TV review: The Intern (Channel 4) and Dogging Tales (Channel 4)


"We are wasting so much talent," protested Hilary Devey at the beginning of The Intern, a new show that promises to deploy a "radical recruitment method" to get Britain's young jobless on the career ladder. As a top businesswoman and high-profile Dragon, Hilary dislikes waste and she has, I think, spotted something that other television presenters have missed.

All those eager young people, so desperate that they'll do pretty much anything to get a job, represent a resource not a problem. You can make telly out of them. Think of it. People with a few more options might jib at being involved in a trivialising mash-up of Candid Camera and The Apprentice. But these guys don't have much of a choice. Job's a good 'un.

Hilary's just the picture on the tin, of course, a sort of Betty Crocker for this instant-mix reality show, with her Cruella de Vil styling and rasping no-nonsense delivery. She does the boilerplate stuff about putting her name on the line – "I've chosen them and they're not going to denigrate my name and reputation with that company" – but the truth is that she's already besmirched her reputation by getting involved at all. She also unhelpfully raised the question, with that remark, of what kind of selection process the candidates went through to make it on screen. Presumably, precisely the kind of CV-scanning, personal interview affair that The Intern suggests is outdated in the modern world.

Anyway, those who did manage to impress the Intern casting directors get the chance for a week's on-the-job try-out in the industry of their choice, tweaked for our entertainment by a series of booby traps arranged with the help of actors. So 22-year-old Georgia is given the task of walking a hotel guest's precious dogs, unaware that one of them has been trained to run away the moment it's left off the leash. And Princess, a big Made in Chelsea fan, discovers one of its stars, Hugo, chained to a bedpost in the room she's supposed to be cleaning. How will they cope under pressure? Can Princess keep her mouth shut about Hugo's embarrassing predicament? Can Georgia find the lurcher in time?

On this evidence, one of the important skills in the hotel trade is the ability to lie with a straight face, both to and on behalf of the customers. But I doubt that a jobless young person watching would have learnt anything useful about the world of work – the only possible excuse for a format that takes hopeful innocents and torments them for our entertainment. And that also requires two of them to get another rejection to add to the great stack they've already had to absorb. "I could not have wished for a better outcome," said Hilary jubilantly when Georgia was offered a job. In that case, Hilary, you're not very imaginative, are you, since it might have been nice if Princess and Taelre had got something a little more substantial than a pat on the back. Next from Channel 4 – "Making Tramps Fight for Cider".

The depression induced by The Intern was not lifted by Dogging Tales, though it was very skilfully directed by Leo Maguire, who brings a photographer's eye to his subjects. The problem here was not the film-maker but his subject – al fresco sex with strangers. The participants like to call it "play", but the reality is a seamy affair that all too often involves women with low self-esteem following the orders of men with far too much. Maguire's decision to disguise his contributors in animal masks made some of the interviews very funny indeed, as when a paunchy lorry-driving fox praised the social side of dogging. And I warmed to the man who confessed that he found it "very moreish". But overall it had all the erotic allure of a used condom.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas