Friday, 30 March 2012

Week 2 of The Apprentice

A couple of days ago on the BBC was the second part of the BBC's The Apprentice; one of the very few programmes I enjoy watching and following with a modicum of regularity as it hits the screen.  At the moment, other than this, the only thing I care to watch and follow with any interest is the final series of Desperate Housewives, which is actually turning out some very dark, powerful storylines in this series.  It doesn't seem to have that roller coaster ride mentality yet, however, knowing that there are but a handful of episodes left, and wondering whether all and everything is going to have to be rushed through, and fitted in at breakneck pace.  I doubt that we are going to get the outlandish premise that used to invade so many 1980s soap operas inasmuch that, hmmm, how shall we kill off these characters?? I know, let's have a wedding and shoot them all !!!  Oh, wait a minute, even though we have shot them all, and there were bullets a-flying everywhere complete with blood on bodies and expensive clothes, and a solemn bell tolling over the soundtrack, we didn't kill them all after all; just a couple of minor characters that no one really cared for nor worried about in any case.

For those who don't remember this climactic anti-climax of American television history (see below):-


Ah... the Moldavian Massacre, it brings back fond memories, I'm sure.  One of the most ridiculous cliffhangers ever.  And the sort that would have driven Annie Wilkes into an absolute frenzy !!!  And  these supposed middle European principalities created in the minds of the Shapiros, never mind that a considerable quota of Americans are staggeringly naive in their geographical knowledge but when you hear of "countries" like Moldavia, it's no surprise that most could never find even real countries like Leichtenstein and Andorra on their maps.  And thankfully Moldavia had no need for a camera crew to record the Royal wedding for it's numerous subjects.  Not that royal weddings would matter, especially for that of the heir apparent to the throne to a beautiful American heiress, not at all.

Unfortunately, an event such as the Moldavian massacre could never be allowed to happen and be part of the business minded Apprentice; after all, these are Britain's young entrepreneurs and hopefuls, not characters in a soap opera; all scrabbling, catfighting, and bitching to win £250K from miserable sourpuss tycoon Lord Alan Sugar (for it is he!) by undertaking various tasks over a number of weeks to supposedly demonstrate their commercial abilities and prowess.  The programme has an odd effect on me; in the initial weeks, unless there is someone goodlooking (how shallow I am) for the most part I don't really care a damn and just enjoy watching these buffoons shouting at each other and running around in their black, blue or grey suits trying to show the world, and the TV audience what serious professionals they are.  Yes there is playing up for the camera of course, but at least we aren't being doled out a motley crew of nature's freaks such as those paraded on the likes of Big Brother.

Remember, these people are serious professionals after all.  Last year, once again, I didn't care for any of them at first but as the show progressed, I must confess that you do come to like certain players and loathe others.  Maybe a reflection our own character traits and who and what we identify with, or maybe just clever editing? I don't know...  To cut a long story short, in the last series I warmed to bumbling inventor Tom Pellereau, a thoroughly nice fellow who didn't seem as greedy, ambitious not business dull as the rest of the other wannebes.  Ultimately Tom won, and I was delighted for him.  Because, well, it was most unexpected and he seems such a decent person, someone I would want as a friend. Also he was quirky, smiling, sincere, and trying his very best, despite his dyslexia and not possessing the hard-nosed trait employed by so many of the alsorans in this... ahem... "process".

Tom Pellereau, Apprentice Winner 2011.
Anyway, back to 2012; last week saw the expulsion from the hallowed halls of the Sugar Empire of  really annoying Bulgarian business "professional" Bilyana who didn't know her way around Regents Park, had an increasingly annoying accent that drove me up the wall (though not as bad as that of the nearly sacked Jenna - she of bad hair, and piggy eyes, yet somehow is a "beauty consultant"), and was thoroughly ennervating at each and every turn... Is it any wonder this woman's ancesters were the accursed Bogomils??  Last week, it had to be said that the boys' creations were: a teddy bear in a white t-shirt flanked with the Union Jack, and a badly screenprinted bus on a tote bag.  These "designs" were admittedly on new levels of craptitude but somehow they won for the boys.  And so, this week, the girls had clearly taken a leaf out of the boys' book coming up with a dire creation involving babies and bathtubs, that was madly overpriced.  How on Earth those idiots thought Amazon - hereafter refered to as "a major online retailer" -  would take ten of them, never mind a million staggers belief and boggles the mind.  The BBC, of course can't be seen to advertise, despite the fact Nick Hewer kept saying Amazon, and we saw an exterior tracking shot of their offices complete with Amazon.co.uk cleqrly signposted outside.  Again, the (creative gene bereft) boys' creation wasn't much more exciting, than that of the girls nor their efforts the week previous, that resembled a large blqck stylish cafeti√®re-esque object cum composter that crushed household rubbish in the kitchen.  How delightfully "eco" of the lads.   It did look somewhat swish-ish (moreso than the naff marigolds some of the them had considered), if slightly clumsy... All the same, it looked a multitude of times more professional than that of their female rivals.  And so the boys won again despite their condemnation of their PM's "management" abilities.  In series gone by, it's all macho posturing amongst the boys on their own, and this leads to their ultimate downfall in series gone by, and it's only upon the introduction of females into their team that the boys seem to posture less...  This series seems to have been, thus far, paradoxical and effected a reversal of fortune on the fairer sex.

This week it appeared that there might well be two of the harpies, sorry, females kicked off.  Initially the Irish girl, the PM, who's name escapes me for the moment, wanted to bring back Maria, and stuck by her guns to keep her in the firing line and ultimately be given the push, and Katie, the self dubbed "blonde assassin".  However, Katie kicked up a stink, and the Irish PM was forced to re-think her decision, and went for she of the grating voice, totally useless at numbers, Jenna.  Maria's fate was sealed for having fallen asleep in the car early on, and not having contributed in any sort of earnest throughout the task.  Yes... she was only 20 (years old, not IQwise, though I did wonder) so it is slightly sad to see the youngest entrant thus far being given the boot (though that dubious honour went previously to the infamous Stuart Baggs - 'nuff said) before being given the chance to show her true colours.  On the subject of colours, you have to ask what was going through Maria's mind when packing her horrid wheelie case obligatoire for the show.  Purple, purple, and more purple.  With her eyes made up √† la Amy Winehouse, except in purple rather than black, and continually dressed in that horrendous professional business attire of matching purple. Eeek!!!  Her facial expression throughout appeared to be one that was continually one of exasperated disbelief and shock; maybe thats why she felt the need to doze in the car, to give those over-used eyebrows and lip muscles a well deserved break, and us as viewers, from that look !!

Maria, and that look; whilst bedecked in purple.

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