The Apprentice review: Snotty Dink was released without charge
There are many things in the World that seem easy:
Riding a bicycle
Falling off a log
Ruining the ZX Spectrum by bringing out the +2
Voting against tax credits in the UK’s House of Lords
…and writing Children’s Books.
As a parent, children’s books are something that I am all too familiar with. I wish I could tell you how many times I have thought to myself “This is terrible, I could write this” while reading out some tepid story about a magical flying frog who learns how to solve the Greek financial crisis by helping his Dad put cows into his house, and that same thought must have occurred to The Apprentice programme makers, too.
Yes, here we are, it’s week five of “Lord Sugar’s Find Me a Business Idiot Who Will One Day Possibly Take Me To Court.”
This time, the business idiots were tasked with creating and selling a children’s story book.
The teams were assembled in The London Library where Kipling, Dickens and Agatha Christie had visited.
Lord Sugar (who managed to turn up this week – which was nice) added Sam to team Connexus (as they were down one strange character) and the teams were told they had 24 hours to solve the labyrinth or their baby brother would be Sugar’s forever (a.k.a. come up with a children’s book to pitch to some top book people).
Sam immediately volunteered himself as he is still reading children’s books, meanwhile on Team Volatile, I mean Versatile, Charleine talked herself into the PM role with her enthusiasm, and the fact that she has young children (which explains those dead eyes), and then almost immediately set out to make it her life’s work to exterminate Richard’s life. She made him the sub-team leader, and had him watched by young poodle David.
Next the brainstorming: this is where the fun began, Sam couldn’t make a decision about anything and really struggled with ideas for his book. If I were Sam I would have looked closer to home and used the old “write about what you know” principle.
How about the story of a young boy who befriends a giant, walking testicle who shouts at empty-headed business idiots? Or mythical creature who befriends an Amstrad Em@iler?
As Sam wrestled with his inner creative demons, Claude looked on like someone’s flamethrowing a nice bear.
Meanwhile on Team Versatile, Charleine began to pitch her amazing idea about a blanket, but Daniel stamped all over it with his story of a Busy Bee looking for honey. That sounds like Daniel’s Saturday night. The team loves it and Charleine looks livid (get used to that face).
Back at Sam’s HQ they have finally decided on an idea. It’s a terrifying product direct from darkest days on The Island of Dr. Moreau. Behold the Snotty Dink – a half-Elephant, quarter-Bat and quarter-jelly.
The wheels are in motion, Sam is finally happy and the team leap into action in the exact same way bricks don’t as they then struggle with the central narrative of The Snotty Dink – particularly the last third of the story where Mr. Snotty Dink has to assassinate Colonel Kurtz. Once again Claude looks on as if someone is pushing a Lego brick up their urethra. Finally. They nail it. Snotty Dink IS Keyser Soze.
Over at the recording session for The Busy Bee, Richard directs David’s audiobook narration with the note “make it sound like the wind is doing it” – which has the unsettling quality of something an aberrant businessman might say to a late-night call-girl in 1970s Berlin.
Charleine is now solely communicating to the team via David, making him some sort of business Derek Acorah as he has to bark out Charleine’s strange requests to the team while ignoring the fact that Richard exists, which also reminds viewers of many scenes of Patrick Swayze trying to talk to Demi Moore in Ghost.
What this team needs is Richard to snog Whoopi Goldberg. OR Richard and Charleine to sit topless around a spinning lump of clay – not sure which scenario will conjure more bile.
Claude seems dumbstruck that none of the team know how bees make honey and some team members are worried about giving children the wrong information about bees and where honey comes from. I wouldn’t worry about it, as the father to a four year old, I can tell you that they believe ANYTHING. There is no way a child will fact check any honey info.
Both teams finish their masterpieces and head home, waiting for their disappointment box to arrive first thing in the morning.
The boxes arrive and both teams seem extremely happy with them and to be fair they look OK – obviously apart from Mr. Snotty Dink, who seems to have a fixed expression that says “Kill me” at all times. The teams then decide on who will be pitching.
Richard pipes up that he should be pitching as he sold a sandwich at the Olympics, but due to the fact that Charleine hates him more than she hates herself, she overrides him and declares that she will be doing the talking as she thinks it should be done by someone “fun” and “emotional” – without a whiff of irony.
At the focus group session with small children who look like they are struggling to even give a quarter of a fuck, some of the parents are worried about the big words used in the book, which leads to some awkward questions like, “Mummy, what is a holistic approach”, “Mummy, what is Business process outsourcing” and “Mummy, what were tax credits?”
Sam’s first pitch goes OK and he manages to flog 50 of Mr. Snotty Dink (probably out of sympathy for how the poor little freak looks). However Charliene’s first pitch to Waterstones goes very badly. In fact I’ve seen a better pitch from an armless man at the World Series. They say, thanks but no thanks, in the sort of way you would expect from Waterstones – obviously Borders would have beaten her up by the bins.
Not to be outdone, Natalie also does a dreadful pitch to an independent book seller and they come very close to calling the police to make her and the rest of the corporate-arseholes clear off. Natalie had previously that day laid some paving by saying that she had a cold and couldn’t do the main pitch.
Has she never seen a Tunes advert? She said she was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to do a pitch with her voice crackling – there’s also the fact that the last time she did a pitch she sounded like one of those Haribo adverts.
Charliene headed to the Rainforest Cafe and manages to sell a load of Busy Bee books to a man who is obviously a relation of the family in GlenGarry Glen Ross who buy everything because they are bonkers.
We are then treated to some shots of Canary Wharf while we are informed that the day has ended, despite the fact that Lord Alan doesn’t work on Canary Wharf, so it may as well be fucking Butlins in Bognor.
In the Pretend Boardroom, Lord Alan unleashes some puns that have been written for him by a team of children, before revealing the results.
Charliene won. She told David Accorah to tell Richard – who was unable to attend as he was at a train station learning how to manipulate physical objects.
For their “treat”, the team would be going to a library (again?) to be shown some magic by Martin Daniels or something. Alan, that is not a treat. What about a lie-in and enjoy yourself in private?
Sam looked devastated and was totally unable to think of anyone to bring with him. Eventually he decided to bring Mr. Snotty Dink and Karren, then changed his mind and brought Brett and Natalie. Brett was livid – but calmed down when it was explained that he was brought in due to his failure to do another Transporter film.
Once back in the boardroom, Brett unleashed a venomous tirade about how Natalie “failed to sale” and that “I shit you not” and that Natalie had her “ass in your hands”, again demonstrating that only business idiots use the word “ass” when not talking about a type of donkey.
Sam said that the annoying thing about Mr
. Snotty Dink was that in between them designing him and having the books delivered, he was arrested as part of the ongoing Yewtree Investigation, which would only hamper sales.
Sadly, Natalie had nothing in reply to Brett’s anger and Alan was in total agreement with Brett, hopefully not about the “ass holding”. She was gone and she left the Pretend Boardroom – thanking Lord Sugar, when she should of course ask why he ruined the Spectrum +2, and headed for her actual taxi. Brett and Sam were given the speech about bucking their ideas up and told to fuck off back to the house.
The housemates speculated on who would return, and when Brett and Sam did return, they all seemed happy to see them – which quite frankly is baffling.
Next week: They will be asked to do odd jobs, like a kind of Carry On Regardless but packed full of arseholes.
Meanwhile Mr. Snotty Dink was released without charge, but has been unable to get another job.