The Apprentice episode 1 review (with posh-ish wine)

Oh lordy. By (un)popular demand, we've had another stab at reviewing The Apprentice. Apologies in advance...

Sir Alan Sugar in The Apprentice

This review contains spoilers. And lots of irrelevant waffle. And drink.

The Apprentice has gone a bit upmarket this series. Not the show per se, rather the quality of booze I’m intending to consume while watching it, before subsequently slurring words onto the page. As such, I chanced upon the Marks & Spencers dine in for two for a tenner offer, that gets you some posh grub and a bottle of wine into the bargain. The wine flatters to deceive, in truth, but I figured it worked out around £3 for the bottle. That, friends, makes it a good 99p cheaper than my local Spar has to offer. What’s more, the Spar was offering an Eastern European brand of paintstripper that even the bottle it was in looked disgusted by. Hence, Marks And Sparks.

Sadly, any cost benefit was soon offset by the need for a corkscrew. My Spar purchases have never required such an alien object. Bah.

And yes, The Apprentice reviews are back on Den Of Geek. Let’s do a quick FAQ as to why:

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Q Why does this site review The Apprentice?

Because.

Q Should this site be reviewing The Apprentice?

Probably not, in truth.

Q How can I register my formal protest?

I suspect the first three comments underneath this article will have beaten you to it.

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Q Will you give up early in the series again?

More than likely.

Q Is there any chance of you writing about a single episode of the show without having consumed an intoxicating beverage or two first?

Don’t be so bloody daft.

I come to this series, then, having stopped watching the last one altogether after three episodes. I’ve no idea who won. I appreciate I could have checked on Wikipedia, but I figure you want the truth. The reason I stopped? I didn’t want to not like the show anymore. I’d run out of things to say. And my liver was disintegrating under the glare of Baron Alan. It’s why I may stop again, but by unpopular demand, I’m back again.

It’s taken me 300 words and half a bottle of wine to get this far. This is not going well. But it is the first episode, and there’s never much to say about it.

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But I will say this: I cede to the wise words of a man called Boyd Hilton (he’s on Twitter here), who has argued in the past that reality TV shows of any flavour rely heavily on casting. He is entirely correct. Could, then, The Apprentice attract another Sugar’s dozen (well, 16) people willing to make a tit of themseves by spewing stuff their future grandchildren would shudder at on a future iteration of YouTube? What do you bladdy think…

Those opening interviews remain utterly bizarre. The candidates must know. I think this every time. Appreciating they may have one eye on a front cover of Now! magazine, who actually talks like these people talk? Has anyone walked into a job interview bellowing any of the following:

“I’m a great of my generation.””I’m half machine.” (Arnie, perhaps?)”I just feel my effortless superiority will take me all the way.””I’m business perfection personified.”

There was some shit about Napoleon in there too. I need a drink.

Apparently, the people The Apprentice turns down were worse. Sometimes, going by this lot, you can’t help but wonder if the audtions are a bit of a toff’s Jeremy Kyle show green room. But then, reality sets in. Because as always, the editing of the show could make Florence Nightingale look like she should be on a neglience charge. Look at Jason! He can’t sell for shit and can’t talk over people! Jaz? She’s a bit loud, right? Rebecca? She’s done that speech about how nobody messes with her, and then gone on to do a rubbish sale! Haw haw! Hic.

The task was usual fodder. British business advocate Lord Sugar has imported a big crate of cheap shit, and the teams have to sell it. Bog roll? Check. Cat litter? Check. Freaky novelty cats that wave at you, and you thus dread getting for Christmas? No problem. Basically, get intelligent people to push themselves close to humiliation by flogging the stuff, while the host of Countdown tuts. The only real difference was that the blokes argued the most this time. It usually starts the other way around. 

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But, as always, any hint that it’s a show about the candidates was abandoned by the time hater of cliches himself, Baron Alan, took centre stage. We know he hates cliches, because he tells us at the start of the episode. Then continues to bang them out as if he’s on some kind of performance related pay. 

Still, as I hinted before, the first episode of The Apprentice, in truth, is never close to the best. We all know the drill: introduce 2D fascimilies of everyone, there are people stabbing each other in the back, some flogging of a bit of tat, and that golden episode on rule: anyone who volunteers to be a project manager is a bladdy idiot (even if they survive to episode 2). The formula was not shaken up at all. The only significant change to the series was that I was a bit over the alcohol line by the half way point of this one, so any attempt to assess the second half of the episode would be folly. I’ve lost the ability to pace myself, but then, those waving cats would drive anyone to drink. That’s what I explained to the bottom of the bottle, where some strange sediment had congregated in agreement.

I can tell you this, though. Someone whose name you’ll forget was fired. One of the people who looks rubbish will secretly be revealed as brilliant come the interview task. The blokes won, and fawned at a house. And I missed the trailer launch for Ender’s Game while I was watching all of this. 

Hangover dependent, I may be back for episode two tomorrow. But even if I’m not, it won’t make any difference. The Apprentice is a big, well-oiled, efficient, on-rails reality juggernaut, that long ago traded off pretensions of teaching business lessons, in favour of making grown ups play a corporate version of The Hunger Games. It works, too. Throw what you like about it, but it still works. 

Hopefully for me, so does black coffee…

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