Monday, March 14, 2005

British Apprentice Bests the Original

Unlike many others, I do not look down on reality shows on television. While I think many of the premises that end up making it on to the major networks stable are worthy of disdain, I think a lot of popular reality shows are popular for a reason. Simply put, they can be quality, smartly-produce unscripted dramas. One show that I used to enjoy was the Apprentice. I liked the creative business tasks that they faced and the interesting personal interplay between the contestants competing on the show. I thought Trump was an entertaining aspect, mainly for comic relief.

Now, though, I have begun to like the show less and less. They seem to focus less on the actual task that each team is assigned and more on the petty fights that occur along the way. That can be entertaining and adds to the comedic element of the show, but in excess it becomes grating to me.

At first I thought that the novelty had just worn off with me and that is why I had stopped tuning in, but watching the British version of the show clarified the original’s shortcomings. It would be hard for me to fully explain the British version, but it’s a more detailed look at the actual business task and the initial planning, along with a helpful narrator make the show more interesting. The true improvement comes from the different tycoon at the focus of the show. The British Apprentice lacks Trump’s oversized ego, obsession with looking like he’s busy and important, as well as the hooky voiceovers done to improve his boardroom performance. On the other hand, the British Tycoon, Sir Alan Sugar, lets the format do its thing and adds a nice little paprika to the show on choice occasions. The end result is a better show that proves that it is the premise of the Apprentice that makes the show good, not Trump. If you have a chance, I recommend you check out BBC’s Apprentice.

| << Home