“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
This week’s flying visit to Fake-Business-Land should, I think, be subtitled The One that Most Makes You Want to Punch Lord Sugar in the Face.
The reasons for this will, I hope, become clear in the course of this post.
Interviews is the penultimate episode of this year’s series of The Apprentice, and, as the title suggests, it features the five remaining candidates (Fake Luisa, Forgettable Francesca, Neil Clough, Doctor Leah and Plucky Jason) being interviewed by four randomers who are, apparently, businesspeople.
It turns out that this does not make for very good television. There’s no structure to the episode, and mostly the first half-hour simply feels like an extended sequence of soundbites. “You’re a parasite.” “This is crap.” “I could do all this again tomorrow.” And so on. While it is mildly amusing watching the candidates’ blatant lies being exploded, this can only go on so long before we realise that, actually, the interviewers are just as bad. Or, in fact, worse.
And this leads me on to the main reason for the face-punching. Everyone on The Apprentice treats the Almighty Lord Sugar as if he is some kind of god, or at the very least King Alan, Absolute Monarch of Business. This is not so noticeable when we are busy being distracted watching the candidates being stupid at unsuspecting members of the public, but in this episode – where ALS was very definitely the star of the show – the show of sycophancy was simply sickening. “Don’t compare yourself to Lord Sugar. Ever,” says one of the interviewers to Fake Luisa, as if she had just compared herself to Jesus. And don’t even get me started on that fake boardroom laughter that accompanies every single cliched joke that the Almighty trots out. Add to that the endless filler – “I’m just going to consult my aides FOR THE THIRD TIME” – the way in which people tell ALS things which we know he already knows as if it is news, and the feeling that all of this is already scripted anyway, and you get an incredibly boring and frustrating episode of The Apprentice. And, if I’m honest, I just don’t care any more.