And she has the same name as Trump's ex-wife, too

I haven't kept up with The Apprentice much this year, having only seen half an episode until Thanksgiving, and I'd nearly forgotten that shows simple pleasures. You would have thought they'd have candidates of a higher caliber this year, but then over Thanksgiving we got to see the beautiful sight of Andy slipping some designers a few $100 bills as a so-called "cash incentive" a la a grateful Charlie Sheen at a strip joint. And then this past week, Ivana stripped down to her underwear for $20 to sell candy bars, and still lost to her opponents Jen and Sandy, who dressed up as "M&M girls" (Mars had to be thrilled to discover their mascot was a pair of girls dressed as cheap hookers). Jen and Sandy's reward for winning was to fly to Chicago and meet Bill Rancic, whom they had to pretend to be thrilled to meet. Bill apparently is a business mogul now--upon greeting the pair, he quickly dispensed with informalities and said, "Let's not waste any time. Should we go strategize? That's what I love to do." In his leather chair, he doled out bits of Apprentice wisdom: "You have to make your own case in the boardroom." "Work hard, do whatever it takes." Actually I'm making all of this up, I can't remember anything he said it was so vapid.
Carolyn is still awesome ("This person is going to run one of your companies. Would you hire a stripper?" she hissed in the boardroom), but one day I'd love for her to just turn to Trump and just chew him out in the boardroom for even considering hiring any of these young fools to run any of his companies. I don't know much about the remaining candidates, but I don't really care for any of them, which I suppose is okay. The stars are Trump and Carolyn, and to a lesser extent senile George, who's quite possibly senile, and however solid the candidates, the editors of the show will frame them at their worst. Reality television producers are like funhouse mirrors--you could be Mother Teresa and they'd find footage of you badmouthing a leper.
Now that I live in NYC, I see Apprentice contestants everywhere. A few weeks back Kate was up visiting and we saw some short girl in the midst of a glamor photo shoot in Central Park. Kate and her old NYC roommate recognized her as this year's Stacy. Nick from season one was one of the first people I saw when I was apartment-hunting. Raj is apparently dating Jen C., who lives in Rahul's building. I guess things never worked out between Raj and Robin, the boardroom receptionist.
Who has set women back more, the formerly successful business women who dress up like sluts to prove their business skills on The Apprentice, or the ladies on Desperate Housewives? I finally caught an episode of the latter, Tivo'd from this past Sunday, to see what the hubbub was all about. Not only was the episode boring, but I didn't find a sympathetic character in the entire show. This is what housewives are like? What community do they live in?
I'd heard about the one who's sleeping with her teenage gardener (Eva Longoria). In the episode preview, apparently she and the gardener were caught planting produce together by her mother-in-law, who then ran into the street and got run over by a car. This episode she tried to feign sympathy while her mother-in-law lay in a coma (I've never met anyone in real life who was in a coma, but TV and movies give me the impression that they occur with great regularity), and she had a fit when she heard her lover confessed to a priest, who she subsequently spoke with to confirm the solidity of vows of secrecy.
The boy who ran over the old lady? Her mother helped him cover up the crime by leaving the car in question unlocked in a seedy neighborhood until someone jacked it (an idiotic plan with more holes than the plot cares to resolve), only to discover that her son was an unrepentant devil.
Another mother (Felicity Huffman of the more flattering Sports Night) couldn't stand trying to raise her four young kids and became addicted to their ADD medicine. At episode's end she just left them and drove off.
I'm guessing Teri Hatcher is a divorced housewife raising her daughter alone. She's trying to seduce some guy in her neighborhood. She convinces him to take her to a hotel overnight, a plan she discusses with her daughter; open communications with your kids are the key to a healthy mother-daughter relationship (her daughter even helps her pick out a seductive outfit, telling her, "It's been years since someone's seen you naked, mom." Wow, do families really speak like this in the burbs today? That's more shocking to me than the Monday Night Football skit). She discovers that this guy has wads of cash and a gun in his kitchen cabinets, so she sneaks into his house to check it out, whereupon she falls through his bathroom floor a la Tom Hanks in The Money Pit. The guy won't tell her what the money and gun are for, and they seem ready to break off their courtship, until he comes by and offers to answer any questions she might have. Apparently that's enough for her as she then jumps into his arms and they make love against the wall, as people do in the movies.
There are two other women, one played by Nicollette Sheridan, another by an older lady, who are or were living together. They steal things from each other. The older lady gets killed at the end for having blackmailed another woman in her neighborhood.
It's possible, but extremely difficult, to maintain interest in a fictional television show where none of the characters are likable. Reality television is different; there's some wonderful schadenfreude to be had from seeing our fellow man degrade themselves in the pursuit of success. I guess the most sympathetic character I saw on the show was the gardener. After all, Eva Longoria is pretty hot. Besides that, the rest of the characters present unflattering portraits of suburban housewives, and that's a shame, because I've met plenty this past year while traveling from one friend's sofa to another as a houseguest, and all of them were good people.
And I was disappointed that Terrell Owens didn't appear. Didn't I hear he was on this show? If he comes back, maybe I'd watch.