Apprentice
Shaniagans

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Jacob Clifton: B | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Ten: Keep It In The Aughts
E. Keep it out of the Boardroom and concentrate on staying there, so that your record speaks for you regardless. Acknowledge it and clear the air with your teammate, but stay focused on the task. In front of the Viceroys, show your competence and enthusiasm as much as possible without seeming insane.

Answer Key:

A. You are a "Kristi!" You sometimes appear disloyal, but it's only because you kind of are.
B. You are a "Felisha!" Quit your gritching and get behind your own case, please. Nobody likes a whiner.
C. You are a "Josh!" And I need you to quit it! You're making me look like an idiot.
D. Jim? Call me!
E. You are "Randal!" We all hope you enjoy being the next Apprentice before you realize what a fucking sham this entire thing actually is. Love, Television Without Pity.com.

Next morning we're downstairs in the Trump Bar, with bartender Chris, who looks like bartenders do, and says a canned line about how Trump Bar is the yoogest and the best and will destroy all other bars on the East Coast with the immense power of its ambience and beverages. We've got Bill again, and he looks much better than he has previously: scared out of his wits, of course, but with a nice Mystic and a generally attractive air. Rebecca hobbles up at the front of the line, of course, and for some reason everyone's breathlessly tense. Felisha is wearing a ruffly Macy Gray shirt that makes her look like a light pink pirate at the Cardio Bar. Trump needles Randal about the whole "you're a loser" thing in the Boardroom, explaining why we spent so much time on that just now, and Randal looks like Avril just punched him in the box. Carolyn stands oddly in her pink suit, like Corporate Barbie, and gives the impression she wishes she were on a golf course somewhere. Trump segues to how this next task is about "branding," but it's not.

Here's how you get there: Shania Twain is branching out from being a purveyor of horrible music to being a brand unto herself, and the relevant step for Shania Fucking Twain Omnimedia is her new Coty fragrance, Shania by Stetson. Despite Coty being a $2B company, their hundred sub-brands and labels have led me thus far in life to assume that Coty is solely responsible for those little-girl-indoctrination candy-flavored "lipstick and rouge" kits they sell next to the cash register, so maybe they're not the best to go to for "branding" advice. I'm sure if you use or sell or market makeup, you'd know better, but speaking as a guy, Josh, I had no idea they were a real cosmetics company. Trump gets very excited about this new thing called "wrapping" that all the advertisers are doing, and even makes a demeaning "not like the music!" joke, although it's simply not laughably unlikely that Trump would think of rap music as some new thing developed to sell products and make revenue. Actually, it's not impossible that anyone would make that assumption, these days. No, this wrapping is when you wrap a "flexible vinyl adhesive" with ads on it around something in order to make it look tacky. Oh advertising, with your hermetic lingo. Trump's hilarious: "A car, a house...anything!" And a sudden camera angle suggests: Even Adam! The teams each get 1,000 square feet, a van pre-"wrapped," and $10,000 for expenses, and all they have to do is "figure out what to wrap." There's a 1-800 number on the ad that people can call for a free sample, one number per team, and the team with the most calls wins.

Excel first, Randal interviewing that they have to work both "smart" and "hard" because there are only two of them, and then a shot of the ad: Shania Twain looking like she's just been hit in the head by a cast-iron frying pan. While sojourning at a booby hatch. Randal, going off the fact that there are only two of them, immediately comes up with the idea of using the wrap on sandwich boards. Bad idea, right? He calls a bunch of staffing agencies and comes up with sixty people to carry them. Sixty. Randal's unbelievably, and adorably, pumped during this part of the task: when he hangs up with the second lady, he says to himself: "That's what I'm talking about!" Rebecca smiles absolutely gorgeously when he tells her this. Going off the $100/person estimate of Capital Edge, that's only $6000. People are cheap. I can understand this, though. You're at two people, and you've got a task of a certain enormity (as signaled by the budget), and one of you has a bum ankle -- you start thinking, "We can't handle this on our own," so you think, "Lots of people," and then you think, "But how to use them?" and that leads you to sandwich boards. I guess.

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