Repo Shame: 'Repo Games' on Spike TV

August 31, 2011

 

The doorbell rings at the home of a deadbeat who’s behind on car payments. The soon-to-be-ex-owner opens up and sees the vehicle in question hooked to a tow truck. But the doorbell ringer is no mere repo man. He’s a host of “Repo Games” (which stars both Josh Lewis, left, and and Tom DeTone, and airs on Spike TV at 11:30 p.m. Tuesdays), and he has a proposal: Answer three of five trivia questions correctly and the vehicle is “paid off, free and clear.”

This is a game show for our hard times: No studio audience, just a hapless soul standing on a front lawn, crying, “What you think, everybody’s made out of money?” — and hoping not for a windfall of cash but to hold onto precious transport.

Questions are posed. Answers are given. Often, they are wrong. The closest star to Earth is not the moon. “Muenster” is not the name of an energy drink. Roughly half the contestants triumph. The losers lose their wheels yet are sometimes so thrilled by their 15 minutes of fame that they hug the host as their chariot is towed away. The series, whose first season ends Sept. 13, was just renewed — proof that on TV, nothing succeeds like distress.

Marc Silver has been watching TV since the days when people wrapped aluminum foil around TV antennae to improve reception.
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Katherine Boyle · August 30, 2011