Today Jonathan Freedland has an article entitled "What The Apprentice says about Blair's Britain: only profit matters", and you can see his point. Up to a point anyway. Any "reality" show (and I'm sure you don't need those scare quotes, but it's worth emphasising just how fake these programs really are) should roughly reflect the demographic it hopes to attract. They do this so that we all have someone to root for. It's almost stunningly obvious, then, that, by dint of design, it will reflect something of Britain today.
Also by design, the team that makes the most money wins. There has to be some measurement, and money is probably less arbitrary than most of the other ways that you could use determine who is winning. I'm not sure that this means that we can expand this point any further for The Apprentice than we can for, say, Bulls Eye. Freedland can insist that this makes all of Britain money grubbing scoundrels but it really doesn't hold up after a moment's thought.
Most egregious, however, is this:
A truism of our age declares that this is the era when deference has been banished, yet The Apprentice shows that's not quite right. For the contestants, even when exhausted and hurling abuse at each other, only ever refer to their taskmaster and would-be boss one way: he is Sir Alan. Never "Sugar" or even "Alan Sugar", but Sir Alan.
Again, he's gone from the particular, "Alan Sugar likes to be called Sir Alan", to the general, "We all call him Sir Alan because we all secretly love deference to titles". Quite a leap, I'm sure you'll agree.