Saturday, September 15, 2012

Shark Tank Season 4 Premiere

I have made the highest cuts to my television watching in... I guess my entire life. Since picking up a job, television has really become something that hasn't made up my everyday life. I read and I write, those are the things that make up the things I really want to do and the future that I want to pursue. However, there was one show I was looking to see make its return, and that show is Shark Tank. This season, there is a full season of twenty-two episodes in which six sharks, namely Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec, are returning to see what kinds of offers that could pursue and from what kind of people. Barbara and Lori will each appear in eleven episodes throughout the series (or half as they explained, thus I'm guessing they each appear in eleven), as the others will appear throughout. In this episode, it was the men and Barbara.

To start the night off was Derek Pacque, with his convenient, cheap, and technological coat checking business known as CoatChex, where your picture is taken as you hand in your coat for a fee of just $2-$5. Many of the coat checking services are double digits and don't match your face and coat, but instead rely on a ticket that's complicated to say the very least. Unfortunately, he hasn't sold the product and is only in the production stages of creating his business. Plus, as Kevin mentions, this business is seasonal, because nobody wears coats in the summer when it's warm out. Asking for $200,000 for 10% of the company, the $2,000,000 value is a bit too much for most of the sharks. Mark Cuban is the only one that provides an offer for Derek, which is $200,000 for 33% of the company. The highest Derek could do is 20%, which is not good enough for Mark. Derek leaves the tank without a deal, feeling that it may just be the right idea to wait until his business grows. He does, however, ignore a decent offer that allowed him to keep control of his company and yet continue to pick up advice from someone who knows the business.

The update was yet a second update for "The Reader Rest," that Lori Greiner invested in last season. Since, the production has increased drastically and a scene features Lori and the product's creator on a ship in Martha's Vineyard.

Jay Kriner is the next one into the tank. For a day job, he detects underground bombs or exploding devices, which led me to believe that his product would have to do with that kind of idea. It turns out... his product was the Bev Buckle. For $50,000 in exchange for 10% equity, the sharks could invest in a product in which your buckle is a cup-holder that allows you to enjoy your beverage hands-free. There are plenty of companies and raceways interested in the product, but no checks have been written. He does, however, garner three offers. Robert wants $50,000 for 75%, Barbara $50,000 for 51%, and Kevin wants $50,000 for no equity, but instead wants a 12% royalty on every buckle that is sold. He takes Barbara's offer, probably because it's the smallest, but the aftermath of the decision is extremely brief (which I will discuss later). To close off, he shouts his slogan, "Ba-Bam!" I must say, though, that Barbara's offers do become noteworthy, especially since I "like" her Facebook page. I see plenty of statuses about Daisy Cakes and Pork Barrel BBQ, two of her successful products.

Todd Miller was the next into the tank, which I must say was the most interesting pitch of the night. His product was a massaging program known as "Bodywalking." For $100,000 in exchange for 10% of the company, they would be investing in a program in which masseuses walk on those being massaged and features a handrail system that assists you on concentrating on pressure points. Barbara, who deems herself "the queen of massage," tries out the product. She's left comfortable, though the others kid around about her "having a stroke."  Unfortunately, the sharks don't see potential or originality in this idea and Todd does not garner any offers.

The final people to enter the tank are Maria Curcio and Veronica Periongo, whose product is called "Buggy Beds." For $125,000 in exchange for 7% of the company, the sharks would be investing in a detection system in which a glue trap would be placed around your bed area and tell you if need to do something about the bedbug problem. Seeing that they turned down a huge deal that they just didn't find to be right, Kevin sends the ladies out and wants to see if all of the sharks would be interested in taking a part in the deal. Things seem a bit frazzling, as the other sharks want to make offers of their own. Ultimately, Kevin offers $250,000 for 25% of the company and invites any shark interested in taking a part in the offer to do so. Daymond is the first one in, followed by Robert, however Barbara tries to offer $150,000 for 15% of the company... if they say "yes" right away. She also adds on the fact that she's female and that they have to stick together. When Barbara preached girl power last season to the inventor of "You Smell," it backfired. When the women don't approve right away, she goes out. Ultimately, Robert and Mark enter the deal and Barbara decides to get back in. The offer is $250,000 for 25% of the company and each shark is included. They agree to it... as long as Mark teaches them in cha cha cha, a Dancing With The Stars reference to when Mark competed on the show.

This is deemed as being the first time in which all of the sharks invested in the offer. However, this is not the case. Back in season one, all of the sharks invested in Mark Furigay's product, Classroom Jams, which used music to help kids learn about classic literature, Shakespeare in particular. An update was shown as well for this product. These were during the days in which Kevin Harrington sat on the panel before Mark joined the show and became popular enough to become a regular. This is an incredible verdict, but not the first in any way.

I hope the best happens to Shark Tank this season, as the previous season was such a hit. However, I hope the show does not become generic and rushed, which I saw signs of throughout the episode. I especially felt that the aftermath to Jay Kriner accepting Barbara's offer was incredibly rushed. There was a brief shot of Barbara and Jay shaking hands and then Jay leaves the tank, yelling "Ba-Bam!" It felt like not much detail was put in to that aspect of the show. The final offer did a bit of a better job showing the aftermath, but it still could have been bigger and better.

Nevertheless, the show still seems to hold a great deal of potential throughout the season as it progresses. There looks like there is a ton to look forward to and plenty of exciting pitches, wild chemistry among the sharks, and incredible offers that should do the show justice. We'll just have to see if my outlook is right.

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