Another concept that floated around the MTV offices for a while was about the candidates being divided up into two teams, then have a gangsta-style shoot-out. The last survivor wins. Unfortunately for MTV (and other misanthropic channels) reality TV hasn't YET reached the point where it's legally/morally acceptable to have dead candidates.
"I want to find a business mind that is a cut above the rest", says Curtis in the opening sequence. So you cast a bunch of MTV airheads, huh? That's a giveaway right there. "I want to share my wisdom". You were in jail and you got shot a dozen times. I wish I could be as wise as that. "I want to share my wisdom with the voices of the people." How exactly does one share wisdom with voices? That's like saying "I think through my toes". (No idea what that means either.)
Curtis says he wants to "offer a head-start to someone", something he himself didn't have (coz he wuz born in da hood, see...). But I guarantee that if we checked out the backgrounds of these hay-brained candidates, we'd find out that at least half of them stem from cozy middle-class families with ties to various casting directors and miscellaneous MTV staff. Half of them are just there to be on TV. The other half actually believe they'll be working for Jackson, or some such nonsense. In fact, who knows how many of these knuckleheads are probably rejected debris from "The Real World", "Room Raiders" and other shows.
50 Cent's cheap, moronic impersonation of Donald Trump was amusing. This prancing around in Armani suits, trying to look all dignified is supposed to make him look business savvy? You might as well dress up Beth Ditto as a ballerina, that's how convincing that is... You can put a crown on a frog, but he still remains just a prince. (Ehm... or something like that...)
Whenever Curtis waltzes into the laughably unconvincing "ghetto facilities" (where the candidates are being washed, fed, i.e. prepared for the audience's amusement), the candidates come close to wetting their pants. 50 Cent inspires awe and shaking in the candidates: the cult of personality gains a whole new meaning in the modern-day hype-arena orchestrated by MTV and its evil brethren the E! Channel etc. Observing these dozen or so clowns suck up to "Mr.50" (as some of them hilariously call him) was painfully embarrassing. I've seen less obsequious i.e. more dignified behaviour from autograph-collectors in front of sleazy Hollywood hang-out bars.
The interior decoration is laughable. It's as if they resurrected Basquiat as a zombie, then handed him a few spraying utensils and brushes, and let him run amok (as he always had done).
This boundless Curtis-worship does reflect accurately the twisted logic and confusion of MTV's excitable, uncritical, brainwashed, illiterate young masses: your idol is a former(?) criminal, himself barely literate, a man who does "music" but can neither carry a tune well enough to survive the first round of "Idol" nor can he play a musical instrument. However, he does have huge muscles and he's survived nine bullet wounds - and if that doesn't qualify you for 21st-century pop-culture stardom/greatness then I don't know what does.
Wasn't the whole point to give assignments such as pushing drugs to Primary School kids? Every contestant gets 250 grams of cocaine, and the one who sells it at street value in the shortest amount of time on a school playground wins the assignment. The "pimp assigment" - i.e. beating up the most number of prostitutes in an allotted time-frame - was also badly missed.
So how idiotic are the candidates really? Well, one of them, Rebecca, had argued with another candidate over a mosquito's right to not be squashed; she was pleading the others to "open their minds" by not killing any more innocent little blood-sucking, vampiric insects. A fat white guy, who gets kicked off very early, thinks 50 Cent is "Curtis Johnson", and can't even name two songs by him. (Don't even utter idiots know that they need to do some research about the host of a show they'd signed up for?) Another candidate calls himself "Cornbread". Need I say more?
Nevertheless, when all is said and done, it's an occasionally watchable show, thanks mostly to Curtis's charisma, his amusing hippitty-hoppitty posturing, and the candidates' extreme stupidity. The afore-mentioned "Cornbreaddddd" made me grin every single time: he talks like a cross between Marlon Brando's Godfather, a slow version of Michael Madsen, and any jazz/blues musician over the age of 80. He comes off as a caricature of a caricature of a small-time, aspiring rapper with an identity crisis.
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