As Stephanie and Bren return to the suite this week, Alex is afraid that Steph will be angry with him and the rest of the team for calling her out on her negative behaviour. She surprises everyone, however, by telling them there are no hard feelings. She’s there to learn and appreciates that they were honest. Somewhere a senior editor is cursing – drama avoided.
The teams meet up at the offices of Sony Playstation, while Trump has one of those rehearsed scenes with the execs where he tells them what a great job they’re doing. Jill is once again filling in for Carolyn, but we’re told that Carolyn will return next week. This is good news – no offense to Jill, but Carolyn is fantastic and I miss her.
This week’s task is to create a graffiti wall in Harlem to advertise the new Playstation game, Gran Turismo 4. Trump is not fond of graffiti, but even he has to admit that some of it is “amazing”. There will be a focus group from Sony judging the results, and along with the two execs will decide who wins the task.
Assigning Project Managers:
Net Worth – While John is busy actually playing the game, Tara decides that she will lead the team because she knows Harlem. Okay. She wants to emphasize the growth and revitalization of Harlem in their ad. John and Audrey aren’t too sure about this – they think maybe the ad should have something to do with the game itself. Tara says that she knows what she’s doing though, and sticks with her plan. She says that if she loses to Magna in this challenge, she’ll lose her “street cred”.
Magna – Alex takes over as PM for Magna, saying that he’s tired of losing. They waste no time in meeting with Sony and heading out to find an artist.
Tara’s ‘vision’ is a backdrop of mean-looking buildings, with a car breaking through into an area of restored buildings. Oh, and maybe a guy with a big afro waving somewhere. When Jill stops by to see how they’re progressing, she comments on how the artwork might be relevant to the area they’re working in, but maybe not so much to Sony. Tara brushes off the comment, sure that she’s sitting on a winner.
Craig is put in charge of supervising painting, but Tara neglects to inform anyone else that Craig has any say in anything. Audrey, working directly under the supervision of the graffiti artist, butts heads with Craig and tells him that she won’t be spoken down to. She feels like Craig is treating her like one of his four children.
As a last minute touch, Tara decides to add the phrase “Tear it Up” to the design, front and center. No one is sure where the phrase came from, but she seems to like it.
Meanwhile, Magna has decided to paint a New York skyline with leaves and branches and stuff at the bottom, symbolizing the urban jungle. The problem? There are no jungle scenes in the game. Alex admits that he knows nothing of hip hop style, and recruits some guys who are walking by to give their impression of what the wall needs.
The guys take a look and decide that the wall needs “mad props” and “bling bling” – terms that Alex has apparently never heard. One person suggests cash falling from the sky, and somehow Bren channels his inner homeboy and suggests a fist full of cash with a huge ring that reads “PS2”.
Trump decides to take a look at the walls, and drives by in his massive limo. There’s some music in the background – a song saying something about “Trump is in the ‘hood” – which results in a lot of laughter in my home. Sure, Trump’s got a lot of bling, but the closest he has to mad props are his pink silk ties. Moving on.
The Sony bosses arrive at Net Worth’s wall, and Tara steps into the spotlight, taking credit for everything but the painting itself. She drones on and on about her vision, her ideas, her not wanting to insult the residents, yadda yadda. While the rest of the team seems put off by this, I’d be reveling in it. “Yay, if we lose, she’s already taking credit for the whole shebang! Woot!”
The execs call in their focus group, and everyone huddles together and whispers for a while before saying goodbye.
Over at Magna, it’s pretty much the same scene. Alex is a little out of his comfort zone describing the mad props to the execs, and he stresses a bit when the focus group arrives.
The Sony guys arrive at Trump Tower and meet with Trump and his “eyes and ears” in the boardroom. The candidates are all waiting in the lobby, milling about and looking nervous, as the clock slowly goes ‘round and ‘round.
Trump finally gets his results and thanks the Sony men. The teams are brought in and shown clips of the focus group’s reactions to their creations. First up is Magna, and the reactions are all very positive. One mom says that she noticed the “E” for everyone, and would have no problem letting her son play the game. Big score for Magna.
For Net Worth, the comments are less than complimentary. It seems that one man is offended by the way Harlem is portrayed (oops Tara), while the rest think it’s a nice piece of art, but it doesn’t really get the message across.
Net Worth’s reward is a professional photo session with a world-renowned photographer that I’ve never heard of.
In the Boardroom:
Trump wants to know what went wrong, and Tara wastes no time in putting the blame on John and Audrey for not telling her that there was more to the game than the streets of New York. Because she’s just the leader – they should have taken initiative. John says that he just assumed Tara knew there was more to the game, and Audrey says that she did say something. George wants to know who’s lying, and Tara finally admits that Audrey did point out there was more to the game, but thought she was talking about Gran Turismo 3.
Craig mentions that Tara’s vision of the wall never changed, even after their meeting with the Sony people. Jill wants to know where the line “Tear it Up” came from, and Tara explains that it’s a hip hop allusion. Jill points out that it has nothing at all to do with the game.
Audrey and Craig’s argument comes up, but doesn’t really amount to much except that all of a sudden everyone is pointing fingers at Audrey. When asked who he’d fire, Craig says Tara.
Tara decides to bring Audrey and Craig back into the boardroom with her, even though she had previously said she would take John and Audrey for not telling her more about the game.
When the three of them return to the boardroom, Trump asks Tara why she brought Craig with her. She says that it was because his bickering became a distraction. As Craig is defending himself, he throws in something about Audrey being recently married and likes to say that she’s the boss because she makes more money than her hubby does. Alrighty then.
Ultimately, Trump tells Tara that she owned the design and the vision for the wall, and missed the mark completely. It wasn’t about Sony or the game, it was about her perceived sensitivity for the neighborhood. Tara is fired.
In the Cab of Shame:
Tara says that she doesn’t really understand why she was fired. She was the leader, but it was ridiculous for this group of grown adults to assume that she would call all the shots and make them her underlings. And denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, apparently.
Quotes of the Week:
“I am the hip, urban demographic!” – Tara
“Erin looks like a Barbie doll college girl/ Hooter’s waitress.” – Alex, pointing out how far his team is from the target demographic
“(Bren) looks like a stunt double for Orville Redenbacher.” – Alex, at the photo-shoot, wondering why the beautiful models gravitated to Bren.
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