Is Operation Repo Fake or Real?
Is Operation Repo Staged?
It's the question we all ask when we watch "reality" TV: Is this for real? Or is it scripted? Surely this is just too far-fetched?
Tell-Tale Signs That Operation Repo Is Fake
Watching Operation Repo, the TruTV "documentary" series about a car repossession company in the San Fernando Valley, California, suspicions are raised almost immediately. For a start, you wonder just how these people can get away with their behaviour. Muscle man Matt Burch starts screaming the minute he smells a confrontation, and usually ends up doing something unprofessional that gets him fired -- only later to be reinstated by his kindly boss, Luis "Lou" Pizarro. And to say that the behaviour of those having their cars repossessed appears a little over-the-top would be an understatement. These guys leap out of wheelchairs, have severe (and very noisy) mental breakdowns and start bludgeoning the repo men when threatened with repossession.
You don't have to look far for clues that indicate what you're watching is pretty much staged entertainment. First is the disclaimer, aired at the beginning of every Operation Repo episode:
The stories that are portrayed in this program are based on real events. The names of the characters were changed in order to protect their identities... and some honor.
Real documentaries are not "based on real events." They show you actual footage of the events as they happen. Clearly TruTV's Operation Repo involves some restaging of incidents. Since names and faces are routinely heard and seen in the show, there's only one way the show could be protecting identities: These are actors, not real people. Yes, there's a script, and while it may be true that the incidents are reenactments of real events, it's clearly exaggerated for entertainment.
Perhaps the final nail in the coffin as far as Operation Repo's reality status goes is the 2009 movie cash-in, a film so impressive that it has already garnered 1.7 stars out of 10 on the Internet Movie Database. The IMDB plot description reads thus:
A repossession job takes them on an emotional roller coaster as they encounter that the car belongs to a psychotic drug dealer that takes revenge by kidnapping Lou's daughter.