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CuriousParker

Undercover Billionaire

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I guess whether this show succeeds is if you find Glen a believable guy or not.  So far, ok.

But one thing that bugged me is when he got the job cleaning someone's home.  He said he hasn't picked up a mop in years, and boy, did it show.  He didn't even move the rugs while washing the floor.

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So far I'm liking this show (still pretty new) but I've noticed some editing/continuity things like Glenn's hair being clean and styled with product in some scenes but then looking more like he just woke up in others sequentially, which makes it seem not totally credible (but what reality show really is, I guess). Excited to see more. Very interesting idea so far. 

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This isn't the kind of thing I normally watch, but something about the previews sucked me in.  I was liking Glenn and finding the story pretty believable till he got sick and had to go to the emergency room.  At that point I was thinking, uh-oh, this is where it falls apart--he won't have health insurance, and there goes what's left of his bankroll.  But I guess he used his actual name and insurance card to get treated, or am I misunderstanding something?  I also felt a little cynical about the tire transaction.  Why would he have the buyer come to the yard where he'd just culled those tires for free so the buyer could see where/how he got them?  And why would the buyer pay $1400 for tires he could've taken for free himself?  There are some holes in this scenario that are making it hard for me to buy into the whole deal.

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13 hours ago, Mondrianyone said:

This isn't the kind of thing I normally watch, but something about the previews sucked me in.  I was liking Glenn and finding the story pretty believable till he got sick and had to go to the emergency room.  At that point I was thinking, uh-oh, this is where it falls apart--he won't have health insurance, and there goes what's left of his bankroll.  But I guess he used his actual name and insurance card to get treated, or am I misunderstanding something?  I also felt a little cynical about the tire transaction.  Why would he have the buyer come to the yard where he'd just culled those tires for free so the buyer could see where/how he got them?  And why would the buyer pay $1400 for tires he could've taken for free himself?  There are some holes in this scenario that are making it hard for me to buy into the whole deal.

I agree! And how was he able to get that home loan? He wouldn't have been able use a fake name and fake home address. 

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2 hours ago, GoGamecox said:

And how was he able to get that home loan? He wouldn't have been able use a fake name and fake home address. 

Very good point.  I hadn't seen the second episode yet when I posted above.

I wonder how many of these people on the unpaid team would've signed up to be part of the business without the presence of cameras.

I don't really think this is all that credible, but I'm still interested enough to watch.

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Pretty lonely in here.

Well, this is getting less and less believable every minute.  Glenn must have some magical persuasive powers to con all these people into doing his bidding without pay, brew him a designer beer, lease him a $5K restaurant space with no credit history under his fake name, and on and on.  I don't know why I'm still watching.  Hoping to see if the new pitmaster can get a good bark on her brisket, I guess.

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Apparently I am the only person in America watching this show now.  I wonder if that will get me into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Oh, well, it's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

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No, there are at least three of us watching. My boyfriend is into it, too.

But I'm with you -- it requires more and more mental compartmentalizing to watch and not think about the obvious issues that are to the demise of the whole premise. 

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Oh, good!  I'm so glad I'm not clinging to this floating board all alone in the middle of Lake Erie.

I already find myself wondering if the "mistake" we'll be seeing next week, that gives away his true identity, wasn't deliberate.  I mean, who signs his last name on an email to someone who's already become a friend and co-worker?  I guess the three of us will see together!  (Since my own husband has zero interest.)

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On 8/21/2019 at 12:42 PM, Mondrianyone said:

Very good point.  I hadn't seen the second episode yet when I posted above.

I wonder how many of these people on the unpaid team would've signed up to be part of the business without the presence of cameras.

I don't really think this is all that credible, but I'm still interested enough to watch.

I want to know how he got that loan too and what type of loan...details. We never saw him talking to any banks.

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I'm only a few episodes in. This is where I live so I already know the main ending (though not how it gets to that point). I agree with everyone so far about all the plot holes (thanks for the tires I could have found myself! Here's a wad of cash!). And a lot of these places he's digging for tires and iron do not look familiar to Erie. I guess they could be as I don't go digging in junkyards a lot but a few of us locals think the areas seem like somewhere else. And unless it was a trick of the camera, they show him sleeping outside of Dobbins Landing, which, no. I once got a parking ticket when I was like 2 minutes late when the meter ran out. This is a historical site along the bayfront of Lake Erie. No. So either they pretend to have him sleep there or they were given special permission to park/film there.

And in the 2nd episode he goes to a car place to see if they have a trade-in they'd sell him. They turned him away because of legal matters. That place's owner was arrested on fraud. His business slogan was "Andy says, write it up!" (as in, a deal). Well, since he's been arrested people have been having fun with that.

So...can people just buy trade-in cars, run them through a car wash, do a little light vacuuming, and then sell them for 3 or 4 times what they bought it for? Maybe I am in the wrong line of work?

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I've been watching all along, but didn't think to look for a forum here since I knew the show wasn't getting much buzz. I'm not as bothered by the whole "where did he get the mortgage" than I am "who the hell works for FREE for a month or more, almost fulltime?" (interior designer, t-shirt guy, metal fabricator, etc. etc.) These folks are busting their asses, with no disclosure on what they were told they'd get if it's a success. (Ok, the designer said something about a 10K invoice) I also haven't seen so many middle-aged white folks forming a team in decades. You know you've chosen poorly when your "social media" expert is a 40-year-old inexperienced shlub instead of a hungry young newbie who gets that there is more to social media than Facebook.

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3 hours ago, TeapotWakeen said:

I've been watching all along, but didn't think to look for a forum here since I knew the show wasn't getting much buzz. I'm not as bothered by the whole "where did he get the mortgage" than I am "who the hell works for FREE for a month or more, almost fulltime?" (interior designer, t-shirt guy, metal fabricator, etc. etc.) These folks are busting their asses, with no disclosure on what they were told they'd get if it's a success. (Ok, the designer said something about a 10K invoice) I also haven't seen so many middle-aged white folks forming a team in decades. You know you've chosen poorly when your "social media" expert is a 40-year-old inexperienced shlub instead of a hungry young newbie who gets that there is more to social media than Facebook.

Yes! Another viewer and Primetimer up in here! Excellent.

I'm with you about the team of unpaid workers. Surely he had some kind of discussion with them about when/how they would be paid, and that's not shown. And, yes, that comment the designer made about the 10K unpaid invoice was interesting, but it was never elaborated on at all. 

The big "reveal" to the fabricator via the "oops, I signed my real name" was interesting. I wondered if they would just come clean at that point and admit to all what happened. I wonder if that guy had to sign a confidentiality agreement? 

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I'm enjoying watching, but you'll never in a million years get me to believe this would actually be doable for anyone else starting out with $100 and a beat up truck.  I would actually enjoy it more if he failed miserably and admitted that the system is stacked against "regular" folks who try to succeed by hard work, and thus vowed to do what he could to make it easier. 

But, yeah, I'm watching.

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On 9/12/2019 at 10:06 AM, GoGamecox said:

The big "reveal" to the fabricator via the "oops, I signed my real name" was interesting. I wondered if they would just come clean at that point and admit to all what happened. I wonder if that guy had to sign a confidentiality agreement? 

I admit I was multitasking, so maybe I missed it, but I don't think they explained how he figured it out. I mean, honestly, I probably don't read emails that closely, especially the closing and anything under it. Please know it is 90% likely that I will ignore your email signature quote you spent hours crafting, just as you likely ignore mine. But OK, so let's say he read the name, did he recognize the name? Did he google the name? Did they explain that? He did make mention of googling him but stopped because he wanted him to explain it himself. But if I saw a name they didn't give me, the likelihood I'd notice and then check into it is slim (I'd probably think they had a hyphenated name or preferred X last name for whatever reason). But then again, if that person had cameras trailing them maybe that's a different story...

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On 9/13/2019 at 6:11 PM, BookThief said:

He did make mention of googling him but stopped because he wanted him to explain it himself. But if I saw a name they didn't give me, the likelihood I'd notice and then check into it is slim

I'd never heard of him before the show, and I still haven't Googled him!

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This would never have happened were it not for the cameras and a ton of  Disco groundwork.

How do these people find the time to help this guy for free while still supporting themselves?

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Since my comatose self has been watching this all along, I guess I'll watch the last episode just thanks to inertia (or is that momentum?).  It seems obvious now that this has been about 75% BS and producer manipulation and 25%, tops, reality.  If that much.  Now I look back and think what a coincidence that he landed in a town he knew nothing about and decided to start a barbecue place when lo and behold the big event in Erie is a ribfest that happens a week and a half before his 90 days are up.  What an amazing coincidence!  I suspected the real name on the email wasn't an accident when it was previewed, and now I'm positive it was intentional, for the drama value.  And I hope Dawn is as good a designer as she is at running her hand across her head in anxiety.  Based on the work she did at the flip house, I'm not so sure.  But she definitely can play the tortured artist to the hilt  If I had kids to support on my own, I wouldn't be devoting all my time to a nonpaying job offered to me by a drifter in an old beater pickup truck.  And blah, blah, blah.

I totally agree with @suzeecat, that an honest attempt at something like this would have been so much more worthwhile to see.  Especially in our current climate of billionaire worship.  We could use a healthy corrective to that.

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Try getting people to cooperate and work this hard under pressure for a broke-ass stranger without a camera crew around.  They may not know exactly who this guy is (I wouldn't even if he told me his real name), but they sure as heck know it's for a reality show and at the very least this is their shot at reality show fame. 

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 I think I'm the 4th person watching this.  

Coincidence that they won the Rib competition? Producer shenanigans, as we like to say??

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On ‎9‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 8:32 AM, Lesia said:

 I think I'm the 4th person watching this.  

Coincidence that they won the Rib competition? Producer shenanigans, as we like to say??

I'm sure that the *real* winner would be quick to point out that it was a tie.

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Salut tout le monde !

Moi aussi j'ai regardé cette émission (en streaming sur internet car je vie en France ^^).

Je vous trouve un peu dur avec cette émission... Moi je l'ai beaucoup appréciée et, je pense qu'elle nous enseigne certaines choses fondamentales si on veut effectivement être un entrepreneur... 

Sachez qu'en France, c'est sans doute plus difficile encore qu'aux Etats-Unis pour monter un business qui fonctionne nous sommes un des pays d'Europe les plus taxés et, tous les avantages sociaux et salariaux, c'est les sociétés qui les payent entre autre, on a pas d'organisme comme dans l’émission qui nous aide et nous oriente, l'entrepreneuriat n'est pas vraiment valorisé (au contraire) et pour couronner le tout, les français en général (dans notre culture et dans notre état d'esprit), on a beaucoup de mal avec le succès et les gens riches (on a du mal à les acceptés), sans doute un héritage de nos racines catholique ou alors notre côté "socialiste" lol....  donc, autant vous dire que c'est loin d'être une partie de plaisir... Enfin bref, c'est pas la question ici...

J'ai bien conscience que certaines choses sont sans doute fausses dans cette émission (l'histoire des pneus, comme évoqué par certains), qu'il a sans doute dû aussi emprunter des "raccourcis" en utilisant, je pense, son vrai nom (pour les soins à l'hôpital et avoir le prêt pour la maison) et, je suis pas tout à fait sûr de cette histoire de voiture qu'on peut revendre si facilement avec un tel bénéfice. Je suppose que c'est un peu pour le "show" car, si on montrait réellement et honnêtement le quotidien d'un vrai entrepreneur personne regarderait et, bien sûr, ça se serait pas possible en 90 jours en partant de rien....

Et, peut-être qu'il a choisi son projet parce qu’il y allait avoir cette foire, et alors ? C'est plutôt un gros challenge d'arriver à faire tout ça en 90 jours, et oui, c'est sans doute pour donner envie aux gens de regarder, qu'il y ait un peu de suspens ^^

Par contre, pour la partie du travail solidaire sans rémunération, ça, je pense que c'est possible et, que c'est justement ce qui fait d'un entrepreneur un entrepreneur : sa capacité à rassembler les gens autour d'une idée, sa capacité à les faire travailler ensemble dans une même directions et que chacun ait le sentiment, non pas qu'il travail pour quelqu'un, mais avec quelqu'un, et, qu'ils se retrouvent tous dans le même bateau sur un projet qui les passionne et les motive à se donner à 100%... partant de là, l'argent c'est secondaire, et, pour l'avoir vécu pour certains projets qu'on a réalisé avec des amis, c'est tout à fait réelle et possible de trouver des gens avec lesquels se lancer dans un projet comme ça, et de leur proposer de les payer que au moment où le projet abouti car au départ, on a pas les fonds... après, bien sûr, c'est des gens avec lesquels il y aura eu un vrai feeling, une vrai énergie pour travailler ensemble et non pour quelqu'un...

Et ça, je trouve que cette émission l'a bien montré + les petits "trucs" que Glenn a pu confier au fur et à mesure, des "tips" de business que j'ai aussi trouvé très bien.

Je dirais, en ce qui me concerne, que j'ai trouvé cette émission très sympa, inspirante et motivante. Après, c'est sûr que la présence des caméras et les "raccourcis" qui ont été pris pourrait être améliorés (avec des caméras "cachées" par exemple, si ça ne va pas à l'encontre du droit des gens à être filmé) et, peut être ne pas prendre de raccourci, mais dans ce cas, partir avec un peu plus d'argent et laisser un peu plus de temps pour pouvoir faire les choses, et que ce soit plus "réel".

Donc, pour résumer : émission sympa à regarder, même si elle peut être perfectible (en même temps, comme on dit "la perfection n'existe pas").

Voilà, après, ce n'est que mon opinion 🙂

________________________________________________________________________

Hello, everyone!

I watched this show too (streaming on the internet because I live in France ^^).

I think you're a little harsh with this show.... I really appreciated it and, I think it teaches us some fundamental things if we really want to be an entrepreneur... 

Be aware that in France, it is probably even more difficult than in the United States to set up a successful business: we are one of the most taxed countries in Europe and, all social and salary benefits are paid for by companies, among others, we do not have an organization like the one in the program that helps us and guides us, entrepreneurship is not really valued (on the contrary) and to top it all off, the French in general (in our culture and state of mind), we have a lot of trouble with success and rich people (we have a lot of trouble accepting them), probably a heritage of our Catholic roots or our "socialist" side lol.... so, I might as well tell you that it's far from being a pleasure... Anyway, that's not the point here....

I am well aware that some things are probably wrong in this show (the story of the tires, as some people have mentioned), that he probably also had to take "shortcuts" using, I think, his real name (for hospital care and having the loan for the home) and, I am not quite sure about this cars stories that can be sold so easily with such a profit. I suppose it's a bit for the "show" because, if we really and honestly showed the daily life of a real entrepreneur, no one would look at it and, of course, it wouldn't be possible in 90 days from scratch.....

So, maybe he chose his project because there was going to be this fair, so what? It's rather a big challenge to be able to do all this in 90 days, and yes, it's probably to make people want to watch, so there's a little suspense ^^

On the other hand, for the part of solidarity work without remuneration, that is possible and, that is precisely what makes an entrepreneur an entrepreneur: his ability to bring people together around an idea, his ability to make them work together in the same direction and that everyone feels, not that he is working for someone, but with someone, and that they all find themselves in the same boat on a project that fascinates them and motivates them to give 100%.... from there, money is secondary, and, having experienced it for some projects that we have carried out with friends, it is quite real and possible to find people with whom to launch a project like this, and to offer them to pay them only when the project is completed because at the beginning, we do not have the funds... after, of course, they are people with whom there will have been a real feeling, a real energy to work together and not for someone...
And that, I think this show showed it well + the little "tricks" that Glenn was able to give away as we went along, business "tips" that I also found very well.

I would say, as far as I'm concerned, that I found this show very nice, inspiring and motivating. Then, of course, the presence of the cameras and the "shortcuts" that were taken could be improved (with "hidden" cameras for example, if it doesn't go against people's right to be filmed) and, maybe not take shortcuts, but in this case, leave with a little more money and give a little more time to do things, and it could be more "real".

So, to sum up: a show that is fun to watch, even if it can be perfectible (at the same time, as they say "perfection does not exist").


Here, after, it's only my opinion 🙂

Edited by Gabieee
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okay, is it just me, or do some of those checks to his 'volunteers' seem a bit stingy? The designer said something about a 10K invoice for the house... so let's assume it would have been at least 5K more because she also did the restaurant. And she's either closed her store(s) or hired someone to run them. She's not producing some of the refurb furniture pieces which would be future income.  What did she get, 25K? Yeah, it's a nice lump sum for 3 month's work, but it isn't far off breaking even for billing and lost income. Figure taxes, self-employment costs...  he was stingy!!! Especially when he gave the guy who built the smoke 20K and that guy was only around for less than a month. And 25K to t-shirt guy? Who was there all along, gave him his first job? Brought in his sister, who ended up being the savior of RibFest? Did the logo? I'm glad it wasn't Undercover Boss largess, but it could have been a lot more generous, IMO. 50 for tshirt guy, 40 for designer, 30 to beer guy, 2.5K to do-nothing social media guy....

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56 minutes ago, TeapotWakeen said:

okay, is it just me, or do some of those checks to his 'volunteers' seem a bit stingy? The designer said something about a 10K invoice for the house... so let's assume it would have been at least 5K more because she also did the restaurant. And she's either closed her store(s) or hired someone to run them. She's not producing some of the refurb furniture pieces which would be future income.  What did she get, 25K? Yeah, it's a nice lump sum for 3 month's work, but it isn't far off breaking even for billing and lost income. Figure taxes, self-employment costs...  he was stingy!!! Especially when he gave the guy who built the smoke 20K and that guy was only around for less than a month. And 25K to t-shirt guy? Who was there all along, gave him his first job? Brought in his sister, who ended up being the savior of RibFest? Did the logo? I'm glad it wasn't Undercover Boss largess, but it could have been a lot more generous, IMO. 50 for tshirt guy, 40 for designer, 30 to beer guy, 2.5K to do-nothing social media guy....

And lest we forget, he wanted to give all these people a stake in the business, but all I saw was him giving 10% each to his top 2 guys.  Does that mean he kept 80% for himself?

Edited by walnutqueen
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Totally agree that the checks were . . . well, to keep the "under-" theme going, underwhelming. 

As was the reaction in the room when Glenn announced his true identity.  Unless that's what shock and awe looks like in Erie, PA, a pretty muted response.

I hope the smoker guy was previously compensated for his material costs, because that thing was a work of art and I'm sure was not cheap to build--along with all those other metal Underdog logos, which I'm assuming he also created.

Overall a kind of disappointing finale.

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Just earlier this afternoon, our local newspaper (reminder: I'm from Erie) had a Facetime Live session with RJ Messenger (aka: Shirt-Guy). I'm going to attempt to post it here and hope it works. It's about 40 minutes long and some of the questions you asked here were asked. I thought RJ got a bit prickly at some of them--I mean, dude, you lived it but there was A LOT that of course could not have been shown to viewers so excuse us for not knowing everything! One of those was about how Glenn bought the house--I guess he did use his real name so as not to commit bank fraud. RJ thought a few people got the shaft a little bit. So, if you have any interest in knowing a bit more:

Check it out!

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7 minutes ago, Mondrianyone said:

Thanks for the link, @BookThief.  Very interesting.

Since you live in Erie, did you go to Ribfest?  Or the restaurant?

I generally avoid Erie for all fests (just because of traffic, people, etc.), but that food did look good and I may have to revisit this in the future. I have not eaten at the restaurant, but I have colleagues who have and they said the food was really good. The prices seemed really good (for example, $9 for a pulled pork sandwich and side--good portions). They were overall very pleased. I will report back if I end up going.

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