You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shark Tank

Depending on one's perspective, this is either the perfect time or an awful one for "Shark Tank."

Cast:
With: Barbara Corcoran, Kevin Harrington, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary.

Depending on one’s perspective, this is either the perfect time or an awful one for “Shark Tank,” an adaptation of the Japanese series “Dragons’ Den,” which sends aspiring entrepreneurs in search of capital to pitch five brutally honest business executives. I found educational value in the process but also plenty to dislike about the talent — beginning with Kevin O’Leary, whose fortune-cookie wisdom (“Never insult money,” or “You’re pigs. Pigs get slaughtered”) makes you want to respond, “And you’re an irritating windbag. Can wealth cure that?”

Produced by Mark Burnett, Phil Gurin and Clay Newbill, the series has a crisp look and feel reminiscent of Burnett’s “The Apprentice,” but there’s relatively little to get viewers invested in those venturing into the so-called tank. Part of this disconnect may be the nature of Japanese reality shows, where public humiliation is frequently a crucial element. (Viewers of BBC America may be familiar with the English version of “Dragons’ Den.”)

Here, some of those moments are slightly uncomfortable, if perhaps necessary. One contestant is told to “stop this madness” of mortgaging his house in order to pursue developing an ill-conceived product. It is, as one exec mutters almost under his breath, “the dark side” of the American dream.

On the other hand, ABC is really just tapping into an “American Idol”-meets-big-business hybrid that the network previously explored in “American Inventor” — at a point in history where the world is sifting through the damage inflicted by high-flying hucksters who played fast and loose with financial rules.

“Don’t cry about money. It never cries for you,” mutual-fund manager-entrepreneur O’Leary — the love-him-or-hate-him standout here, for better and mostly worse — counsels one candidate.

But those who put their trust in O’Leary types currently have plenty about which to cry. “Shark Tank” reminds us that swimming among these big fishes isn’t for the faint of heart, but it finally sends a mixed message — namely, that with a little drive, some dumb luck and a willingness to get bloodied, you too can become like the platitude-spouting jerks on the other side of the table.

So is “Shark Tank” cathartic, or merely depressing? Perhaps appropriately, it’s a little of both.

Shark Tank

ABC, Sun. Aug. 9, 9 p.m.

Production: Produced by Mark Burnett Prods. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Executive producers, Burnett, Clay Newbill, Phil Gurin; director, Craig Spirko. RUNNING TIME: 60 MIN.

Cast: With: Barbara Corcoran, Kevin Harrington, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary.

More TV

  • Mipcom: ‘The Lawyer’s’ Producers, Star Talk

    Mipcom: Wikström Nicastro, Gladinoff, Bauer and Krim Talk About ‘The Lawyer’

    Depending on one’s perspective, this is either the perfect time or an awful one for “Shark Tank,” an adaptation of the Japanese series “Dragons’ Den,” which sends aspiring entrepreneurs in search of capital to pitch five brutally honest business executives. I found educational value in the process but also plenty to dislike about the talent […]

  • Mipcom Briefs: Six Stories From BBC,

    Mipcom: BBC’s 'What Not to Wear' Heads to Mexico, All3media Delivers 'Rellik,' and 'Neanderthals' Leave Their Germany and Head East

    Depending on one’s perspective, this is either the perfect time or an awful one for “Shark Tank,” an adaptation of the Japanese series “Dragons’ Den,” which sends aspiring entrepreneurs in search of capital to pitch five brutally honest business executives. I found educational value in the process but also plenty to dislike about the talent […]

  • Mipcom:U.K., Brazil Lead Pack Of 2017

    Mipcom: U.K. And Brazil Lead the Pack of 2017 International Emmy Kids Nominees

    Depending on one’s perspective, this is either the perfect time or an awful one for “Shark Tank,” an adaptation of the Japanese series “Dragons’ Den,” which sends aspiring entrepreneurs in search of capital to pitch five brutally honest business executives. I found educational value in the process but also plenty to dislike about the talent […]

  • Amazon-set ‘The Brothers’ among Globo’s evolving

    Mipcom: Amazon-set ‘The Brothers’ the Latest Among Globo TV’s Slate of Event Series

    Depending on one’s perspective, this is either the perfect time or an awful one for “Shark Tank,” an adaptation of the Japanese series “Dragons’ Den,” which sends aspiring entrepreneurs in search of capital to pitch five brutally honest business executives. I found educational value in the process but also plenty to dislike about the talent […]

  • Mipcom: Sky Signs Up to Digital

    Mipcom: Sky Signs Up to Digital Sales Platform TRX (EXCLUSIVE)

    Depending on one’s perspective, this is either the perfect time or an awful one for “Shark Tank,” an adaptation of the Japanese series “Dragons’ Den,” which sends aspiring entrepreneurs in search of capital to pitch five brutally honest business executives. I found educational value in the process but also plenty to dislike about the talent […]

  • Sky Drama “Riviera” Finds U.S. Home

    Sky Drama 'Riviera' Finds U.S. Home in Ovation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Depending on one’s perspective, this is either the perfect time or an awful one for “Shark Tank,” an adaptation of the Japanese series “Dragons’ Den,” which sends aspiring entrepreneurs in search of capital to pitch five brutally honest business executives. I found educational value in the process but also plenty to dislike about the talent […]

  • Verizon New Logo

    Verizon Pulls Univision from Fios Service

    Depending on one’s perspective, this is either the perfect time or an awful one for “Shark Tank,” an adaptation of the Japanese series “Dragons’ Den,” which sends aspiring entrepreneurs in search of capital to pitch five brutally honest business executives. I found educational value in the process but also plenty to dislike about the talent […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content