Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Getting along famously.

I was sitting in a restaurant yesterday with some friends, discussing the Apprentice.

I have mixed feelings about the Apprentice - on the one hand, it is clearly entertaining and compelling; finding the balance of I-could-do-that-task-better-than-them optimism and that-guy's-a-total-twat judgmentalism that makes Big Brother draw in so many viewers, while managing to avoid the feeling (a feeling I cannot escape with BB) that you're watching a bunch of mentally ill people being poked with a stick. On the other hand, it still feels awfully constructed - it may be "reality television", but it's not real people that we see every week, but the most entertaining facets of carefully selected people, smushed together into a nightmarish caricature of management speak and pressure-based utterances. I'd be lying if I claimed not to enjoy it, but the fact that what we see on screen has been so carefully constructed, edited and synced in order to entertain us, then taking anything other than entertainment away from it would be dangerous. Essentially, it's easy to say "Ben's such a twat", or "What kind of moron doesn't know how to wash a car", but since there's no way of knowing the origins, circumstances and hidden structures of what we're seeing on screen, I find it easier to watch as some sort of semi-improvised social fiction than any kind of actual contest or game.

Anyway, I was sitting in a restaurant yesterday with some friends, discussing the Apprentice, when they both revealed that they watched it while reading along with the Guardian's live blogging of the show.

"Oh", said I. "Is it any good?".

"Oooh yes", said they. "It's done by Anna Pickard. She's brilliant".

"Aha!", I pounced. "She's my cousin!".

So there you are. I officially claim my position as the relative of a famous person, as accredited by this unprompted name-dropping by someone who didn't know.

My cheque, I assume, is in the post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes it is. Do you take dollars?