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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The formula here is the same as with Trump's version: Each week two teams compete in weekly business projects. At the end of each episode, the leader of the losing team and two teammates face elimination, and at the end of the series, one lucky person will win a vague job working for a well-known CEO. The big difference: this time, it's Martha Stewart doing the hiring and firing, and instead of using Trump's "You're fired!" line, she goes for "You just don't fit in," a choice that somehow conjures up mean-spirited elementary school girls icing a former friend from their clique. In the series' most brilliant touch, Martha also pens a personal note at the end of the episode to the loser -- what impeccable manners!
Is it any good?
Overall, this is pretty familiar stuff: Frantic teammates, lots of in-fighting, and whispered politicking back at the beautiful New York City loft the contestants share. There's the obnoxious guy, the gay guy, the girl-next-door, blah, blah, blah. It's embarrassing to watch them paste on smiles for Martha, and annoying to watch them fight in front of her.
In the end, there's not a whole lot that's new here. Martha's personality certainly isn't as big as Trump's, but even with her stiff exterior she's somehow alluring. Maybe we're just drawn to her because we all know her backstory and want to see if she'll ever mention her time behind bars (not promising considering how this was all but skipped over during her bio at the beginning of the show). But really watching her -- and seeing her craft her note -- is about the only reason to tune in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Martha Stewart herself. The show describes her rise to fortune, but focuses little on her brush with crime. Why do you think that is? Why do you think the press and public was gleeful about her fall? Did that have more to do with her gender or her personality? Do you think her time in jail had anything to do with her getting her own show? Did it improve her reputation?