Stream it or skip it?

Everyone loves to see entrepreneurs get a boost when they have a great product and/or story. This is the reason why shark tank has been a success in this country for 13 years. Would you be willing to watch a show that pits entrepreneurs against each other? That’s what the producers of a new Brazilian game show are hoping for; read on to find out more.

Opening shot: A montage of the entrepreneurs competing on season 1 of The Big Shot Game Show (original title: Ideas for sale).

The essential: In The Big Shot Game Show, four Brazilian entrepreneurs compete in three rounds for a prize of 200,000 reias (about $38,000). Eliana, the show’s host, explains that each entrepreneur will be able to show their products, explain their stories and demonstrate them. The 100 spectators equipped with touch screens and the jury will be judged. There is a guest judge in each episode, and a permanent judge, Luana Génot; she is an activist who qualifies as a “social entrepreneur”, who will ensure that the products take into account inclusivity and sustainability.

The first category is for pet products: a backpack for taking your dog on a bike or jogging, natural pet snacks, a harness to help pets with special needs and the elderly, and an umbrella for help keep pets dry in the rain.

In the first round, owners are locked in their shipping container-like “boxes” while fellow competitors evaluate their product and answer questions from the judges. The audience determines which of the four companies is eliminated. Then, in the second round, the entrepreneurs present their products, tell their stories and answer the judges’ questions. The audience gives a “thumbs up/thumbs down” rating to each contractor, but here the judges determine who gets eliminated.

In the final round, the two remaining entrepreneurs receive 25,000 reias (about $4,800). The two entrepreneurs come face to face and ask each other questions about the other’s business model. Then the audience chooses and we see the vote – but there’s a catch. Before the winner is revealed, the remaining entrepreneurs must pull a lever that will allow them to either keep the money they have, but kick them out of the jackpot or risk the money they have; then they go home with the jackpot or with nothing.

The Big Shot Game Show
Photo: VANS BUMBEERS/Netflix

What shows will this remind you of? shark tank combined with a three rounds Chopped-competition show, with some of the liveliness of America’s Got Talent.

Our opinion : One of the reasons we love shark tank is because it’s the entrepreneur in the room with the billionaires, and they’re able to use their presentation skills, their business skills, and their negotiation skills to get a deal done. Even if they come out of the tank with nothing, just being on the show helps their business – just ask the guy who made Ring.

But on The Big Shot Game Showentrepreneurs are in competition with each other, and something about that feels a bit nasty, even though the show has the utmost respect for those people who put everything on the line to make their ideas a success.

Of course, every company gets publicity by being at the show. But it seemed that three of the four products in the first episode were worthy products made by entrepreneurs who really wanted to improve the lives of pets and their people – we don’t know how practical the dog umbrella was, and it was rightly eliminated in the first round. So having them compete against each other for prize money like it’s a talent show, with doors closing and boxes placed behind bars, is wrong.

The judges, in particular Génot, ask relevant questions about the scalability of the products, as well as their durability. Guest judge Luisa Mell asked practical questions about whether, for example, all dogs will be as patient as Yellow, whose person grabbed him and put him in the pet backpack that ‘He invented. Also don’t ask entrepreneurs for sales figures or projections like you see on shark tank, but that’s okay because they don’t invest, they determine who will receive the prize money.

Sex and skin: Any.

Farewell shot: The winning entrepreneur is chosen and that person thanks the judges and the public.

Sleeping Star: We’ll hand that over to the entrepreneurs, who have all done a great job showcasing their products.

The most pilot line: The paused and overly dramatic music felt quite out of place on a show like this. Here again, shark tank also uses overly dramatic music, but it seems to work.

Our call: STREAM IT, but only if you want to see what kind of business ideas are coming out of Brazil these days. Otherwise, The Big Shot Game Show just feels makes us want to watch more Shark tank – which has a Brazilian version, by the way.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and technology, but he’s not fooling himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.comFast Company and elsewhere.

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