Sunday, 12 May 2013

Beer here now

Week 2: 8th May 2013

Last week!  The teams had so sell a ‘mystery box’ of items (i.e. a load of old toot).  Both teams had their share of comedy, but the women (aka ‘Evolve’) lost due to not giving a shit about cat litter (ho ho) and PM Jaz was fired for not paying due deference to LudSralanSugaSugaSuga.  And also for being crap.  But mostly the deference thing.  Helen recapped it for you all here.

This week!  6am at Apprentice towers and Jason and Luisa are up to answer the phone to NotFrances – Luisa remarkably sprightly for this time of a morning, Jason looking like he’s just stepped out of a 1980s toothpaste advert in his stripy pyjamas.  They’re being sent to a pub, ‘The Old Bank’, in Fleet Street.  Luisa is very excited about the prospect of BOOZE, possibly casting her mind back to last year when Ricky Martin and Adam spent all the day getting plastered.  She screams in everyone’s ear to WAKE UP and you just know she is the candidate whose mug is ‘accidentally’ getting dropped during the washing up later. [Oh Luisa, you really don't know how to make friends, do you? - Helen]

Sralan welcomes them by saying the pub used to be part of the Bank of England, which is fitting because they’re now going to be making money selling beer, which is Britain’s favourite alcoholic drink with sales of 18 billion pounds a year.  Thanks for the facts, Sralan!  But do you know how many cat-lovers there are in this country, hmmm?

Thanks to his boardroom outburst last year and his business plan being about ‘some sort of drink’, he gets to be PM for Evolve and thus give them one more team member than Endeavour for some reason, whilst Kurt gets to lead Endeavour because he’s ‘in the drinks industry’ (health drinks apparently, surely the antithesis of BOOZE but anyway…).  They have to make a flavoured beer and sell it for loads of monies.  Yay, the recipe challenge!

Kurt thinks chili and caramel is a good idea.  Now I’ve seen chili and chocolate, chili and lime, but chili and caramel…?  Kurt interviews that he is ‘glad’ to be PM and not at all worried that LudSuga always fires PMs who underperform in their specialist area.  Alex says chili is perhaps too adventurous.  Neil suggests chocolate orange, whilst Jordan wants to ‘make the case for nettles because it’s adventurous, it’s exciting, daring, unusual.  When you see it on a label you’ll be like maybe I should try that, is that going to sting my mouth?’  This gets exactly the kind of response you’d expect (and wouldn’t it taste a bit… salady?  The last thing I want beer to taste of is salad…) [Who on earth would want booze that hurts? - Helen]

Tim is excited to be on the girls’ team, because on the boys’ team everyone talks over each other.  He says he wants to ‘target the female market with something healthy.  Is everyone in agreement with that?’  Cue unanimous ‘no’s, a Tim interview saying he’s a ‘team player’ and everyone talking over each other.  Flavours mentioned include champagne, acai berry (blee) and rhubarb and pepper (umm?).  The women shout that ‘mass market is men’.  I would think that flavoured beers probably lean more towards women, or at the very least, appeal to both sexes fairly equally, but what do I know?  I only drink the stuff.  Tim then says he’s going to overrule himself because he made a rash decision before.  Karren then says ‘it depends who’s got Tim’s ear, the decisions he’ll make during this task.’  I suspect Karren has been doing some ‘market research’ at the beer pumps already.

The men are talking all over each other again and Zee takes the huff that Kurt has assigned him to go to the factory.  He’s clearly afraid that, given his height and the chocolate-themed beer, someone will mistake him for an Oompa Loompa and he’ll never get out again.

In the cabs, Rebecca, Tim and Stella Francesca debate going to a beer festival, the ‘Kent’ beer festival, in, er, Putney.  They ring the sub-team and Uzma says she doesn’t think that’s their target market.  This may be important later.

Back at the factory and Zee’s sub-team are tasting beers, but then we cut to the other sub-team who have already decided they want a chocolate orange bitter regardless of what the factory team say.  Kurt rings the factory team up for a list of ingredients and they’re all ‘woah, slow down we haven’t tasted anything yet’.

Kurt says they’re going for the amber bitter.  Jordan says they’ve tasted the amber and the stout (which kind of contradicts their whole ‘haven’t tasted things yet’ spiel) and the stout tasted nicer – as I’m sure it would – and Kurt snaps him down with ‘well, we’ve gone for the amber.’  I love that Kurt’s A-team is the groomed likes of him, Myles and Neil, by the way, with all the misfits assigned to the factory.  It’s like Mean Girls, Apprentice-boy style.  Alex tells them they can’t decide what to use when they haven’t tasted it.  Kurt says ‘we’ve decided, it’s done’ and hangs up on them.

Evolve are doing their tastings and flavours such as bacon and blueberry are provided, whilst a brewer looks on, entirely unable to control his mirth.  Oh, incidental characters, don’t give your game away so fast.  Francesca asks if anyone ever did chemistry.  LOL.  They start measuring quantities of rhubarb but find it very bitter.  They add in caramel and say it’s nice. 

Uzma’s subteam (Luisa, Sophie and Leah) are with this week’s token put-upon graphic designer.  H’s talking to Uzma about colours on their ‘Rhubarb and Riches’ label (which looks surprisingly nice given the standards of ‘graphic design’ we often see on this show – although I blame the candidates, as I imagine the usual creative process to go something like this) when Luisa shouts over them that they should focus on getting the label finished first rather than talking about ‘10% blacks or whatever’.  She and Uzma then have a fight whilst David the designer looks half-offended, half-bemused.  Luisa then snarks that the label isn’t ‘beery’ enough, whatever that means and Uzma snaps ‘well, who’s the sub-leader’ and Luisa strops ‘well, lead then’ and then gives a look to camera that suggests she’s very well aware of what she’s doing and how much camera time it will get her.

Back with the Plastics, and they’re coming up with names.  Kurt suggests Bitter Zest, Myles ‘Bitter Blends’, Kurtm ‘Bitter Swirl’.  Neil suggests ‘A Bitter This’ which doesn’t really suggest anything chocolatey or orangey – it’s like one of those jokes Sralan is going to make regardless of whether or not it will work in context (of which: one later).  Myles says ‘it’s not bad, you know’ and Neil declares it ‘brilliant’ before bragterviewing that he’s doing all the leading and behind every good PMr is a Neil Cross (stabbing him in the back).  From the candidate photos alone, Neil had looked like a possible tip to win.  LOL WRONG.

At the factory, the teams are working out the formula: 1/1000 is the flavour mix according to the men.  The women seem to have come up with 1% and not 0.1% and Francesca’s head is MESSED UP with litres and grams.  They decide to go with 1% in the end.  Then they say they’ve gone with a 100% dilution – whatever they’ve done, they’ve made a poisoned drink that is unsafe and ruined two batches of drink due to quantities being wrong in a manner reminiscent of SANDALWOOD. [I was a bit disappointed no one suggested sandalwood beer, to be honest. - Steve] They ring Uzma’s sub-team to break the bad news and Luisa mugs for the camera some more.  We then see both teams attempting to bottle the drinks with beer spilling everywhere.  Tim hopeterviews that they’re salespeople so they will make that work for them over the 150 lost pints.

The bottles arrive and the men like the taste of theirs.  Neil says there are only 100 so it’s ‘a collector’s item, one day only’.  The Rhubarb and Riches design doesn’t look much (/at all) different from Dave’s original and they  have a banner and pump clips.  They have 134 bottles and just over 500 pints to buy after the lost 90 litres.  Tim then shuffles the team around again and again and some more and again to try and send them out.  Luisa tells him he didn’t appoint a sub-team leader.  He suggests Rebecca.  Her sub-team of Uzma and Natalie scowl at this, whilst Leah looks out of the window with the face of measured disdain combined with rising above it she’s making an art form of.

In one of Endeavour’s cabs and Alex and Zee are putting Jason on logistics and not sales.  Alex tells him to focus on what he’s good at, and Jason, waving an open bottle of their beer, slurs ‘are you over-ruling me deliberately’ like they’re Michael Howard or something.  Oh, drunk posh Apprenti, how I love thee.  Zee thinks it’s hilarious, whilst Alex screeches ‘Jason, will you be quiet, you silly shit!’

Endeavour Plastics, now with added Jordan, are at the St Alban’s beer festival.  Now this is where the logic of this episode fails me.  As (SPOILER ALERT) a beer festival is claimed to be part of the losing team’s downfall, it seems odd that they’ve clearly had it pre-arranged for each team to be at a beer festival as part of their strategy.  Although why I’m looking for internal logic and consistency in this show, I don’t know.

 Jordan tries to tap in a pump to the barrel and gets splashed on (insert filthy joke here).  Kurt prices is at £4 a pint, £2.60 a half and £4 a bottle and he’s had a look around, some places are cheaper, so they  need to keep an eye on sales.  This is the rare sight of a sensible comment not often spotted in a week two Apprentice episode.  Myles is offering taster cups to some people who look disgusted by it.  Nick interviews that they have to compete with all the other beers.  Yes, Nick.  It’s a beer festival.

Evolve arrive in Putney – I’m wondering if the problem with this beer festival is meant to be Putney?  Anyway, it’s fairly deserted.  Rebecca’s sub-team go to sell their beer to a pub who like both the drink and the pump clip and buy four casks.  Rebecca attempts to bargain with them, whilst Uzma tries to jump in, and Rebecca shuts her down.  Uzma bitchterviews that Rebecca likes to put her finger in people’s faces ‘when they try to interrupt’.  I’m team Rebecca on this – she was a bit rude to Uzma but only because Uzma was rude to her.  Oh week two Apprenti.  Always SO PROFESSIONAL.  They make over £300 anyway and head to their next appointment at the Everyman cinema.  Uzma criticises Rebecca for asking the location and then they have a pointless argument.

Not as pointless, however, as the Endeavour Misfits’ next appointment, at a pub with no product to show – they do have an empty bottle that the pub people can sniff though, so that’s good enough, right?   [That...seems strangely sexual. - Steve] They’re roundly dismissed and Alex pulls some epic failure faces as they leave.  They ring Kurt who snipes at them not having any samples.  Alex whines that they were given an empty bottle from Neil and that was it.  Neil is shaping up to be the classic villain of the series, isn’t he? Kurt whines that one of the others will have to send them six beer festivals.

At the ‘Kent’ beer festival and Tim interrupts Morris dancing to scream ‘I don’t know if you’ve heard of us’ – well, no, other than as generic Apprentice candidates, they won’t have – and tells them the beer is rhubarb and caramel, which is met with some derision.  Tim says ‘you haven’t tried it sir’.  To be fair, I’d probably try both teams’ beers, although I’d prefer the chocolate orange as a stout.

In the beer tent and we see they’re selling pints for £3.60 and halves for £2.50.  Customers seem to quite like their beer and Tim says ‘we will saturate this market and then move on’.

At the other beer festival, Endeavour aren’t selling many.  Jordan says they’re selling theirs at a higher price than everyone else, at which a random drunk woman comes up and screeches ‘you’re lowering the prices?  Excellent!’  BRITAIN’S BINGE DRINKING EPIDEMIC!  Myles wonders if they should move and Kurt suggests the South Bank Festival.  Neil points out that it’s quite far away and thinks they should do another hour.  Kurt says another keg and then they’ll move on.

Back with the Endeavour Raggy Dolls and Zee’s attempt to flog beer is asking two publicans what they normally pay, and, when they say £80-90 a barrel, telling them their beer is £95 a barrel, but if they buy two, ‘maybe’ they could buy at their higher end price.  Jason says maybe instead they could do one at £80 and one at £75 (which makes no sense, but hey).  Zee snaps ‘how are you doing that?  You can’t do it at that price’ while Jason snarks that he’s not in charge of figures.  The pub men laugh.  These incidental characters are far too knowing this week.  It’s like in the later series of The Secret Millionaire when the millionaire went ‘I have a confession to make’ and the faces of the charity workers were all ‘OH LOOK I WONDER WHAT THAT COULD POSSIBLY BE’.  The men then have a row and they all agree to sell one cask for £75 and suddenly Zee is happy with that.  Outside Zee snaps that he’d agreed £80 for two and then Jason jumped in and lost them money, which… he had?  They row again some more and Zee says he made them look stupid whilst Jason poshterviews that they’re the most moronic people he’s come across in a long time.  Oh, broken biscuits sub-team, don’t you realise this is what the perfectly groomed want, to drive you against each other?  Unite and resist!

Over with Evolve and the beer festival team pack up after selling 1.5 casks.  Rebecca’s sub-team all eye-roll and she gives a sarcastic ‘excellent’ on the phone to Tim as he relays this.  However, Tim is such an excitable puppy that he doesn’t pick up on the tone.  Her sub-team have sold all four of their casks for £78 each and want some more stock.  Tim offers them their two unopened casks.  Uzma understates that they didn’t do as well as they thought.  Dr Leah is so over this shit – although why she came on this show is anyone’s guess.

Sub-team Mis-Shapes offer to sell their beer for £75 to another pub who refuse to sell it unless they have a pump clip.  Jason says they’ll go back to the PM and get a pump clip and they then try to sell three barrels.  In the end they sell for £70 with no pump clip.  Nick snipes that the beer costs £53.  Won’t someone think of the holy margins?  Zee and Alex jump down Jason’s throat some more for interrupting.  Sub-team Plastics decide to leave – on a two-hour journey to the South Bank where they need to sell 2-3 pints a minute to sell out.

Evolve are at a wine bar in Richmond trying to flog beer but people don’t want it or like it – Karren shakes her head because wine bar equals wine and never the twain shall meet.  Is that true?  I’m an unsophisticated pleb from DA NORF and it's all just pubs to me so what do I know? [I think it's a bit literal for Karren to assume that nobody at a wine bar would want beer, but I sort of see where she's coming from - there are thousands of actual beery pubs within throwing distance of where they ended up, so it seems odd that they chose a wine bar rather than somewhere where they'd have to spend less time convincing the clientele. - Steve]

The Plastics are at the South Bank, where a tent has been set up for them, so clearly it wasn’t a spontaneous act to come here, and they’re now going for the tried’n’tested end of episode bargain bin clearout, selling their beer at £2.50 a pint.

More selling to bars, the highlight of which is a bar manager offering Zee £65 per barrel and Zee openly laughing in his face.  SO PROFESSIONAL.  The Plastics drop their pint prices to £2 and then £1 and start selling out.  Dr Leah sells two casks for £90, Jordan sells a bottle and is finally allowed to join The Plastics for real and then they’re done.


The disembodied voice of NotFrances (no longer present in a monitor as in the previous episode) sends them through.  Sralan tells Alex off for slouching.  Love it when he’s in posture correction mode.  I wonder if they’re sitting on Tom Pellereau’s business idea chairs.  Sralan points out that ‘A Bitter This’ is a bit of a shit joke.  Neil says ‘I actually quite like it’ (erm, yes, dear.  It was your idea) and gives Sralan a slight bitch-face.  He resembles John Simm a bit, albeit with terrible neckbeard.  Maybe this is just The Master’s latest guise and the whole thing will turn out to be a tribute series in honour of Doctor Who’s fiftieth anniversary in which Rebecca will be revealed as The Rani, Kurt as Turlough and Zee as a Sontaran.  The Doctor of course will be played by Leah – it’s all there, HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT.  

Jason then tells Sralan that Zee’s religious beliefs don’t allow him to drink alcohol so he was no good at the factory task and that he himself doesn’t like beer.  Sralan says they should have sent the right people for the job there even though they didn’t even have to taste any beer because Team Plastics had already decided what they were making anyway.  Kurt pouts in response.  Sralan snarks about the sample.  Kurt then tries to start a fight with Alex over whose fault it was they didn’t take samples.  Neil’s name isn’t even mentioned.  Interesting.  Sralan notes that outside of LAHNDAN they were selling at £4 but inside they were selling at less, when Londonders are used to being ripped off, so they maybe got it the wrong way round.  Jason, Alex and Zee then get into a fight about Jason losing them money and then we get the best boardroom burn in some time.  Jason: ‘Alex disgraced you, LudAlan.  He was swearing at me the whole day.’  LudAlan clarifies: ‘you, not the public?’  This is the case, so he couldn’t give two shits.  Jason then says theyused ‘blatantly deceptive tactics’ (whatever those are) to sell, because apparently he’s never seen this show before.  Sralan basically snorts into his face: ‘you from the Office of Fair Trading are you?’  Alex tells Jason he needs to stay out of the sale and Sralan uses his first pre-scripted line, a ‘Time, gentlemen’.

He talks to Evolve whose mixed messages are that they wanted to be unique and mass-market.  Their bad maths were pointed out and Karren says she’s never seen anything like it.  Nick just sits back and remembers the glory days of SANDALWOOD and shakes his head.  Oh Karren, if only you knew the joys of earlier series.  We then get told how wrong the choice of the beer festival was even though it’s not clear what information they were given (we saw them all with a folder with various contacts in it in the cabs so presumably they had a choice of a small number of venues?).  Some of the women very reluctantly say Tim was a good PM.

Figures time!  Evolve spent £648.67, sold £492 to trade and £555.69 to public for a profit of £399.02.  Endeavour spent £601.40, sold £284.98 to trade and £1147.98 to the public for a profit of £831.56.  OUCH.  Their reward is to go to Belgium, randomly.  Team Plastics are all ‘get in there’ whilst Team Raggy Dolls try to include themselves in the fist-bumping and hugging.

In Belgium, Alex wanders around like some kind of Mafioso with his coat over his shoulders and then they all go and drink beer.

At loser café, they argue about whose idea was sending them to the beer festival.  Rebecca feels they are trying to pin it on her but Luisa and Uzma say the blame can’t just lay with Tim as that’s unfair.
Back at the boardroom and Sralan snipes about them throwing away £123 in their manufacturing error and he wants to know how that happened.  Tim says Francesca was in charge.  She says she doesn’t know about things like kilograms and litres because IT’S SO HARD SRALAN AND SHE ONLY LEARNED HER FIVE TIMES TABLE LAST WEEK.  Sralan moans that the women are being silent like dummies.

 Uzma blames location, Sralan snipes that they were in a ‘glorified pub’ whatever that means and Tim tries to suggest it was Rebecca’s fault, and Natalie says Tim can’t take all the blame.  Rebecca says whilst she says that she pointed at it in the ‘dossier’ that doesn’t mean it was all her responsibility and this is about things that have been ‘building’ outside of the task (i.e. all the other women hating her for whatever reason because WIMMINZ IS BITCHY as we have learned from previous series such as series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8).  Then they all start shouting over each other and Sralan gets annoyed.  Well, you told them to speak up.  He lies that he has ‘never seen such a bladdy mess’ in this process – except for all the many, many losses, Sralan.  Whatever – it’s just a cue for the obvious ‘piss-up in a brewery’ joke he’s been building to all episode.  He says they’re going to struggle in week 8 or 9 if they can’t sort out calculations and locations. 
Tim decides to bring Francesca and Rebecca back.  Sralan tells Rebecca that if she can’t get on with people, it could be a problem and sends them out.  Karren reminds us that STRONG WOMEN fight.  Nick points out she sold over £300 of beer to the trade, more than anyone else.  Karren reminds us that numbers and locations were the problem.  THANKS KARREN!

Sralan says he can detect Rebecca was upset about the last boardroom, but ‘that’s life, that’s the bitchiness of life’ and she needs to show she can put up with that.  HOORAY FOR BULLYING IN THE WORKPLACE!  UP WITH THIS SORT OF THING!  He says Tim might have been walked over by the others in the team, which Tim denies, saying it was all ‘group decisions’.  He says Francesca is in because of the calculations but thinks Rebecca should go.  Sralan says Rebecca sold more on the task than anyone else on any team.  Tim says the location is her fault.  Rebecca says it wasn’t ultimately up to her, he was the PM and Francesca concurs.  Tim says he’s TWENTY THREE [But as this isn’t TWENTY FOUR, no one cares – Alex Wotherspoon] and he won’t make mistakes again, but he already spent his ‘I will learn LudSuga’ speech last week so it doesn’t go anywhere.  Sralan asks Francesca what she did right and she says she priced the bottles.  Really, Francesca?  That’s your ‘save me’ speech?

Sralan says Tim made mistakes but he is young, Francesca made the product and worked hard but got her numbers wrong AND SHE LOOKS LIKE THAT BLADDY WOMAN.  *TWITCH* and he’s concerned about Rebecca being too sensitive to work with in the cold hard world of BIZNESS.  He has a dilemma but Tim’s business plan was about drinks and he made a bladdy mess and so Tim’s fired. [SADFACE. I mean, Tim's firing was inevitable, but I will miss his excitable ways. - Steve] Coatwatch: Long and black with a brown scarf.  Tim cabterviews that everyone in the team messed up but his drinks business will be launching. [Goodbye Tim, we hardly knew you, but what we saw was awesome - Helen]

Back at the house the Uzma and Luisa bitch about Rebecca and say she will be going.  Dr Leah says ‘come on, Rebecca is not responsible’.  Rebecca and Francesca arrive back to hugs from the men.  Neil says there were too many guys in the shower in the morning anyway!  And on that mental image, we shall leave you for this week.  Join Steve next week to see them making their own flat-pack furniture!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alex + his coat = Blofeld.
I hope his cabterview scarf is white fur