Thursday, 3 April 2008

The Apprentice: Wednesday 2 Apr 2008

Alas, poor Shazia: big eyes, big cheek bones, big nose, big mouth . . . small face.

As has been remarked upon elsewhere, this seemed to be a wholly producer-instigated firing. Why? Well, first, she was obviously less ‘TV gold’ than her rivals. And second, not that I want to imply the producers are racist, but the racist producers clearly felt she was too similar to Sara. The drunk casting producer must have assumed he was seeing double and let them both through, not that my comments should be construed as implying the Apprentice’s producers are drunk or racist.
Maybe in time they would have differentiated themselves, but it seems the particularly sarcastic editing this year wouldn’t have allowed anyone to break out of caricature. Raef says something about not making any mistakes; cut to Raef dropping something, no doubt at some distant point in time. That said, the contestants don’t seem especially willing to challenge the viewer’s perceptions (shut up about the bloody army).
Curiously, while the producers are making it hard to trust the show, this week’s task provoked a genuine response from me. Normally, they can just sell whatever it is and move on without regard to the future of the embryonic business. Here, they had to sell a service and deliver that service before they could get paid. Seeing Raef and his chums giggling as they piled up the work without a care for how it would get done made me feel slightly physically sick, bringing back horrible memories of having to work through the night because of some thoughtless selling. The salesmen might be right that new business has to be brought in, but seeing their spoilt-schoolboy attitude to making life harder for others without any sense of it was pretty unappetising.
So despite the producers eschewing all credibility, the episode managed to win a little human sympathy for the poor guys abandoned at the press. What’s more, there could have been further sympathy for the contestants had that prissy cow Lucinda not sabotaged her cause by staying in bed. The episode thus was more concerned with showing the hopeless ineptitude of the wannabe executives (how could the girls not have gauged their competitors’ prices when starting up a new business?) than the ulcer-inducing reality of over-promising.
Finally, without wishing to sink to the vile racist depths of the producers, what price Lindi to respond to ‘You’re fired’ with a sassy, ‘Oh no, he d’uhnt!’?

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