Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gentlemen, start your engines

Ever since Hiller and Diller was canceled I don't watch a lot of network TV.

That is not say I don't watch any, I'm particularly fascinated by some of the reality shows. As I mentioned yesterday I enjoy The Pitch, mostly for its high schadenfreud content. I dig the treasure-finding adventures of Storage Wars. But my new favorite, and this is born from my innate need for justice, is Bait Car.

Perhaps you've seen it. The cops rig a new Cadillac Escalade or a Ford Taurus with a gaggle of hidden lipstick cameras. Then they plant two undercover cops in the vehicle who stage a phony argument. Some of these officers of the law may have missed their calling to the stage or the silver screen. The sparring battle ends with the two combatants leaving the vehicle in a huff. In all the excitement they purposely leave the keys in the ignition.

Act Two begins.

The would-be thieves pounce on the abandoned vehicle. Sometimes it's a solo miscreant, but more often the vehicle is boosted by a bandit and his buddy. The Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid of joyriding, as it were. For some reason the stealing of a car is best enjoyed by two. And that's OK with me. Because the dialogue between the carjackers, while not of the Newman/Redford standard, is so delicious. The joy of getting a $40,000 car for free makes for some great repartee.

"Dude, check it out, the car has a stereo."

"Oh dude, look at this, it's got a glove compartment!"

"I get the wheels Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you get it Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. And then we'll switch off every Saturday."

"I'm gonna take my lady to a movie and maybe some Mickey D's afterwards, it's gonna be sic."

It's as if these bozos have never known the joy of working hard at job, earning enough money and buying a car for themselves...oh wait.

Using a remote control, the cops lock the doors to the vehicle. Call me crazy but I love that sound. They shut down the engine. And then surround the vehicle in their shiny black-and-whites and muscular unmarked Dodge Chargers. The cops have a lot of toys at their disposal and it's satisfying to see my tax dollars at work.

Every episode of Bait Car ends the same. But what it lacks in a twisting denouement, it more than makes up for in spontaneity and on-the-fly-excuse-making.

The clueless thugs exit the Bait Car and begin spinning their yarn.

"I didn't do anything wrong. I was parking the car for this lady."

"Which lady? What's her name?"

"I don't know her name. But I saw she left the keys in the car and I didn't want anybody taking it 'cause you know there are some bad mother*ckers on the street. So I was doing her a favor and was parking the car somewhere safe."

"And how were you going to return the keys to her?"

"We didn't get that far with the plan."

"Get in the back of the patrol car."

If ever a television show warranted a laugh track, Bait Car would be that show.

I often tell my daughters, life isn't always fair.
But at 8PM, Wednesday Night on TRU-TV, it can be.

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