(Published Oct. 28, PDI Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit
In the reality show “Undercover Boss,” high-ranking executives and company owners disguise themselves as entry-level employees, discovering firsthand the strengths and weaknesses of their businesses.
Followed by cameras, the coworkers are given the fake story that the “newly hired employee” is the subject of an altogether different reality program. Unrecognized, he or she gets acquainted with the organization’s operations, assessing them while making new “friends.”
Interestingly, this is the time for the boss to get to know some workers’ backstories. Some who open up reveal touching stories, often about sacrifice, whether it’s making an early trip because of a home’s considerable distance, or caring for a seriously ill relative.
|The CEO, before and after (videograb)|
The undercover boss may also discover employees with abrasive or indifferent personalities, which provides some occasional conflict.
The “big reveal” comes later, which either rewards or penalizes the concerned employees. Stunned at the revelation that their employer interacted with them, the chosen employees are then given the benefits that are due them, as well as the guarantee that the boss will implement crucial changes based on their situations.
A recent outstanding episode focused on FastSigns chief executive officer and president Catherine Monson, who went undercover with a “rocker chick” façade. This required her to wear a long, dark wig, glasses, less formal clothes and accessories. She pretended that she’s doing a reality show specializing in second chances.
Prior to her undercover “mission,” Monson elaborated on her childhood, plagued by emotional abuse and tragedy. Her immersion immediately inspired realizations; she bonded with workers who mostly reminded her of her own family, sacrifices and career decisions.
She guaranteed positive changes in her employees’ careers, inspired to become their “fairy godmother” of sorts after spending valuable and intimate work time with them.
A spinoff of the original British series, this American version of “Undercover Boss” likewise mines its participants for potentially heart-wrenching stories, almost always delivering moments that viewers can easily connect with.
While the cover story for doing a different reality show can get flimsy from time to time (most workers are probably familiar with “Undercover Boss” by now), the series still manages to present the boss-subordinate dynamics affectingly.
The “wish fulfillment” aspect of the show remains engaging; it’s still uplifting to see overwhelmed employees reacting honestly to their career upgrades. It’s also elating to see the changes on the once-distant boss, enlightened by the important truths discovered during his or her masquerade.
“Undercover Boss” airs on Solar News Channel.
New episodes of action-adventure shows recently premiered on Jack TV. “The Tomorrow People” follows Stephen Jameson (Robbie Amell), a student who discovers that he is part of a genetically advanced race gifted with telekinesis, telepathy and teleportation, and are hunted down by a group of scientists. “Tomorrow People” airs Saturdays, , on JackTV.
At , “Revolution” tells the story of survivors attempting to rebuild society after a worldwide blackout. This season, consequences of the restoration of power will be revealed.
Airing Sundays at , the DC Comic book-inspired action show “Arrow” brings back billionaire Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), secretly the vigilante Arrow, who returns to
to confront the injustices
committed during his absence. Another DC character, the Flash, is set to appear
in Season Two. Starling