If you were to ask me what I liked about The Apprentice, I’d struggle to answer. It’s a show that I’ve been watching on and off for years now, starting with the US version before a certain Mr Sugar took the helm of the UK equivalent.
To begin with, it’s a gripping show. Call me a voyeur, but watching a group of narcissistic ego maniacs stab each other in the back holds a strange appeal. As a viewer, you almost want no-one to win. As the show attempts to unearth the next Alan Sugar you can’t help but feel that every single candidate is lacking in the one area where they need it the most – common sense.
I’m sure it’s a lot easier watching from the sidelines than it is participating in the actual show but I can’t help feel that it seems very similar to the world of politics where any attempt to make yourself feel more favourable involves ripping everyone else around you to shreds, whether you think it’s warranted or not.
My main bugbear with The Apprentice is the measure of the tasks that the teams involved take part in. It’s fairly routine that each team is given a sum of money to produce, market and sell a product in an unfamiliar area. The winner is the one that returns with the most money. The flaw here is that the production costs are never factored in. The facilities they need, the training they’re given and even wages aren’t considered. So when a team of 6 return with a profit of £500 for the day, I can’t help but crunch those numbers a little. Sure it’s a TV show and I’m certain that the candidates are picked on their appeal to the mass market rather than their business acumen, but still. Are we really to believe that 6 of the supposed brightest young business minds in the country would return from a days work heavily in the red?
I love to hate The Apprentice. Where other reality TV shows have to reinvent themselves to retain their audiences, The Apprentice stays the same. The candidates stay the same. Alan Sugar stays the same. But still I keep coming back for more.