Lawdy Lawdy! Everyone’s favourite grizzly business bastard is back, and this year it’s serious. Actually, it’s not serious at all, it’s a string of vaguely businessy tasks designed to make the line-up of arrogant pricks look as incompetent as possible before arbitrarily firing one in a hail of grumpy puns.
The prize this year is slightly different: The winner doesn’t have to polish their brass balls for work at Amstrad HQ any more (which is lucky: of the six previous winners, only two still work there.) Instead, they’re given a £250k investment into their own company. This should prevent some of the personality clashes of previous years, where a competent arsehole is sent packing because they’re too upper-crust for Suralan, who we imagine still forages in bins after filming.
Clips! Of the candidates! Saying the worst things they can! And a preview! Of the arguing! One of them looks like that guy off the telly crossed with that one from the film. Another resembles a super-hero version of Simon Munnery. A third is a Spitting Image puppet of someone else.
Alan combines a personal history lesson with some patronising tips for BUSINESS. He has ‘umble roots, y’know. He doles out £250 per team, to go out and create a BUSINESS. The teams are split down gender lines, giving them the perfect opportunity to disprove the stereotypes that perpetuate the Apprentice; The girls as moaning, whinging crybags; The boys as argumentative, alpha-male dicks.
Thomas invented the world’s FIRST curved *mumble*, while Ellie runs her own business in construction… her voice tails off as she admits “recruitment”.
The girls are Team Venture. The boys try “Ability”, which sounds like an advocacy group for the wheelchair-bound, but go with “Logic”.
Melody bullies her way into the Project Manager role, namedropping the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Al Gore. Gavin whinges about being PM, without really wanting to be PM. The inflatable Jon Tickle, Edward, is voted in.
Venture plan to make fruity breakfasts and veggie lunches, while spending as little of Alan’s investment as possible. Edward can’t be bothered with things like “margins”, and decides to throw the whole £250 into a tomato soup and orange juice. They negotiate hard and fast over the oranges, and manage to haggle absolutely nothing out of the storeholder.
Ed is immediately exposed as a bullshitter. Working without structure, forward-planning or thought, he stumbles along saying “it’ll be fine”; all the while the team spend half the night running around a warehouse chasing after tomatoes, or “rolling with the punches” as Ed would moronically repeat until his team mates want to punch him in the rolls.
Venture have spent £91 less than the boys, but their lunch boxes are half-empty and contain 90% apple. It’s not really about the product, though. People will spend a couple of quid for some food, just for the chance to get on the telly, and there’s no worry about pissing off repeat customers. The boxes cost just 30p to make, so there’s a solid blahddy profit on each, with their price of £2.50.
Regardless, the boys get to squeezing their 1,400 oranges. That’s 230 EACH. So while the girls are out selling, the boys squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. They don’t even send one person out to sell. They finally wander out, just about in time for lunch.
Vincent Dinosaur, the missing Musketeer, flirts with ladies in offices – with upsettingly positive consequences. The boys are selling a mysterious pink version of the orange juice, which loiters in the background, unmentioned. But it’s there. Watching.
With an unnecessary aerial shot or two, it’s back to the boardroom. Where someone WILL be fired.
Ed backtracks and pretends that some of his mad, random decisions were the product of genius, before confessing that he made up the pricing. He gets a beating from Alan for being a trained accountant, and for being ashamed of that fact.
Melody and Edna snap at each other, before receiving a bollocking for only spending £170. ARBITRARY WHINGING KLAXON.
The boys took in £430, while the girls storm ahead with almost £600. Off to the Café of Doom, before SOMEONE will be fired. If the editing is any guide, it’ll be Ed.
The team immediately stick the boot in to Eddie, complaining that if he did have a plan, he didn’t bother telling anyone. Tom (our favourite, by a long shot) is called “sensible”, by Suralan, which is about as close to a compliment as anyone gets in here.
They made just ⅓ of the bottles of juice that they had bought oranges for. Could have just wandered around selling the fruit. Alan does the dick thing of comparing personal sales figures, which is harsh when one guy was doing essential non-selling tasks. Sorry if that’s boring for you, Al, but there are other sodding jobs out there.
Tom apologises on the way out. Aww. We love him.
Edward brings back Gavin (who argued with him), and Leon (who broke the electric juicer), but it’s really not looking good for him. Edward points out that he’s the shortest in the team, which is some weird attempt to find common ground with Lord Al. Leon blames Edward. Edward blames Gavin.
Gavin has done enough not to get fired. Edward starts crying. This is painful. Oh God, the quivering lip. Alan pronounces “resumé” as “resume-eh”, calls Edward a nightmare, and he’s fired!
Next Time: Downloads! Douchebags! Dollar!