The Rivers Wild

By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

The true character of Joan and Melissa being revealed was a beautiful plastic meltdown.

It's my guilty pleasure-- Celebrity Apprentice.  I have no idea why, since I can't stand Donald Trump and loathe his kids as they sit by his side in the boardroom acting like they're savvy business folk who earned their stripes years ago, when in fact, daddy painted them on.  The first week of it, Julie turned it on because Desperate Housewives wasn't on and we were hooked.  The car wreck that was Andrew "Dice" Clay, super-lazy Dennis Rodman, Mr. Sandra Bullock, a Playboy bunny and Joan and Melissa Rivers was enough to get me to watch again the next week.  What happened every week was what you'd expect from a reality show-- screaming, scheming, being two-faced, etc.  But I guess because it was "celebrities" (sorry Clint Black, Annie Duke, Herschel Walker and the girl from "Deal or No Deal"-- you ain't celebs) it was a little more interesting.  Then Rodman had a meltdown and Jesse James called him out in the boardroom for having a drinking problem.  Then Clint Black basically pissed everybody off along with Melissa Rivers becoming know-it-alls about everything.  But then, Joan Rivers started showing her 76-year old age by getting vicious on Clint, on the "Deal or No Deal" model ("She's a musher!"), Brande Roderick, and Annie Duke.  And for the last few weeks when Melissa has gotten ganged up on in the boardroom, Joan is quick to jump in and defend her and vice versa-- even when they were on opposite teams. 

If you remember the red carpet crap they did years ago, and I'm trying to forget the little I saw, they just seemed so emotionally joined at the hip.  That was evident when they were on the same team to begin with-- backing each other up, side by side, on top of the world.  Then they were split up after the guys' team lost like the first four or five until Brian McKnight saved the day.  It was like both had lost their security blanket.  It became obvious Melissa was brought up as a spoiled little brat.  Every week Joan would threaten to walk off the show if Melissa was fired or even ganged up on unfairly.  It was great.  During the tasks, Joan would be fine-- still very funny at times-- especially during big time presentations.  But once someone even looked cross-eyed at Melissa she lost all control.  Annie Duke, the poker player (yeah, you may have to Google), didn't back her up in the boardroom and Joan just unloaded behind closed doors as to how two-faced she was ("When she gets her first face lift, they're gonna need two doctors.") and how she would do despicable things to win this game.  The slow burn to insanity had begun.

Finally, a couple weeks ago, it came to a head in front of Trump.  Joan compares her to Hitler and in her unhinged yapping let's loose the line of the show: "She'd spit on the ground and drown her own mother in it if it would help her get ahead!"  That got a good laugh from our living room.  That must be a stock line, because she used it again in the next episode.  So, for the last two episodes it's been Melissa versus Annie with momma Lioness keeping a close eye on her cub. 

Now before I get to last night's world-beating performance, I have to point out why it was great all the way around.  Jesse James, who has a short, straight-forward hilariousness about him, got switched from the Annie, Melissa, Brande team to join Clint and Joan.  Jesse hates Clint and it was soon apparent.  One of his "testimonials" or whatever they call the interviews when no one is around, Jesse keeps it simple: "Clint sucks."  He hates Clint's idea for an ad campaign for Right Guard and keeps calling him stupid for not using his ideas 100%.  He keeps telling Clint to hit the delete button to improve his final product.  Convinced they're going to lose, they go to the boardroom to find out they won and has to eat a crap sandwich.  I like Jesse too, but the guy was throwing his own little fit for getting bounced off a winning team. 

Back to the girls, where Annie had taken credit for just about every part of the ad they put together and since Brande had let her take control of everything and they both pretty much froze Melissa out, it seemed favorable either Annie or Brande would get the boot.  But in the boardroom as the ax seemed to be falling toward Brande, she fought back hard and called out Melissa for being the whiny complainer that she is.  Momma Joan in the next room watching on TV was getting her coat on-- her weekly gesture that meant if Melissa goes, I go.  Melissa would always survive and Joan would have to stew a little more.  But her little girl didn't survive this week and you have to watch this and tell me who's meltdown is worse/best, Joan's and assault against poker players ("You're a poker player! That's beyond white trash!") or Melissa and her speed packing to get her dry cleaning and profanity-laced tirade on the producer who will not be getting an exit interview.  I'm sorry, I'm laughing just writing this!   

Tell me you didn't love every second of that! 

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