It’s not “The Apprentice,” but then again,
FOX’s new reality show, “My Big Fat Obnoxious
Boss,” isn’t intended to be. Instead, the new show is
shooting (quite literally, it seems, because in future episodes the
contestants get shot at with paintball guns) for laughs, not drama.
In this endeavor, the show succeeds. To a point.
The pilot episode begins by introducing the supposed president
of IOCOR, a fake corporation invented by the demented bigwigs in
FOX’s creative department. Named N. Paul Todd, and played by
William August, this “billionaire” truly is the boss
from hell. In fact, Mr. N. Paul — Fox has yet to reveal what
the “N” stands for — even insults one of the
contestants for being short. Now that’s a low blow!
The basic structure of the show is very similar to NBC’s
“The Apprentice.” Twelve contestants are split into two
teams by gender, after which they are forced to duke it out in a
series of increasingly ridiculous challenges. These challenges,
along with N. Paul Todd’s insanely zany antics, are what give
the show life. They are hilarious. While the first episode saw the
teams begging in the streets for spare change, future episodes look
to be even more entertaining with paintball fights, basketball
matches and frequent trips to N. Paul Todd’s private jacuzzi
(for the ladies of course!). At the end of each show, one
contestant is booted off. The catch is that the decision is made by
a mystery man whose identity will be revealed at a later date.
Sounds sort of interesting.
While easily the show’s best asset, the hilarious
situations these contestants are forced to endure is also the
down-fall of “My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss.” Simply put,
this program is very obnoxious. The jokes and challenges have a
high propensity for annoyance as opposed to hilarity. After just an
hour of viewing, laughter became forced, and the actor’s
performances seemed grating. This will inevitably hurt the show, as
future episodes will rehash more of the same.
In small doses, FOX’s “My Big Fat Obnoxious
Boss” can be a funny little diversion, but it’s no
“Joe Schmoe,” simply because the gag has already been
pulled. Audiences would be better served watching FOX’s
underrated “Arrested Development,” on right before this
reality TV farce. It’s funnier, sharper and certainly less
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars