A post title in ALL CAPS, it must mean The Apprentice
is back. Fortunately last year's move to autumn hasn't stuck and it's back in the spring/summer slot where it belongs, meaning it's not that long since we saw Stella become (as it turns out) the last candidate to get a made-up job at NotAmstrad. We're also opening with two episodes over two nights which means I'm in a bit of a rush to review Episode 1 before the next one airs tonight. Still, at least this is a show that hits the ground running.
And we start as we mean to go on with a misuse of the word "literally" from someone who will turn out to be Melody. A woman says her personal life means nothing to her, so I hope all her friends blank her from now on and are all "what? Oh now
you're acting hurt?" There's a couple of men who seem to think they're horses and someone's on a Boris bike so we're not even at the credits and I want to commit murder several times over. Speaking of credits, where's the tum-te-tum-te-tum opening music? Heresy!
This is one change I'm not happy with. I'm less fussed about the other one, which is to what the winner gets - instead of a job, a 250 grand investment in a new company. But! LdAlan says he isn't the bladdy patron saint of bladdy losers and this is going to be an uncivil partnership etc etc. First task, buy a load of produce for £250, turn it into something else and sell it for a profit. Voiceover man later tells us this means fruit and veg, presumably because the candidates all ran off after the boardroom to ask what "produce" means.
Off to the cars where the boy/girl teams all tell each other how awesome they think they are. A spivvy man has horrible shoes, while an inventor, played by The Actor Michael Sheen, tells us he invented a curved nail file, which gets as enthusiastic a response as it deserves. Oh, you're doing it all wrong, The Actor Michael Sheen - on this show, if you're an inventor nobody must know what you've invented, preferably including yourself. Meanwhile Edna likes to stretch herself out to the ultimate and seek out pain. Kinky bitch! She also, it turns out, conducts all her business via the medium of Sass. You know the sideways headshake of Rikki Lake Show
guests? This is her weapon, and she will soon use it to sway the girls' team in favour of calling themselves Melody's suggestion of Team Venture. The boys go for Team Logic which has to be the most piss-weak team name ever - come on boys, it doesn't even rhyme with "clips!" Its only virtue seems to be that it's better than Spivvy's suggestion of "Ability." Back to Venture, where Melody basically announces herself team leader, which Edna endorses not only with the headshake of sass but she even throws in a hair-flick for good measure. Melody tells us she's been taught by Al Gore, Desmond Tutu and "Dally Lama"¹ and her plan is "we're definitely going to win it." Well yes but that's not a plan, that's just looking across the room and seeing Nick Hewer there instead of The Karren Of Doom. She's over with Logic (FFS) where Edward, a neckbeard with accountant attached, is the only volunteer to PM. Gavin, who's my LC sweepstake this year, sort of objects but doesn't quite put himself up for it either and Ed ends up PM. "My input is soup." His other input is "mash it up and sell it on" so I hope you've brought your appetites, commuters of That London, yum yum! They'll also do orange juice. The women just decide not to spend all the money because they've missed the point. Fruit salad and vegetable pasta are their items, which ends up meaning their fruit salad has very little fruit in it.
At the fruit and veg market, the boys do that Apprentice
thing of completely failing to get the price down on a load of tomatoes and still thinking that what they've done is haggling. Karren needs a poo. Jim from Norn Iron does what would be a really good deal on overripe tomatoes, if the woman he was dealing with actually had any, then pep talks the team by saying "we're going to make soup like we've never made soup before." Well Jim, that's probably because you haven
WHAT THE FUCK? Gavin, don't jump in and do the punchlines for me, that's my job. Still, Gavin is so far this year's "would," just so you know.
Over on Team Girls Edna is taking her responsibility of carrying the money very seriously, and is doing headshake of sass about people not asking her permission for every deal they make. Melody is fine with this because she can smell a scapegoat in advance. As for the vegetable pasta, Ellie is the one to do the compulsory "I'm from up t'North so I don't know how much you can sell pasta to Londoners for" line. The boys are making orange juice, led by Leon (14) who's using some electric juicers. Note that these are working perfectly well, and then Ed turns up telling him to do it differently, and suddenly the juicers are all broken and the boys are basically grabbing oranges and making a fist around them in the hope that some juice comes out. They'll be charging 2 quid a bottle for this. Karren wonders if she left the gas on. After the compulsory kitchen nightmares, they finally go out selling. Spivvy does this by flirting with women, and Karren's as surprised as I am that this actually seems to be working. Karren does not
want Spivvy's juice. The rest of the selling bit can be summed up as the girls not having any stock (surprise surprise,) some of the soup actually selling which is a shocker frankly, Edna being too sassy for a hairnet, Ellie not being able to spell "vegetable" and the boys nearly getting run over by a bus.
Boardroom! Logic (ugh) say their chosen products were soups and juices, news which Melody greets with an epic bitchface of contempt. Reminded that his business plan was, basically, not to have one, Edward replies with various meaningless collections of words like "bottom up, not top down," "I don't fit the mould" and "it's all there." The tease that the girls might have lost is over their not spending all the money that was meant to be invested but when it comes down to the money, Logic came back with £432 and Venture with £592. Only £37 of the latter was veggie pasta, which isn't that surprising considering it looked pre-digested. The women go back to the house for their champagne treat where Melody basically announces to everyone that she's awesome, while Susan bitches behind her back that actually, not so much. The men aren't coming back to the boardroom until the next day so, what, did they spend the night in Loser Cafe? That's what it looks like anyway. Glenn blames their failure on "a bit of a punt" which is close to what everyone was thinking.
Back to the boardroom where we reiterate that Ed's plan was to not have a plan, how he wanted to prove he wasn't just an accountant so he deliberately forgot was money is and how it works. LdAlan thinks he should be using his skillset, he, for example, is apparently an electronics expert (he knows what all tomorrow's FUTUREMODERN trends will be, like that emailer videophone thing) and when he goes into a place, Bang! Frankly that sounds like more of a facking liability than a plus but whatever. Alex, who is apparently a person in this show, didn't sell much, and Karren goes on the attack over this, while Nick tries to make everyone notice he's still there. Ed brings back Leon (12) and Gavin, the rest are dismissed at which point The Actor Michael Sheen apologises to LdAlan for something, I'm not sure what. New Moon
, maybe. There's a bit of the requisite bitching but frankly it's been obvious for ages who's going. Ed says he's not going to sit here and be made to feel *tiny gesture* that big, Gavin continues to steal the punchlines by replying "but that's how big you are." Evidently this releases a whole new Napoleon complex² with Ed telling us he's only 25 (not 24, though) which makes him the youngest and also the shortest. Ahem. Anyway Gavin is blatantly there because he spoke up right at the start and we all know how well bringing someone back because of personal dislike goes, so LdAlan lets him off the hook early. Leon (13) is there because of the broken juicers. LdAlan isn't enthusiastic about him and frankly neither am I, although it's mainly because he fails to bring up the fact that the juicers only broke after Edward butted in. Come on Leon (9) get some survival instincts. Before Edward gets fired, there's just time for LdAlan to bring on the REZ-YOU-MAY which says he's LdAlan's dream, no he's not he's a nightmare, you're bladdy fired. He storms out in the style of last year's rude fuckers, LdAlan gives him a second chance to be a bit more gracious which he doesn't take, just glares, and gets into the taxi wearing a scarf of preposterousness.
Next week: Something something FUTUREMODERN! I say next week, I mean in a couple of hours' time. Christ.
Dalai Lama so she clearly thinks that's his name
²my current toilet reading is one of the QI
books so I feel compelled to say I do
know this is inaccurately named and Napoleon was not in fact short