The following is my post on truTV’s message board about Operation Repo, a show they air about repossession agents. I used to like this show, but it’s become patently obvious to me from reading about it that the show is staged. If you want to read the post on the message board itself (including the inevitable replies from fans who probably won’t have any real evidence to back up their claims about it being real), you can find it here.
Frankly, this show bothers me.
I first caught this show several months ago, and I thought it was a fun show to watch. It kind of surprised me that the repo agents on this show got away with some of the stuff they did, but I didn’t think too much on it. I figured that because truTV was all about “not reality, actuality”, it had to be on the straight and narrow.
Well, after catching it again and deciding to read up on it… I now know that this show is fake. Even calling these re-enactments would very likely be stretching the truth.
Let’s start with the actual cast. Luis Pizarro has an active manager’s license for a repo company. His actual reposessor employee license is cancelled. No big deal, probably. Sonia and Froy, on the other hand, do not have active licenses. Sonia’s license is listed as cancelled, and shows an expiration date in 2006. Froy’s license is also listed as cancelled, and shows an expiration date in 2003. That means that Froy hasn’t been a licensed agent in nearly six years, and Sonia in three. Matt and Lyndah, on the other hand, do not have licenses at all, and unless they have them from another state, never had them. Before anyone jumps in about Lyndah being a “trainee”, no real on-the-job training is listed as a requirement for being a licensee.
In any event, let’s think about this for a second. Froy and Sonia have not had active licenses in YEARS, yet the show implies they’re doing active reposessions of recent vehicles. An example would be a recent episode where Froy doing a repo of a Dodge Journey, where they weren’t familiar with the type of vehicle… which came out five years after his license expired. Also, mention is made of the bad economy, and the like. So, in essence, if they’re doing re-enactments of their own repos, they’re stretching the truth quite a bit. If they’re doing re-enactments of others’ repos, then they’re being very dishonest by making people think its them. Also, keep in mind that there’s no real effort except for a brief disclaimer to show that these ARE “re-enactments”. With camera people around in plain sight, and people “reacting” to the cameramen, we’re meant to think this is real.
It’s plain dishonest, is what it is.
So, why does this bother me so much, and why shouldn’t I just “not watch it” instead of griping, you may ask? The reason is because I actually like watching shows on truTV, for the reason that they ARE “not reality, actuality”. I like watching shows like Forensic Files, The Smoking Gun Presents: World’s Dumbest…, and Inside American Jail, where they show events as they happen, or if they show re-enactments they’re clear about what they are. This show, on the other hand, is obviously staged, and tries to deceive viewers into thinking it’s real. It’s a lie, and it’s a black mark on truTV’s schedule and reputation.
I wish the show would be taken off the air, honestly, or placed on another network which doesn’t pride itself on showing “actuality”. Unfortunately, seeing how often it seems to be on the schedule now, I’m guessing it’s getting good ratings… either because people are fooled, or people don’t care. I guess all I can do is speak my peace here and hope my voice gets heard.
I can hope truTV does something about this blemish. Maybe it’ll not be for nothing.
Note: if you want to reference the rules for repossession agents and their licensing, go to http://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/repo_fact.shtml . On the left side of the page is a link marked “Verify a License”; that’s where I looked up and got the information on the show’s participants’ licenses (or lack thereof).