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Car Culture

New A&E Series Mines Reckless NYC Driving for Ratings

From the network that brought you "Parking Wars," the reality TV show about Philadelphia parking scofflaws and the agents who put up with their abuse, comes "Last Chance Driving School," the reality TV show about student drivers running amok on the streets of Western Queens.

Premiering this weekend, the A&E series promises to show viewers the arc of the students' skills as they transition from "flustered pupils into safe and sensible drivers." But when you get down to it, the producers seem to be betting that "Last Chance Driving School" will have the same kind of appeal as American Idol auditions: The audience will get to see people humiliate themselves.

So in place of the Kelly Clarkson wannabes warbling off-key, the viewing public will watch incompetent motorists cause chaos on NYC's pedestrian-rich streets in their bid for a lifetime of driving privileges. (Sample episode summary: "Fiesty Brazilian firecracker Carla gets Pete worked up with her road rage in Manhattan and Carlos takes to the streets with Sabina, one of the craziest and most dangerous drivers the school has ever seen!")

A casting call sent out to an Astoria message board last fall went like so:

If you or someone you know live in New York and desperately need help passing your DRIVER’S TEST we can help!

We are looking for people with little to no driving experience. If you have never been behind the wheel of a car or terrified of driving, we are looking for you!

This is your chance to take lessons from a group of trained instructors who can prepare you for that dreaded test!

If you or someone you know has a fun and colorful personality, but has a hard time behind the wheel…this might be an exciting opportunity for you!

What could go wrong?

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