With "Reality TV" producers plumbing the depths for every conceivable confrontational scenario, it’s a wonder it took so long to strike the rich vein that is the put-upon motoring public. But thanks to "Parking Wars," the wait is over.
This new show, on the A&E Network, follows the Philadelphia Parking Authority as its agents ticket and boot scofflaw drivers while suffering abuse at every turn. Presented without commentary, save for cheesy effects and cheesier music, "Parking Wars" pits the irresistible force of the entitled motorist against the immovable object of the PPA bureaucracy. Caught in between are PPA employees, whose jobs are so psychologically taxing — the possibility of physical confrontation is always as near as the next ticket — they should qualify for combat pay. If the producers are rooting for one side over the other, it’s hard to tell, as the "cha-ching" sound that comes with every levied fine is balanced by the portrayal of traffic agents as regular Joes working a thankless gig.
In this clip, watch what happens when a hothead who’s racked up a "ton" of tickets gets booted after parking on the sidewalk. Then straight-talking agent Brian gives a lecture on civic courtesy to an irate woman as she stands watch for a double-parked friend.
"It’s never their fault they’re parked illegally," says Brian. "It’s always my fault I happen to be there to write them up."