NBC comedies capture entrepreneurs better than Bravo’s “reality”

Last week, I wrote about Bravo’s (maybe failed?) attempt at capturing start-up culture in Silicon Valley. This week, an entrepreneur was in the spotlight again on NBC’s Park’s and Recreation, when Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford was presented with the opportunity to pitch his idea for “Rent-a-Swag”–luxury clothing rentals for growing teens–to an investor.

Regular viewers know Tom for his absurd get-rich-quick schemes, including a terrible cologne and his failed (what was it? media? events? multi-level-integrated-something?) endeavor, Entertainment 720. But beneath the gags, the show has done a far better job of unpacking the entrepreneurial experience–concept development, finding investors, encountering challenges, refining a brand, learning from past mistakes–than Bravo’s “reality” send up.

This week even saw Tom choosing to eliminate long-time business partner–and major liability–Jean-Ralphio.

Meanwhile, on The Office, Jim contemplates leaving what we’re pretty sure is the only job he’s ever had to pursue an idea for a sports marketing start-up he had in college and we begin to wonder if, following an election where every candidate seemed to know what was best for people who go to work everyday, Americans are feeling inspired by images of people outside the political sphere pursuing their goals?


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