Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Apprentice UK: Not So Bad, Apparently

Most of the time, American TV steals its ideas from the British. Reality shows, sitcoms, dramas, we don't discriminate. As long as it's one less idea a lazy American producer has to come up with. Rarely does it ever work the other way – Brits stealing from Americans – but that's what happened with The Apprentice. The BBC replaced the loud, badly coiffed Donald Trump with the slightly less loud, much better coiffed Sir Alan Sugar, and now the British version is receiving recognition for not sucking. Which only makes sense. They're only on season three, so they haven't had a chance to scrape the bottom of the candidate barrel like the American version, and Sir Alan is not Trump. One of the clips on BBC's website has Sir Alan warning the candidates not to give him a line about how they're like him, because he won't go for it; meanwhile, Trump is all for kissing ass. And although I've never actually seen an episode of the British version, I might be able to safely assume that the firings are based on performance, and not on the capricious whims of a man who has long since disconnected himself from reality. Might be; this is, after all, still a reality show. Maybe NBC would be so good as to show a special Apprentice: British Invasion, much as the CW did for America's Next Top Model, and then American audiences could see what an award-winning Apprentice was like. On second thought, though, Trump would never let that happen, and the minute anyone told him about the British version, he'd start blaming Sir Alan for his show's declining ratings, claiming that the British version makes his look bad.