Thursday, April 10, 2008

Brown Sugar

Sir Alan SugarFor the life of me I cannot work out why I find The Apprentice such compelling viewing. It’s not like I’m a fan of Sir Al. I don’t like the guy at all. He looks like a grumpy, grey gooseberry in an unfashionable suit. And it’s not like I’m fond of the job applicants / contestants either. To a man /woman they are the rummest bunch of self-selling underachievers I have ever encountered in my entire life. And I work for the local council, for God’s sake.

But maybe that is actually the appeal?

Despite my altruistic humanitarian demeanour I can still appreciate the pleasure that can be gleaned from watching two despised enemies thrashing it out to the death in a pit lined with spikes and flaming torches. I guess this explains the sadistic décor of Sir Alan’s much-feared boardroom...

Of course this gladiatorial imagery isn’t strictly accurate. There’s not much of a contest at the end of the day. Sir Al is the chief lion and the Sir Al lackey wannabe’s are the quivering, snivelling, unarmed Christians thrown into the bone and gore strewn sanctum of Sir Alan’s den to be chewed upon by his East End barrow-boy teeth. By the time they’ve had their boardroom roasting they’re practically sweating barbecue sauce anyway.

And they’re not exactly unarmed. They have very nice suits and haircuts and an unshakeable tragic-comic belief in their own (dis/in)abilities. And Heaven help them, they actually ASK for a good smiting. They literally set themselves up to be smashed into smithereens by Sir Al’s sharp as nails business acumen. The gimp who found himself “fired” in last night’s instalment was notable because the word “lose” didn’t apparently exist in his vocabulary.

No. Because I suspect very strongly it was forever on the lips of those around him. To say he couldn’t referee a football match between two peas is an understatement.

But none of them are particularly any better or any brighter. If these are the best business brains that this country has to offer it’s no wonder the UK is going to the dogs. And Sir Al is going to recruit one of these blundering business hippos to come and work for him?

If you’ve got shares in Amstrad I’d sell them now if I were you...

19 comments:

Daisy said...

those shows always astounded me...i mean really, if they are so damn smart and can sell so well, why haven't they sold themselves and gotten a good job? has anyone asked that question of them?

Steve said...

A very pertinent question indeed Daisy. If they're such good business men why would they want to work for somebody else in the first place? I'm sure the thought of getting onto the TV is a big lure to their already inflated egos...

MOTHER OF MANY said...

I am totally unable watch the show, the concept of the show totally annoys me and so does Alan Sugar!

Steve said...

Ally, it annoys me too but that seems to be part of the attraction... I obviously take an inordinate amount of pleasure in being irritated... that's slightly worrying!

Inchy said...

I make a point of trying to avoid 'reality' tv because I tend to find that it's nothing like reality. It's usually populated by people who are just desperate to get on tv.

I mean if your pipes spring a leak, you get a plumber, if your fuses blow, you get an electrician, and if you want to watch tv, then get an actor!

Simple really.

Steve said...

And if you want to watch overpaid idiots being humiliated and tongue-lashed to the point of tears watch The Apprentice...! ;-)

Reluctant Blogger said...

Oh I love The Apprentice. It's about the only show like that which I watch (reality competition or whatever you call them).

But I haven't watched last night's yet. I watched the one from the week before last night so I haven't actually read your post - but I will do when I've watched it.

I thought the woman who lead the team in last week's one (can't remember her name!) was just so horrid and it really was most unfair to blame that woman who set up the system for logging the clothes - at least she made the effort to be organised which was more than the rest of them did. I thought the guys were great though - they were a brilliant team in the laundry.

One of the lasses is rather lovely!

Right I had better go before I see something that spoils my viewing later!

Have a lovely evening!

Steve said...

Yes Gina, I know the woman you mean: she was absolutely vile. Hope she goes soon. Unfortunately the guys were a complete and utter shambles this week... I'll be interested to hear what you think! Have a great evening too! :-)

The Beast Of Clerkenwell said...

Daisy
A point I have always made .
Steve I have also noted that the contestants all seem to be the kind of person who either works at PC world (Daisy that means morons who think that they are sharp cos they know what a dual core is when the black amex holder they are trying to put down doesnt)or tries to sell life insurance via the telephone.
All hair gel and no clue .

Old Cheeser said...

Gustavo loves "The Apprentice" and I usually end up watching it with him. As you say there is something compelling about it and you end up getting drawn in in spite of yourself. You can't help wondering if these jumped-up boys and girls are going to get through this week's "test" or not. The tasks Sir Alan sets them are actually quite interesting and seeing them succeed/f*ck up can be equally interesting viewing. Mmm guess I've given some quite good justifications for watching it! (Gawd I sound like one of those self-possesed wide boys in suits!)

One thing though - Sir Alan really is a c*nt (pronounced caaaaaant in best East End/Donna Noble accent). A little positivity and a little encouragement from him wouldn't go amiss but he is the King of the Put-down and it's no wonder everyone dislikes him so much (although hearing all the contestants saying "Yes Sir Alan, No Sir Alan" in toadying voices does make you wanna puke). I would hate to be employed by such an odious little man! Still, again that's what makes the programme so much fun to watch doesn't it?

TimeWarden said...

I watched most of this week's episode, for the first time this series, and the lads' ineptitude was just astounding. The guy who was fired had loser written across his face the whole time he was in the boardroom. Had he wanted to stay, he should've promoted a more positive demeanour, like the irritating little Matt Lucas look-alike baby face who shambled his way through the cooking! When the latter boasted, "I eat in Italian restaurants all the time"... I chipped in with, "Well, bully for you"!!

Best moment, though, was when Siralan's male aide proffered, "a complete waste of money" regarding the boy's promotional expenditure when the girls got their printing done for free! But, I wouldn't have touched that chicken slop they were making with a bargepole!! I agreed with the lass who said they should've gone for trad Brit food. Much wiser, and safer, considering the amount of time they had for preparation. Oh, and a whole pizza should mean a whole pizza… geez!!!

I think I enjoy being irritated sometimes, too, Steve. Otherwise, I can't rationally explain why I still watch some of the things I occasionally do! And, I'm not just talking about the new version of "Doctor Who" but things like GMTV with the eminently professional Fiona Philips!! God, that woman couldn’t conduct an interview properly even after brain surgery!!!

Steve said...

Beast, given their inherent ineptitude I would say more Curry's than PC World... but I take your point!

I agree OC, Mr Sugar must surely be the most unappetizing employer on the planet. Dry as Mary Whitehouse's knickers and about as attractive. A real misery guts. I wouldn't work for him for an 8 figure salary let alone 6. Not that new employees would see much of him I suspect when they're sewing name badges into shirts on the warehouse floor...!

Ha ha! TimeWarden my reaction was the same - you've eaten at lots of Italian Restaurants? Well so has everybody else on the planet! I also occasionally frequent jewellery shops (on behalf of Karen) - does this mean I can now knock up a 9ct gold bracelet and matching ear ring set?! None of them appear to have the commonsense they should have been born with. Not one of them are at all employable in my opinion. I'd be appalled to see them working at McDonalds let alone at Amstrad!

Daisy said...

beast of c...i know pc world...way too well...did you forget the wee ones i visit in the UK...it seems to be one of their favourite stores!...funny tidbit about pc world...went in one time to get a connection for my laptop while i was there...i just needed the cord that goes from the electric to the power supply...they could not figure out what i was talking about and this one young man said ma'am those don't exist or i would have seen one...and yes he was being a little smart ass regarding my age (as if i couldn't possibly know)...so i took a ps2 box and opened it to show him how the cord from the power supply comes off and can be exchanged and how it works...what dolts there!

Steve said...

Daisy, as we say here... they couldn't tell their ass from their elbow...!

Reluctant Blogger said...

haha I enjoyed reading your piece and all the comments.

What do I think? Well, yes that guy was a complete loser. What a shambles it all was. I did laugh at them trogging over to the supermarket every 5 mins. My sons would have done a better job than they did. The girls weren't a lot better really - the English food option would have been much sounder.

Sir Alan is indeed a c*nt (oops not a word I ever use!) - he really really annoyed me at the end of the last series when he kept quizzing that woman about her childcare arrangements. Sexist bastard!

Most of the contestants are indeed tossers - although maybe a couple of them talk sense a bit of the time.

I have no idea why it appeals so much. Perhaps it is just the enjoyment of watching people fail/argue etc or maybe it is because I know I could do it a lot better myself but wouldn't have the guts/am not stupid enough to do so. I wouldn't succeed at any of the other competitions - singing/dancing/ice skating or whatever - but these tasks are generally pretty easy aren't they if you have common sense.

Ooops I have waffled.

Steve said...

Waffle away all you like, Gina, I totally agree - the guy that got fired deserved it for being so utterly wet and limp-brained but the "head chef" geezer was the one that really got my goat. His food was crap, his motivational skills would have The Samaritans committing suicide and his haircut makes me laugh with derision. He should be fired at the next earliest opportunity.

What really disturbs me about The Apprentice is that in previous series there has been at least one person who has earned my respect (if not my actually liking them)... but there is no-one in this series that I can even remotely stomach. I want Sir Al to fire them all. All of them I say! Shoot them all down in a hail of East End vituperation and acid spleen!

Hmm. I'm sure watching The Apprentice is akin to experiencing primal scream therapy given the amount of shouting I do at the TV screen...! ;-)

EmmaK said...

I have not watched The Apprentice here but I think that Donald Trump's combover is in negotiations to have its own show. I can't watch reality shows unless they have lots of screaming bitchy girls fighting each other and i don't believe the Apprentice fulfills this requirement.

The Sagittarian said...

i CAn't quite get into "Lab Rat TV"...

Steve said...

Emma, the girls team are very adept at screaming and bitching at each other. In fact so are the boys. It's like a cathouse peopled by lady-boys and transvestites. Ok. That's a slight exaggerartion but I think you'd be satisfied with the bitchery quota!

Amanda, if only it really was Lab Rat TV. I'd quite like to see a great number of the job applicants dissected or have shampoo rubbed into their eyes...