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The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Episode 9 – Soap Gets in Your Eyesby Betsy Wasser -- 03/19/2007
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Previously on The Apprentice, Surya finally got fired from Arrow. We all knew it was only a matter of time, right?
Nicole begs everyone to “please think about winning.” They’re all very happy to see James and Tim again. No one on that team thought much of Surya, especially not as a project manager. James and Tim report that Surya fought really hard. Tim says they didn’t spend much time attacking each other. He and James agree that there’s no tension between them. Frank says that if you’ve been called back from the Boardroom, it’s your turn to step up and be project manager. James says he’ll do it. This is his chance. Cool – James intrigues me, and I’d like to see more of him. One of the (many) things I don’t like about the winning PM repeats angle is that we haven’t gotten to see much out of a lot of candidates. Does Trump like Angela for any reason other than her athleticism? And Stefani seems really smart, but is she?
The Trump Phone rings, and the candidates are directed to meet Trump on the set of Passions. Nicole has a miserable time getting in the outdoor shower on a very blustery day. She yells that the water is going everywhere. There’s a lot of screaming. Of course in the meantime, the people in the mansion enjoy a placid morning. In the van on the way to the task, Nicole is still screeching about her horrible shower. I think I foresee a “Nicole is a shrieking harpy” plotline, don’t you? She is totally geared up about going to see Passions and says she’s a huge fan.
Trump chats up one of the stars of the show, and it’s pretty creepy. Watch your back, Melania. Trump tells us that Passions is a highly rated show, rather ironic, given that the show was cancelled recently. Anyway, the teams will be creating 45 second soap opera webisodes to promote Soft Scrub Deep Clean Foaming Cleanser. The executives from the sponsor will judge the soaps and choose the best. Trump says that someone will be fired “like a dog.” Because dogs get fired? I think Trump’s hair is on a little too tight, because he’s not making a lot of sense these days.
Kinetic talks about their skit. I’m going to call them skits, by the way, because I don’t really like typing out “webisode.” They want to talk about “washing away dirty secrets.” The team seems to be working well together, but Muna asks a lot of very detailed questions about the plot. Muna, you’ve only got 45 seconds; there’s only so much backstory you can get.. She is also bugging the hell out of Kristine, who says that Muna completely disrupts the flow of thinking on the team. She needs to shut up, Kristine says.
Kristine and Heidi plan to take on the acting roles, and they want Muna to handle the timelines because she is so detail oriented. It makes complete sense, as that is definitely her strength. However, Muna says she’s much more comfortable in front of the camera. That strikes me as absurd, because it’s not like she’s an actress. Kristine says she wants her to be in the place she’s most comfortable, so she makes Muna the housewife and Heidi the slutty neighbor. She thinks Muna is difficult to manage, so she’s giving in I think to shut her up.
They continue to work out the plot, and Muna says she refuses to say the lord’s name in vain. I do believe there’s also a bit in the Bible about adultery, which is the subject of the skit, but Muna seems unconcerned about that.
Arrow works out their shoot. James says he doesn’t quite know what he’s doing, but he’s going with his gut. Nicole and Tim will be acting opposite each other, but Tim keeps forgetting his lines. Nicole says in an interview that she came up with the story, which is about a guy who is cleaning his bathroom because he’s getting ready to propose. Because guys often propose in the bathroom? Whatever, I’ll let that one go. She thinks that playing opposite Tim is just adorable. Amusingly, we then cut to an interview with Thim. Tim says that it’s “completely hideous” because they’re so newly together. Pretending to propose is “massively awkward.” In the story, Tim starts to propose and Nicole interrupts to say she got a job in New York. James seems pleased with how it looks, but Nicole has more ideas for how to shoot the scene. James is all for it. They add some close-ups at Nicole’s suggestion. James thinks that her being a soap opera fan will really come in handy..
Kinetic shows Muna rushing to Heidi’s house for more Soft Scrub. Muna thinks that Kristine should be around, but she and Angela have gone to get props. In the car with Angela, Kristine says Muna is too sensitive, so she thought it would be easier to let her act. Angela nods in agreement. But back at the set, Heidi says it was really hard to both act and direct. Somewhere, Warren Beatty nods in agreement, right? They’re having trouble getting the shots right. Kristine returns with the lipstick, which clearly they needed two people to go buy. After all, they bought two colors! Angela says she’s surprised that the two actresses haven’t gotten farther. Kristine jumps in and starts directing. Muna questions her directions. Kristine thinks Muna would drive Trump crazy if they worked together.
Arrow is happy with how things are coming together. Frank and James can’t wait to see it. “Show me the money!” crows Frank, taking us in the wayback machine. Tim says in an interview that he and Nicole have a better idea of how to put things like that together than James does. James meanwhile admits that he realizes they know better than he does, so he’s willing to let them run with it. Frank continues to yell “Show me the money,” because he is apparently a relic from many years ago. Frank’s happy, but Tim has more tweaks. Frank thinks he is doing too much and might spoil it. He compares it to putting too much stuff in your tomato sauce. Stefani looks completely pained by the slow process.
Kinetic reviews their footage. Muna talks very fast, and it’s hard to understand her with her accent. Kristine is very worried. Heidi thinks it was a mistake for Kristine to leave during the first part of the task. Angela says that Muna says the product name too fast. She was flustered, and that made her talk too fast. Angela makes several good suggestions for the editing to improve things. Heidi says that it was hard to make sure the story still made sense and the product was highlighted.
Kristine made a huge mistake by letting Muna have her way. She may well have been concerned that Muna’s accent would make her difficult to understand, and I believe that her suggestion that Muna handle the detail work was more than mere flattery – Muna really does excel at things like that. Instead of letting Muna do what she wanted to appease her, Kristine should have been strong and told her know. The team would have been stronger for it, and surely she could work around any sulking Muna might do. Kristine really proved herself to be a weak leader.
The next morning, Arrow goes out for a team breakfast. Frank says they were all prepared, so there was nothing else to do. Well, that’s impressive. Everyone feels really confident. James says that in the unlikely event that he loses, he doesn’t want to bring anyone else into the Boardroom. He says it’s been a delight working with all of them. The rest of the team isn’t so pleased with what sounds like a goodbye speech.
Arrow arrives to present their webisode. Stefani does the presentation, which is a great idea, because she’s so smooth. The skit begins with Frank and Tim talking about Soft Scrub, then frantically cleaning the bathroom. You know, like men do. All of them are horrendous actors. It ends on a cliffhanger – will she move, or will she accept his proposal?
Kinetic is next. Muna talks a mile a minute, so I cannot understand a word she’s saying. The “cheating neighbor” storyline doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the final image, of Heidi frantically cleaning off a lipsticked message on a mirror, is excellent. The executives seem to agree, saying that one had a stronger cliffhanger, but the other had better branding. It’s kind of sad when “branding” boils down to “saying the product name in a clear manner,” but there you have it.1 2 Next-->
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