I Thought ‘Prison Break’ Was On Mondays (Episode 1-1)

When NBC announced The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, I really wanted to like the show. I’ve enjoyed her other shows, although Martha never could convince me to shop at Kmart. Since Trump’s Apprentice started to decline in quality after, oh, the first season, I had high hopes that Martha would bring freshness and class to the franchise. I’m pleased to see that she did just that. This season, I’m not even going to give Trump’s version a shot. Trump = Old and Busted; Martha = The New Hotness.

If you based all of your opinions about the new show on the contestants alone, you wouldn’t be left with much. There’s the stock socially awkward, intense guy who will be gone in a few episodes, a bunch of blond women who kind of look alike (right down to their matching red suitcases), and the overbearing alpha male who was first to go. And it’s just plain funny that, at 64, Martha is far and away the best looking woman on the show.

But there’s a politeness to Martha’s Apprentice that makes it very watchable. Martha recognizes the losing team for putting a lot of effort into their task, and then writes a thank you note the contestant she kicks off. Heck, she calls the contestants herself to tell them where to meet her in the morning. Even her grammar is great; when introducing her “viceroys” (daughter, Alexis, and Board Chairman, Charles) she said, “They are virtually my eyes and ears.” Virtually, not literally, which is the more common but incorrect phrasing.

And tonight’s task of writing an updated version of a fairy tale gives me the chance to plug one of my favorite authors. Gail Carson Levine specializes in updating fairy tales and is best known for writing Ella Enchanted, a retelling of Cinderella. Even though her books may be shelved in young adult or juvenile fiction, don’t let that deter you; her books are timeless and suitable for all ages. I recommend any of the books in the Princess Tales collection. If you’re in the mood for romance, try trading chapters and reading the book aloud with your sweetie. Sappy but effective. For more information, check out: http://www.harperchildrens.com/hch/author/author/levine/