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3 reasons ABC's 'Beyond the Tank' works

We are a few days past the premiere of Beyond the Tank. Now that our Shark Tank–based euphoria has worn off, we can actually evaluate whether the spinoff works. Well, it does, and lucky for you, I have three reasons all lined up.

Reason 1: The production team

No matter how many free samples the Sharks get, and no matter how creative the pitches are, Shark Tank wouldn’t work if the production team did not do such a fine job week after week of presenting the drama.

The production of Beyond the Tank follows suit in terms of quality. We get great camerawork, awesome sounds bites, and engaging interviews at just the right time. Oh, and don’t forget dramatic music. Of course we get dramatic music.

When Daymond John visits the house of Al “Bubba” Baker to have dinner with him and his family, I actually feel like I’m there (I’m sure my invite just got lost in the mail). This is all because of camerawork, sound, editing, lighting, and more that perfectly captures the visit. And as we’ve come to expect from Shark Tank, moments of tension are caught very well on Beyond the Tank. Kudos to the team.

Reason 2: More than just an update

My initial fear about Beyond the Tank was that the segments would be similar to those updates that they sprinkle into episodes of Shark Tank. Those updates are very upbeat, in a “Look, we did it again!” sort of way. I didn’t think Beyond the Tank would replicate this exactly, but I was afraid it would follow a similar template.

This was not the case. We go through pretty long story arcs with Robert and the Tipsy Elves company, along with Daymond and Bubba’s-Q World Famous Barbecue and Catering, and even one company that was rejected by the Sharks Each story has an important central theme that showed the difficulties of being an entrepreneur. In the case of Tipsy Elves, we go through Nicklaus Morton’s struggle of whether to keep his full-time job in the world of dentistry, or quit to work on Tipsy Elves full-time. We see Carter Kostler, founder of Define Bottle and rejected in season five, go through the emotional roller coaster of overcoming that rejection. Finally, we see Al Baker dealing with the drawn-out challenge of finding just the right packer for his product. All of these were great stories that shed more light on the plight of the entrepreneur.

Reason 3: The Sharks!

I couldn’t help but think of Undercover Boss as I watched this show. The major difference here is that the Sharks are up front about their visit and checking in on business. As we’ve come to find out, these Sharks have very distinct, engaging personalities; that’s a big reason why Shark Tank has been successful. I’ll always give credit to the production team first, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t give kudos to the Sharks themselves for being genuinely interested in what they are doing.

As Robert tells Tipsy Elves “I hate it” to their proposed line of smaller sweaters, it’s jarring, but feels very … Robert (he delivers it so calmly; how can you object?). Seeing Daymond enjoy himself at dinner with Al’s family is a joy. Too bad about my invite.

The Sharks have done an excellent job of being involved with this entertainment phenomenon. So far, so good as they engage with Beyond the Tank.

Beyond the Tank airs Fridays at 8/7C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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