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The Apprentice: The Complete First Season (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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Donald Trump, one of America's, most successful businessman, teams up with Executive Producer Mark Burnett ("Survivor") to create a thrilling, no holds barred game where the ultimate prize is the dream job of a lifetime. Now experience the phenomenon like never before with all the best moments you didn't see on TV, including an exclusive sneak peek at "The Apprentice 2!".
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Donald's back and this investment relives the fun and anger on becoming the ultimate apprentice!
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The show's premise has been described so often I won't summarize here. As Bill Rancic observes in his book, there's not much reality here. Tasks bear only faint resemblance to real-world business challenges faced by senior executives. Extra pressures arise from the group's living arrangement: a loft on Tiffany Corner, 5th Avenue and 57th Street, where participants sleep in cubicles, "on top of each other." Well, says Trump, a tiny apartment at that location might rent for $12,000 a month. He should know!
Besides the survivor-type drama, we get a rare glimpse into Trump's world, as he shows off his apartment, fleet of aircraft, estates and companies. He comes across as likeable, even "funny," as one fired contestant says, showing annoyance only once in the entire series, during a mix-up in the very last episode.
So can we learn business lessons from the show? In many ways, yes. Above all, what's important is conducting yourself professionally and never losing your cool. Participants must cooperate to win as a team, yet ultimately their teammates are also their competitors. In corporate America, you get ahead by supporting your boss. Here, a savvy team can undermine a leader who's a potential strong competitor or a despised colleague, getting that leader fired.
Trump also encourages players to think outside the box. He is quick to fire those who won't stand up for themselves or who are squeamish about critiquing their colleagues. One woman got fired because she held back instead of "fighting for her life." Feisty is good. But these values are hardly universal. Trump has created not only a company, but also a culture. Other companies may expect executives to stay in the box and be quiet.
Are these really the best and the brightest? Watching contestants fumbling around, it's easy to question the selection process. But we have to remember these folks are fish out of water. They're jammed into tight spaces, sharing quarters boot camp style. They've presumably signed releases, allowing photographers to film them sleeping, brushing their teeth or answering a phone in their underwear.
Some contestants no doubt have trouble relaxing and sleeping in those conditions. And the pace is relentless. As Rancic says in the bonus material, some people just got tired. Stamina, motivation and perseverance lagged. Romance was hard to manage, although one couple came close. (I think Omerosa and Kwame had some chemistry, especially evident in a deleted scene shown on DVD and suggested by his decision to select her for a critical task. But nobody comments so maybe I shouldn't either!)
Candidates were young and many were at a crossroads: newly divorced, restless, and/or facing career challenges. They were a special group in many ways - some special to the point of quirkiness, but that's another story.
Having read Bill Rancic's book first, I watched for signs of greatness. Bill did not stand out in the first few rounds - when some obvious misfits were culled quickly - but found some effective out-of-the-box strategies that dazzled Trump. Additionally, Bill was poised, professional, articulate and good-looking. A no-brainer.
The real winners were those who followed the strategy Kwame describes in the bonus material. He saw the show as a platform for a new company and a new career. Based on media reports, all have received great job offers or seen their businesses expand. One candidate managed to use the platform to display her worst qualities - but you can decide for yourself.
As an expatriate New Yorker myself, I was drawn to the last scene of each episode, when the fired participants find a cab idling right at the curb, presumably equipped with a video cam to record their last thoughts. Just having a cab at your beck and call can be a luxury, but I wondered more. Where do they go? Does Trump buy them last-minute airplane tickets? Fly them home in his private jet? Stash them in the Trump Plaza hotel? Well, maybe we'll find out someday.
The packaging of this DVD is very unique: it talks. Yes, for all the Apprentice-wannabes, open the flap of the boxed set's slipcase at the store - and you get hear Mr. Trump actually fire you. It's an amusing little gimmick.
The episodes are presented in the same format as they were shown on broadcast television, with four episodes per disc, and a fifth disc full of special features - deleted scenes, contestant profiles, extended auditions of each contestant, making-of documentaries, Trump-isms, a condensed version of the entire season, a preview of "The Apprentice 2" featuring the 18 new contestants, even advice for the newbies from the old contestants. Virtually everything you could want as far as DVD special features are concerned, except for audio commentaries. Those might have been nice for maybe the pilot and the finale, but then again - I almost never listen to them, anyway.
It's an entertaining show, and it's a well thought out, full-featured DVD. And hey, even just for the talking box alone, it would be a very interesting addition to your DVD collection.
I hadn't seen even one episode of "The Apprentice", but I heard
only positive reviews from my friends. So, I decided to get the DVD box set.
On "The Apprentice", 16 contestants get split into two teams. Trump pits the
two teams against each other. Each team must complete the same types of
business projects in set time frames. The team that makes the most profit
wins. That winning team usually gets the privilege of using one of Trump's
extravagant facilities. As for the losing team, they reconvene with Trump, and
Trump "fires" a member. The process of elimination continues until there are
only two contestants left. Trump awards the last standing survivor with a high
position at one of his companies.
"The Apprentice" is ingenious on two levels. The first level of genius is that
Trump gets to advertise himself on TV, to millions of people. He doesn't pay
for the advertising; instead, Trump gets paid to advertise himself. The show
portrays Trump to be more of a business-god than a business-man. And
people willingly agree to watch this advertising. It's fun. The business-god is
who many of us dream of being.
Not only does Trump get paid to build-up his own business prestige, but also
Trump gets competent unpaid laborers to advertise and promote his
companies. For instance, in one episode the two teams compete to see who
can sell more of Trump Ice, which is Donald Trump's bottled water. In
another episode, the two teams compete to see who can make more money
by renovating and renting out two of Trump's apartments.
Through performing those projects for Trump-badged goods and services,
the contestants form marketing campaigns. They pitch it to two audiences: to
their business contacts in New York, and to the viewing audience across
America. In exchange for their unpaid labor, these contestants get airtime on
national TV, as well as free room-and-board in The Trump Tower.
The second level of genius is that "The Apprentice" can be analyzed as a
stylish documentary about the lives of businesspeople. Not all of the
contestants are good businesspeople. It's up to the viewer to analyze what
makes the good ones good, and the bad ones bad.
In each episode, Trump does give his own analysis of the contestants' strengths
and weaknesses. But that analysis is very brief. He allows the viewers to
discuss their likes and dislikes. And by discussing and analyzing each
episode, the viewer dwells upon the show, becoming anxious to see the next
Furthermore, the competition effectively turns into a quasi-sporting arena
when Trump allows team members to be traded. Who are the stars? What
are their win-lose stats? Who will get booted next? You have to watch the
next episode to find out.
It is the combination of all of these factors that make "The Apprentice" such a
smart, stylish TV show that is essentially irreproducible. (To see what I
mean, just try watching an episode of Mark Cuban's "The Benefactor.")
I give "The Apprentice" 5 of 5 stars because of its combination of educational
value and entertainment value, all supported by a framework of
ingeniousness. It's smart business.
The DVD is an impressive five-disk set which offers the complete first season and an extra disc of special features. Just owning the show is worth the asking price alone, though there are a couple of quibbles here. Firstly the sound seems poor to me - I don't know if I'm alone in that (in which case, time for a new DVD player!) - my other DVDs play fine but the audio in this set is noticeably inferior, particularly the narrative. Secondly, I was mortified to discover that the funky little tune that accompanies the opening titles is not included on the DVD. I can only imagine problems securing the rights to the song, and the replacement could be a lot worse, but that was such a great tune, and worked brilliantly with the opening sequence. What a shame.
The 'extra' disc is dissapointing. It certainly looks as though you get a lot of extras when you make a list of them, however for all the impressive list, in actuality you might get a couple of hours, and that's being generous. Most of the featurettes are three or four minutes long, and some are just parts of the show chopped out and edited together - nothing exclusive in that! I don't think it would have taken much effort to put together a propper 'behind the scenes'. Even the deleted scenes last just ten minutes. That said, it is a nice way to spend an hour or two and for forty dollars, with twelve hours worth of actual show attached, its acceptable, you just get the feeling it could have been better.
Whatever the success of the second season, this is worth owning if only because it was the first, the original. And if you get it before September 9th, you get a sneak peak at the next series!!