Unless you turn off the television after watching the hit AMC show “Breaking Bad,” then you’ve been exposed to a new reality show airing Sunday nights called “Small Town Security.” The show documents the haphazard yet humorous daily goings on at a security guard company located in Ringgold, Ga. (our not-so-distant cousin to the South).
You’d think a reality show about security guards would feature a lot of scenes filmed on location at various properties being secured, with break-ins thwarted by guards with razor-sharp instincts or just plain luck, and/or funnier encounters of the firm’s lazier badge brothers getting caught sleeping (or worse) on the job. There are so many possible angles that could make this storyline another “COPS” of some sort.
But the stars of “Small Town Security” don’t have to leave the lobby of their small office to deliver everything you’d tune in to a reality show for—and more. As real as it can be, JJK Security in Ringgold is owned and operated by Captain Irwin Koplan and his wife Joan, who everyone refers to simply as “Chief.” Both are likely in their 60s, and they settled in North Georgia after a series of events that found each in very interesting scenarios around the country over the years. In the first episode they tell their rambunctious love story in which the Chief was an aspiring—and rightly so, from the old photographs shown are any gauge—fashion model who was chased and finally apprehended by the debonair Captain.
These days, the Chief has traded in her runway pumps for a pair of sweatpants and an unladylike mouth that would make a sailor blush. She rules the roost with a no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners approach to managing her guards. The Captain, in charge of managing the firm’s accounts, is a quiet man with quite possibly the loudest wardrobe in the South and a penchant for trying out every shade of hair color Just For Men has to offer.
The office staff also includes Brian Taylor, the office manager who holds it all together, and Christa Stephens, the office secretary (and licensed cosmetologist). The most interesting character on the show, however, is Lieutenant Dennis Croft, a man who has transgendered from the woman he used to be. He resides in the office’s stock room to exemplify his dedicated round-the-clock work ethic, although he’s even more dedicated to the Chief, with whom he’s not-so-secretly been in love for years.
The show revolves around the ensemble hanging out in the office’s lobby discussing topics ranging from sex and masturbation to the stick the Captain uses to break up his number two’s prior to flushing, while shop dog Lambchop humps the Chief’s leg more often than not.
Now if this isn’t enough, a recent episode featured the Captain’s cousin, local broadcasting and advertising legend Neil Miller. Having worked with Neil in the past I know how ridiculously funny he could be, but even his crazy, off-the-cuff comments had trouble competing with the hilarity JJK staffers dish out without even trying. In fact, the show is so painfully funny and entertaining that it makes shows like the “Real Housewives,” “Jersey Shore” and “Jerseylicous” seem like spin-offs of the “Andy Griffith Show.”
While I initially cringed at the thought of how the show would further perpetuate the backwards-ass southern stereotype, I’ve embraced it as a friendly nod to how truly unique, special and loveable the South can be when it’s portrayed in its truest sense. And when it’s inevitably up for a few Emmy’s, “Small Town Security” will have shown the world that “Real Housewives” are just a bunch of whiny bitches who secretly wish they were half as genuine as anyone at JJK Security. It’s totally reality TV worth watching.
Chuck Crowder is a local writer and general man about town. His opinions are his own.