What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
May 19, 2011 4:29 PM   Subscribe

“Is the repo industry something on which to base a game show?” [SLAwl]
posted by kipmanley (39 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Apparently!
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:33 PM on May 19, 2011


Maybe one day they'll port Human Resources (or the Greek version, Congratulations, You're Hired) to the U.S.

> It's produced well—the cameras don't shake, you can hear clearly everything anyone says—but it's an experience that requires a number of actual showers to make you feel clean.

That kind of sums up a lot of television these days.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:35 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


slawlawlawlawlawl!
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:35 PM on May 19, 2011


I'm waiting for WHO WANTS TO BE EMPLOYED?
posted by The Whelk at 4:37 PM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


I have watched this show, and I agree with the writer. If the goal is to "turn shit into gold," the effort doesn't get very far along.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:38 PM on May 19, 2011


There are enormous opportunities for showcasing the exploitation by all manor of lenders here, maybe real money in sending the viewers home angry. <shrug>
posted by jeffburdges at 4:39 PM on May 19, 2011


I'll bite. It's on my DVR. The show is not good. It's morally reprehensible. It's defintely LOLPOORPEOPLE and LOLREDNECKS.

But it tickles that little Portal 1 id core that was implanted in my brain that just growls and slobbers.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:40 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


slawlawlawlawlawl!

What is that supposed to represent? Some kind of laughter?
posted by delmoi at 4:41 PM on May 19, 2011


Yeah, I saw a clip of this show posted somewhere. Truly, deeply bad stuff. Like, hey, you know what makes laughing at poor people more fun? Laughing at them for being poorly educated at the same time! LOL!
posted by neuromodulator at 4:42 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Theses two groups are going to BATTLE ROYAL for the privileged of ONE MONTH OF MEDICAL CARE
posted by The Whelk at 4:42 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


I was a repo man for about six months back in the summer of 2000. Despite the reputation repo man of having a life that is always intense, it mostly involved a lot of driving, hours of waiting for keys to get copies, and most people voluntarily surrendered their cars, because it's better for them to do so. And it was always depressing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:50 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


The message being sold here is "Look at all these assholes spending money on shit they can't afford, they're what's wrong with our economy. How stupid they are, to assume they deserved the loans they were approved for and (sometimes) received unsolicited."

The lenders will never be mentioned, and if their logo graces a screen it will probably be blurred out. The bankers are morally right; you can tell because they remain unmolested in their homes, with their charming and educated wives.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:52 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yep
posted by The Whelk at 4:54 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another indicator of general decline, where at least a significant minority of one's fellow citizens are entertained by the misfortune of others. We don't even see it coming, do we?
posted by Vibrissae at 4:55 PM on May 19, 2011


Another indicator of general decline, where at least a significant minority of one's fellow citizens are entertained by the misfortune of others.

Not a new phenomenon. Perhaps you never saw Queen for a Day.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:03 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the goal is to "turn shit into gold," the effort doesn't get very far along.

I hate to break this to you, but the gold goes to the producers.
posted by dhartung at 5:24 PM on May 19, 2011


I had assumed the whole thing was staged. I've never watched an episode, however. It's not staged?
posted by Bookhouse at 5:24 PM on May 19, 2011


The Whelk, you made me picture a survivor style show several people with mid stage cancer and no health care, vying for the grand prize!

You could really drag the show out, with lots of human interest stuff. Steve's cancer doesn't get in the way of him making lunch for his two young kids since his wife left him.

The grand prize is of course a week at some Club Med style resort.
posted by Xoebe at 5:33 PM on May 19, 2011


It easily could be, but it doesn't matter.

dhartung, I doubt the producers are going to see much gold, either. The level of hoke is extremely high, and there really isn't much entertainment provided.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:34 PM on May 19, 2011


Xoebe, you have, in fact, fairly accurately described the aforementioned Queen for a Day.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:35 PM on May 19, 2011


I'm waiting for WHO WANTS TO BE EMPLOYED?

It was worse than that. May I direct your attention to Fire Me... Please.

Part one can be seen here. You're on your own if you want to find more. I need to go cleanse myself of this now.
posted by Graygorey at 5:57 PM on May 19, 2011


I loved this show!

Wait, this is real life? It's getting so confusing.
posted by formless at 5:57 PM on May 19, 2011


Bookhouse: “I had assumed the whole thing was staged. I've never watched an episode, however. It's not staged?”

Maybe you missed the point of the reality television revolution: schmucks on the street work for a lot less than actors, and conventiently they have less dignity, too.
posted by koeselitz at 6:07 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


They being said they're directed and coached and prompted like actors.
posted by The Whelk at 6:08 PM on May 19, 2011


Pretty soon al government services will run game shows to boost revenue. Child Services, for example, will have the mega hit "KEEP THAT KID!" which includes a physical challenge and brief trivia portion to determine if a parent is fit for custody, but nothing compares to the success of WHEEL OF UTILITIES in which contestants vie for water, power, or the Big Winner: Free fire coverage for a whole year!
posted by The Whelk at 6:15 PM on May 19, 2011


Maybe you missed the point of the reality television revolution: schmucks on the street work for a lot less than actors, and conventiently they have less dignity, too.

You think they don't stage things on "reality" television?
posted by Bookhouse at 6:25 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


You think they don't stage things on "reality" television?

Oh they stage things, alright. But they can get random guy or gal to do the nasty sort of shit that someone with a SAG card won't even touch. Turns out union busting isn't just for public services!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:54 PM on May 19, 2011


I did watch about 5 minutes of this excretion the other day, while making lunch.

I was impressed by the presence-of-mind of one of the poor schmoes, who kept saying "why are there cameras here?" That's the limit of my ability to be impressed by this turd of a show. I went back to local news (not much better) after my five minute dip into shit.
posted by Invoke at 7:19 PM on May 19, 2011


Theses two groups are going to BATTLE ROYAL for the privileged of ONE MONTH OF MEDICAL CARE

Battle Royale is great and all, but I prefer the nationalism inherent in more of a Hunger Games-style competition.

How about we take a group of refugees without countries, and pit them against each other with a citizenship prize? We could cheer for the people who love America, or against immigrants in general, or for the asshole-y guys who are vying for citizenship elsewhere!

It's a gameshow and it solves a worldwide problem!
posted by graventy at 7:45 PM on May 19, 2011


I'm waiting for SLAP THAT HOBO! Can your loving strike reform the worst of the lowlives? FInd out tonight at 9!
posted by The Whelk at 7:49 PM on May 19, 2011


I'm waiting for SLAP THAT HOBO!

While you wait, you can always track down a copy of Bumfights.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:24 PM on May 19, 2011


The Whelk: "I'm waiting for WHO WANTS TO BE EMPLOYED?"

Russian American Television Scores Hit With New Game Show Who Wants To Eat A Meal?
NOVEMBER 24, 1999 2019
Hosted by popular Russian American TV personality Anatoly Ivaskevich Donald Trump, Who Wants To Eat A Meal? gives hungry contestants the chance to answer general-knowledge questions to win food items. Since its Oct. 26 premiere, it has quickly become the nation's most popular program, drawing even more viewers than the top-rated Let's Look At Food, in which images of food are displayed on screen.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:59 PM on May 19, 2011


This is a thing? Urgh...

And, Rhaomi, I actually had to mouse over your link to check if it was going to The Onion or not. Reading the FPP has recalibrated my satire detector.
posted by Harald74 at 12:43 AM on May 20, 2011


Consider yourselves lucky you don't get "TOWIE" in the USA. It's made me feel ashamed to admit I live in Essex.
posted by essexjan at 3:49 AM on May 20, 2011


NSFW language on the link I just posted.
posted by essexjan at 3:51 AM on May 20, 2011


No.
posted by Splunge at 5:47 AM on May 20, 2011


Consider yourselves lucky you don't get "TOWIE " in the USA. It's made me feel ashamed to admit I live in Essex.

Seems like Jersey Shore for the U.K, although I haven't actually seen any of Jersey Shore.
posted by delmoi at 7:03 AM on May 20, 2011


I think this show is a fantastic idea. But it has to be done right. Every viewing absolutely must make the audience feel more than the last. I don't want anyone to walk away desensitized. I want exactly the opposite.

Get everyone right to the edge of boiling, then just starting running names and addresses of the banksters. End of program, end of the crap, end of an era.

The show would be marked in history, to be revered for generations to come.

Of course they won't do that! HAHAHA! There's a reason it's called a Boob Tube!
posted by Goofyy at 7:12 AM on May 20, 2011


At least with car loans, there aren't really any "banksters". The issue isn't that simple.

There's not really any quick solution, aside from maybe just getting rid of auto loans altogether, which is an option but it's one that would probably be opposed by many of the same people that you'd be trying to "save" from the predations of the industry. Once you have auto loans, you're going to have defaults, and if the loans are secured using the car itself as collateral, you're going to have repossessions.

There's an entire industry there, doing auto loans, with thousands of people, most of whom are just regular old office drones. Loan origination is done through dealers, or sometimes banks and credit unions and other places. Servicing is sometimes done by the lenders, but more often farmed out to specialized companies that do nothing but servicing. They're profitable but not insanely so. Mostly they process paperwork.

I've actually spent time working in the collections department of an auto loan servicer. (It will remain nameless, but it was a major one -- although it's a company most people have never heard of -- and it was in ~2008 just as things really went into the shitter.) Most of the people working in Collections were short-timers. The majority seemed to be young women looking for transitional employment on their way to either a better job, or being a stay-at-home wife/mom. I heard it bandied around that the average term of employment for a collections call-center worker was 6 months.

If there were any cigar-smoking capitalists around, I never really saw them. The whole thing seemed to be run on very thin margins.

I guess you could try to demonize the upstream lenders, but many of them were either banks associated with the car companies (think GMAC, VW Credit, Toyota Financial), lending in order to spur sales (and not exactly making money hand over fist recently), or local lenders who view auto loans as a sideline and farm the servicing work out to somebody else. Not a ton of top hats and monocles there, either.

Most defaults are sad affairs without much in the way of drama. People who really can't pay generally know it, and most of them just clean their stuff out of the cars and hand them over. Everyone loses: the borrower loses their car and takes a hit to their credit, the lender generally has to take a writedown (because they just got a used car back, rather than the payments that would have added up to the price of a new car plus interest). The repossessor, if one was used, might get a hundred bucks, but supposedly most of them view it as a not-terribly-profitable sideline to actual towing.

The situation is ugly because there really isn't anyone you can point a distinct finger at. On one hand, the car companies and their lenders have gotten people who might have otherwise purchased used cars into new cars, by way of creative financing (e.g. 72 month loans, zero-down loans, etc.). But on the other, it's entirely possible that in some cases, even the majority of cases, that people are better off or at least happier, in a financed new car (or one of the expensive dealer-certified used ones) than in a clunker with more repair bills. It'd be tough to avoid charges of parentalism if you said you had to buy a car cash or not at all. The net result might actually be pushing a lot of buyers towards very shady "revolving door" used-car operations (the ones that are also a loan servicer and a repo operation; basically the payday lenders of the auto world) and away from the normal buying channels, where you at least have an idea what you're getting.

Aside from trying to become less dependent on cars, I'm not really sure there's any way to get away from auto repossessions. If you wanted to have a pogrom and go after the auto lenders or servicers or dealers, in six months you'd just have someone else filling the gap in order to satisfy the demand for cars and financing.

So if I was going to choose to replace 'Repo Games' with something else, it'd be something that showed Americans how nice it is to have European-style public transportation and good mixed-use development, rather than neutron-bomb cities surrounded by rings of low-rise commercial space and then a hundred miles of exurbs. That's where the problem is.

Although if you really want to, I wouldn't be opposed to tossing the guys at GMAC Ally Financial who got the bailout out a window. Just on principle.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:34 AM on May 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


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