This is definitely the guiltiest of my guilty pleasures and I offer no apologies for loving this show. First of all, I have never watched a single episode of the regular Apprentice, because watching Donald Trump fire desperate business school graduates competing for a job seems sad, while watching him fire Celebrities (some more *ahem* celebrated than others) who are competing to win money for charity is fun.
The format of the show is fairly simple, 14 celebs are divided into two teams and given a task each week. The project manager of the winning team gets money for his or her charity and one member of the losing team gets fired. There are two types of tasks; fundraising and marketing. In the fundraising tasks, the teams are given something to sell, and whichever team raises the most money wins. The marketing tasks usually involve a company giving the teams a product and asking them to come up with an advertising strategy including slogans, commercials or product launch events.
The marketing tasks are more interesting to watch, because you get to see people who are professionally creative working with each other and sometimes they come up with something brilliant. It is even better when the ideas are terrible and you can see the car crash coming from a mile away. The show fosters a very competitive environment and celebrities by their very nature are competitive people and you see how this can bring out the best and the worst in them.
Each episode culminates with The Boardroom, where the teams face Donald Trump and the two mentors who are his eyes and ears for this week’s assignment. Depending on the episode, this can be either the best or the worst part of the show. The good is when Donald gets the team members riled up and going after each other before they even know if they won or lost. The bad is when one person does an obviously terrible job and Trump is oblivious to it and mistakenly lays the blame incorrectly and fires the wrong person.
Since every episode starts with the previous week’s winner presenting a donation to his or her chosen charity, it works as a palette cleanser before the new episode unleashes fresh carnage. I know a lot of people won’t like this show, but I can’t wait for the new episodes every Sunday. They could easily make this show one hour instead of two, but I don’t mind that it is a little long because I watch it on my DVR and manually trim 30 minutes off of it anyway.
If you are looking for some throwaway fun on Sunday nights, you could do a lot worse than All Star Celebrity Apprentice.