Budding entrepreneurs, inventors and small businessmen (and women) pitch their ideas to the five "dragons" - real-life business leaders and millionaires, with real cash to invest in the ... See full summary »
Budding entrepreneurs, inventors and small businessmen (and women) pitch their ideas to the five "dragons" - real-life business leaders and millionaires, with real cash to invest in the companies they feel will make it. Each 'contestant' must convince the 'dragons' to part with thousands of pounds to make their dreams a reality. Written by
Dragon's Den is a welcome relief in the constant scheduling of the usual type of reality show where people generally people sit around whining and/or swearing for no apparent purpose. The idea is that contestants come to a panel of five 'dragons' (highly successful business people) with a project or concept that they hope to get some investment in. The programme focuses on the business pitch and the reaction of the 'dragons'. It is a strong concept, offering an insight into the way that companies start up and hopefully encourages talented individuals into taking the plunge and setting up for themselves, a class of people that the UK lacks at the moment.
However it keeps in the cruelty that the British are so fond of (how else could someone like Simon Cowell become so popular?). Much of the berating is deserved as some contenders try to get hundreds of thousands of pounds for a small fraction of their tiny company whilst being completely clueless about such simple things as their turnover or net profit, but it often comes across as arrogant rich people ridiculing the dreams of ambitious entrepreneurs. The ridiculous nature of some of the products suggests that either screening applicants was limited or they were let through just for the dubious entertainment value of 'the Dragons' making fun of them. The comments are often unnecessarily barbed instead of constructive, and while this is defended as 'cruel to be kind' frequently it sounds more like the panel are trying to outdo each other to get themselves on the trailer. Some of the panel appear a lot more helpful than others, like Richard Farleigh who usually had some good advice for the contestants who were unsuccessful, while Theo Paphitis comes across as the most shrewd of the bunch.
Apparently Peter Jones is leaving which is not much of a loss as recently he has seemed more interested in boosting his ego and trying to be funny than investing - shame he is about as amusing as a documentary about the Holocaust. Lately also the panel seems to be extremely cautious, almost always refusing to take on a project by themselves, instead trying to get a partnership with another Dragon, which takes away from their supposedly bold entrepreneurial nature. The programme has also declined in quality recently due to the editing which allows you to predict which ideas will get investment by the running order and removes most of the tension. The annoyingly insistent commentary by Evan Davis repeating the rules of show and everything that has just gone on in the show also detracts from the viewer's enjoyment.
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