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Parking Wars needs an Intervention within The First 48

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Jan 25th 2008 9:00AM
Arts and EntertainmentThey've been a bit sneaky about it. But it's there. It seems that A&E is creeping in more reality programming almost monthly. I have to ask myself ... is this art? Oh, without a doubt, no.

Is it entertainment? The jury is still out on that a bit--at least for me. What it definitely is is something for background noise as I read a novel, peeking up occasionally when something on the show sounds interesting. Now, none of the three shows will garner a full review, but I'm going to do a quick take on Intervention, Parking Wars, and The First 48.

Intervention -- Okay, I'm not quite getting why anyone would go on a show to expose their inner demons on national television. Sure, we've all had our demons to conquer. But it seems to me that doing it all in front of the world could bring about two results.

The first and most likely is that the subject will run off for treatment even though he's probably not ready for it and it won't take. That seems to be the common result from the few episodes I've seen -- they're on camera. Duh. Of course they'll go for treatment due to being cornered. It doesn't mean they've hit rock bottom enough to really want rehab.

The other scenario I'm waiting to see is one subject exploding and telling everyone to mind their own damn business. Has that ever happened on the show?

My take on this one is if you like to watch drug addicts actually snort drugs and inject them in all their burnt out glory, this is the show for you. If you want to see families devastated by the substance abuse problems of a loved one, if that's entertainment for you, go for it. Me? I'd rather not see needles, please.

Parking Wars -- I saw a two-hour block of this half-hour show over the weekend. (Yes, it was while I was reading and had the television on. I confess.) This is a "jury out" on show for me. What I liked about it isn't something which everyone will like. What I liked is that I have tried to find a parking space in Center City in Philadelphia more than a few times. It's almost impossible! It's easier to find spots in Boston or Manhattan.

So, the show struck the old "familiarity" chord with me. I knew some of the locations and such. It's always interesting to see places you know on television. Well, at least for me, it is. While the locale was a hit for me, I'm not all that sure of the content. It seems to be too much of the same type of situation over and over again. Different mad people whose different cars are booted or towed. No one seems to have their license, registration, and insurance with them. What's next? Filming the DMV?

The First 48 -- Of these three shows, this is the one which really caught my interest. Mind you, Cops is one of my guilty pleasure shows. This is like Intense Cops. The premise behind the show is that when a homicide occurs, the case tends to go cold after the first 48 hours and there's less of a chance of solving it. It focuses on actual homicides and actual homicide detectives.

Although it seems like many of the cases don't get solved (a suspect under arrest) in the first 48, I find the show intriguing. After being a police television buff for so long, the show has become a fix for me. No, I don't need an Intervention, thank you very much (and mind your own business). It's done tastefully and provides a real-life peek in the business of police work. And, unlike Homicide: Life on the Street, I haven't heard any of the detectives say, "We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves." But, the sentiment is there.

Are you watching any of these shows? Or am I alone in the world of reality television?

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February 18 2008 at 9:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Of the three shows you mentioned, I only watch Parking Wars, but I find the show absolutely marvelous. While it may be simple in concept and execution, it highlights the abuse that people who work jobs like those that are showcased have to deal with on a regular basis. These employees cannot be paid enough for the work they do.

January 29 2008 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm a civilian employee for one of the featured departments in First 48. It's always surreal to me to see people I see on an every-other day basis on TV. I'm just glad no one I know has been the focus of an investigation (on either end!).

January 26 2008 at 6:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

thank goodness A&E finally moved the soppranos from "hump day" to sunday. well done! we knew it wouldn't stand up to heavy hitting rival like dirty sexy money!

January 26 2008 at 1:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i've seen nearly episode of the First 48 -- love it. i caught an episode of Parking Wars and thought it was just a horribly dumb show. i used to watch Intervention, but then i found myself just watching the first 3-5 minutes then skipping to the end. then i found myself removing the Season Pass altogether.

January 25 2008 at 7:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The First 48 is a show that I have found myself watching a lot of lately. I think part of it is that it features several cases in Dallas, which is where I live now, as well as Cincinnati, where I used to live. There's something extra creepy and 'real' about watching murder investigations in your own city. However, I often find myself talking to the potential suspects, shouting out to the tv "you don't have to answer that!" or "you're not under arrest, you can leave!" or "dude, just ask for a lawyer!"

January 25 2008 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As a huge fan of 'Homicide: Life On The Street' I thought I'd give the 'First 48' a try when it debuted last year. It's a very gritty and real, almost too real, meaning they don't edit out the boring parts of the investigations either. Also, I liked the detectives from the first season more than the current crop. Still, if you want to know what it's like working a double murder where no witnesses will talk and you've gotten no sleep for 2 days, this is the show for you. 'Intervention' I find to be a strange bird. Again, I enjoyed it more the first season, possibly due to the novelty of it wearing off, but I think more to do with the fact that it seems to me the addicts kind've know what's happening and I suspect most of them know what will happen at the end. Also, the interventionalists run the same kind of intervention meeting every time. You'd think it would need to be different depending on the situation and the addict, but nope, they run through the same "script" every time, some to the point where it's almost like they are just doing it for the money and moving on. The interventionalist Jeff is the worst example. You can almost set your watch by his trademark cadence and words of his speech: "What I see here are a bunch of people who love you like crazy and feel like they're losin' ya. They're gonna say what they have to say then you're gonna say what you have to say then we're done." And he never smiles. Watch it next time and you'll see what I mean, you could almost make a drinking game out of it, but that would be in bad form considerering the show I guess. To me it just feels like 'Intervention' is becoming sensationalism, but again that could just be because the "formula"has been going on for a while now.

January 25 2008 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David S

Intervention is the only reality show I have programed in my DVR. It's one of my guilty pleasure shows. On one hand, its voyeuristic in the truest sense. Sure it has the "Let's watch people get F**ked up and see what happens" sense to it. Also, some of the individuals I think are truly fascinating people, characters who are far more real than anything else I've seen in reality TV. Some of the people I think I wouldn't mind seeing in a show even if they didn't have a drug problem. While I wish it was more of a character study of the individual, one simply can't tell a person's life story in 15 minutes, which seems to be the amount of time they grant an individual pre-intervention.

January 25 2008 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i regularly watch intervention and completely agree w/ JPN. there's definitely more reality and substance (no pun intended) in this show than other "reality" shows. the show does pay for treatment for people and sometimes also for friends or family of the person getting the intervention who also have chemical dependency in order to better the chances of success for the subject of that episode.

i have somewhat of a bias, though, since i am a soc. work student (and my mom is a soc. worker...have friends who are soc. workers, etc) so this REALLY is reality tv for us who've seen this stuff in real life.

the show is doing a great service by organizing these interventions for families, sending them to GREAT facilities for treatment, and following up.

January 25 2008 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dominic a

I watch the first 48 everyday. On my DVR there is about 20 eps that i have not seen. I love the show but it makes me depressed. Sometimes the people that die should not have, and the killers do not even care. It just shows the true version of life.
I sometimes watch Intervention but it gets too much with the needles and spelling of their first names.lol.

January 25 2008 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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