Tuesday, February 26, 2008

American Inventor

I just watched the first programme in a series called American Inventor. Well, it was the first of the second series - either the first series was not shown in the UK or it just passed me by.

The thing that amuses me is that the publicity for this show seemed to imply that it was a "serious" entrepreneurial programme, something like the BBC 's Dragon's Den. But despite the presence on the panel of Peter Jones, the self-proclaimed business tycoon, as the show progressed I realised that it was actually much closer in spirit to another show, American Idol. And only at the end credits did I spot the explicit reference to Simon Cowell.

The BBC show tries desperately to be a serious business programme. It even has the BBC economics editor as presenter. Yet sometimes I dislike its approach, as described in an earlier post. So despite the tacky gameshow format, in some ways the American show is more honest entertainment. There is much less of the collusion, negotiation, bullying, and psychological pressure that is evident in the den. Yes those things are interesting, but we see them in work every day anyway - we don't need them on television too.

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