For many people, the car is a vital aspect of their everyday lives. It gets them to their jobs, to their places of entertainment, and to their homes. The car shrinks the world and offers its driver a sense of freedom and instills manifest destiny on a personal level. To lose the car is any car owner’s worst fear, yet, ironically, so many drivers refuse to keep up with their car payments. That’s where truTV’s South Beach Tow steps in, with its colorful cast and eyebrow-raising confrontations. It doesn’t quite live up to really being reality TV, but it’s still good fun for as long as viewers go with the flow.
South Beach Tow is developed by Nuyorican Productions and Bodega Pictures and executive produced by Jennifer Lopez. The show is set in South Beach, Florida and revolves around tow truck company owner Robert Ashenoff and his family-run business Tremont Towing, Inc. He works with his, son Bobby, Jr., and his daughter, Christie, as well as a handful of beefy drivers, Jerome, Eddie and Frankie. Together, they repossess vehicles, snatching them at all hours of the day. Sometimes, they’re hired to simply move a vehicle parked in a loading zone. Whatever the case may be, there’s sure to be an incensed car owner who’s willing to give a piece of his or her mind while chasing after a tow truck.
Right off the bat, audiences will recognize that South Beach Tow has a winning formula. The tow truck cast is composed of gigantic men who have more brawn than brains and they take cars from people who have more bark than brawn. It won’t take long for audiences to start hoping for violent confrontations. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching a skinny loudmouth get pummeled by a 6’3” behemoth weighing in at 300 pounds.
Of course not every situation is physical, but all of them strain credulity. In one instance, a dog is left by its owner in a vehicle that gets towed. Because it’s a hot day and the Tremont Towing employees are animal lovers, animal protection services are called and a large woman is dispatched to take charge of the situation. While there, the dog and car owner conveniently arrives to have a dramatic showdown with both the tow truck company and animal protection services. While the insanity blooms around him, Jerome, one of the drivers, manages to score a date with the woman from animal protection services.
Another segment features a dramatic car chase while yet another highlights a man who was made to be punched in the face as he berates a friendly cabbie who mistakenly parked in the wrong area. It’s during these moments that feel too perfect that South Beach Tow loses a bit of its luster as the scripting pokes through the “reality”. No one would behave in the way some of these people do knowing cameras are on them. Furthermore, who would sign the release to be on the show after going through these confrontations and doing and saying the things they did? Hi America! I’m having trouble making my car payments! And I just assaulted someone on national television!
In the end, what South Beach Tow does best is present exactly what audiences expect out of these situations involving these types of people. The dog that was turned over to animal protection services was adorned in jewelry and found in a Mercedes Benz, so of course the owner is exactly the kind of person audiences are expecting – an uglier, older and more annoying Paris Hilton. Situations like these definitely feel manufactured, but the fact of the matter is that reality is boring. South Beach Tow, on the other hand, offers something exciting. And at 30 minutes (including commercials) it lasts just long enough to entertain without seriously questioning the show’s veracity.
South Beach Tow premieres on truTV at 10 p.m on Wednesday, July 20 with back to back episodes.