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July 30, 2015

The Apprentice: Los Angeles -- an early look

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 31st 2006 11:29AM

The Donald and his daughter Ivanka flip on their shades for the new season of 'The Apprentice,' which moves to L.A. on January 7.

No sense in explaining the premise of this show; we all know what The Apprentice is. It's all about getting ahead, making your mark, and scooping up all that extra money, money, money. So it only makes sense that the sixth installment of the Mark Burnett produced reality series takes place in Los Angeles, a city obsessed with vanity, appearances, and the almighty buck. However, it seems that Burnett and Trump have finally realized that for The Apprentice to ever stand side by side with Burnett's CBS juggernaut (you've probably heard of it, usually takes place on an island), things needs to change. I'm not so sure the transformations this show has gone through were the right ones though.

First, let's talk about what's good. The move to L.A. has definitely invigorated the show; it feels fresh and it definitely feels brighter. Remember that first season of CSI: Miami and how flamboyantly colorful and explosive it looked when compared to the Vegas original? The same can be said when you look at this and compare it to the previous five New York seasons.

The show also feels younger. Gone are Carolyn Kepcher and George Ross. Filling Carolyn's seat is The Donald's Wharton educated daughter Ivanka and the other seat will be filled by a rotating cast of former Apprentices and the winning Project Manager. That's right, one of the new twists this season is that the winning Project Manager will join Trump at the boardroom table during the firing process of the losing team. On top of that, the winning PM will also remain PM until their team loses. I like that a lot because it creates the potential for the dynasty if one team were to keep winning. By the same token, that could backfire, and seeing the same person in charge over and over could quickly get stale.

I've now seen the first two episodes of the season and the show quickly establishes what's staying the same and what isn't. As I mentioned, the younger feel is definitely prevalent but here's what I don't like about it. When Trump had George, Carolyn, and season one winner Bill Rancic by his side, it felt like he had actual professionals (who knew what they were talking about) advising him. With the new structure, he could have different people advising him each week. I'm not sure I like that inconsistency and, if anything, all it does it isolate Trump and it makes it clear that the onus of decision is solely on him.

The other big twist this season has in store is the theme: the haves and have-nots. All season long, the winning team will get to sleep inside Trump's swank L.A. mansion while the losing squad will bunk out in the backyard in tents. It highlights the fact that winning is what you want, but we knew that anyway. It feels gimmicky and I'm not sure it serves any purpose beyond that. The idea is that it will further motivate people to win. The potential of being hired by Donald Trump wasn't enough encouragement to do well?

Overall, the big question is: has the show changed? Yes, definitely -- enough that loyal fans will be pleased and perhaps enough that lapsed fans who have skipped the last few seasons (myself included) will come back.

The Apprentice: Los Angeles premieres on Sunday, January 7 at 9:30 on NBC.

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I am a big fan of The Donald and The Apprentice, HOWEVER, not this one. Changing the original cast, ie: George and Carolyn and putting family in there is a HUGE MISTAKE. And to put the losing team in a tent in the backyard is disgraceful, and very unprofessional....trying to outdo Lost and the like. Even the losers deserve a decent place to sleep. I don't like the show any more and have quit watching it. Not as good as it used to be....

Donald, you should know that what worked for the last few shows was a SUCCESS, but, pal, you blew it on this one. Sorry to have to tell you.

February 26 2007 at 1:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great! A resignation. I learned more about Trump when he was denied his opportunity to say "you are fired".

Frank is still somewhat less than a great leader.....(i.e an idiot)

Why has Trump these less than accomplished rich kids advising him? Ah, I forgot, the kids have to be promoted.

In summary, I feel that in the transfer of the show from New York to Los Angeles the niveau has been adjusted to the local Hollywood standard...

January 22 2007 at 1:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Frank is an idiot. smae with martin.

January 17 2007 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Linda Perkins

I don't think it is right or fair that any team is to be stuck in tents during this so called "job interview" process. How can they be expected to be rested and ready to do their best when they are so uncomfortable and unhappy. It is ridiculous to even have considered this moronic idea, much less actually following through with it.

Put them in the furninshed rooms and let them rest and refresh themselves everyday and every night to make this a fair Apprentice search.

There is no clear winner in this show this season because one team has been unable to think clearly and feel good about themselves because of having to live like homeless people.

January 15 2007 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watch it every week. I think that they should have both been fired. Frank acts like an idiot who doesn't know whats going on and won't take the blame for his actions.
I am glad it came back on though, I watch it all the time, and no matter what you think about Trump, he obviously knows how to run a large company and there are things that can be learned from how he manages things. There are always going to be people following and watching someone who is sucessful. Don't watch it if you don't but I know I will continue to on a regular basis... Keep up the good work Donald

January 15 2007 at 7:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What is wrong with this show? The projectmanager should have to go in task#2. Kerry had initiative and ideas, which could not be said about the project manager. Where was she to correct and lead? The sadness continues....

January 15 2007 at 1:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Very disappointed that the frantic, asskissing idiot (Frank) was not fired. Should have left along with Martin. Sad start......

January 08 2007 at 11:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The show was so ridiculous last night. It has lost all its professionalism and realism. To have the losers sleeping outside and showing up in the boardroom all done up (hair & makeup) is a put on.. Frank acted like a moron. To delegate their assignment from a driveway and they the teams ran dressed in their business clothes without sitting indoors to discuss a game plan is unreal. And, yes, my husband was correcting Heidi's grammar too.. Oh..and to have a recording of a baby cooing and giggling in the beginning... come on here.. Let's get professional or I will not waste anymore time watching what has become a "comedy"...

January 08 2007 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jackie Lubben

Heidi might have been a good project manager, but her grammar in the boardroom was shockinglly bad ("...someoone should have went...").

January 08 2007 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jane Barnes

I think Frank should be fired.

January 07 2007 at 10:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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