Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger has made his debut as the new head of The Celebrity Apprentice, replacing US President-Elect Donald Trump as boss of the boardroom.
As the actor and former Governor of California moves from politics back to showbiz, his predecessor is moving in the opposite direction and preparing to take the highest political office in the land.
But Schwarzenegger’s debut has not been a hit with critics, as he replaces the catchphrase “You’re fired” with the more ominous-sounding “You’re terminated”.
Boy George, Jersey Shore star Snooki and comedian Jon Lovitz are among the stars competing in The New Celebrity Apprentice.
The Telegraph notes approvingly that Schwarzenegger “immediately outdoes Trump”, but that isn’t enough to save it from being a two-star “snoozefest”.
Despite its loathing for Trump, the New York Times believes that replacing him with Schwarzenegger has removed some of the show’s edge: “With Mr Schwarzenegger, there’s no joy, just a — you’ll pardon the word — robotic professionalism. His rebukes don’t have enough bite, his stares don’t have enough menace.”
The LA Times strikes an even sadder note, commenting: “There was something strange, and perhaps even a bit sad, about seeing Schwarzenegger — who was once considered a rising star in the Republican Party, ran the most populous state in the country for seven years and used to be one of the biggest box-office stars in the world — picking at the leftovers of a guy whose most prominent film role was a cameo in Home Alone 2.”
Variety also has harsh words for the new Apprentice host, complaining that he “does not offer much to engage with except faded glory, gamely delivered famous lines, and visible discomfort with the roles of both business mogul and reality star.”
Not a great start, then. But one thing’s for sure: he’ll be back.