The Apprentice: Ten Years of Discount Buying

“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.”

Paul Coelho

I’ve had it. I’ve officially had it with this contrived, pointless, bloated show and its tyrannical, power-hungry figurehead. It’s lost all sense of fun and purpose and become a breeding ground for self-interested sociopaths.

Of course, I am deep in the throes of post-Apprentice rage, so I may be being the teensiest bit hyperbolic. But, in all seriousness, you do have to think: what is the point?

Some context is needed. This episode featured the annual Glorified Scavenger Hunt, in which the teams hared off to collect nine items taken from a grand shopping list at discounted prices in London. (At least this is better than last  year, when they flew all the way to Dubai.) Supposedly each team had free choice from the Master List, but their items were suspiciously similar, so one has to infer editorial intervention.

It was, from the moment the Almighty Lord Sugar knocked on the door of the candidates’ house at 6am, a farce. Because what employer visits his interviewees in their pyjamas? It’s not professional. And gods know ALS is always banging on about professionalism.

Oh, the candidates tear around town as usual, making colossal mistakes, bickering occasionally, ripping poor diamond merchants off by fluttering their eyelashes – but that’s all par for the course, and bickering levels were low anyway, Mark and Daniel having miraculously decided to be friends again. So the episode has very little tension, and very little natural structure, being essentially a treasure hunt with a whole city to search.

 This is obviously why ALS and his BBC buddies decide to make such a big fuss about the skeleton.

Each team is asked to buy an anatomical skeleton. The specifications say “Anatomical Skeleton, 150cm.” Nothing about what it should be made of or anything. Felipe and Daniel, therefore, decide to chance their arm, and buy a paper skeleton for £14, instead of a proper one for about £200. Sure, this is a bit cheeky, maybe, but the thing does fit the specifications, and it is a bargain.

But ALS decides to make a fuss over it. Because he is “judge, jury and executioner”, in his own words – for which read “a total control freak with no sense of humour.” He fails Felipe’s team, gratuitously, Because He Can.

Why am I so annoyed about this? Because there are rules, Alan. There are rules. And even you have to keep them.

I can’t be bothered to watch this any more. I just can’t. It’s so arbitrary it’s ridiculous. Shut up and get off our screens, Alan.

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