest of the cast can avoid turning to stone. This season of Celebrity Apprentice is the first time in my life that I’ve ever been glad to not own an HD wide screen. In fact, I should invest in Samsung, because I don’t know how anybody watching this show in the US can avoid throwing a large remote through the screen during a 60 inch HD closeup of that mug. Blue Waffle is less revolting. (By the way, NEVER google that).
Now, we come back to Trump’s fuckup. Two weeks ago, La Toya got fired. I actually cheered. In the ensuing episode, Trump brought her back! This has never happened before. When you’re fired, you’re fired. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve long known Trump was a bad person, a bad candidate, and a bad television producer. Now, I feel like he’s attacking me personally.
At least if he runs for president, there won’t be a Celebrity Apprentice next fall.
Why do I keep watching? Maybe it’s to remind me of the mistakes of the Chicago era. Maybe it’s because I still hate myself from that time. One thing’s for certain - I don’t want to watch anymore. I need it to go away. Run, Donald, run! The campaign will be for more entertaining than this show. Just know, once you run, that the full force of this blog will be after you. You brought back La Toya. It’s not business anymore. It’s personal.