Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Leap Day Analysis of “Leap Year”

In honor of the once-every-four-years occurrence that is February 29, I decided to watch the Hulu series “Leap Year.” (Yes, I said Hulu series—believe it or not, there are many original series that air weekly on Hulu.) “Leap Year” is a 10-episode scripted program about five colleagues fired from their jobs who each decide to start their own businesses in a competition where the winner gets $500,000 of capital. What could be more entrepreneurial than that?

Spoiler Alert—much of what follows will ruin the fun if you plan to watch the show!

With one exception, each of the businesses is essentially a personal service company (an accountant, a publicist, a journalist, etc.). The show also touches on several topics of interest to this entrepreneurial attorney. Among them:

·  An employment discrimination lawsuit by a Mormon woman who feels threatened because she doesn’t drink. Never mind that it was “just a joke.”

·  The moral integrity issues that the publicist confronts—he ends up taking the low road when he steals information from a client and makes misrepresentations to benefit another.

·  The corporate attorney, who often ends up wondering why she’s playing the role of therapist and not just being asked to draft contracts. (I often end up contemplating the reverse—tell me what you really want and care about, and I may be able to help you more than I can just writing some agreement.)

·  A cameo appearance in episode 9 by Guy Kawasaki, the founder of (and one of my entrepreneurial heroes).

The show gets more interesting (and closer to my universe of real client situations) when the five entrepreneurs decide to pool their talents and resources to form one cool high tech venture to develop 3D holographic videoconferencing capability. Of course, I couldn’t help my attorney self from contemplating the securities compliance issues when a 19-year-old high tech geek writes them a check for seed capital while bouncing up and down incessantly on a hippity hop (since he says he made $19 billion on his last venture, at least they know he’s an “accredited investor”).

Notwithstanding how unrealistic many of the situations are, the characters are pretty entertaining. I’m not saying I’d invest 30 minutes a week and put it as a series recording on my DVR (I reserve that for shows like “Shark Tank” and “Smash”), but the series is probably worth the only 7-10 minutes that each episodes lasts. 


  1. This comment doesn't pertain to your article - other than to say I met Guy Kawaski by accident at the US Pond Hockey Championships four or five years ago. He was playing for a team named "The Capitalist Pigs". My impression based on one beer and limited conversation with him was that he was one of the good guys - but not the best hockey player.

  2. I have never met Guy personally, but I have seen him speak a couple of times. He's pretty inspirational (and not in a phony motivational speaker sort of way...