As if we weren't already choking on pseudo-reality television, executive producer Jennifer Lopez has decided to throw another reality series into an already inundated TV line up. South Beach Tow, which premiered last night, chronicles the profession of the Ashenoff family: Robert Sr., his daughter Christie, and son Robert Jr., as they manage, dispatch, and drive, respectively. All this takes place in Miami Beach of course. Welcome to South Beach Tow.
We're sure you can expect the standard reality fare - drama, threats of violence, and backbiting. The novelty, if you can call it that, is that South Beach Tow takes place at a towing company. Since we prematurely judged the show last week, we thought we'd give it a second chance and spoke to dad to explain why it costs a kidney to get your car released and why people hate tow truck drivers. Oops - looks like we just answered our own question. Follow the jump for our interview with Robert Ashenoff Sr.
Cultist: How did you get started in the towing business?
Robert Ashenoff Sr.: I was looking for a fresh start so I moved to Miami Beach in 1986 and a friend of mine told me they were looking for drivers. I went for an interview and got hired and trained the same day. I had never driven a tow truck before, and the rest came through hard work.
Why do people hate you? Do they have a reason or are you and your business just misunderstood?
Well, I feel people have a problem with us mainly because of the reputation of the towing industry. There are some towers out there who take advantage of people on the street. I am contracted by either police departments [or] property owners and banks to tow cars with their authorization. But nobody will ever like being towed no matter what. When I did AAA for many years, people would still complain even though I was trying to help. They would always associate me with the bad things, never the good things.
What's it like to work with your son?
Working with my son has its ups and downs. He always wants to do things his way, even if he knows it's not going to work. But with all things aside, he always has my back and I have his. He will never let me down and he protects his sister like a pit bull. That's how my family works.
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Here's a clip from last night. That J-Lo is one classy dame.
I feel that the prices are in line with the industry standard. The equipment you have to buy now, compared to 20 years ago, is like night and day. With insurance costs, driver training, and all the other costs that are involved, I feel we're right where many companies are all over the U.S.
Why should people watch South Beach Tow?
I feel the show will be entertaining in many ways. You are seeing real people doing a very difficult job. Everything you are seeing has really happened to us. That's what will make it exciting and will have people looking to see what happens next.
What is the worst reaction you've ever seen when someone who has had their car towed by your company?
The worst reaction is when a car becomes more valued than human life and they pull a gun on you.
South Beach Tow airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on the truTV channel.