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Thursday, February 23, 2006

UK TV Recommendation

Wednesdays for the next few weeks are gonna be a superb telly night.

Of course, this statement only applies if you're in the UK. And if you like generally like the same TV as I like. But with those caveats in place - Wednesdays are gonna be a superb TV night! Mark my words.

First up, at 9pm on BBC2, is series two of the UK version of The Apprentice. I came to this party rather late. I only started watching the first series after a quick visit home led to watching an episode with my parents. I rapidly becoming hooked, even though the series was about half way through by that point. So this time, I made sure to turn up on time - right from Episode One. Delighted to see that most of the contestants are back stabbing bastards - and that those who aren't seem to have some naive belief that integrity and accepting responsibility are necessary qualities in a successful business person. Yeah, just like they are in politicians.

Tough to pick a favourite candidate at this early stage, but frontrunners at present are the prat who wanted to call the Boys' Team "The A-Team" (a clever suggestion in 1985, perhaps, but not so much twenty years later) and the woman who is clearly an emotional wreck. "Oooo, goody, we're gonna be getting lots of tears from her," thought I, as she almost wept about the way the women's team had used sex appeal to win the competition, and it seems I'm right - the preview for next week showed her weeping as well. Excellent.

For the record, I agreed with her point about the women using flirting in order to get what they wanted (namely free fruit - don't ask). Such behaviour does reinforce negative images of women in the workplace. That said, making this point while close to tears reinforced the other negative image of women in the workplace - emotional, irrational beings who cry at the drop of a hat. To be fair, these stereotypes work for me. Women at work do seem to be either ruthless bitches or weepers. It's a good rule of thumb. I'd like to think I'm neither. Which is probably why I'm not a multi-millionaire.

Possibly even better than The Apprentice, though, is the programme that follows it - The Armstrongs. I'd read several reviews of this that described it as a real-life version of The Office. That's a pretty good description.

The show follows life at Coventry's third largest double glazing firm, run by the eponymous Armstrongs. Working life there appears to be ever so slightly more depressing than it was at my first job (and that's saying something).

The Armstrongs themselves are indescribable. I noticed they drive a Jaguar. I can only assume this is on hire purchase, because their business style is such that you're amazed they've had any success at all. I strongly suspect that their firm (U-Fit) is the third largest double glazing firm in Coventry simply because there are only two others.

If the first episode is anything to go by, this series is going to more hilarious than many comedies. Tough to pick a favourite moment, but I did enjoy John Armstrong asking why his new employee Michael (the only applicant for the position) hadn't mentioned that he would need to take time off to compete in an Othello tournament - cue John wondering why someone wouldn't mention they needed time off for some f*****g Shakespeare competition. Priceless.


  • At 5:18 AM, Anonymous BB said…

    HB McReadie :) I just read your lastest bunch of posts. Awww, hope you're ok now. Birthdays and events like that can be stressful or end up not meeting expectations.
    And from where I am 20 anything is young, young, young, still plenty of time to flip this world upside down.
    CUround ok.


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