Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Celebrity Apprentice Recaps: Episode Nine. Lisa Loses It.

Aaaah the Celebrity Apprentice. The kindergarten of the business world! A show that has become such a ridiculous farce than I’m amazed the competitors have yet to be tasked with a silly-face-pulling competition. Which, come to think of it, isn’t all that far removed from the humiliations that the celebrities will undertake today.

Join me after the jump to discover who bitched about who, who got fired, how wide Lisa Lampanelli’s giant unhinged jaw opened, and whether or not it inadvertently sucked in any innocent passersby.

Normally after the firing the surviving contestants return to the war room and are met with shock, horror and controversy. Not this time. Nobody really misses Lou. In fact Lisa Lampanelli is the most thrilled by his absence, to the point where Clay has to tactfully remind her that Lou is a human being - a fair call because he could easily be mistaken for some sort of sasquatch depending on the light. Lisa decides that she now hates Clay Aiken as well and pencils him onto her Shit List under “Everyone”. Gosh! Let’s hope she doesn’t end up having to work with him this week!

The Task

If you know anything at all about the business world then you’ll be aware that a very important part of it is designing your own puppets and then putting on a puppet show.

Now this is where I’m torn. The puppet task is ludicrous considering the premise/title/history of the show, but to be honest it’s also pretty cool. Brian, son of legend and personal hero, Jim Henson, will be judging the task as the celebrities perform their two freshly created puppet characters in a live adult improv comedy show. Why not get rid of Trump altogether and simply produce a show based on that?

Paul The Walrus Teutul Snr decides to project manage for Theresa, Arsenio and Aubrey, even though the only thing he knows about puppets is that he has a burning contempt for them.

On the other team Lisa Lampanelli pushes her way into the lead, project managing Penn, Dayana and ZOMG Clay joins her team! I could continue pretending that this will lead to a must-see-TV frenzied fistfight, but nothing really comes of it and they get along fine.

But what we do get to see is the production team puppeteering Trump, who is puppeteering the contestants who are puppeteering puppets alongside Henson’s puppeteers. It’s like the Russian dolls of reality TV! And I can’t wait to see who can get their hand in the furthest.

Paul’s Plan
Ha! Paul doesn’t have a plan! Unless you count keeping out of the way as much as possible. Paul’s back is playing up so he just lets the other team members do their own thing.

In fact none of them seem especially charged this time around. They lazily stick foam noses on pre-made puppet bodies and make arbitrary decisions about the colour of the puppet’s hair. You know - big business stuff. Even the notorious Aubrey O’Day is incredibly well behaved, to the point where she elicits nice comments from arch nemesis Arsenio. Aubrey will host, Arsenio and Theresa will perform the puppets, and Paul will lurk in the shadows pretending he’s watching.

What amazes me most about creative tasks though is how unskilled these celebrities are so often revealed to be. Without producers, writers, directors etc, many of them are shown to be lackluster creative talents who present early high school level work at the very best. Worst of all is Theresa who cluelessly struggles through improv training, puppeteering training, speaking, counting, and independent thought. I think it must be terribly depressing to float through the world, never being fully cognizant of what is going on around you.

Lisa’s Plan
On Lampanelli’s team her trademark trouble is brewing. Complete with the requisite screaming and crying which appears to be an unfortunate side effect of having Lampanelli interact with others.

After their BFF stint last week, Lampanelli is back to despising Miss Universe Dayana/the entire nation of Venezuela, and does her best to keep her from performing in the improv. I can’t help feeling that Lisa struggles with the fact that Dayana has an accent that is different to her own, and therefore makes brazen value judgements about Dayana’s intelligence and abilities. And if you feel like my cries of casual racism are unfounded, Lisa does her best to back them up by picking up a female puppet and doing her best “Spanish” character which involves a lot of “Aye Carrumbas!”. Dayana watches on with a stare that could slice through a bank vault. Apart from sticking a face on one of the puppets, she is given very little to do for the rest of the task.

Paul’s Show
I like puppets, so both shows are entertaining to watch and the co-performers from Henson are skilled and humourous. Arsenio doesn’t a decent enough job, but Theresa predictably lets the team down, bumbling her way through the process, roadblocking suggestions and failing to grasp what is going on around her. The audience seems happy enough though.

Which leads to the real disquieting thing about both these shows. The spectre of casual racism/cultural insensitivity rears its ugly head again as the performers speak random gibberish which supposedly ranges from Iceland to Norway. The audience predictably brays like appreciative donkeys. “HAAHAAA! It’s funny because they ain’t from around here! Hyuk!” Yep, other cultures sure are funny with their stupid nonsense.

Lisa’s Show
Lisa’s show is fine if you can tolerate the above. Clay does well and Lisa refrains from screaming profanity at anybody. The only criticism is that perhaps their material was a little bit too “edgy”. Trust me, it’s about as edgy as an apple.

The Boardroom.
Okay, time to put one of these folks out of their misery.

The team at Henson liked both and there were no major slip-ups which means that Donald Trump needs to waste time and force false tension for over half an hour. Luckily for him, Lisa is about as tense as you can get and she and Daytana get back into it instantly. But suddenly Lisa does a complete 180 and starts bawling like a baby because she, “didn’t come here to make girls cry” and if it they lose she threatens to take herself out of the competition. If it’s a sympathy bid then it’s not very successful because we brush over the fracas and move on. Lampanelli is nothing if not a whirling dervish of unrestrained rage and emotion and god help anyone that lands in her path.

But she survives this one. It’s Paul’s team that loses and let’s be honest - as much as I love Paul The Walrus, it’s abundantly clear that he did zero to help and should clearly be fired. But Trump still has to try and stretch this shit out so he pretends like Arsenio should be worried because... brace yourself... this is actually what happened... Arsenio made his puppet look like a “rocker”.

Yes, the mohawk Arsenio lazily pasted onto his puppet made the puppet not as versatile as a puppet without a mohawk, and that could be a reason to fire him. We are actually watching a grown man, Donald Trump, a man that hassled the President of the United States for a birth certificate and has considered running for President himself, tell Arsenio Hall, a long-time late night talk show host, that he shouldn’t have made his puppet a rocker and should be fired. What’s next week’s task, Donald? A fucking colouring competition?

After a lot of ducking and dancing Paul The Walrus is fired, as it should be. Paul at this stage probably just wants to sleep so no one gets too upset. And I bet Arsenio will never glue a mohawk to a puppet again. 

No comments:

Post a Comment