BBC, I’m begging you: Cancel the utterly abysmal The Apprentice – for all our sakes

I cannot take any more of the current state of this once iconic show

If you stumbled onto last night’s episode of The Apprentice and knew nothing of the show, nothing of Lord Sugar, nothing of the snotty Karren and Tim and even less about what was expected of the candidates haplessly scrambling about to appease their billionaire overload, you’d be forgiven for being utterly agog that this car crash is a show with 18 series under its belt. Previously, at its worst, The Apprentice still managed to raise a few chuckles at the fiasco and spectacle of its own disaster. However, this series for its entire long and sluggish slog of a run has had cancellation breathing down its neck for how utterly dull it is – and last night’s episode was the worst of the lot. Enough is enough, just cancel The Apprentice.

If this feels like deja vu, I said the exact same sentiment last year. But this year’s series makes last year’s look like the magnum opus of television, so 2023 Apprentice – I’m so sorry. In hindsight, 2023 The Apprentice gave us a lot. We had Avi Sharma doing his silly little raps on Twitter after every episode! We had Reece getting booted off the show cause he got bevvied on the plane! We had God Swindells shadowboxing and saying she was going to be Lord Sugar’s next business partner! Halcyon days, upon reflection.

I think that series felt flop last year because it came off the back of the BEAST that was the 2022 series, where every week a simple hour of The Apprentice felt like another reason to live. Every person in that cast was iconic, and I think about that TikTok of them titting about to the sped up remix of Lights by Ellie Goulding hourly.

Obviously when The Apprentice started it never fully wanted to portray its increasingly young and Love Islander-y cast as incompetent and did at first want everyone to look like the best business minds in the country. Those days are long gone, and have been for a while. But in the golden days of The Apprentice 2022, it worked because the missteps were AMAZING. The First Time Dies baby food sticker! Amelia Stone the video game character who said “I am innocent!” Boujie Cruises and whatever the hell that little turd tidal wave was! Perfection.

This year, we are in despair. Not only is there not a single iconic candidate in the cast, but there is not a funny disaster to be found. No laughs. Honestly, it’s just miserable. It is the least essential television you could ever hope to watch. What’s made everything even worst for this series of The Apprentice is that there’s been so much other reality TV happening around it that the cracks, the flaws, the sheer tiredness of the format are simply screaming out the telly. The entire fiasco is practically on its knees begging the BBC to just finally let it die.

The memes aren’t memeing. The laughs aren’t flowing. And the business acumen certainly isn’t making you think any of them deserve a big whopping investment from Lord Sugar. Who is of course, holding his candidates at metaphorical gun point until they laugh, wheeze and gasp for air as they force chuckles at his little one man show of boardroom jokes. I even packed in my annual weekly power ranking of The Apprentice candidates because I had nothing to say about them, no one was watching and literally no one was reading. If I can’t find a reason to be petty and have a laugh, you know we’re in the abyss.

For all our sakes, BBC – just cancel The Apprentice. Send the candidates home and let them go live on TikTok or something. Last night someone suggested maybe a curry flavoured vegan cheese and Karren and Tim reacted like they just said hmm, let’s make some rotten foot flavour cheese! The candidates can’t do right for doing wrong, and the laughs are as tired as the bags under Sugar’s eyes. Let’s all move on, shall we. Cancel the bloody Apprentice – consider it fired.

The Apprentice continues on Thursdays on BBC One and BBC iPlayer – for all the latest reality TV and entertainment news, memes and gossip, like Pop Culture Shrine on Facebook.

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