Monday, 10 September 2012

TV: The Apprentice review

I’ve never been a fan of reality TV, but I can’t help myself when it comes to the Apprentice. From the moment I saw the gaggle of smug, self-satisfied faces parade onto the screen to take part in “the job interview from hell”, I knew it was going to be a good ‘un.

As with all series of the Apprentice, the contestants were separated into two groups based purely on their gender. Their first task as a group is to come up with the blandest and most pointless name possible for their group. The women went for Apollo, because of the Apollo space missions; Apollo was also the Greek god of fire, the sun, medicine and plague, so as you can see the name fits really well. If Apollo wasn’t bad enough the men’s effort made me shake my head in disgust: Synergy. I’m not fucking kidding you, they went for some early-90s business jargon which has been the butt of a few hundred Dilbert comics. I’m surprised that Sugar didn’t fire them all on the spot for coming up with such an utterly shite name.

I love the way that the contestants quickly slip into gender stereotypes. The men shout, bully, bang tables and are like some macho business pricks from an 1980s movie set on Wall Street. Although they didn’t show it on the show, I’m pretty sure they spent at least two hours comparing each other’s cock sizes and engaging in some rather tawdry drinking games which all seem to involve things being inserted into each other’s orifices. The women on the other hand come across as demented, emotional and bitchy; they seem to spend more time bickering with each other than actually get shit done.

The first task seemed as pointless and retarded as they usually are, and made for very entertaining viewing. If you were running a multi-million pound technology company, what would you think would make a great first challenge? How about make sausages? Didn’t think so. But that’s what they did, and it was hilarious. Synergy decided to make cheap and nasty sausages, whilst Apollo went for the gourmet end. After making the sausages, the teams went out onto the London streets to sell them to the unsuspecting public. Both teams set up a market stall and sent some of their team members off to sell them door-to-door. Apollo when to places like hotels and restaurants in an effort to sell them in bulk, Synergy literally went door-to-door, knocking on people’s houses. I don’t claim to be an expert at sales (I lasted only a few days in a sales job, not because I couldn’t sell, but because the other people were so abhorrent), but I know that if someone knocks at my door selling sausages, I’m not going to buy them.

From early in the first episode, it seemed quite obvious who this series’ antagonists are going to be: Stuart “the brand” Baggs – yes, this guy has given himself the nickname “the brand”, what a complete fucking cretin. This guy comes across as someone who is arrogant, deluded and when he opens his mouth a flood of bullshit bursts out like some broken sewerage pump. Mellissa Cohen – this woman looks like a female version of Andy Warhol; she is bitchy, arrogant, and comes across as a complete thicksicle, with lines like: “I’ve heard what you have to say, and I agree with you 100%, but...” – if there’s a ‘but’ you don’t agree 100%, you fucking retard. Dan Harris - unfortunately this guy was the first to be fired, and for good reason: this guy was a walking gland. If a filthy glob of spunk from a diseased male stripper could evolve into a human, this would the result. He's a macho and arrogant, and a bully who couldn’t lead a dog on a walk. This guy was a complete tit, and spent most of the episode barking orders as if he’d been watching too many ‘angry chef’ programmes.. I can imagine that this is the type of guy who regularly calls Talk Sport to complain about “them bloody Islams”.

There’s a little game I like to play when watching the Apprentice, pick a business cliché, and count how many times it is uttered during an episode. Next time, I will be counting how many times the contestants use the word ‘dynamic’ to describe themselves.

This article was originally published on Socko's Entertainment Review in 2010.

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