Reality TV was the Santa Claus of my teenage years -- a story I grew up believing that was actually based on a web of lies and made me stop trusting my parents. (Technically, The Swan made me stop trusting everybody.)
I was naive then. I thought the committed couples of Temptation Island were actually trying to resist the hot, naked island inhabitants. I thought that the Apprentice's Amarosa was incidentally batshit crazy, not selected by a series of focus groups for that exact purpose. And it didn't even occur to me that Paula Abdul is high on crack at all times.
Now I understand that every poignant, exhilarating or high-stakes moment in Reality TV is completely scripted and sponsored by either Coke or Glad Tupperware.
Then, for awhile I was one of those 'in principle' Reality TV haters. Which is reasonably easy when you spend four years turning in late papers and panicking.
But then I graduated and decided that at the expense of curtains, non-holey sweaters, or a real bed, I would have cable. And I never looked back.
The point of this diatribe is threefold:
-Firstly, I am getting my money's worth.
-Secondly, anyone who hates Reality TV is a judgmental snob. I know who you are. You're the same people who think you're too good for Harry Potter.
-Thirdly, I fucking love Celebrity Apprentice.
I love it. This show actually makes me love Donald Trump. And his hair. And his shiny liquid undereye concealer. I don't know why he strikes me as such a sympathetic character, but he just does.
So here's the background. Two teams of celebrities compete for charity money and the glimmering hope that they aren't hasbeens. The girls include Joan and Melissa Rivers, T-Boz, a playboy bunny, a militant poker champion, and a motley crew of Reality Show Rejects.
The boys include Dennis Rodman, Brian McKnight, Tom Green, Jesse James, a figure skater, a country star, and one or two sports-type-people.
Objectively, the men have bigger celebrities, but they're also bigger freaks. So it's kind of a wash.
Anyway, on the series premiere they sent Andrew Dice Clay home, partly because he was a bad team player, and partly because he was an unlikable caricature of a Brooklyn comedian.
Last week's task was to sell cupcakes, which the girls won. This week's task: pitch a concept to the tiniest poker-faced Asian ever.
Enough disclaiming. Oh, wait, one more disclaimer: This live-blog actually pertains to last week's Celebrity Apprentice, because I was too busy watching this week's Celebrity Apprentice to actually publish the blog entry.
Celebrity Apprentice Week 2 Liveblog:
0:05: Recap. The hack comedian got fired and "Herschel Walker took control!"
0:30: Camera cuts to footage of Herschel "taking control," i.e. using dozens of illogical football metaphors.
4:00: The teams get their task. It's to sell a comic Superhero spokesperson concept to Zappos' CEO, who is tiny and impassive.
4:30: Annie the poker player: "I'm a poker player. I know how to do an end run!"
7:00: Women have their meeting with Zappos CEO.
Melissa: Are you looking to cater to men or to women?10:00: Men meet with Zappos CEO.
Zappos CEO: We care about conveying our brand and our culture.
Melissa: Do you like blondes or brunettes?
Zappos CEO: We just care about conveying our brand and our culture.
Melissa: What are you looking for in a superhero character?
Zappos CEO: Just.....think about conveying our brand and our culture.
Tom Green: Are you looking for something funny?11:36: Footage of Tom Green talking and his teammates exchanging resentful glances.
Zappos CEO: Let me say this: humor is not unacceptable.
13:00: Extended footage of women arguing with one another and men arguing with one another.
15:55: Claudia Jordon ("Model" from Deal or No Deal) wrinkles her nose. This may or may not imply anger and disgust.
19:00: Joan Rivers: "I think we should get a midget who says we're long on service and short on frustration."
22:42: Donald Trump shouts the following question directly into the camera: "The question is, can you handle the pressure?"
26:32: Joan psychoanalyzes the Superhero: "I know her power. She doesn't sleep."
35:39: Women get into a fight about who should write the script for the comic.
38:40: Melissa sticks up for her mother: "My mom has won, like, 8 Emmies!"
41:28: Camera cuts to men brainstorming their comic.
42:58: Scott the figure skater repeatedly begs the group to work together "without too much excitement or emotion."
48:18: Rodman has yet to say anything and may be asleep under his shades.
50:31: Men continue to argue. Lots of footage of Scott throwing Tom Green ominously resentful looks.
51:56: Donald Trump shouts business advice directly into the camera.
54:23: Dennis Rodman suddenly springs to life: "We can get like a transvestite! You can go get any transvestite ... and he can transform into a woman."
55:36: Cut to Scott video diary: "Um, I feel is a family brand...and Dennis is...so off the beaten...path."
58:11: Rodman: "So the whole comic now is about gay guys and gay people."
1:00:23: Scott looks on in horrified silence.
1:01:38: Rodman: "A flamboyant fashion gay guy...." (Swears repeatedly and uses several bleeped-out offensive terms.)
1:03:31: Brian McKnight looks uneasy. It is unclear whether this is because he doesn't like where the brainstorming is headed or because he hasn't sold any records in 11 years.
1:05:44: Rodman: "You know how those gay guys are always trying to %#^ their @#$^!"
1:08:22: Camera cuts to footage of Annie looking militant and determined.
1:22:06: Tom Green's teammates exchange ominously resentful looks.
1:30: Cut to Tom Green defending himself via video diary: "this is a game, but it's also about work. about business. and I wasn't going to shy away."
1:32:14: The men finally settle on a female superhero. Rodman: "And she's tired as shit. Tired. As. Shit."
1:36:38: Donald Trump shouts business advice directly into the camera.
1:37:08: Scott explains his decisions as team leader via ice skating imagery: "The hardest jump is always the one right after you fell down."
1:38:04: Donald makes leeringly suggestive remarks about Brande the Playboy Bunny and it's awkward.
1:41:23: Men lose. Again.
1:42:27: Men quickly isolate Tom Green and Scott as most vulnerable and throw them under the bus.
Donald Trump: Who should I fire, Brian?1:55:25: Donald Trump reminds Tom Green and Scott that they each are fighting for the same cause (testicular cancer.) And that they each have one testicle.
Donald Trump: What about you, Herschel? Who should I fire?
Donald Trump: Dennis?
(Rodman looks away and rubs his eyes)
Donald Trump: Dennis, who would you fire?
Rodman: Look, you know me. I don't know.
Donald Trump: You have to choose one.
Rodman: (mutters noncommittally) Scott.
Donald Trump: Scott?
Donald Trump: Tom?
Tom Green: Scott.
Donald Trump: What about you, Clint?
Clint Black: I'd fire Tom.
Donald: How about you, Jesse? Who would you fire?
Jesse James: Clint.
1:57:29: Scott is fired.
Come on, people. Tell me this isn't worth two hours.