About two years, I wrote about one of my favorite reality TV shows, Hotel Impossible. Spoiler alert! It’s still an incredible show, and it finished up its sixth season in November. That season is downloadable from iTunes, and season seven premieres within the next few months, according to the Internets.
But, my focus today isn’t on that wonderful show. Instead, it’s on Bar Rescue, which has gotten really stale and boring. The main issue, as I see it, is that they ‘unfortunately’ hit upon a major controversy when they did a show about a pirate-themed bar. It was a huge mess, but, it was sort of the beginning of the end, as the whole thing ultimately felt a bit staged and destined for failure.
The owners were clearly delusional and probably beyond help. However, Jon Taffer’s theme was also a complete dud, and they had to have known that replacing a pirate theme with a corporate theme – literally – was a recipe for disaster. I think they went through with it anyway though, knowing it would be a good TV.
The problem now though is that every episode is an attempt to recreate that ‘shock’ from the pirates episode. It’s 45 to 50 minutes of Taffer yelling at an owner for unsafe liquor service, obvious sexual harassment or ridiculously dirty kitchens. All of these are valid concerns, but the show was much better in earlier seasons, when there was a focus on the business aspects. (i.e. How do you properly setup a bar menu? What are the demographics of an area? What’s the best food to serve with beer?)
Anyway. The show returns on March 6, per Wikipedia, with its 100th episode. (Actually, it’s 101, but one episode won’t ever air because of bizarre circumstances.) However, if you’re looking for better “turnaround” television, Hotel Impossible and The Profit (CNBC) are much more compelling. I’ll have more on the latter show in a future blog.
Side note – If you do like Bar Rescue, or liked it at one point, one site definitely worth checking out is Bar Rescue Updates. It’s maintained by a fan of the show, and it’s quite thorough, since other viewers submit news items and other tips.
The picture of Taffer is from his website.