TV Article

Cruise Control Freaks

On ''The Apprentice,'' the teammates bicker while trying to create commercials for a shipping line, and Dan gets thrown overboard

The Apprentice (Season 5) | THAT SINKING FEELING Dan's shipwreck spot made no sense
Image credit: The Apprentice: Virginia Sherwood
THAT SINKING FEELING Dan's shipwreck spot made no sense

''The Apprentice'': Maritime disasters

Hey, kids. Daddy's home, and I'm gonna be eatin' you up.

Did you miss me, ducklings? And did you notice the Excedrin ''Biggest Pain'' commercials and think, my God, it's like they're reading my mind? Yeah. Hi. Two weeks on the road and I come home to a bunch of generic execu-bots squabbling over seaweed? Funny how I didn't miss TV while I was gone.

But so whatever. I'd like to thank Annie Barrett for doing a bang-up job in my absence. Brent's gone now, and obviously we're all ecstatic without the ''extra weight'' (way to keep a straight face there, Tammy) — now we can get back to television the way it's supposed to be, all streamlined and devoid of fatties. The pastries are sad, but they'll get over it. Much like Andrea, who is, you have to admit, scary. I know Annie found her reminiscent of Angela Chase from My So-Called Life, but I think she's somewhat more reminiscent of a serial killer. ''I'm sure that's not the last time in my life I'll be surprised,'' she murmured to poor Roxanne about the boardroom, and I wondered if by ''surprised'' Andrea meant ''Gosh, Roxanne's bones really are tough to saw through.'' FYI: The woman is a sticker-company owner. Kids, your parents weren't kidding when they told you not to waste your allowance on that crap.

Tonight's challenge was to shoot a commercial for Norwegian Cruise Line, one of the ''fine lines'' anywhere in the world, according to Trump, who displayed a suspicious lack of articulation this evening, everywhere from his continued insistence that the word is pronounced ''industry'' to his fascination with the two (two!) propellers that power the Norwegian Jewel. I love it when I start giggling so hard I have to put down my wine. Maybe even better was Bunker Bill standing all slack-jawed in the background; God, I wish that guy would just make out with me already. Anyhoo, since this has apparently turned into a marketing competition, our teams set out to shoot the best commercial in the three hours remaining before the boat sailed. Have I mentioned that I have like one phobia in life, and it is big boats? I freakin' hate big boats. This is what I go through for you people.

Synergy's project manager was Roxanne, who remains not chopped up by Andrea but who also did a pretty poor organizational job, or so it seemed, thanks to the editing. Goldspanky's PM was Dan, whose brain has fused with Tarek's, and in the midst of their incredibly-attractive-yet-numskulled-man crush, they somehow managed to listen to Lenny's idea to have a ''castaway'' come on board and be blown away by the luxury and amenities provided by ''Freestyle Cruising.'' At the risk of continually harping on my favorite Russian, I just find it funny that he of all people came up with a scenario in which someone is starving. Anyway. This idea seemed cute, initially, but then Tarek insisted that they not use a voice-over but rather just flash words on the screen while some smooth jazz lulled us all into a coma, and when Lenny protested, Tarek replied, ''You know what? Then you defend your ass that way, too.'' This sort of conflict directly contradicts Trump's Lesson of the Day, featuring Oh-My-God-Kendra!: ''Listen to Your People.'' Tarek doesn't listen. Real quick, a transcription of Lenny's response because I love him: ''Tarek cut my idea in half, you know, Tarek came out with this the words come out like it's a crazy s---, I'm like, what do you smoke, man? It's craziness. It's a madness, really.'' Really. Madness.

So meanwhile, Roxanne is demanding respect w/r/t her opening shot and finally getting it....Wait, I just said ''w/r/t.'' This is an affectation I picked up from David Foster Wallace, and you all have homework: Go out and find A Supposedly Fun Thing I Will Never Do Again and read it. It has to do with cruise ships. You can thank me later. What was I saying? Oh. So Roxanne got what she wanted, so did Tar-Dan-ek, and we rolled off to decision time.

After two spectacularly choreographed presentations, the Norwegian Cruise Line execs preferred Synergy's seaweed-free ''It's all about you'' spot over the refugee-aliciousness of Goldfarb's commercial (the seaweed's a metaphor, dammit!). And so Synergy got to roll out to a secret vault manned by armored-car drivers and enjoy a full body-cavity search on the way to spending an afternoon underground flinging diamonds around and taking a little teeny one home; Goldenysnicket headed off to the boardroom. Of course, we were privileged to hear Tar-Dan-ek — it's like a turducken, really — discussing strategy, and Mr. Mensa telling poor Dan that he has no friends, which came up later when poor Dan brought Mensa into the boardroom along with Lee and...

Okay, I can't go any further. What happened in the boardroom tonight was yet another example of the way this show frequently makes absolutely no logical sense. First of all, Trump at least seems onto Tarek's suckiness, after seeing him three times in a row. But yet he chooses to harp on poor starving Lenny, who is not even there, because the castaway concept was his idea. Never mind that Dan is nobly trying to make the very good point that the entire team thought Lenny's idea was a good one, and it was just in the execution — read: no voice-over — that it broke down. But it didn't matter: In typical fashion, Trump fired Dan on the technicality of not bringing Lenny in. I hate that. Really, really hate that. Still, it gave us a classic moment: In the traditional after-firing banter (i.e., ''That one was tough.'' ''You had no choice''), Trump asked Bunker Bill what he thought, and Bill tentatively said, ''I liked Dan.'' I have never seen Trump's head snap to its right so fast. ''But you think it was the right decision?'' ''Oh yes yes sir definitely yes okay I am so sorry,'' said Bill. Okay, that's not really what he said, but it was kinda like that, and you see my point. Poor Bill. I would save you.

What do you think? Who's more likely to go next: Lenny or Tarek? Do you think Kendra has been locked up in the same bunker as Bill? And were those really Charmaine's and Leslie's feet we saw in the ladies' room stalls?

Originally posted Mar 28, 2006
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