Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Trump's 'Celebrity' Gulag

Only the wicked prosper on 'Celebrity Apprentice'.

Trump's 'Celebrity' Gulag

Dionne Warwick serving as a buffer between antagonists Star Jones and Lisa Rinna.
Dionne Warwick serving as a buffer between antagonists Star Jones and Lisa Rinna.

 

 

‘There’s sleep deprivation. They starve you and they do not have water for you.’

A prisoner at Guantanamo?

No, that’s Lisa Rinna, she of the scorpion-stung lips, describing the sweatshop conditions on ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’

‘Reality’ shows regularly manipulate the environment of their contestants in order to jack up the drama. They arrange confrontations, ply the casts with alcohol or, in the case of ‘Celebrity Apprentice,' wantonly  defy the Geneva Convention.

Stacking the deck like that is a rather inhumane (not to mention artificial) strategy. But when you plunge a volatile personality like Gary Busey  into such circumstances, you’re treading on dangerous ground.

Remember back when a common plot element in movies was a container of nitroglycerin and all the characters had to be vewy vewy careful, walking on eggshells  because any sudden movements could set off an explosion? Well, Busey should have ‘Nitro’ tattooed on his forehead.  

Rinna was exiled (‘You’re fired’) on Sunday, the victim of a cold and devious coup by Star Jones.

That’s the other disturbing element of this show (and ‘reality’ competitions in general): backstabbing,  conspiracy, dishonesty  and betrayal are rewarded. Fairness and integrity are presented as laughably naïve. Hail, Caesar’s Palace!

This may be an accurate reflection of business as usual in the Donald’s world (a Trump L’Oeil, if you will), but it’s a rancid paradigm for young people planning on pursuing a career in commerce: Cheaters win.

Today’s generation, who are being bottle-fed ‘reality’ TV, are presented with a grotesque array of role models.

Don’t want to study business in Trump’s gladiatorial pit? There’s always liberal arts: Snooki’s School of Drink ‘Til You Puke.                        

Read more Dave on Demand.

David Hiltbrand Inquirer TV Critic
About this blog

A true child of TV, David Hiltbrand has worked as a critic at People and as a columnist and editor at TV Guide.

David Hiltbrand Inquirer TV Critic
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