Reviews of episode four

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Reviews of episode four

Post by Flossie » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:21 pm

From the Times

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Nick Hewer, apologising to Lord Sugar’s candidates for sneering? Do that, Nick, and you’ve lost your raison d’être

The Apprentice

BBC One

The eighth series of The Apprentice hasn’t been nearly as bad as the naysayers would suggest, with some world-class glowering from the mogul formerly known as Suralan and a satisfying quotient of deluded morons among the candidates. But this fourth episode seemed to be having a crisis of confidence in its own, brilliantly contrived formula. First Nick Hewer, Lord Sugar’s longest-serving TV lieutenant, apologised to one of the teams for sneering. Apologise? For sneering? It’s your raison d’être, Nick! A Nick without sneering is like a Sugar without a scripted put-down. Then, in the boardroom at the end, Sugar himself dropped a clanger of Gerald Ratner proportions. Ratner, you remember, was the jewellery millionaire who called his products “total crap”, much as Sugar sighed that he was “getting a bit bored”.

It was tiresome, as some of these drawn-out boardroom tussles are. But for God’s sake don’t admit as much! That’s like saying: please don’t commission a ninth series, BBC! Which would be a shame because The Apprentice still throws up moments of pure TV gold.

This week’s task was to buy second-hand furniture and sell it on at vastly inflated prices in East London’s fashionable Brick Lane. The target market: what Hewer, back on form, called “the young trendy with the gelled hair”. The previously slick Duane was out of his element. “This one’s big and this one’s small,” he said, gesturing to a big chair and a, um, small one. Earlier, he had confidently referred to “a well-known expression: don’t look a gift horse in the eye”.

If their command of the English language was dissolving, then the candidates’ selling style, already on the totalitarian side of pushy, was descending to new depths. The worst culprit was Jane, who appeared to be borrowing techniques from sheep dogs, funneling her victims into corners from which they could not escape without buying a shockingly painted Union Jack table. Buying or selling, these snarling hagglers were determined to ruin the day of everyone in their path. One woman at a car-boot sale spoke for them all: “You can have it for a pound as long as you promise to go away.”

The Sterling team was led by Laura, a bridal shop owner. “Being an attractive businesswoman can have its ups and downs,” she said, scuppering her chances quicker than you can say Samantha Brick. Sterling duly lost and Laura returned to the boardroom to bitch it out with Gabrielle, the woman responsible for the Union Jack tables, and Jane, she of the Genghis Khan sales ethos. Jane was fired, and shoppers everywhere breathed sighs of relief.

But not before Sugar had his Ratner moment. OK, so the finale wasn’t scintillating, but what came before had been as priceless as those tables weren’t. Don’t look a gift horse in the eye, Lord Sugar: this one’s still got legs.

• Who do you think should have been fired? Vote in our poll and have your say at thetimes.co.uk/whowouldyoufire

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Post by Flossie » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:26 pm


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Post by Flossie » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:40 pm

It is most amusing that the Samantha Brick theme of attractive women suffering for their looks should raise its head in this episode given the current furore caused by Samantha Brick and her burden of supposedly being attractive.

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Post by Anna » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:12 am

Those reviews are really funny. :D It is interesting that the Samantha Brick theme has pervaded all the reviews. Obviously when the episode was filmed it wasn't such a current issue. I've seen humorous references to Samantha Brick everywhere, for example "I'm no Samantha Brick, but I'm quite presentable". I wonder if her name will be permanently linked with delusions of beauty and the hardships faced by the beautiful.

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Post by Flossie » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:54 pm


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Post by Flossie » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:55 pm

Anna, have you seen some of the American interviews she has had?

One aggressive US woman asked her in a strident tone, "Are you joking?"

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Post by Anna » Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:03 pm

No I haven't seen the US interviews. Where are they?

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Post by Flossie » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:31 pm

I was referring to Samantha Brick of course, and I can't remember where I saw them :doom:

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