The Apprentice recap: Comics week – Kim Jong-un beats Benji with a picture of a croissant

·Contributor
Kurran can walk, or chew gum. But not both.
Kurran can walk, or chew gum. But not both.

Yes, it’s Apprentice night. The fifteen most ambitious entrepreneurs in Britain, the rugby team’s worth of chancers who “couldn’t give away Prosecco on a hen night,” are back to tickle the funny bones of business enthusiasts everywhere.

Kurran, the Apprentice candidate most likely to be mistaken for a Thunderbirds puppet, opens proceedings by reminding us that he’s an actor.

Yes. again.

It’s almost as if he’s more interested in being headhunted by Hollywood than The Square Mile.

Perhaps he’ll get a chance to show off his acting skills this week, eh readers?

The Apprentice – now with augmented banality
Apparently that’s a cartoon Alan Sugar, although it can be hard to tell the difference.
Apparently that’s a cartoon Alan Sugar, although it can be hard to tell the difference.

Because it’s comics week on The Apprentice this week. So we’re in the UK’s only gallery dedicated to graphic art (apart from the other ones) to get an augmented reality briefing from Sir Alan.

Demonstrating his up-to-date funnybook knowledge, Sir Alan drops in references to Minnie The Minx (established 1953) and Biffo The Bear (1948-1986.)

If we’re looking for comic counterparts to Karren and Claude, Lana Luthor and Professor X from the X-Men might be more on the nose. Lana is a ruthless entrepreneur and the Prof, like Claude, can see into your very soul.

Seizing the seeds of his downfall with both hands
Kayode’s facepalm pretty much covers the boys’ performance this week
Kayode’s facepalm pretty much covers the boys’ performance this week

We don’t need any telepathic ability to see what Frank wants though. He wants to be Project Manager for Team Hubris with every fibre of his being.

David would quite like a pop at the job as well, given that the task this week is to create a comic aimed at eight-to-twelve-year-olds and David would like it known that he writes ‘like, make-believe stories.’

But Frank is taking no prisoners in his bid for the top job. Indeed, he sagely points out “If I can’t back him then the rest of the team can’t either.” So let’s get this clear in our minds: You want the job. So you don’t want David to get it…so it naturally follows that no-one else could support David’s application either?

All-righty then.

The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle
“Mate, can you draw us a croissant?”
“Mate, can you draw us a croissant?”

Meanwhile, over at Team Fractious, no-one wants the job again. Khadija eventually gets the nod, but for the second week running the Project Manager role is seen – quite rightly – as some thing of a poisoned chalice by the girls.

It’s not an auspicious start in the job for Khadija. Either she’s being very unfairly edited or she really is just spitting out random unconnected buzzwords in the hope that something sticks. Monkey Tennis anyone?

For a little while, seemingly oblivious to how Twitter might react, the girls are toying with calling their character ‘Randy the Rapper’ but in the end they drop Randy in favour of a character that’s obsessed with balls.

No such silliness from the boys. They’re soberly wearing masks and giving each other piggy-backs until Frank’s trousers split. Never was one of Claude’s old-fashioned looks more well-earned.

This is how business is done in 2018
This is how business is done in 2018

Frank’s doing a lot more than bursting out of his strides though. He’s also pushing through his decision that the ideal name for he lead character of Team Hubris’s comic will be called Benji, despite the fact that the name went down like a cup of cold sick with his team-mates.

Clearly, we’ve had enough of experts
Bonjour tristesse!
Bonjour tristesse!

Team Fractious are now officially re-named Team Française now that they’ve decided that their comic character, M.C. Gogo, will be teaching their readers French. Despite the fact that none of them speak the language.

They’re allowed to hire a designer to help realise their ideas, why on earth don’t they splash out on a translator too?

The boys have got a comics professional in to help them as well. Who could not look less impressed with their efforts.

Which is fair enough. They don’t even know if it’s ‘wooh’ or ‘woah.’

Guys. It’s ‘woah.’

You can have too much French in a French lesson
Yes, they really are beatboxing
Yes, they really are beatboxing

Over at Team Fractious, Karren is asking if French was the right choice, given that no-one at the team has much of a grip on the language. “Well, we’ve got a picture of a croissant” may well be response of the series.

They later expand on that, by explaining that they didn’t want to include too many French words in case their readers were the kind of kids that go on caravan holidays.

Although, so far, the girls’ toe-curlingly inept rapping and beat-boxing might be performance of the series.

No. Wait. It isn’t because Kurran’s doing some acting. It turns out that he can either speak or move, but not both. He’s actually more wooden than a Thunderbirds puppet.

Unabashed, he’s still sure he can land the pitch. They just need to refine what the pitch is. Is it Daniel’s corny but understandable “The superhero of tomorrow, today!’ or Rick’s ‘I know it makes no sense but it’s a while since I said anything’ rejoinder “The future in the current”?

Imperfect Pitch
Be honest – could you remember Frank’s name without looking it up?
Be honest – could you remember Frank’s name without looking it up?

Both pitches appear to be stinking the place out, and the trend seems to be to react instantly to bad feedback by sticking the knife into your team-mates.

Sîan and Daniel are both bang on trend there. Still, at least they can remember the names of the team-mates they’re assassinating. Kurran’s completely forgotten Frank’s name. It seems that only can he not move while he’s talking, he can’t remember stuff while he’s talking either.

He can totally sell Frank’s unpopular name for the comic character though: “We know it’s a name, so it has a sense of uniqueness but also familiarity.”

Well. That’s clear.

Speaking of people who aren’t good with names, Khadija doesn’t appear to have heard of Kim Jong-un. Evidently entrepreneurs of tomorrow flick straight to the business pages when they get their morning paper.

Ultimately, this week, it was a victory for Team Fractious. Team Hubris had a catastrophically empty order book and the infighting among the losing candidates was hard to watch. Frank looked on the brink of tears at one point. Kayode insists that he would have come away with no more orders than his team-mates, but would have failed better.

Time to drag The Trolley-Bag Of Shame
This has been a good week for Team Fractious
This has been a good week for Team Fractious

David ended up trundling The Trolley-Bag Of Shame to the taxi, but in truth it could have been any of them this week. Frank’s tenure in the top job ended in ignominious failure and Kurran’s much-vaunted acting and pitching skills turned out to be entirely non-existent.

One last thought: when the survivors return from Sir Alan’s Boardroom of Doom, everyone always seems to be delighted to see them. Even though they clearly hated them mere hours before.

It’s almost as if Apprentice candidates aren’t altogether the nicest people.

Almost.

Still, we’re all looking forward to seeing those lovable scamps again next week aren’t we?

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