I was bound and determined to watch AMC’s new “unscripted” aka reality series Small Town Security after seeing all the weird-ass promos, but never in a million years did I think this show would confuse the hell out of me.
AMC has recently been removed from DISH network and I would say it was not a moment too soon. I kid, by the way, season 3 of The Walking Dead looks extremely bad-ass, and it better live up to the hype. In the promos for the reality show, we see just a normal little office space somewhere in America with a little yappy chihuahua running around, but now we know it’s in Ringgold, Georgia, which is just across the border from Chattanooga, TN. So this place is definitely small.
My first question, how in the hell did Joan “The Chief” Koplan end up here? Her back story, to say the least, is interesting. Her accent is not Southern at all. I would guess, she’s originally from New York, New Jersey, that general area. We find out in the first episode, a teenage Joan recorded a single under the name, “Tiger Joanie Scott” and when she puts it on a old record player and sits there listening with her lipstick-stained smile, it’s hilarious and a bit odd. Somehow, Joan was to be cast in one of motion picture’s biggest X-rated bombs, Myra Breckinridge, which starred Raquel Welch, Mae West, John Huston, Rex Reed (?!?), and Farrah Fawcett. The reason Joan refused the role, was because she would have to play the lesbian role, which was scandalous at the time, but no more scandalous than Myra’s sex change, orgy scenes and strap-on dildos, really Gore Vidal? Thus, Koplan though she would be typecast if she took the role. Smart move, but she never gain the fame she longed for. The Chief is married to The Captain aka Irwin Koplan who is the company’s salesman. In the second episode, Irwin is shown to be not much of a seller and he needs his “mojo” back so he starts using testosterone cream. Plus, he’s adamant about his gray hair, so he constantly dyes it with cheap hair color from the “Dollar Zone”, I’m not making this up!
Okay, briefly, the company is called JJK Security, yes, there is an actual business being profiled, but you wouldn’t think so by watching all the perpetual laziness. Watching The Chief is exhausting because she never seems to do anything, she smokes cigars, and, although it hasn’t been mentioned yet, she obviously suffered some kind of breakdown or had a serious injury because she doesn’t get around too well. Oh, and she curses like a sailor. I kept thinking to myself, “where is the hook?” “what is going to make me keep watching this?”. I got my answer at the end of the first episode. (Only two episodes have aired and you can watch both of them by clicking on the link contained in Small Town Security above).
If you’ve read any press on the show, you may have come across the name Dennis Croft. Lt. Croft is The Chief’s second-in-command and he seems to be the only one who gets out in the field. It’s clear from the beginning of the show, Croft is The Chief’s slave; he is at her every, and I mean every, beck and call. They are so involved, you forget Koplan has a husband. One way Joan decides to do something is go back on the air with her public access talk show, “The Joan Koplan Forum”. She had the show for years until her salty language got out of hand, however, the station manager decides to give her another shot.
Before Koplan introduces her first guest, she shows a previously-aired clip….
SPEEECY? Seriously? My jaw hit the floor! And I began to wonder if this show is supposed to be funny, touching, uncomfortable, or all three. If this wasn’t SPEECY enough, in last night’s episode, Lt. Croft basically laid out there that The Chief is the “love of his life” Okay. However, Joan still isn’t used to calling she a HE. Wacky times in North Georgia!
Small Town Security airs Sunday nights at 10C/11E on AMC.