Will the real Martha please stand up?

Martha_apprentice2It felt like somewhat of a duty to tune into Martha Stewart’s version of The Apprentice last night. After all, Martha’s pre- and post- prison positioning is one of the most interesting branding studies anywhere. Thus, we were somewhat surprised to find that the show—even though, granted, it’s a spinoff of the Donald’s Apprentice—was so much like its sibling. We’d expected something with a few more differences than what we got—which pretty much amounted to Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” as the theme song and the closing touch in which Martha pulls out a piece of paper and writes a condolence letter to the person who just got canned. (Actually, that was a welcome break from listening to the tossed job candidate get in one last backstab from the safety of a cab, which is the closer on That Other Apprentice.) Certainly, Martha was on best behavior last night, showing none of the less admirable traits she allegedly has. She came off as polished, but warm. Therein lies the show’s dramatic tension, though. With Donald Trump you know exactly what you’re getting. With Martha, we’ll be watching and waiting all season long for that moment when the Martha we’ve read about in less-than-reputable publications, heard about in court testimony and seen in made-for-TV movies makes a primetime appearance.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor