Thursday, September 22, 2005

The New TV Show Review Challenge: The Apprentice: Martha Stewart

I used to watch the original version of The Apprentice. It was sort of a guilty pleasure for me, especially since I was not a big fan of any other Mark Burnett produced reality show. However, midway through Season 2, I got frustrated by the show and abandoned it. Now, I've decided to take a look at The Apprentice: Martha Stewart and see if this version of the show will catch my eye. Even though this show is really just a "remix" of the original, I actually kind of enjoyed it.

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart has a lot of similarities to The Apprentice. It involves a varied group of people as they vie for an apprenticeship with Martha Stewart at her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The group lives in a stylish loft that is supposedly very close to her office. The group is split into two teams and they engage in various tasks. The team who loses will see Martha and her two advisors (one of which is her daughter Alexis) and the project manager picks two people to go back into the conference room (not the "boardroom" like Donald's show). One of those three people will be eliminated by Martha who has her own signature catchphrase..."You just don't fit in."

What makes this version of The Apprentice different is the "gentler" approach of the show. Martha stresses teamwork (compared to Donald who seems to like those who take charge). She tells the candidates that she is looking for a "team player." Also, she is very nice to the candidates and tells them to have fun. Even her sendoff is nicer. The eliminated contestant doesn't just walk away...they get a letter written by Martha that we get to hear as a voiceover.

Overall, this version of The Apprentice is interesting and I might continue to check it out. Honestly, I'm a little sick of The Donald and even though Martha Stewart is everywhere again, she is still somewhat of a breath of fresh air. The only thing I have to wonder is NBC's reasoning in putting on both versions of the show during the fall. Martha's version, at least for now, has very few differences from Donald's version. The format hasn't been tweaked much. It's almost like having the exact same show airing two days in a row. It makes me think of ABC's infamous over-airing of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. It would've been much smarter to stagger the shows so that one premiered now and the other premiered in January. I can't wait to see if people will really watch both shows each week.

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