I have to make a confession: I love reality shows! I know… I know… Most, if not all of them are fake, and sometimes it’s just actors and not real people; but still, they make me happy. Not only that, depending on the show, I’ll cry during the season finale. One thing must be clear, though: I do not like any of those real housewives, big brothers, nor those that are about celebrities who think the world turns around them. I like the competitions, the ones where there’s food involved, renovating or buying houses, the ones where it looks like actual people and it’s their actual lives.
While still living in Florida, I started watching ABC’s Shark Tank. Initially it was just as background noise so I wouldn’t feel so lonely while my husband was at school. But then I started to pay more and more attention to the show and started to notice how clever it was. Soon enough, my husband saw me watching it and thought he had married some crazy lady who likes reality TV, but he gave it a shoot and watched one episode, then another… and another… Until he started to ask to watch Shark Tank on TV. When me moved to California, we didn’t have cable anymore and we caught ourselves many times wanting to watch the show, but we just couldn’t. That all changed the day we found out we could watch it on Hulu. We subscribed immediately.
Shark Tank explores the idea of the American Dream: You can become rich if you work hard. And this is true starting from who the Sharks are: Barbara Corcoran, started her real estate empire with a $1,000.00 loan at the age of 23; Mark Cuban, whose first business was selling garbage bags door-to-door at the age of 12, now is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks; Lori Greiner, creator of over 400 retail products and known as the queen of QVC; Rober Herjavec, son of immigrants who decided he would give a better life to his family; Daymond John, made his millions as the founder of the fashion brand FUBU; and Kevin O’Leary – a.k.a. Mr. Wonderful – he started with absolutely no money, but an idea for a Childen’s literacy software, today he makes his money by investing in other entrepreneurs.
For the last 7 seasons, these 6 self-made millionaires have used their own money to invest in people who have a great idea/product. These entrepreneurs pitch their idea/product to the sharks, who scrutinize them for the best deal possible. If lucky, the entrepreneurs might get the amount they were looking for. If even luckier, they’ll get the sharks fighting for their product or even more than one shark investing in them. Don’t be fooled, they are not investing from the goodness of their hearts, they want to make MONEY. With this in mind, the entrepreneurs don’t just get more money to grow their product, they get the expertise that comes from the sharks, which are worth having as partners.
I remember watching the show in Florida and being amazed by one of the products that I saw on Shark Tank. Lori Grenier invested in it and it is supposed to be the product which made the most money out of all products in the show. When we moved to California, I was looking for cleaning products and guess what I saw on the shelf at the supermarket: Those sponges from Shark Tank! That was the moment when I realized that it was all real. There’s a high chance I’ll someday buy a product and not even know it has one of those sharks as one of the partners.
Although I’m not the entrepreneur type, I’m fascinated by this ability to come up with an idea and make it into something feasible. I’m even more fascinated with the art involved in negotiating, so while watching the show you get to watch these professionals at their best. It is quite interesting. What is more, is that the sharks are interesting people, you kind of get really involved with them, just as you would in any other reality show. I have caught myself many times discussing with my husband which would be shark we’d like as our investor. Mark Burnett, the creator of the show, is very successful at making good reality TV; he knows what people want to watch. He recently created a new show called Beyond Shark Tank, where you get to see where previous entrepreneurs are in their career and how the sharks are helping them.
I understand that reality TV might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and I understand their reason why. Having said that, there is some magic that comes with the idea that a regular Joe can transform his life from night to day, and I guess that Shark Tank does it really well.
- Where to watch: Hulu (only 5 latest episodes)
- How long are the episodes: around 40′
- IMDB rating: 7.1/10
- My rating: 8.5/10
I would love to know how you feel about reality television. Share you thoughts with me on the comment section bellow.