Thanks to the handy-dandy VCR, I’ve taped “Everybody Hates Chris,” so I’ll get to watch the show that the pro tv critics (and according to preliminary ratings, all other viewers) loved or were eager to try out. Eventually, anyway(Imagine if I had TiVo?)… Heavens knows, I’m a little behind on viewing things and reading things, and writing things…

But, I did get to watch the new “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.” It’s Martha, for gosh sake, so it’s very tasteful (as opposed to the usual pomposity of Donald Trump). Martha seemed very mellowed out (I suppose prison time does that, not to mention house arrest and the ankle bracelet to keep track of oneself). I thought the first episode played up the whole Martha brand very well – Martha built her company, made mad money, and is a true corporate big shot (I’d rather buy Martha or Oprah approved water over Trump bottled water, I shall say; Oprah Winfrey’s bigger than Martha or Trump, I might add – although, I’m sure she wouldn’t just pick any lousy Apprentice and would take the higher road of teaching the universe). Martha’s Apprentice contestants are already sickeningly obnoxious – one guy was such a jerk. To me, though, the weirdest thing was that the contestants were so white. Only one Asian female. Huh? Martha, I could have sworn the corporate world is getting to be/trying to be more diverse. And, yeah, Martha handwriting a letter of consolation to the fired contestant is a bit of a, well, hokey-pokey thing if you asked me. Like, don’t you have an assistant to just type it up for you, Martha? As Newsday’s tv critic Verne Gay (who didn’t really like the new Martha show all that much) observes:

And there lies the key problem with “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,” which is otherwise better looking than the original.

There is no fear in this show or any of the doom, shame, ignominy or flat-out reprobation that comes with getting one’s head handed to one by the Donald. This show’s light (his is dark.) This one’s happy (his threatening.) Martha laughs (he scowls.)

Without fear, there is no danger and without danger, no drama. And drama, along with that magnificent cheeseball, Donald Trump, is what makes the original “Apprentice” work so well.

The contestants are good — sharp, obnoxious and terribly blonde for the most part. But where is an African-American contestant? Just wondering.

Yeah, sure, you almost miss the stereotypical Angry Person of Color. Too many obnoxious white folks don’t make “a good thing” (and, yeah, I’ll borrow that Martha-ism).

Hurricane Rita coverage.

Alma Mater Young Alumni organization held a wine tasting event on Thursday night, at the Burgundy Wine Company in the vicinity of the Flatiron Building. I like this kind of stuff – for a decent price, you get to sample stuff. I’m not a wine drinker, but I figure if I like it, I like it. Red wines and white wines were available; the two red wines I tried – I liked them – they were “earthy” (as the purveyor said) and fruity (I’m no expert, but that’s the word I’m picking); the whites were a little more dry for me, so I’m more partial to the reds (I liked the color and smell too). TV food shows capture the food sense; I haven’t been appreciative of how wines get taught on the tv food shows. Ah, well.

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