TV Times 12th June 2011

The Apprentice

Waste removal. The Apprentice - This week's TV Times on Jane Reynolds' BlogI'll refrain from making any 'rubbish' jokes, and get straight on and say that this week's show has been my least favourite of any Apprentice Episode ever I think, simply because it was so far away from their usual sort of thing that they were ALL completely out of their comfort zone, which made it difficult to see who'd actually done well.  It was hard to know what was going on at all – to be honest – as it was another case of 'Musical Teams', with SirAlan muddling them all up again!

It seemed more a case of who could carry the most the quickest, or who was the best sweeper-upper, which didn't – to me – give a chance for anyone to shine/fail.  The men were reduced to the role of labourers, and the women went off to price up jobs for which they had no clue.

Amazing that after all that though, Tragic won by just £6, and were able to enjoy a trip to the Thermae Bath Spa as their treat, while Venture faced SirAlan across the table.  Like I said: nobody appeared to be any better or worse than anyone else, as running up and down the street (the same streets in SW London that I drove up and down almost daily for 9 years until recently *sighs*), and lumping bags into a truck didn't really show the candidates' skills, as it was mostly all completely manual work.

Oh those naughty builders.  Jim agreed the deal, only to come back and find that half as much again had suddenly appeared out of nowhere.  He's like me: honest, and with a pretty black and white view of how things ought to be Jim, The Apprentice - On Jane Reynolds' Blogand was – understandably – upset (as I would have been: a deal's a deal), but in the 'Real World', most other people aren't as honest and nice and will take advantage of you at every opportunity!

I reckoned Jim would have stood there arguing the toss for hours; landed him a right hook, or – at the very least – just driven off and left the rest of it, but was persuaded by Natasha to just forget it and get the job done.  Good bit of diplomacy there Nat.

At the end of it though, the one who appeared to be 'Least likely to have chipped their nailvarnish' during this task was Edna, who seemed to mostly just keep telling the others to hurry up, while standing around 'looking busy'.  I reckon that whatever the task, she'd have been the one leaving this week, as she wasn't really up to much, was she?

She tried to get out of it with "I didn't put up for PM as I didn't think I had the skills," to which Zoe (who had a good week), hit back with "None of us had the skills."  

That was my point.  Nobody had any skill whatsoever in this task.  I'm just glad that the right person was fired. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it, because I love this show (especially while Jim's still in it!), but let's hope next week's is back to the usual level playing field.  Love the tiny flickers of despair that cross Nick and Karren's faces as they witness yet-another random act of stupidity!


Jamie's Food Revolution Hits Hollywood

Jamie's Food Revolution - from Jane Reynolds TV Times blogspotThe programme that's moved me the most this week has been this.  I'd recorded them and have finally got round to watching, but have been appalled and reduced to tears on more than one occasion during the process.  The sheer horror of watching what people are shoving in their children's mouths is almost beyond belief.

In the US, all milk given to children in schools is flavoured, and you don't need me to tell you what sort of other stuff they're consuming.  We're going the same way (C4's recent Junk Food Babies was evidence of that), but that's not what I want to raise here, it's how this one man is single-handedly trying to change – in effect – the world.

Jamie's Food Revolution - Jane Reynolds TV Times blogspotJamie's seen crying tears of frustration and … fear, basically, at what he's witnessing, and you can't help but watch in awe as he suffers one setback after another, but still refuses to give up.  "Baby steps," he says, over and over again, as little-by-little he gets people on-side, but it's heartbreaking to see children eating stuff I wouldn't even want to feed to pigs.

When people say "My kids wouldn't eat that," I want to scream.  A new-born baby is a blank canvas.  The parent is responsible for the first mouthful of food that child eats, and what THEY feed it will determine its palate for the rest of its life, so if it's given 'plastic' white bread, sugary foods and fizzy drinks, you're literally feeding that pure, perfect little body junk … junk food.

I'm not advocating mung beans and twig tea, but what I see with my own eyes every day just scares me to death. I feel it ought to be at least compulsory for someone to have to ensure that children get their 5-a-day, as the world is just sleepwalking into a diabetic/obesity time-bomb.

There's some who'd say this show is just a publicity stunt (and a few of the scenes DO appear to be staged, eg where Jamie's playing hoops in the garden with Poppy and she asks him sweetly "How was your day Daddy?" which gave him chance to trot out a nice little speech), but for a man to uproot his whole family on what's – at best – a hopeless quest, shows that Jamie Oliver is doing it because he genuinely fears for the future health and well-being of the worlds' children.

His passion leaps out of the screen at you, and I can only say that if you haven't watched it, that you check it out on Catch-Up, as it's moving and compulsive viewing.  Next Episode is Tuesday 10.00 pm on C4.

PS Just one thing though Jamie: we need YOU – or someone – to open an AFFORDABLE healthy fast food chain.  The likes of Gourmet Burger Kitchen etc are all well and good, but they're hugely expensive and wouldn't even begin to appeal to the typical McDonald's customer.

We need something like you've done at Deno's.  Good 'Fast' Food – at a competitive price – or you'll never be able to change the habits of the people you're trying to reach.  Fast food/junk food is a lot more expensive than you think, but for so many people who are being raised without the skills to even begin to cook a basic meal, how can we stop things from getting even worse than they are now?

THAT'S why schools should be giving the very best food (to all pupils), at lunchtime, so that every child gets at least one decent meal a day.  A packed lunch is not enough.  When I was growing up, we ate what we were given.  The parents/school were in charge – not the other way round.  Ok; I'm on a proper rant now, aren't I?  I must stop …  


Angry Boys

Chris Lilley - from Jane Reynolds' TV Times Review of Angry BoysLeading on nicely from 'Angry Old Bag' is Angry Boys (a complete coincidence by the way!).  This new Series started on BBC3 last Wednesday, and is the latest offering from Aussie Chris Lilley, whose Summer Heights High was broadcast last year.  He's very clever, and this show's funny (in an Inbetweeners sort-of way), but the funniest thing is that he plays a range of characters but always looks exactly the same!  I know he's not meant to, but it definitely adds to the appeal!


PS There's a new Series starting on BBC2 at 9.00 on Friday night: The Kennedys, all about – yes, you've guessed it – the US Kennedy dynasty.  I reckon I'll be giving that one a go.

PPS How good is the new Series of Lead Balloon?  Great stuff.  It just gets better and better.  Miles better than C5's The Restaurant Inspector for sure.  It's exactly like Alex Polizzi's The Hotel Inspector, but without the bite. Vaguely enteraining though, thanks to the Fast Forward button to whizz through all the recaps after the seven or eight Ad Breaks! 

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