One of the inevitable things about the start of a new series of The Apprentice is people saying that the contestants on the show are what is wrong with the country. They’re not are they? They are what’s annoying about the TV show The Apprentice. Along with every other part of the show. The Apprentice is something we watch to be annoyed. And mean. People like being annoyed by people and being mean about people – and sometimes the latter even when the people are not the former.
[What people are wrong about the country? Those, without mobility issues, who cross a road at non-crossing point and don’t make any attempt to speed up when a car approaches – in many cases just holding their hand up as the amble across. And people who use a buggy, with a child in it, as a lead to cross the road in busy traffic. Walk to a fucking crossing point you prick, there’s a fucking child in your nosecone.]
I can’t even make many individuals out until about the third episode. They are just the outline of an annoying group of people at this stage. Well two annoying outlines. At the moment I can only make out a couple of lads who are upper class and superior (last longer than they should because despite his working-class-made-good-roots Sugar seem to give the posh people more chances than others), one decent looking contender from the North (makes one tiny mistake in third or fourth week and gets fired on the basis of it) and the woman who won it a couple of years ago.
The other thing that also happens in the early weeks is that, despite everyone on the show being rude and argumentative, Sugar and Karen Brady will make some comment about the women being so as though as though it is somehow specific to their gender. Brady’s contempt is generally a little more disguised than Sugar’s – framed in a comment about ‘strong women’ – again as though something about the gender is an issue. I’m not saying this year’s women aren’t all foul and horrible – but so are this year’s men and to claim there is some difference in the gender groups or to say they are obnoxious in different, gender related way is disingenuous.