Young Apprentice 2012 Week 2: Maria Ruins Teen Fiction

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Life is pretty grim as a teenager. Life isn’t like Adrian Mole anymore. It’s more like someone is culling all the moles in Britain. Brutal, ultra realistic and, if it was even possible, getting more and more dramatic with each escalating One Direction album. Back when a lot of us were young, the extent of teenage drama was what was going on at Grange Hill, or what Johnny Briggs was worried about this week. It was a tame existence that didn’t really teach you anything about the grimier aspects of life, and was a general ‘Just Say No to everything' sort of lesson. But obviously that’s outdated and archaic now that Simon Cowell is heralding his own, perfect image of teenagers; flippant monsters who live vicariously through the tweets of Harry Styles and Cher Lloyd and not thinking about life when whatever is going on inside them has stopped destroying them mentally.

Not all teenagers are like that however, and the Young Apprentice is the equivalent of Council of Elrond; showcasing the very, very best (or at the very, very bossiest) of the up and coming Conservative Party as they dance to Lord Shugs’ whims.

This week Shugs, Karren Brady, who’s come dressed as Magenta from Rocky Horror, and Nick ‘Gimme Two From Karren’s Top’ Hewer, have ordained that the Young Apprentices have to make a cookbook. They can choose what they who they aim it at, and what they want to put in it.

The boy’s team, known incorrectly as Odessy, have been lumbered with Maria, who from the very beginning looks like she is going to be Apprentice Gold; arrogant, relentless and, more important than anything else, wrong. She pushes through the idea that they should focus their book on the working women who don’t have a lot of time to make meals for themselves and instead dine out at the finest restaurants and not having children to make them feel guilty about having a child when they don’t have the time to look after them. She forces the idea through the Team Leader Sean, who between hair flicks, is generally looking like an idiot for listening to such a terrible idea.

Off David and someone else goes to Market Research to see whether selling a book aimed squarely at women is a good idea, and it turns out that, no, it’s not a good idea to minimise the number of people who would want to buy your book. To me and you, that seems like a pretty logical thing to realise, but to Team Odessy and Maria, they’re all dirty liars who shouldn’t be listened. Even Karren Brady, the bastion of feminism pulls one of her faces to show us that Maria is totally crazy. That’s coming from Karren Brady people.

It isn’t just that Maria is basing this idea solely on a good idea that she’s thought of (like Pogs, or 50 Shades Of Grey), it’s flawed because she backs the idea up on the fact that she’s a woman and that she should be listened to. It’s hardly Emmeline Pankhurst style logic, and more like the instigating thought of basing a new Species film on. Just because you’re a woman doesn’t necessarily mean that your female-centric idea is brilliant, Maria. Look at tampons. Invented by a woman. Point proven.


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While Odessy are being led down a merry path by Maria, Platinum are struggling with another pesky pair. Amy (Desperate Danielle) and Alice have been put in charge of creating the actual book that they would pitch to prospective investors. Pretty major part of the task. Definitely not something you would want to mess up with spelling mistakes or pornographic images. Imagine how embarrassing that would be if the good people at Waitrose were presented with a crude representation of double penetration instead of what should be a croque monsieur. It'd be horrible. Shugs would not be pleased.

But that's what Desperate Dan and Alice do. Present a finished book that is chock full of spelling mistakes of words that a seven year old could figure out. In the gruesome twosomes defence, Alice did say that she was dyslexic. Poor Alice, it must be terrible being dyslexic and being left in charge of a task that she would struggle with. Poor, poor Alice. What's that? She's studying A-levels in English Literature? And doesn't know how to spell courgette? That's not a girl struggling against dyslexia, that's an idiot who wants to prove a point.

Prove a point to who, you might well ask, well to anyone who will listen: Shugs, Nick, anyone. She wants everyone to know that she thinks that Platinum's Team Leader, Lucy is repulsive for making her do that. "She's a terrible team leader," she'll coo to anyone who'll listen, "made me do some writing even though she knew I was dyslexic." Which is precisely what she does when the terribly written cookbook is slated by everyone.

Bizarrely, even though both teams performed particularly bad when it came to pitching (how Patrick can wear a diamanté tipped shirt and not convince anyone to do anything is beyond me), it's Odessy who manages to lose. Which is almost completely down to Maria forcing through her own personal feelings about how important women are.

So it makes sense that between flicking his hair, Sean brings Maria back in. But instead of bringing Patrick back in because he was as much use as a giant, inflatable version of Adam Levine, he brings in David. Having David in the same room as Maria is basically what happens when an insane object meets an equally insane surface. It's a one way journey to what could be one of the most dramatic clashes in Apprentice history. David's inherent, Wall Street style sexism is in complete contrast to Maria's almost ultra-feminist Greerist ethics, and seeing them go toe to toe is going to brilliant. Like the last hour of Avatar level of brilliant.

Unfortunately, or fortunately for the show's stylists, Sean is fired so no one have to reset his hair for continuity purposes. Apparently Letitia Dean spends three hours dedicated to repositioning her hair every day. It's one of the reasons that she leaves Eastenders all the way.


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