The Apprentice Week 2: BBC1, Wednesday, 9pm

 

Head of Business Management, Stella English

 

For quite some time I had an unhealthy addiction to the Daily Mail website. I would check it every morning and scroll through the Showbiz pages getting more and more angry. Sometimes I would mention things I’d been outraged by on Twitter. Once I set off a chain of outrage that spread across the media and culminated in a (rejected) complaint to the PCC (I was the first to tweet about it. Srsly.). Eventually, I read something so offensive that I decided I wouldn’t visit the site anymore. It was surprisingly tricky, but I’ve never regretted it. Occasionally, I follow a link and find myself there. Within seconds I’m gasping with outrage – “Do they really think going shopping damages someone’s masculinity?!” “WHO CARES IF ELLEN POMPEO HAS SIX TOES?!” My stomach starts to clench. Sometimes I click over to Twitter to have a rant. And then I stop myself. And I remind myself that if I hadn’t come on the site, I wouldn’t be feeling this way. And I tell myself to step away. And I step away. (Usually.)

Why am I wittering on about the Daily Mail website? Because last night’s Apprentice had the same effect on me. Why am I putting myself through it? I didn’t find it entertaining or amusing, I just found it incredibly infuriating. Why do I care which of these unprofessional, immature, illiterate idiots gets a job working for another unprofessional, immature, illiterate idiot (did you read the tweets Lord Sugar sent to Kirstie Allsopp last week?!). I don’t care. I really don’t.

When my friend Helen said on Twitter last week that she hates The Apprentice and doesn’t understand why everyone loves it, I replied that actually everyone hates it, that’s part of the fun. But I didn’t find last night’s episode to be fun at all. It just made me angry. And sad. Sad that when Lord Sugar put a woman in charge of the male team, it hardly took the men any time at all to put her in her place by suggesting that she pose in a bikini for the shit product they’d designed. “Take one for the team,” they said. And she did.

Last week I was irritated by Lord Sugar’s casual sexism. When the boys bickered in the boardroom, he quipped that you would’ve thought they were the girls. You know, cos girls are hysterical, everyone knows that. Even high-powered business girls. This week, the women had the opportunity to prove him wrong. And they bollocksed it up royally. Eventually, Karren Brady had to have words with them – telling them that since they are “representing businesswomen today, one of which I am” they should, you know, try not to be such awful, shrieking, idiotic morons. (I’m paraphrasing.)

I’ve been trying to tell myself that it’s always like this at the beginning of the series. I always hate everyone because the production team focusses on the most appalling contestants, but… I’m not sure I can take much more.

They are worse, aren’t they? Or is my tolerance just lower? What did you think?

 

Joy was fired. It was a stupid decision, but no one really cares.

 

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8 thoughts on “The Apprentice Week 2: BBC1, Wednesday, 9pm

  1. I had EXACTLY the same reaction.

    I did wonder if my git fatigue was the result of The Apprentice being delayed by the election – so Strictly and X Factor are on at the same time, and the sheer weight of desperate people “giving 150%” on our screens is getting a bit knackering. But this went beyond that. It wasn’t the usual guilty pleasure of people-watching that reality telly provides: it was horrible relentless casual sexism, presented as a bit of a lark and, yknow, I can’t escape that kind of crap in the real world but I don’t want it in my ‘entertainment programming’.

  2. You know, I’m so glad I don’t watch the Apprentice now after reading your splendidly furious post! It sounds like it was offensive and stupid. “Take one for the team”? REALLY? *seethes*

    • I would like to say it was worth it to see the mind-bogglingly shit product the women designed. But it really wasn’t worth it. Steer well clear. But thanks for the “splendidly furious” 🙂

  3. I missed the ‘take on for the team’ quote, and I am rather pleased as I would have been a bit pissed off. I think I went to do something more productive, like pour a g&t! Stella should have made one of the boys (not sure I can call them men) get his kit of for the team. Although, looking at them, I am rather glad they didn’t.

    I am actually quite cross with myself for getting ‘hooked’ on so called reality TV, I used to avoid it like the plague and I am now watching X Factor and the Apprentice. I have never watched either before. I think I need I need to revert to my previous state before my sanity is seriously affected.

    I must admit that last night I was so sick of the immature, shrieking women that are purporting to be business women, that I had to laugh, or I would have got really mad. The product they designed was crap, they showed no business initiative, and I have more professionalism in my little toe than any of them have. The boys aren’t much better. He who shouts loudest…

    I know that they only show the bad bits as it makes good TV, and to be fair, on occasions it does. I love to hate it! But the boys! Well discussing tassels for a bikini for Stella? No comment really. They act like they are in the locker room, and maybe that is where they should stay. I actually found myself switching off during the final boardroom chat and studying what the girls looked like! Not good really.

    Now I have read your comments and actually thought about the program and what was said, I agree with your comments wholeheartedly, and methinks that Albi is a better channel choice for 9pm on a Wednesday!

    • Thanks, Lisa. And, yes, good thinking – Castle is much more relaxing.

      I was so furious with Stella for doing it. When they asked her, I was expecting her to say no and tell them exactly why it wasn’t an appropriate request, but she just caved. So infuriating.

  4. It always takes a few weeks to start sorting the Big Brother wannabes from the handful of genuine candidates, so I’d say stick with it.

    On the matter of Stella and the swimsuit, as a bloke I was appalled by the behaviour of Alex, Chris and Chris, who resembled prepubescent boys more than supposed businessmen. They were insubordinate, and what they did to Stella was tantamount to bullying and sexual harassment. In a real corporate environment, they would be facing multiple disciplinaries.

    I wouldn’t be too hard on Stella for caving, though. In a real situation, I’m sure she wouldn’t have done so. And we also can’t be sure what was edited out of the final episode. I’m sure some fairly robust things were said – at least to camera – but because her team won they were left on the editing room floor.

    Anyhow, here are the thoughts of an unabashed Apprentice fan, if you’re interested!

    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2010/10/14/the-apprentice-candidates-discover-lifes-a-beach-in-product-design-task/

    • Thanks, Tim. I’m glad you were appalled! I would hope Stella wouldn’t cave in real life and you may be right that there was more discussion that didn’t make the edit – but it *should* have made the edit. Otherwise the production team are reinforcing the sexism. Doesn’t really change my mind about it, I’m afraid.

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