Archive | The Apprentice RSS feed for this section

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episode 7

19 Jun

See, cos it's replacing what's hip! Geddit?

The Apprentice is the gift that keeps on giving. The past couple of weeks have been gems, with enough hilarity and stupidity to last My Family (the sitcom, not to be confused with, you know, my actual relatives) a lifetime.

Now, I must admit to perhaps finding this week’s task – creating and pitching a ‘freemium’ magazine to advertisers – so excruciating because I have just come to the end of studying for a Masters degree in Magazine Journalism. Not only have I worked in the trade and studied the business, but also had to (for an assessment earlier in the year) create and pitch a magazine to a panel of professionals in the industry. It was so Apprentice-y, we used to commandeer ‘the boardroom’ in the journalism department and would put our phones on speaker to talk to each other. C’mon, we had to make the most of a potentially terrifying situation.

My point is, this is only the second time I have watched the show with any kind of insider knowledge that would help me on my task (the other was when they had to make skincare products – I used to work at smelly emporium Lush). Armed with this insight, I had even more reason to smirk and guffaw as the doofuses made error after error.

But never mind that. Is Natasha the most irritating woman in Britain? Yeah? Because, you know, yeah, she’s like, yeah, really annoying. Yeah? And the way she talks, yeah, she’s quite bullying, yeah, and a bit of an arse, yeah? It’s a shame her team won because she could do with taking down a peg or two – not least because she was an AWFUL PM who didn’t listen to her team.

Hip Replacement should have won with little effort. Apart from a hideous name and absurd execution, the basic concept was spot on. Brands would be able to target their market, who have lots of lovely disposable income, and help launch what could be a potentially goldmine in brand extensions such as events and book clubs, etc. But no. Creepy Jim got it all oh-so-wrong. There is absolutely no doubt that he should have got the chop – especially after his appalling behaviour in the boardroom. Not that Glenn would have been around much longer, but his firing did stink of unfair dismissal under the circumstances.

Next week is the annual Apprentices Abroad episode, and again I have a personal connection as I lived in Paris for 9 months as part of my (undergraduate) degree in French and English. I can’t WAIT to see how the assembled fools make a right bordel de merde out of the task.

 

Advertisements

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episode 6

12 Jun

What you gonna do with all that junk?

I had my misgivings about this week’s Apprentice, but it turned into a classic. Susan misunderstanding the task, Melody getting all uppity, Tom and Jim’s (useless) double act and a near-tie in the boardroom…. Excellent. Just a short post this week as I am dissertating for my MA but I will be back!

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episode 5

2 Jun

Image courtesy of Jasminejennyjen via Flickr

Oooh look at that light there. Up there. The light. Ahhhhhh. See the light? They’re light? THERE LIGHT?Yup, it made no sense: CatSIZE: See Their Light. Right you are then.

I knew I was in for a cracking episode when I accidentally stumbled across a headline mentioning the SURPRISE DOUBLE FIRING this morning (I missed the episode last night as I was busy indulging in my newest crush Bradley Cooper at the cinema. And if you don’t see the attraction, watch this. Seriously. Gird your loins and watch it). But I wasn’t to know quite how entertaining it would be. From the trained actor imitating a cat with a Margot complex to top totty Tom baring his chest in the name of advertising, it was full of classic moments.

Even if I hadn’t spoiled things for myself, it was pretty clear that Vincent was on the way out when he flagrantly ignored the vet’s advice and stormed though with the Everydog idea. There was a *bit* of  competition though. The flimsy teamwork on Glenn’s team seemed destined for a boardroom showdown – there but for the grace of ad execs, I say.

Both Ellie and Vincent deserved the chop: she, for the lack of chutzpah and, well, anything; he, for being a lily-livered PM. It seems Jim’s card is marked – too much of a smartarse for Lord Sugar. Tom and Melody are still two of my tips for the top at this point. Everyone else is showing their weaknesses – or nothing much at all.

Who do you reckon has made an impression? And who should get the finger next?

UPDATE: I just remembered the genius of the Boleg Bros, who upload Lego-type animations of The Apprentice. Check them out here.

Do you watch Twelly?

26 May

Yeah, so Twelly isn’t going to happen, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth talking about.

Sarah Smith and Disney Roller Girl have recently written about tweeting while watching telly, specifically the Royal Wedding. Although I was absent from my laptop on the 29th (too busy preparing Pimms and patriotic Red Velvet cupcakes for a party), I do tweet along for a number of shows.

The habit began in earnest last year with The X-Factor. Suddenly it was all my friends and I could talk about on and offline. We weren’t the only ones. Caitlin Moran, Grace Dent and many many more would tweet about every little detail, whether it be Katie Waissel’s crazy eyes, Rebecca Ferguson’s absence of a personality, Cher Lloyd’s street-cred or Wagner’s…well, anything to do with Wagner.

Since then, I’ve tweeted (twat?) along to a load of programmes. I ‘gleet’ along to Glee on a regular basis and the first episode of Made In Chelsea was only made bearable by joining the conversation online.

However, there has – so far – been one massive exception. I don’t tweet along to The Apprentice. Why? Because I can’t concentrate properly on either thing when I’m watching both. Afraid to miss any witty retorts, I stay glued to Tweetdeck. And then someone mentions something that happened on screen which I didn’t see because I was scrolling through the hashtags and it’s suddenly not worth it.

What about you? Is two-screening really the new thing?

FYI

I’m @HellyStuart on Twitter and you can find some of my fellow telly-tweeters here.

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episodes Three and Four

26 May

Seriously?

A joint recap this week – I could claim I was too busy last week, but we all know that would be an exaggeration so let’s just get on with it, eh?

Last week’s sourcing task is always a goodie and this year was no exception. Cloches, physalises (physali?) and rich tea were all on the shopping list for teams Logic and Venture and provided some of the funniest moments of the series yet. That being said, Gavin’s Top Hat Cleaner’s clanger – and Karren’s reaction to it – will surely go down in Apprentice history as what not to do.

Despite the moments of doltish hilarity and memorable mistakes, it was a slightly flat episode. Partly because it came after the double-whammy the week before and partly because it was obvious who was heading for a finger-pointing from the get-go.

Last night’s episode was a little better. It wasn’t quite so obvious which team would lose, and even less so who would be fired. I would have bet on Tom being given the push, although I was glad he wasn’t – I’m fostering quite the crush on the gorgeous geek (it might be because I know he’d make sure I keep my finances in check; I have a crippling – sometimes quite literally- shoe addiction).

ANYWAY, moving on. I was surprised the hair ‘treatments’ didn’t earn more money. Anything that doesn’t involve stripping off in front of a stranger on what is meant to be a relaxing shopping trip would float my boat, although that being said, anything that doesn’t involve heated plastic shells being rubbed on me would float my boat if given those options.

There are still some quiet Quentins and silent Susans (thanks for inspiring me Lord Sugar) floating about, but we are getting to know some people a bit better. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Edna ‘The Gloves’ Agbarha and, after the boardroom last night, Ellie  seems like she’s a force to be reckoned with. Jim continues to stealthily sway me as well, but I have a feeling he is too solid and dependable – there’s a nasty person inside who’ll surely break out before long.

What did you think of this (and last) week’s Apprentice? Do you have any favourites yet?

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episode Two

12 May

Image courtesy of domanske (click for Flickr link)

Who knew elephants sounded like dogs barking, eh?

The Beeb has well and truly treated us this week, with not one but TWO episodes of The Apprentice, ensuring that we all get nicely suckered in. It’ll make the wait until next week excruciating, but what a way to grab our attention.

In the second of this week’s episodes, teams Logic and Venture (names as reminiscent of Lynx as ever) had to create, develop and market an app that would set the world’s smartphones on fire. Or, you know, be incredibly offensive or mind-numbingly boring. I was just as surprised as you at which turned out to be more popular.

Of course, it was the global appeal of a distressed baby that swung it for the girls, although app-solutely everybody thought the girls were headed for a showdown with the Lord. Yet despite their lack of marketing (unless you count those exquisite gloves Edna sported) and passion for the idea, The Apprentice delivered one of those 180s that we still seemingly haven’t got used to.

I must admit – I’m having trouble with the ladies. There’s Melody, Edna, Susan and….erm… the blonde northern one? The young blonde? Someone called Helen…and er….some others…. Perhaps it’s just because the focus has been on the losing team thus far, but the men in the competition have left a greater impression on me so far. I’m sure this will swap around by next week – from the preview it looked like the teams were mixed up a bit next week. I’m looking forward to getting to know all the candidates better and having a favourite.

Was Alex the right man for the chop? I think so – with this series’ prize of investment from Alan, the qualities he’s looking for have shifted slightly. Whereas before it was often the quietest voices who went on to win, this year’s winner needs to show gumption and chutzpah. Alex didn’t. He also seemed devoid of a sense of humour on You’re Fired, unlike gracious – if misguided – Edward.

Oh – I’ve spotted another lookalike. Loving your suggestions – keep them coming!

Jim Eastwood

Doug

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episode One

11 May

Image courtesy of Howzey (click for Flickr link)

It’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. Hum along with me. Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-daaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Etc.

Yup, The Apprentice has blundered back onto our screens after a short winter break and it looks set to be as full of meaningless mumbo-gumbo and shattered dreams as ever. HURRAH.

So far two lookalikes have sprung to mind:

Denholm Reynholm

Vincent Disneur

David Tennant

Tom Pellereau

But I’m ever on the look-out for more. Any suggestions?

Last night was a classic opener – the ‘boys’ are made out to be inept fools, the ‘girls’ bitch and snipe at each other’s leadership skills and the losing PM is a shoo-in to walk from the get-go. So far, so entertaining. My only gripe is that we lost Edward so soon. Obviously he was the weakest candidate in the episode, but his philosophical mantras

It’s all there

and

I don’t fit the mould

were genius! Of course, The Apprentice is never in short supply of quotables so I shan’t sleep too uneasily.

It’s going to be another great summer.

The Apprentice – Week Six

11 Nov

Sing along with me: duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.

The Apprentice was back on form this week. Despite another predictable exit, the advertising task (always a gem) ensured it didn’t feel like a totally wasted hour.

It was clear from the outset our favourite Retail Guru would get the finger. Why else would they show him spouting nonsense about apple pies if not? Oh that’s right. BECAUSE IT’S RIDICULOUS. I did wonder for a brief spell if sappy Laura (the polo neck is back!) might get the chop as all she seems to do is moan, whinge and generally behave like a 12 year old girl who isn’t used to not getting her own way. But no, much like Paloma, Alex got carried away in the boardroom and was rapidly hoisted by his petard (that shout is brilliantly lampooned here).

Alex deserved to go. He was the PM and should have been in charge for the major decisions of the task: choosing the name, bottle and directing the tv ad. Did he do any of those things? Err….. no. He went with the awful name (with weird connotations), hideous masculine bottle (with a woman on the front) and as for the ad… As Laura rightly pointed out, it’s not a good idea to have a child holding a bottle of chemicals which is explicitly warned against on the actual product.

Oh dear.

At least Apollo’s ad was mildly amusing. The only thing that raised a laugh for the OctoKleen was the ‘actress”s appalling acting. Sexist innuendo aside (I’m not the only one who found the 8 hands instead of 2 slogan inappropriate), just what was the point in the dodgy costume? Until the ad, Synergy were winning…well, I wouldn’t say tentacles down, but it was a clear lead. The sheer retrogressive cheek of Christopher soon turned that around.

As the ad agency looked on, variously bemused and insulted (or in the case of my friend, highly amused), it wasn’t entirely clear who would walk out of the boardroom and into the ever-present black cab.

Kudos to Nick for some of the best lines last night. My favourite has to be the one about Synergy jumping on the octopus idea:

“like a tramp on chips”

Brilliant, and a fine point to end proceedings here.

 

If you haven’t seen this though, do so now. It will change your life:

TV Totty of the Week

8 Nov

The true star of The Apprentice (now Margaret’s gone), Nick Hewer certainly has a way with words.

This week the silver fox compared Stella’s work in the shop window to certain ladies he’s seen in Amsterdam. Can I get a ‘LOL’? He also shot down Alex as “not totally annoying”. Nick was always sharp tongued, but it seems he learnt from the best (Margaret, again) when it comes to withering put downs.

And of course, there’s this:

He’s not one to be distracted by lithe young beauties:

Although that’s not to say he doesn’t think about it:

All this and he works for the charity Hope and Homes for Children. What a guy.

The Apprentice – Week Five

4 Nov

This week was all about the boardroom.

Don’t get me wrong, the task was still entertaining and gave us plenty of opportunities to laugh at the hapless muppets, but it was pretty predictable stuff. Paloma’s epic self-immolation was the only surprise in the heavy-handedly edited episode.

The focus on Apollo over Synergy signalled they were headed for a date with disaster. Either nothing genuinely went wrong for Liz and her team or it was edited out to focus our attention on Apollo. The same can be said for Alex. As soon as Paloma told him he would be responsible for the promotional pitch, we knew he was headed for the boardroom.

I completely agreed with Lord Sugar – Paloma was clearly covering her back and looking who to pass the buck to. Of course, Alex was an absolute fool and has no business calling himself a “retail guru”, but ultimately, Paloma was the project manager and had to take responsibility for losing out on the sparkly dresses that made so much moolah.

Just like last week, the losers lost the task because they lost out on the best product. Apollo’s flat response to Liquorice meant they were stuck with the environmentally-friendly range, which unfortunately, was not wallet-friendly (or nice in any way what so ever).

Still, boring Chris (as opposed to Scouse Christopher) tried his best to sell the godawful dress made of ties. Perhaps he tried a little too hard, as he came across as leery and insincere rather than complimentary. Still, he obviously knows best as he managed to palm it off to a willing customer.

I may well be going mad (induced by the realisation getting a Masters degree is actually hard work), but Stuart Baggs – The Brand – was actually pretty funny this week. I’m amazed he’s lasted this long considering his hideous first impression, but he’s actually done the smart thing and skulked in the background. Hopefully he will fail in spectacular fashion soon though.

I have also deduced that it is perfectly acceptable to have a mini-crush on Jamie. Posh, good looking and not that horrible (these words will surely come back to haunt me) – he’s the best we’ve got really. Although he displayed a worrying level of snobbery and ignorance of ‘the North’ this week. I spent three of the best years of my life in Manchester and anyone who disses it gets minus points straightaway.

Next week’s episode looks far better than this week’s for two reasons.

1) It is the standard advertising task, which is inevitably hilarious and cringeable in equal measures.

2) My friend is in it! We caught a glimpse of her in the preview, as part of the judging audience for the team’s adverts (she used to work in the industry before giving all the glamour up for life as a magazine journo). She promises gossip galore once it’s aired, but she won’t spoil it for us. And I’m glad. There’s nothing so horrid as knowing the outcome before the event.