The Apprentice, BBC1

by | May 17, 2008 | All, Reviews

1. (9) Michael. We’re bored of ‘hating’ Michael. He’s become what Charlie was in the last series of Lost, forever dangled over a precipice of doom, teasing viewers as to his imminent demise, and then yanking him to salvation at the last moment. Until he got trapped in a sub-aquatic base with a grenade-wielding maniac – not dissimilar to his weekly voyages into the boardroom to face the wrath of Sir Alan, who looks like someone has exploded a grenade in his face when castigating Michael.

Since Kevin’s demise, Michael is pretty much propping the whole show up on his “good Jewish” shoulders, an Atlas bearing the scorn of the nation. And this scorn didn’t subside this week as he planned the division of tasks of seeing wedding dresses and products, and in the boardroom blamed Helene.

He was humiliated further by his plea to become project manager; as Sir Alan sent him back to the house with a dismissive wave of the hands it was only a shock he also didn’t hand him a chafing noose fashioned from his wiry hair and a pistol, all six chambers loaded with his own lethal whine.

2. (2) Raef. Led the decision to go with the expensive Ian Stuart wedding dresses and was rewarded by being made to dress up as a lingerie lion. He walked round the stall as if invigilating at a prep school exam, all erect and bold as if trying to hold in a shit.

3. (7) Claire. She still spouts clichés like teenagers vomit (“You look like a true English rose”/”I might as well throw myself under a bus”/”Feel a million dollars”), but some shafts of humanity are creeping through her gruesome shroud of emotional flatulence. However, the final syllable of each of her sentences still lingers with tortuous anguish like Orpheus’s eyes on Eurydice as she vanishes forever into the kingdom of Hades.

4. (5) Lee. We’re wary of writing “Thass wurrum talkin’ ’baaat” in the fear that we might be breaching some copyright law. This episode saw the first conversation between Sir Alan and Lee, as the boss teased him about selling “fongs” to young women.

Watching Lee gradually become more and more ingratiated in the strictures of the business world is like watching the evolution of ape to man in fast forward.

5. (3) Lucinda. Once again she impressed as project manager. But far from acting as some kind of endorsement to her peerless business acumen, her apathy and indolence when not in charge instead casts her in the role of an irascible immature child who stomps off into the corner of a room the moment another child is allowed to play with her favourite toy at playschool.

6. (1) Sara. She was sentenced to death by firing squad two weeks’ ago by the simmering collective ire of her colleagues after Kevin’s exit. Even though Sir Alan pontificated about how he didn’t like bullying, the way she was ganged up on was seeded in his mind and she was fired more a as result of the attrition of Alex’s conniving than his own perspicacity.

Still, the reason she may not have been able to sell anything was perhaps explained when the narrator clearly said: “The team has yet to sell a wedding cack.”

Also, when she left she was seen in the waiting room wearing a skirt, but once she emerged to take the Charon’s taxi across the London Styx she had a pair of trousers on.

7. (4) Helene. Somewhere in the north of England, a bridge is missing a troll. Improbably, she once modelled wedding dresses, which led her to pose blankly in a succession of garish dresses that have the same mutilating effect on a woman’s beauty as high heels, cosmetic surgery and an obsession with Victoria Beckham.

8. (6) Alex. We’ve always wondered why at the start of each episode there’s that protracted prologue, which is the same every week. But now we know.

Watch Alex striding through the gleaming London architecture – observe how “full of beans” he looks, his glossy skin that posh folk could ski down without fear of a rogue boulder, his smooth, grinning face that he once wore to greet the welcoming morning son that has since morphed into a contorted tornado of spite as he poisons yet another one of his team mates.

And that’s what he did in this episode. Oh, we’re sure he was responsible for “more than three-quarters” of all Renaissance’s wedding dress sales (achieved by telling each bride-to-be “it really complements your skin tone”), but he’s also responsible for more than three-quarters of all the flaccid-faced adoration heaped on this year’s candidates, with his chocolate drop eyes and stormy ocean hair, in much the same way as the sacrosanct myth of Che Guevara seduces a million students to genuflect before his mercenary eyes.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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