A basic and pointless pantomime twist on Dragons' Den
Ah ITV. In years to come will entertainment historians (for they will exist if they do not already) look back at your gradual losses in the face of the multi-channel work and perhaps point to your lazy and copycat method of cranking out reality shows and so on that bare a stunning resemblance to existing shows? If so I would like to think that this terribly simplistic and manipulative show gets a method because it is such a carefree rip-off of BBC2's Dragons' Den that they even decided to rope in one of the Dragons to be part of it.
Personally I didn't take a lot from Dragons' Den and found it a far second to business reality show The Apprentice in the entertainment stakes, however alongside "Fortune: etc" it is the best show on television an accolade that really only applies to HBO's The Wire (and no I won't stop banging on about it). The concept is a bit of a twist on Dragons' Den though because this is not just limited to businesses to come and pitch ideas so much as groups and individuals to come and beg for no-strings attached donations from the well-heeled panel. The contestants are even more obvious forms of entertainment than those in the Den and they mostly fit into simple groups. Idiots to provide colour and humour, sob stories to get the audience and panellists to soften up and those that fall in between who want cash to do something that is neither necessary or stupid.
This formula is rolled out to the usual pantomime involving audience and panellists and it is depressing stuff that never feels anything other than manufactured and forced. A ruffled Richard Madeley forces sex appeal through the screen to try and draw in the bored, mid-week viewers and the panellists all force their personalities to the point where it is just like a Christmas panto. Bannatyne does what you expect, Kanya is sensual, Archer is dreary in his latest reality TV attempt at winning over the public while Jordan is just an annoying fop.
Overall then a populist and tacky twist on Dragons' Den that doesn't even try to mask the lazy development and delivery. Everything runs to formula and I can understand why some viewers will love it while whooping and sobbing in their front rooms, eating their oven chips while the kids play video games in their rooms.
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