After many months off the air, ABC brought back their “Shark Tank” spin-off “Beyond the Tank” on Tuesday in interesting fashion. While we feel like there was some entertainment to be had here, we’d say that only one of the three segments really broke much in the way of new ground for showing how a business functions after appearing on the show.
Grace and Lace – The first segment featuring Barbara Corcoran and this company, who has made many a delightful knit product over the year. Their challenge was finding a way to bring in more people to tackle creatives, which they eventually did. This is a story about overcoming adversity and trying to find hope in the darkest of times, and we admire the company for continuing to push forward. With that said, the segment was a little by-the-numbers, and at times we wish that we saw a little bit more of the creation process than just bullet points and a beginning, middle, and end.
Bee Thinking – The highlight of the episode. Part of the challenge of “Beyond the Tank” is that many businesses don’t feel like underdogs anymore after they get a deal, and that in turn makes them less interesting as a viewer. Bee Thinking benefited from not getting a deal on the show, but they did get a customer in Daymond John! This entire segment was fun because it was unexpected, and Daymond was kind enough to offer advice without even owning a share in the company. Plus, Daymond in a beekeeper suit. Classic.
Scrub Daddy – This was almost the flip side of Bee Thinking. While there was some genuine tension in the business negotiations, it’s just inherently a different experience watching a company that is already billed as one of the biggest in the history of the show. We love Scrub Daddy, but wonder whether or not we really needed a segment on “Beyond the Tank” about a company we already knew was doing just fine.
In the end, the issue with the premiere is probably that we already knew Grace and Lance and Scrub Daddy were doing well without watching the show, and we’d prefer to see some smaller companies that we haven’t seen as much since the show. You need stakes, and sometimes, there really wasn’t enough in the premiere. Grade: B-.