The Apprentice-Martha Stewart 10/26 Recap: Where's The Game Zathura When You Need It?
This show may be a direct spin-off of Trumpís Apprentice show, but Martha ainít no Donald. Letís face it, Donald has charisma, heís got oomph. Why heís got gold for Godís sakeÖ.and Iím not talking about gold bars. Iím talking about gold as in opulent, gaudy, over-the-top decorating kind of gold. Marthaís more subdued in everything she does, from her clothes, to her decorating, to her personality (read boring). Heís the spice, sheís the bland. From what I can tell, the only similarity between Donald and Martha, is you either hate them, or you love them. If any Apprentice show needed Zathura, itís this one, but weíre just not that lucky. Who needs Sominex when youĎve got Martha? So, get your blankie, your chamomile tea and let Auntie Roses tell you a boring, mind-numbing bedtime story.
Previously on Martha, although Jim was an obnoxious buffoon, his life was spared because he worked harder for his team than his timid Project Manager, Jennifer. And letís be honest here, he makes for good television drama with his outrageous antics and pompous attitude. So Jennifer, the D.A., was sent home to return to her tedious life of prosecuting assorted criminals.
The Unwelcome Mat
As Jim returns to the loft, the others couldnít be less sincere about trying to appear happy at the prospect of seeing his mug. There is definitely disappointment weighing heavy in the air, but my attention is quickly diverted as someone is shown from the knees down, walking toward the loft. It looks like itís a woman with a pair of the ugliest feet Iíve seen in a long time. Are these Marthaís feet? These are the feet they have been kissing? *gasp, shudder* Sure enough, the ugly feet belong to Martha, and she drops in to see how her apprentice hopefuls are living. David confides that heís been napping (why would he tell her that?), Howie runs down the hall to make his bed, and Marcela swoons simply being near her idol. Martha, like the proverbial nagging mother, tells them their fresh rosemary is dying, and the trash needs to be taken out. As the candidates discuss living in close proximity with each other, Martha makes a hilarious comparison of their living conditions to what it was like for her in Alderson Prison. Did her rosemary die in prison, too? The Donaldís never been in prison, but even if he had, I canít see him comparing life in Trump Tower to life in prison. Before leaving, Martha corners Jim and chides him into being project manager for the next task. Game on, Jim. This should be good, and I find myself rubbing my hands together with anticipation. Although I canít stand the guy, heís my only form of entertainment on this lack-luster show.
Since multi-tasking is a normal part of Marthaís day, as she calls the loft the following day to give them their instructions, we see her clipping hedges with a small pair of gardening shears. Of course we know sheís already got a full meal for 50 cooking in her industrial-size crock pot, and has the dishes theyíll be eating on, curing in the kiln. Itís a given.
Excuse Me, But Thereís Something On Your Shoulder
We join Martha and Mark Marone, host of a show called Pet Keeping, at the Martha Stewart Living studio in Connecticut. Iíve never been a slave to fashion, but it immediately comes to my attention thereís a new fashion trend in Connecticut that Iím not aware of. By observing the two of them, I see the big fashion accessory this fall is wearing a parrot or cockatoo on one of your shoulders. Marthaís wearing an aqua-colored thin jacket with a white cockatoo, and Mark is wearing a tan ranger-style shirt with a red macaw on his shoulder. I donít see towels on their shoulders, or diapers on the birds, so I think Iíll pass. Theyíre surrounded by rats in cages, fish in aquariums, and Martha is holding her weird-looking dog, Francesca. Mark informs us that pets are a $34 billion business, and Martha declares that people of any age should have some kind of pet. *snap* Thy will be done, Martha.
Martha informs the candidates that their next task will be raising money for a charity called Broadway Barks, which is devoted to caring for homeless dogs and provides funds for some of New Yorkís dog shelters. The Beneful (an all-natural dog food) Celebrity Dog Auction will comprise of each team creating a personal experience with four dog-owning celebrities for people to bid on. The team that makes the most money wins, of course. The losing team goes to the boardroom with Martha. Dun.Dun.Dun.
Marthaís Tip: Including dogs in photos makes the picture seem warmer and will appeal to more people. This in turn, gets across the ďimage of good living, of thoughtful living, of loveable living.Ē Ah, so life is all about projecting the right image. *nods head knowingly* Iíve got a tip for Martha, ditch the gold clogs, lady, unless the image youíre trying to convey is that of a wealthy Dutch woman.
Join Me In My Mania, Wonít You?
Project Manager, Jim
Celebrities: Actor, Paul Sorvino and daughter, Amanda (Mia must be too busy), soap opera star Susan Lucci, John Lithgow and Joanna Gleason from Broadwayís Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and photographer/interior designer Todd Oldham.
Howie, Jim and Carrie meet with Paul Sorvino, Amanda and their dog. The team settles on a package to include the winner and their dog getting a walk-on in Paulís current movie. Jim thinks itís fabulous to be able to get your pet preserved on celluloid forever. I wonder how many dogs would think it was fabulous to pee on his trousers.
Wow, I didnít see the helium balloons in the car, but they must have been there because Bethenny greets Susan Lucci in the highest, squeakiest voice Iíve only heard at 10-year-old-kidsí birthday parties after theyíve passed the balloon around. As the gas wears off and she and Sarah get down to business with Susan and her dog, Oscar, itís decided the package will be a Diva Doggy Day of shopping and lunch at a dog-friendly hotel.
The final meeting of the day is Howie, Jim and Carrie working with John Lithgow and Joanna Gleason. The winner of this package will get a walk-on role at the end of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, during a crowd scene and a meet-and-greet backstage after the show. Once again, Jim thinks this is super, and I say, let the dogs have at him.
With Todd Oldham scheduled to meet with them tomorrow, the team decides to go out for dinner and consider marketing ideas. They seem to have forgotten Jim is not only on their team, but is the Project Manager, so Iím guessing there won't be too much work going on. Iíve only known Jim a few weeks, and even I know that alcohol + Jim = bad time. Sure enough, when Carrie asks if theyíre going to get any work done, he replies, ďweíre gonna not say much, get drunk and have sex.Ē Iím certain his wife, who is at home with a brand new baby, is thrilled to hear that one. From there he playfully orders a beer bong, a keg, three bottles of Cuervo Tequila, then smugly sits back, putting his feet on the table. The trouble with people like Jim (and we all know at least one person like him) is that they think theyíre hysterically entertaining, and the rest of us have to find a way to exist around them. His wife must be a saint (or insane). In confessional Jim declares to us that if they go ďfull-tiltĒ and they win the task, heís ďinvincible.Ē He leaves off the obvious ending to that sentence, however, and that is, that if they go full-tilt and lose, heís outta there. Oh wait, heís outta there at some point anyway. Thereís no way Martha would ever seriously consider hiring someone like him. I wonder if he realizes the only reason heís even on this show is to give us something to talk about, since Martha, The Cigar, Alexis (MS2.0), and all the other candidates are such a bunch of snoozes. Enough about Jim.
The following day, Carrie, Sarah and Bethenny meet with Todd Oldham as The Cigar sits in. Bethenny asks if Todd could design a den, keeping a pet in mind, and Todd thinks itís a great idea. He suggests designing a sofa, and a matching dog-bed. Everyone seems quite satisfied.
Normal People = Boring Television Even With Bruce And Merv In The Room
Project Manager, Marcela
Celebrities: N.Y. Jets quarterback Chad Pennington, actress Fran Drescher, Broadwayís Hairspray actors Bruce Vilanch and Jordan Ballard, and Merv Griffin, producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune game shows.
Amanda, Marcela and Dawna meet with Fran Drescher, and MS2.0 observes. Amanda begins their meeting by telling Fran she read Franís book, Cancer Schmancer, and that she, too, has had cancer. Amanda shares that she had a melanoma in her left eye, and although sheís healthy now, she lost the vision in her eye. Fran is working on a new television show, Living With Fran, and they decide her charity package will include a guest shot on the show, and a tour of the lot. Marcela says she kept a low profile because Amanda and Dawna seemed to have everything under control. Okay, got it.
From there, Marcela, Amanda and Dawna meet with Bruce Vilanch and Jordan Ballard on Broadway and zero in on a package consisting of coming to a rehearsal, front-row seats, and dinner with the cast, but Bruce nixes a walk-on stage idea. Amanda wonders if either of them has a vacation home in Vail, or Los Angeles, where the winner could then be whisked off for a weekend, and Bruce offers a room at his motherís Hackensack, New Jersey home. Heheh. Amanda feels Marcela was overwhelmed and didnít do much.
The second group consisting of Ryan (be still my heart), David and Leslie meets up with Chad Pennington with The Cigar watching over their shoulder. Ryan is enchanted with Chad, and his dog, Chloe, and goes so far as to say if Chad lived on the West Coast with Ryan, theyíd be good friends. (Hey Ryan, I live on the West CoastÖyou could come hang out with me anytime.) As Ryan and QB Chad throw around ideas (get the little wordplay there? Sorry about that, Ryan has me a little flustered), itís decided his package will include the auction winner and their dog having a barbeque with Chad and Chloe, the night before a game, then attending the game the following day. The Cigar is impressed with Ryan (he impresses me, too *giggle*) and Leslie during the negotiations, but feels David was uncomfortable.
Howie, Leslie and David meet with Merv Griffin and his dog, Charlie Chan at Mervís apartment, as The Cigar observes. David is taking notes on his laptop during the discussion and Merv questions whether David is in a chat room. David insists heís simply taking notes, but Merv tells him itís annoying. Back to business at hand, Merv explains he owns a Hilton in Scottsdale, Arizona, that is kicking off a bring-your-pet policy, so their auction package will include a stay at the Hilton for the winner and their pet.
I Bid You Good Evening
The bidders file into the theater with their dogs and prepare for the bidding. Our teams have been seated above the crowd in balconies, so they have a great view of everyone. Iím struck at how easy it would be to fling Jim over the railing, but I guess that really wouldnít be fair to the poor folks he might crush below. Rats. Bernadette Peters introduces Martha, and the bidding begins.
Chad Pennington - $3,200
Fran Drescher - $28,000
Bruce and Jordan - $1,900
Merv Griffin - $7,250
Total - $40,350 - The Losers
Paul and Amanda Sorvino - $15,000
Susan Lucci - $3,600
John and Joanna - $8,500
Todd Oldham - $17,000
Total - $44,100 - The Winners
Up in the Jim balcony, Jim is pumped up, shouting about Jimís win, high fiving the others on Jimís winning team, saluting Jimís people down below. Yes indeed, there are no clouds in Jimís sky above. As a side note, I just have to say, $28,000 for a walk-on role on Fran Drescherís set and a tour of the lot? Whatís up with that? (I suspect the winner also gets a $25,000 check from Franís personal checking account.)
As everyone gathers to face their witty pack leader, Martha, she informs Jim heís ďout of the dog houseĒ temporarily, and that he won, ďbest in show.Ē *groan* Sheís proud of both teams and says their reward is raising money for a worthwhile cause. In other words, no fabulous helicopter ride, or no glitzy dinner in a gold penthouse. Again, Marthaís no Donald.
Each loser is back in the loft scrambling to find ways to cover their asses and point fingers at the others. Marcela has a big target on her chest for not being more outspoken, and David is sharing the target because of his lack of performance. Curiously, Ryan is in bed. Actually, itís not curious that heís in bed, itís curious that heís in bed alone. Hee.
Down To Brass Tacks And Trivet Earrings
Everyone solemnly files into the boardroom, and Martha is already there (no grand entrance to the sound of trumpets blaring for her) along with The Cigar and MS2.0. Yikes! Apparently Martha held a class in How To Make Earrings Out Of Trivets, because Marcela is wearing the biggest pair of metallic earrings Iíve ever seen. The Cigar is annoyed that David wasnít more vocal during the negotiations, but Dawna is quick to point the finger at Project Manager Marcela, and her lack of leadership. Marcela and Leslie feel David should be sent home. Martha decides everyone but David and Marcela can return to the loft, but asks the two of them to stick around to see who will receive the Letter of Doom.
Martha asks David why he wants to be an executive of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. He says he wants to work in her internet division. He points out if he searches for recipes online, marthastewart.com doesnít pop up. Hmm, heís got a point. Martha is definitely interested. Marcela tells Martha she owns every issue of Marthaís magazine since 1997, and that she wants the job more than David (Iíd like to know how she determines that). The Cigar states that although he doesnít think David did much during the task, he thinks his internet statement was quite eloquent. Martha signals itís time for David to leave because heís still wet behind the ears, and he needs more experience. Before exiting, David politely tells them heís had fun, shakes their hands, and thanks them. Clearly, this man will do quite well in life, with or without Martha. Left alone in the conference room, The Cigar and Martha both decide they want to glean more information from David, and Martha writes:
I donít want to put you on the payroll, but Iíd like to hear any and all ideas you might have that would help me be more like Donald...
Hey, Ryan, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.