A month into the new series of The Apprentice and I think it is time for a bit of an update.
I’m not blogging each episode simply because as I suspected this series is a carbon copy of the last three or four outings for SirAlan’s search to find a nobody.
I have adopted a whole new tactic when it comes to watching this new series.
I’m not treating it as a reality programme. Rather I’m watching it as if The Apprentice is a parody of corporate Britain – a sort of less subtle, sophisticated and funny version of The Office.
I’ve laughed my way through most of the first four episodes and haven’t once got properly narked about the general incompetence and cluelessness, or irritating arrogance and mind-blowing ignorance this latest crop of candidates display whenever they appear on screen.
I haven’t felt any sense of injustice whatsoever when the “wrong one” has been fired, or one of the more odious wannabes has done or said something truly awful. It is all part of the comedy.
Of course, it isn’t what SirAlan or his crack team, never mind the BBC, probably intended with this latest series of The Apprentice. But it works for me.
From the over-excited schoolboy Stuart Baggs, who manages to offend everyone in earshot whenever he opens his mouth, to the constantly bitching female candidates (Karren Brady’s boardroom rallying call for these ambassadors for women in business to show more maturity clearly fell on deaf ears), this series is more of the same old same old we’ve come to expect from The Apprentice. Only this time its funny.
A highlight so far has been Melissa Cohen – a true tyrant and the perfect example of someone who believes constantly talking bullshit equates to business success.
Her demise was a bit premature for my liking as I felt there was more comedy value left in her rabid approach to everything and her made up words and phrases.
But I’ll admit to one major and serious bugbear regarding this series, which has not come as a surprise as its been a central feature of each and every episode since The Apprentice first hit our screens.
The money obsession is looking very misguided now. One can only hope everyone involved will be karmically retributed – as the loathsome Melissa would say.
It was bad enough in the last series, two years ago when the credit crunch first started to bite. Now, in the depths of a recession, the fierce competition for a six-figure salary job is bad enough, but the squeals of delight from the candidates when they get treated to one of SirAlan’s “prizes” for winning a particular task is now leaving a seriously bad taste.
Greed is good and the greedier you are the better. There is also a feeling that the more you display this greed, the better your chances for success.
So as the country reels from the implications of the Spending Review, the news that banks will still not lend the billions of pounds that they got from taxpayers to hard-pressed and loyal customers and which they’ve conveniently had written off, that major companies are not paying tax bills that could wipe out the nation’s deficit in one go and the Government is taking advice on public sector waste from a billionaire who lives in Monte Carlo, it’s all money, money, money on The Apprentice.
Do we really need to be seeing such an inglorious bunch squabbling, fighting and back-stabbing their way in the pursuit of a fat paycheck as prime time entertainment?
I realise I’m kidding myself. Far from being a paradoy, this is corporate Britain today.
As much as I tell myself The Apprentice is a comedy, the stark reality is it just isn’t funny any more.