40 Hours of Television

The class is over, but the discussion continues. Does the media shape reality, or does reality shape the media? Art can imitate life...and life can imitate art. "40 Hours of TV" will explore the media and its impact on us all.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Recap: "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" week three

When we last left off...

Team Matchstick, headed by PM Weepy Chuck, failed at the task of setting up a floral shop and selling lots of flowers. Tulips didn't sell as well as Team Primarius With Extra Added Celebrity Florist Bouquets. Another defeat for the "creative" types at Matchstick. Weepy Chuck brought Crazy Jim and Sensible Dawn to the boardroom...er...conference room where Chuck took responsibility for his team's failures while Crazy Jim made Crazy Faces. Martha sent Chuck packing. Who will be sent home tonight? Jim! I wish.

Tonight's episode...let them eat cake. Can the teams create and sell their own designed wedding cakes? Team Matchstick has two chefs...surely they'll win! For a change. Right?

We open with Crazy Jim on the phone with Mrs. Crazy Jim. She's about to give birth! Crazy Jim wants to be there, but it's too important to be a contestant on a reality show to witness the birth of his child. Crazy Jim, who is now Grinning Jim, explains that he and Mrs. Crazy Jim had decided Grinning Jim would remain on the show in order to make a better life for him and his family. Yeah, I'm sure the old advertising game just isn't paying the bills like a temporary position with Martha Stewart's company would. So, shut up, Crazy Jim. You're on the show for you. If you mugged for the camera any more often you'd be locked up in jail. Grinning Jim tells his wife good luck on her "task" which I presume is giving birth to his baby without him.

Phone call. It's Martha! She's calling from her stable with a horse. Daughter Alexis must not have been available. She wants everyone ready post-haste! Martha is informed most everyone is sawing logs. Martha says she's been up for hours. With the horse? We hear fake horse sounds. I think there's the growl of a mountain lion in there somewhere.

Let's take a moment for a new segment, "What I learned from Martha." This week, Martha tells us the secret to a successful business is to target a broad market. Brilliant! That means you get more people buying your stuff than if you had set your sights smaller. By the way, this can also be called "Foreshadowing with Martha." You'll see why later in this recap.

Team Primarius and Team Matchstick are assembled and told what the task for the week would be: to design and sell a wedding cake. We learn how the wedding business takes in something like $70 billion a year. The winning team would be the team that sold the most cake. Selling no cake would be bad, right, Matchstick?

Matchstick's PM is Young David, who has divided the teams into two groups: one would design the cake (that's where Matchstick's ace in the hole comes into play: two chefs!), the other to market and sell it. Dawn interviews that she's going to stay out of the spotlight on this one, and only speak when spoken to. I like Dawn. Which means she'll be let go soon.

Over at Primarius, the corporate types have picked Howie to be PM. Howie will soon by Angry Howie. As the team formulates their strategy, a decision is made to do some research at a NYC wedding center. That way they'll know what kind of cake is popular with brides. Problem is the wedding center specializes in Asian weddings, so it's no-go there. Angry Howie emerges after being blamed for sending researchers off to an Asian wedding center. Eventually it's all hugs and puppy dogs and the team gets to work on designing their cake, with a nice five-tier design.

Meanwhile, Matchstick has decided to phone wedding cake expert Sylvia Weinstock for some advice on what kind of cake to make. Pink! That's the ticket. And no small individual cup-cake cakes like the kids are doing. I don't get the kids anymore. Too old. Sigh. So, Matchstick designs a cake that looks like a large spice rack with concentric circle cakes. And puts lots of pink on it. It's Pink Cake! Yum.

Viceroy Charles checks in on Matchstick, where Big Mouth Shawn tells him that the team is going to win. Really! And if they lose, he can fire HER. Shut up, Shawn. Should I just end the recap now?

Over at Primarius, Martha Jr. arrives to see how things are going. Alexis demonstrates that, while women don't cry in business, they do show off lots of clevage when they can. Yikes.

Next day, the teams are hard at work selling their cakes. After a slow start Ryan sells a cake to a young couple who had met online. I wonder if they used Eharmony? I keep seeing commercials for them. You can go online and take a free personality test! Now that's a bargin, gang.

Team Matchstick isn't faring very well with its strange pink cake. Not well at all.

Back in the boardroom...er, conference room....and the winner is...Primarius! What a shocker. How'd Team Matchstick do? Didn't sell a single cake. Nada. Nothing. Whoops. See, they didn't follow Martha's advice on targeting a broad market. Instead, they designed a $10,000 cake that no one could afford to buy. Plus, it looked weird.

For their prize, Primarius has desert with The Donald and The Donald's model wife, Melania. It's Spot The Donald Guest Appearance! Kind of like when you'd see Alfred Hitchcock in one of his films.

PM No Sell Dave has decided to bring Dawn (?!) and Marcela into the boardroom...er, conference room with him. And what's on that conference room table? It looks like plants of moss or something.

Martha isn't buying Dave's choices for elimination, and calls back the rest of the Matchstick Losers into the boardroom...er, conference room. Gee, I wonder who's going to get the boot? We focus on Shawn, who stammers that in the TV biz you "fake it until you make it" which is why she told Charles he could fire her if the team lost. Martha is not happy, and Shawn is sent off to read the weather elsewhere.

Who'll get the big goodbye next week? Tune in next week!


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