I’ve been running through and cataloging Season 4 and it’s been an interesting season. For one, Lori and Barbara never seem to have been in a single episode together the entire season. I’ll have to double check that this is true but it sure seems like it.
Secondly, it seems like the investment numbers are really low this season. I can’t wait to get it into a chart to confirm but it seems like there are more episodes that have no deals made and, when there are, the investment amounts are a lot smaller.
But, thirdly, the season seems really… well… mean…
In the later seasons, it feels like there’s a degree of comraderie. The sharks know each other and seem to have a feeling as to who would be the best partners and the best fit for every pitch. Sure, Kevin still throws out his insane royalty offers and everyone makes fun of him for it but this is still television…
But some of the crap they give each other in Season 4 is really, really harsh and sometimes seems to cross the line into straight sexisim.
But I straight up lost count of the number of times where Kevin just straight out calls Barbara “a dried up witch”. And Lori is regularly denigrated as just being a “pitch woman” or made fun of for her ties to QVC that are later seen as assets by the rest of the sharks.
It just occurred to me that a neat new chart would be the number of partnerships between the sharks because it does seem like Mark and Barbara are teaming up a lot. I’d be curious to see if that trend continues…
But, overall, it seems like there are fewer partnerships this season, with each shark wanting to go it alone as much as possible.
Honestly, I’m glad the tone has changed in the later seasons. Yes, business can be cut throat. But it’s also almost never a zero sum game. Just because a shark might take 40% of a company, if that company goes from making “hundreds of dollars” as Kevin is fond of saying to millions because of the deal, well… 60% of millions is a ton better than 90% of hundreds.
And the same goes for sharks partnering with one another. As a combined group, they may each take less equity on a given deal but, one assumes that two sharks working together would make it an even bigger success for everyone.
As I near the end of Season 4 and then start logging Season 3, I’ll be curious to see if this animosity is rooted in something that happened in the previous season. Because… yeah… right now… it’s kind of nasty.