Shark Tank: A Fine Alternative Reality
With reality providing so little joy these days, we turn to Shark Tank for welcome relief. On ABC, it brings entrepreneurship to the masses. We share the pride of a son who created Squatty Potty, a footstool for his Mom, as he makes a deal with Lori Grenier. We love the the young couple who get Barbara Corcoran's money for Grace and Lace, their frilly boot socks business, started after taking up crochet as a way to cope with personal tragedy. We cheer for the smartphone breathalyzer that garnered the money of all the sharks. And we take pleasure watching the arrogant MBA walk away empty handed.
Shark Tank is great TV because it both educates and entertains. It has made the word "valuation" part of the Millennial vocabulary. Hard work, persistence and preparation are rewarded. Likability, and a sense of humor, can clinch a deal. Tough love, particularly delivered by Mark Cuban, can be life altering. Reality--actual sales and profit margins--matter.
And, of course, there is that high that comes from watching success come to an average American with a great idea, passion, and a work ethic that knows no bounds. The American Dream is alive and kicking on Shark Tank.
We love the Sharks. We hear that Bethanny Frankel, of Skinny Girl cocktail and Real Houswives fame, is joining the cast. We look forward to her repartee with Mr. Wonderful, each undoubtedly laying claim to being world's foremost expert on alcoholic beverages. We hope to see more of her business cred and less of the studied snarkiness of the housewives. Shark Tank is a whole different, and classier, ballgame. And better for it.