The Airing of Grievances
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Damn you, Trump, I swore this wouldn't happen! I promised myself I wouldn't get suckered in, especially when the advance reports were that this season was re-treading the ground of the first season. But I'm in, you got me. Maybe it was the extended boardroom scene on Saturday night's rebroadcast, maybe it was how tightly pulled back Melania Knauss' face looks, maybe it was the cute Douglas Elliman broker with the big dumper who'll get fired around Week 7, or maybe it was just the back-stabbing. Whatever the case, The Apprentice 2 is here.

I finally watched the TiVo of last week's premiere tonight, with an extra-long boardroom scene that only appeared on Saturday night's rerun. If this is a trend, I say "God bless it!" It was a master class in prefacing the act of throwing somebody under the bus with a barrage of compliments to deaden the pain a bit. As expected, many of the archetypes built last season return in new form, including:

- The greenhorn who gets knocked for his inexperience, yet who can talk his way out of a bullet to the head and who Trump wants to see more from (recent Harvard undergrad Andy playing the part of newly minted Harvard MBA Kwame)
- The completely batshit black girl who starts trouble on Day 1 (Stacie J./Omarosa)
- The wild-card bullshitter (Raj/Sam), in this case a slightly off-kilter real estate developer who wears red pants and walks around with a decorative cane
- An assortment of hotties with no discernable talent (Elizabeth, Jennifer M., and Sandy playing the parts of Ereka, Katrina, and Kristie)
- The quiet girl who looks cute about 15% of the time when the light and what she's wearing are juuuuust right (Stacy R./Jessie)
- The rube who ruffles some feathers with his plainspokedness (Wes/Troy)
- The diplomatic nice guy who's just psyched to be there (Kelly stepping into first season champ Bill's shoes)

Some of the moments were priceless, I give you the following quotes:

Raj: "Look, Mr. Trump, I'll tell ya. I didn't have toys when I was a kid and I'm not a master of this domain ... I had a truck, I think"

Wes: "I'm not sadistic, I'm really not"

Stacie J: "There's 8 of us, that means we're all-"
Bradford: "There's 9 of us..."
Stacie J: "So what does it mean?"

Stacie J: "That's cool, I guess we're gonna sleep here all night 'til we find out what's up"

Stacie J: "I felt it was anti-Stacie, actually"

After the extra-long boardroom scene, the choice came down to Project Manager Pamela (a dead ringer for my son George's late fiance, Susan), young Andy (getting exactly the same treatment as Kwame on the first task), and self-made man Rob (who bears a scary personality resemblance to a certain overly sweaty B-school classmate of Cozmo and myself). Rob gets the axe, for his failure to be proactive and contribute, and the incessant whining about "not being utilized" that followed.

And by the way, it's good thing to know some things never change. Sam Solovey is still tangentially involved and he's as nutty as ever.
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