Just saw the first instalment of the UK version of The Apprentice. I didn’t see very much of the Trump original, but from what I did see, our version (with Sir Alan Sugar in the megalomaniac [err... shurely giant of modern commerce] role) seems a little less theatrical but the format comes through, although the board room is lighter, funkier and well a bit more 21st Century than the US show.
What doesn’t change is the testosterone (among women probably even more than the men) and the parade of egos puffed to bursting point.
What I don’t get is why any of these bright, motivated, sales-matic people want to earn a (six-figure) salary working their balls off for someone else – why aren’t they doing their own thing? What has Alan Sugar got that they want and why on earth do they want to put themselves through this humiliating and painful process?
In terms of general dynamics, it’s going to be interesting to see how the male/female split works out. It was really interesting how the women took longer than I expected to start gelling as a team, there was much more prickliness and arguing than among the men.
It’s clearly a big risk to volunteer to be project manager for the first task. Those that did have probably made some enemies for the rest of the series. Also, I don’t know how much this was because of the editing, but there were team members that I didn’t see do anything during the task. I do think it’s remarkable that Miranda, who panicked and started selling at a loss just after lunch, without discussing it with anybody, managed to talk herself out of getting fired.
The small things that tickled me were the excitement they showed when they went off to the luxury accomodation, giggling and thrilled – they had arrived but also the way that the swagger that pervades the whole group turns to pathetic displays of mock humility when they face up to the man who put AMS into Amstrad!
I’m hooked though. I want to know how the tasks are going to progress. And I want to see those egos bumping and bashing and smashing into each other, and then grovelling for a place in the next round.