Murtzcellanious – Martha Stewart: Naughty Or Nice?

First, let me begin with a little disclaimer.

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For those still waiting for my take on the Canadian Idol Finale, I promise it is coming. The same can be said for the Apprentice interviews which are on the way. It’s hard being everywhere at once!

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Now, onto the show. I don’t think any show was talked about more than the premiere of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Sure, you have Lost and Survivor: Guatemala which received a lot of attention, but clearly everyone wanted to know what would happen when they tried to infuse a little Trump into Martha’s usually lovely Kitchen.

I have to say that I didn’t think I would like this show. I thought it would just be a blatant rip-off and the marketing campaign really didn’t sell me. I was of the opinion that they should completely try to disassociate Martha and Donald, so that the two shows could stand on their own. Clearly some executives disagreed and thought that Martha could benefit from Donald’s success.

In any event, I was pleasantly surprised by the show. While the format remained the same as Donald’s with two teams being formed and then competing against each other in a relevant task, there were also some notable differences.

Primarily, the fact that the two teams are staying right next to Martha’s offices is interesting and I know that this was designed to bring office drama into the home-space. A nice touch by the producers.

I also like the fact that there is a “clean” element to the show. Like even though Stewart constantly presents a squeaky-clean image, she is capable of getting her hands dirty once in awhile. This is in sharp contrast to Donald’s show which emphasizes how ugly business can be.

While I still have reserved judgment on the teams dividing themselves into “corporate” and “creative” (I am sure Widro knows about the difference quite well), I think that it was a good move to let the contestants choose their own teams. This ensures that no one can make any excuses when they are let go (note the fact that I did not say ‘fired’).

The one thing that I did not like was the cheesy letter that Martha Stewart drafts at the end of the episode. This was a little too Kathy Hilton for me and I think it should be dropped. Just let them go and watch them walk away in shame.

I think that the show definitely has possibilities. The unexpected twist of Betthany knowing one of Stewart’s advisers will definitely have an impact on how the season ends.

Like I said at the beginning, this show will live or die by its ability to move away from what happens on Donald’s show. There will always be a stigma that Trump’s show came first and that is the original. Actually, that isn’t a stigma at all. That is the truth. As a result, Martha will have to work doubly hard to break the stereotype.

How can this be done?

I think that the emphasis should be placed on different tasks. On the first episode, the two teams Primarious and Matchstick were asked to adapt a classic children’s fairytale. Primarious won after choosing Jack and the Beanstalk.

I managed to get a copy of the book already and have gone over it. It’s a much deserved stray from the usual academic reading that I force myself to do. I still remember the days of Clifford, The Big Red Dog and The Berenstein Bears and the Jack and the Beanstalk book clearly is a nod to these literary classics of yesteryear.

The book has many colorful pictures and the text is easy to read. Don’t forget that you can win your own copy here at Inside Pulse!

The reason that I mention this is because it is something that certainly would not be found on Donald’s program and that is what the The Apprentice: Martha Stewart needs to continue to do.

As long as the focus stays on cooking, interior design and creative tasks, I think the show has some staying power. I know it is in-tough against the behemoth known as Lost, but for reality fans like myself, it will definitely make it a tough decision.

As Martha would say…

Goodbye.

Special thanks to Global and Indigo in their assistance with this piece. The Apprentice: Martha Stewart can be seen on NBC and Global at 8 PM. Beginning today, copies of the winning 32 page, hardcover picture book adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk will be available for sale nation-wide at Chapters, Indigo and Coles and online at www.chapters.indigo.ca for $15.95.