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reality? Get real...
April 13, 2004 9:13 PM   Subscribe

Reality's Apprentice Reality TV may seem a world away from real life, but what happens when Donald Trump’s The Apprentice moves in upstairs? Worse, what happens when it seems to be a sham? Keith Hollihan reports with a fascinating account of his life’s surreal intrusions.
posted by konolia (25 comments total)

 
It was sort of interesting for about 20 minutes then I realized I wasn't even halfway through the first page and gave up.
posted by Eyegore at 10:16 PM on April 13, 2004


Discussion of this article in the Television Without Pity Forums
posted by anastasiav at 10:36 PM on April 13, 2004


I thought it was fun. Thanks lil k!
posted by The God Complex at 10:40 PM on April 13, 2004


Shocking.
posted by Quartermass at 10:44 PM on April 13, 2004


Great story. Is this this something I'd need a TV for to know whether he made the whole thing up?
posted by cbrody at 10:56 PM on April 13, 2004


i really hope he got paid by the word
posted by tsarfan at 10:57 PM on April 13, 2004


Reality TV != reality. New York landlords can be unscrupulous. Film shoots can be obnoxious.

This is news?
posted by Vidiot at 10:58 PM on April 13, 2004


what happens when it seems to be a sham?

Hmmm, If the circumstances are a sham on so many levels (as posted) it sort of follows that the reality show is a sham.

Interesting read, I wonder what the spouse wrote?
posted by page404 at 11:01 PM on April 13, 2004


that was so much better than watching any of the shows. I wonder what "D" wrote...
posted by dabitch at 1:59 AM on April 14, 2004


I liked how "Reality TV" was pressed between two scenes of New York Reality.

I can't wait for this article to be ripped from the headlines on Law & Order.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:49 AM on April 14, 2004


Great article. Thanks konolia.
posted by BlueTrain at 7:31 AM on April 14, 2004


Great article. Anybody who has a problem reading well-written but long stories like that needs to go back to Little Golden Books.

Regarding the fakeness: the professional wrestling analogy was spot-on. This stuff is scripted from top to bottom. What isn't scripted is prompted. An off-screen producer will ask a contestant, "What do you think of So-and-So?" The contestant's response is then edited with out the lead-in question to make it appear like he spontaneously said, "I think he's a jerk." Failing those two tactics, controversy is invented in the editing room, where a ten-second comment one day is tacked onto a ten-second comment made weeks later so that they look related, contiguous, or like cause and effect.

It's all baloney, and has been since Puck and the gang appeared on MTV.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:49 AM on April 14, 2004


Great Article. Good job tracking this stuff down. Still, I do love my Sureality TV.
posted by chunking express at 8:09 AM on April 14, 2004


I quite enjoyed that. Pretty much why I don't watch 'reality' TV nor live in NYC.
posted by widdershins at 9:03 AM on April 14, 2004


great post, thanks!
posted by cmicali at 11:40 AM on April 14, 2004


Interesting read indeed. He brings up a somewhat disturbing point - if I were that Tammy person who got booted off that episode because the team lost the competition, I'd be pretty pissed. I don't watch the show, but why should we believe that any of the competitions AREN'T rigged? Doesn't it just defeat the whole point of the show?
posted by swank6 at 11:41 AM on April 14, 2004


stories like this always make me think about how in the first draft of Truman Show, the movie actually took place in Manhattan, not in a manufactured terrarium in Florida. scary.
posted by matteo at 11:42 AM on April 14, 2004


Thanks, konolia & anastasiav. An entire morning wasted, but I picked up this phrase in balance: 'the passion of a thousand fiery nuns'.
posted by of strange foe at 12:39 PM on April 14, 2004


Having worked on three reality TV shows, I can vouch that the TV side of this article describes situations that are pretty typical. Between the thousands of hours of footage shot "just in case," the editing room, the "character arcs" planned for the season, and the light and sound equipment constantly in the faces of all the actors/participants, there is very little reality left.
posted by bingo at 2:25 PM on April 14, 2004


swank6, Tammy didn't get fired because her team lost the competition, she got fired because Donald didn't want to hire her. For this show, the outcome of the competitions doesn't make any difference, since it's all one big "job interview" and only one person is going to get hired in the end. Tammy had no chance of winning anyway (I sure wouldn't hire her)... the competitions are really just a way to get to know the candidates better, and for us to be entertained. That's the brilliant and refreshing thing about The Apprentice -- at the very least we know that the folks doing the eliminating are trying to make the best decision from a practical business perspective... there's really no room for strategy or alliances or back-stabbing among the contestants. It's been interesting to see who forgot that aspect and thought of it as more of a game.
posted by greengirl at 4:33 PM on April 14, 2004


how do you get fired before you're even hired? I guess "you're not hired" just doesn't work as a catch-phrase-- which is the nut of the whole thing right there.
posted by chaz at 5:26 PM on April 14, 2004


They're fired from their apprenticeship. They're going to be hired as a head of one Trump's organizations.
posted by riffola at 7:55 PM on April 14, 2004


This is like an impartial article about you written by the cranky guy who lives downstairs and hates how you play your music too loud.
posted by smackfu at 6:25 AM on April 15, 2004


Actually, riffola, there is only one apprentice. The guy left at the end is hired as Trump's apprentice.
posted by VeGiTo at 9:55 PM on April 15, 2004


Yeah you're right, my mistake. Well they still worked for Trump during the show so that might constitute as being hired and fired?
posted by riffola at 6:27 AM on April 16, 2004


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