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The Apprentice 2, Episode 1: Toy StoryPage 2
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The other team also brainstorms on names and comes up with a very long list – including Empire! Maria thinks Bradford may be overwhelmed by all of these women talking over each other. Bradford pushes for a quick decision, but he gets shot down. Finally, they all vote and choose Apex. Eh. It’s a good message, but it feels a little generic. They learn that the other team has chosen Mosaic, and Bradford says he thinks it’s hilarious that the mostly female team chose a more masculine name for their company. The women all laugh at the name Mosaic. Raj is probably seething.
At 6:30 the next morning, the Trump phone rings. Everyone is to meet at 8:00 at Toys R Us. When they arrive, I immediately notice that Raj is carrying a cane. Oh, honey. I was okay with the bow tie… kind of. But a cane? What’s next, a straw boater hat? You’re trying so hard you’re practically sweating. Trump immediately zeroes in on the cane and basically says it’s weird since he’s got two legs that work. Trump then learns the two teams’ names. Apex? “Sounds good.” Mosaic? “Wow, that’s awful.” Pamela says simply that it was the team’s choice. Trump says he respects her for taking the initiative to be the first leader, and says the same to Bradford. Trump then tells them about the task. Toys are big business, and their first task will be to develop a new toy for Mattel, present it to the top brass there. They’ll be judged on who has the most marketable toy. The losing team will, of course, face the boardroom.
Mosaic gets started, and Pamela tells the guys to take their ties off right away. No one at Mattel is wearing a tie, and she wants them to feel like Mattel executives. It’s too bad she doesn’t take off her scarf in the same spirit, not because it’s too corporate, but because it’s kind of ugly. They start brainstorming. Andy likes the name Crustacean Nation, and comes up with the idea of action figures with exchangeable appendages that come with trading cards. Kevin adds that there can be a team of good guys and a team of bad guys, and that all of the toys in the line could have swappable parts. Wes notices that Rob doesn’t seem to be contributing much. Rob throws out one idea – that maybe they use eels instead of crustaceans. No one loves that idea, especially because an eel is snake-shaped and… doesn’t have any appendages. Nice try, though, Rob. Rob says in an interview that he’ll do what’s best for the team, and maybe what’s best for the team is for him to just hang back.
That is monumentally stupid. Did Trump say that he’s looking for a leader? For someone who will not step up to the plate or come up with big ideas? Is he hoping for a decent middle manager? Rob is so screwed.
Apex is busy churning out ideas as well. Ivana throws out the idea of a wardrobe for a junior drag queen, an idea that doesn’t exactly wow anyone. Someone else suggests an Easy Bake oven that blows stuff up. Bradford says that he knows what boys like (and apparently, the focus of the task is to come up with a toy for young boys specifically). He has a sketch of a football toy that is remote control. He thinks it’s great, but no one else is excited about the idea. Jennifer M. says that she doesn’t think Bradford’s idea is sophisticated enough. Oh, Jennifer. If you don’t like his idea, that’s cool, but don’t pretend that the fact that it’s not sophisticated is going to hurt you. Little boys aren’t exactly sophisticated. I remember well how much fun my brother and his friends had smashing his He-Man action figures with a hammer. That’s not exactly sophisticated.
Stacie suggests that they do something with cars, maybe do a remote control car with all of the coolest parts from tanks, trucks, and so on to make the ultimate vehicle. The other women like this idea, but Bradford says, “No. We’re going with the football idea. I’m making an executive decision.” He tells them that the discussion is closed, and if they don’t like it too bad, and, “It’s my ass on the line.” Maria says in an interview that she was ready to strangle him.
So, how about that for an example of really bad leadership? Sometimes it’s a good idea to make an executive decision. Nick did it last season to settle the discussion about which artist to choose for the art task, and it worked out just fine. But in his case, he was working with a much smaller group of people, and they all knew each other a lot better. Plus, there were people on his team who liked his decision other than… you know… him. Bradford has now, in essence, told this group of people whom he barely knows, “We’re going with the idea that only I like, and now all of you have to work on this project and believe in it.” And that is not going to happen. It’s too bad that this seems to be a sign that Bradford is not long for this show, because he’s kind of cute. Oh, well.
It’s time for the Trump lesson of the week! Trump tells us that when you’re making a decision, “Be quick, but be careful.” Are you listening, Bradford?
Stacie tells us what we already knew, that no one is excited about Bradford’s idea. They meet with the design team. Bradford asks if anything like his idea is on the marketplace, and if it’s been successful. One of the designers says that he doesn’t think it would fly. Bradford asks about the ultimate car idea, and the designers love it. Ultimate car it is. Bradford says in an interview that he switched his leadership style to be less dictatorial. I don’t think it was that so much as that it became incredibly obvious that his idea wasn’t going to work, so he finally dropped it. Or, even less flatteringly, that he wasn’t prepared to accept that criticism from a room full of his teammates, but was willing to listen when an outsider offered it. Anyway, now that the team is committed to the ultimate car idea, Apex is excited about the task again.<--Previous 1 2 3 4 Next-->
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