Problem Last season we loved watching self-absorbed maniacs make fools of themselves on The Apprentice. But this season there's something we don't love the actual contestants. We're also burned out on tasks that double as infomercials for big corporations.
Evidence Rule of thumb: The more NBC hypes a boardroom, the more boring it is. With no one to root for, there's little joy in seeing, say, mealymouthed Ivana spared. And the first five challenges this season were flog-athons for brand names (Mattel, QVC, Crest, etc.) which is more exhausting than entertaining. Maybe that's why the show has lost 5 million viewers from last season.
In its defense Exec producer Mark Burnett says he's in a bit of a casting bind: ''You can't cast a Goody Two-shoes in a show where they're fighting for Trump's favor. They would get eaten alive.'' And as for the Crest stunt, he gushes, ''That episode resulted in Procter & Gamble's biggest product launch ever!'' Yippee.
Solution Limit the product placement to one episode a month, tops. Stop relying on unstable hotheads and find the aggressive yet appealing candidates (think Survivor's Rupert or The Amazing Race's Charla) we all know exist. As Carolyn herself would say just fix it. Dalton Ross