Midseason report card: Why ‘Shark Tank’ is one TV’s best products

Shark TankWhile “Shark Tank” continues to promote all sorts of new or struggling products on every episode of its show, what ABC continues to sell more than anything else is “Shark Tank” itself. This is just a great show from start to finish, anchored by great personalities who know business, smart products (some of which we actually want to buy), and also the hope of real success for the people who come into the tank hoping to hook a shark. There’s a sense of excitement about it that with the right help, these people can make way more money than anyone on any other television show.

Let’s start first by getting the bad out of the way for this season so far … and there isn’t too much. We didn’t care for some of the segments that seemed to be promoting some sort of book affiliated with the show, or the “updates” that weren’t actually updates. But, this is a minor complaint given that at least there was far less egregious product placement this fall than that ridiculous T-Mobile phone that was shown off time and time again last year.

Also, we’re not the biggest Lori Greiner fan in the world. She’s smart and obviously extremely successful, but we’ve always preferred Barbara Corcoran’s negotiation tactics and chemistry with the other sharks. The same goes for Daymond John, who she has replaced on a few shows.

The boring products to us like beauty brands and supplements have been kept at a minimum, and the focus has instead been on things like activities, specialty food (the boneless ribs were a plus), products associated with technology, and then a few trainwrecks like stuffed elements and any product that came on here following a terribly unsuccessful run on Kickstarter. If the product was awful, Kevin O’Leary (quite possibly one of our favorite people on TV who we hope will one day adopt us) was quick to put them in their place. If the product was a winner, we had a Roman coliseum break out where the sharks morphed into gladiators and had themselves a feeding frenzy.

While we know that Mark Cuban is one of the show’s biggest draws, we want to give some credit to the show’s unsung hero in Robert Herjavec. Despite driving ridiculously fast cars, he feels like the shark that is the easiest to relate to. Plus, he’s smart in terms of his business sense, and his offers are generally the most reasonable. He rarely tries to pounce on royalties, but as he said earlier this season, don’t ever mistake his kindness for weakness.

Five seasons in, “Shark Tank” has still found a way to remain a viable and entertaining franchise, and most of that is due to great sharks, great casting, and an emphasis on what works. There’s not a lot that needs to change; if they merely just keep it up, then we’ll feel like this is still a TV investment worth making. Grade: A-.

If you want to read some more entries in our Midseason Report Card series, just be sure to visit the link here.

Photo: ABC

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