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The Apprentice - The Complete First Season

4.6 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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(Aug 24, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With two little words, a flick of the hand, and that famously coiffed comb-over, real estate tycoon Donald Trump parlayed his financial success into a hugely popular reality television series based on personal and corporate intrigue. Billed as "the ultimate job interview," THE APPRENTICE lives up to its acclaim as 16 candidates vie for top position at one of Trump's companies and an accompanying $250,000 salary. Divided into two teams based on gender, the contestants compete against each other in assignments designed to test their business acumen, from selling lemonade on the streets of Manhattan to managing an NYC pedicab company. The team that makes the most money wins both a prize and immunity, while the losing team faces Trump and his assistants George Ross and Carolyn Kepcher in the dreaded boardroom, where one member is ceremoniously dismissed. Created by SURVIVOR's Mark Burnett, THE APPRENTICE shares that series' emphasis on personal conflict and cutthroat competition while adding the extra dimension of workplace reality familiar to office drones everywhere. This collection includes all 15 episodes of the series' fascinating and highly watchable first season.

Who'd have predicted The Apprentice would become such a hit? (Donald Trump aside.) And not just any hit, but one of the top-rated programs of the 2004 television season. A number of reality shows had crashed and burned before The Apprentice made its debut. Just as it was starting to seem as if the heyday of the non-scripted program was coming to an end--not counting American Idol--NBC's entrant into an overcrowded field was as an out-of-the-gate, must-see phenomenon.

The concept is simple. Real estate magnate Trump selects 16 players from business applicants across the nation. The grand prize? A $250,000-a-year job running one of his companies. As in producer Mark Burnett's Survivor, the contestants are then sent to an island--the island of Manhattan. In the first episode, they're introduced, then divided into two teams: the men (Versacorp) versus the women (Protégé). From this point on, they will compete in a variety of business-related challenges. The parallels to Survivor are clear, but brains will be more important than brawn--although charisma never hurts. The challenges include selling a product, managing a restaurant, and devising an advertising campaign.

At the end of each episode, the losing team is sent to the boardroom, where they meet with Trump and advisors Carolyn and George. The person considered most responsible for the loss gets to hear the immortal words: "You're fired." Although there can only be one winner, several stars would emerge during the first season: unctuous Sam, plainspoken Nick, sassy Heidi, and abrasive Omarosa. Various celebrities would also make guest appearances, such as Isaac Mizrahi, Regis Philbin, and Jessica Simpson. The success of The Apprentice would inspire a second season, as well as a host of imitators and spoofs, like Billionaire with Richard Branson and The Assistant with Andy Dick. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

Disc 5:
  • The Ultimate Job Interview!
  • The Candidates
  • Extended Audition Tapes
  • The Boss
  • Insights and Advice
  • "Donaldisms"
  • From 16 to One
  • The Board of Directors
  • Truth From a Taxi
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Advice From Season One Veterans
  • "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" Music Video
  • The Job Offer
  • The Future: A Look Ahead

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Donald Trump, Heidi Bressler, Mark Brown, Katrina Campins, Tom Downing
    • Directors: Mark Burnett
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Subtitles: Spanish, French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 5
    • Rated:
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004
    • Run Time: 708 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0002CX1WA
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,211 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "The Apprentice - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 17, 2004
    Several people warned me "As a career consultant, you need to watch this show!" So when the DVD came out, I did. And I was overwhelmed. You could show portions of the series in a non-Harvard MBA classroom.

    The show's premise has been described so often I won't summarize here. As Bill Rancic observes in his book, there's not much reality here. Tasks bear only faint resemblance to real-world business challenges faced by senior executives. Extra pressures arise from the group's living arrangement: a loft on Tiffany Corner, 5th Avenue and 57th Street, where participants sleep in cubicles, "on top of each other." Well, says Trump, a tiny apartment at that location might rent for $12,000 a month. He should know!

    Besides the survivor-type drama, we get a rare glimpse into Trump's world, as he shows off his apartment, fleet of aircraft, estates and companies. He comes across as likeable, even "funny," as one fired contestant says, showing annoyance only once in the entire series, during a mix-up in the very last episode.

    So can we learn business lessons from the show? In many ways, yes. Above all, what's important is conducting yourself professionally and never losing your cool. Participants must cooperate to win as a team, yet ultimately their teammates are also their competitors. In corporate America, you get ahead by supporting your boss. Here, a savvy team can undermine a leader who's a potential strong competitor or a despised colleague, getting that leader fired.

    Trump also encourages players to think outside the box. He is quick to fire those who won't stand up for themselves or who are squeamish about critiquing their colleagues. One woman got fired because she held back instead of "fighting for her life." Feisty is good.
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    "The Apprentice" is much like "Survivor" - for contestants with brains. Sixteen candidates are given different business tasks each week, with the person most accountable for failure subsequently fired. The last man standing gets to be "The Apprentice," for Donald Trump.

    The packaging of this DVD is very unique: it talks. Yes, for all the Apprentice-wannabes, open the flap of the boxed set's slipcase at the store - and you get hear Mr. Trump actually fire you. It's an amusing little gimmick.

    The episodes are presented in the same format as they were shown on broadcast television, with four episodes per disc, and a fifth disc full of special features - deleted scenes, contestant profiles, extended auditions of each contestant, making-of documentaries, Trump-isms, a condensed version of the entire season, a preview of "The Apprentice 2" featuring the 18 new contestants, even advice for the newbies from the old contestants. Virtually everything you could want as far as DVD special features are concerned, except for audio commentaries. Those might have been nice for maybe the pilot and the finale, but then again - I almost never listen to them, anyway.

    It's an entertaining show, and it's a well thought out, full-featured DVD. And hey, even just for the talking box alone, it would be a very interesting addition to your DVD collection.
    1 Comment 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    I'm not a big fan of reality-TV shows. I don't have a TV in my home.

    I hadn't seen even one episode of "The Apprentice", but I heard
    only positive reviews from my friends. So, I decided to get the DVD box set.

    On "The Apprentice", 16 contestants get split into two teams. Trump pits the
    two teams against each other. Each team must complete the same types of
    business projects in set time frames. The team that makes the most profit
    wins. That winning team usually gets the privilege of using one of Trump's
    extravagant facilities. As for the losing team, they reconvene with Trump, and
    Trump "fires" a member. The process of elimination continues until there are
    only two contestants left. Trump awards the last standing survivor with a high
    position at one of his companies.

    "The Apprentice" is ingenious on two levels. The first level of genius is that
    Trump gets to advertise himself on TV, to millions of people. He doesn't pay
    for the advertising; instead, Trump gets paid to advertise himself. The show
    portrays Trump to be more of a business-god than a business-man. And
    people willingly agree to watch this advertising. It's fun. The business-god is
    who many of us dream of being.

    Not only does Trump get paid to build-up his own business prestige, but also
    Trump gets competent unpaid laborers to advertise and promote his
    companies. For instance, in one episode the two teams compete to see who
    can sell more of Trump Ice, which is Donald Trump's bottled water. In
    another episode, the two teams compete to see who can make more money
    by renovating and renting out two of Trump's apartments.
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    The Apprentice took the American public by storm when it was first broadcast. On paper it offered little new, but few knew what lay in store. The timing couldn't have been more perfect for creator and executive producer Mark Burnett; reality TV (or 'unscripted' as the pretentious like to qualify it) wasn't a new concept to America, and Burnett wasn't a new face; he'd already brought 'Survivor' to the screen, but the time was right for something cool, flashy and innovative and this was it. The show does so well for two reasons: firstly, the viewer is invited to look on, car-crash style, as nine men and nine women reveal how desperate they are for a 'slice of the pie'. Nothing seems sacred here, not least dignity and integrity, as everything is laid waste in an all-out attempt to gain that year-long contract with The Donald. Secondly, we are invited to peer through the window of opportunity; it's a show that lets us know how close we could potentially be to living the kind of lifestyle we secretly crave, before reminding us that its probably not worth the hell some of these poor souls endure in order to get there.

    The DVD is an impressive five-disk set which offers the complete first season and an extra disc of special features. Just owning the show is worth the asking price alone, though there are a couple of quibbles here. Firstly the sound seems poor to me - I don't know if I'm alone in that (in which case, time for a new DVD player!) - my other DVDs play fine but the audio in this set is noticeably inferior, particularly the narrative. Secondly, I was mortified to discover that the funky little tune that accompanies the opening titles is not included on the DVD.
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    3 Comments 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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