Undercover Billionaire: Comeback City has gotten more interesting as the season goes on, because the Discovery Plus series is branching out into businesses that we normally don’t see on other reality shows. That’s the case with the latest hour, called “Sell to Survive,” which takes Glenn Stearns to a rubber manufacturing plant.
The name Lake Erie Rubber & Manufacturing should sound familiar to Undercover Billionaire viewers, because that’s where Glenn got his first job when he was posing as Glenn Bryant. So this episode has a direct tie to the original series, and that lends a certain bittersweet quality to it, as he’s now offering a hand up to the company that first helped him when he needed it.
However, this is the most dissonant episode of the series, because it’s really not about the company at all.
Glenn is mostly focusing her attention on owner Jon Meighan and changing his attitude and approach, which are hindering the business. He has to teach Jon to show more of his passion for the business, to be more aggressive when it comes to sales, and to change the way he interacts during sales pitches. This is more of a self-help episode than a business-rehab episode, and that may be fun for some viewers and not interest others.
Especially since Lake Erie Rubber starts the episode with a valuation of over a million dollars, this isn’t the same storyline from previous Comeback City episodes. The business is making money; it’s just not making enough. It doesn’t have problems with its process or product; it simply needs to reorient at the top and then get back to work. There’s no drama, but that works as both good and bad: while it’s not over the top, you also can’t help but wish you felt the fire a little bit more.
It’s a fine piece of viewing, but as the penultimate episode of the season (or maybe the series—it’s not clear if Discovery has any intention of keeping this going, especially after pushing it onto Discovery Plus) there’s something that isn’t quite there. Still, give it a look to get a little bit of closure from the first season of Undercover Billionaire, and to see Glenn coming full circle.
Undercover Billionaire: Comeback City is now streaming exclusively on Discovery Plus. The complete season 1 is available now.
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