Reality TV these days is often fraught with outrageous drama and intrigue that somehow happens every single episode. It's clear that any more reality TV has become something entirely unrealistic. Most reality television shows are scripted in some form or another, some worse than others. It's safe to say that when the cameras are rolling, whatever is happening is likely scripted.
This has turned many to other forms of television, shows that may still be reality, at least more real than the typical superstar drama. For gearheads, petrol heads, and anyone who enjoys cars, the idea of car shows are amazing. And, often times, they are pretty good or at least start out that way. Shows like Fast n' Loud, Graveyard Carz, Misfit Garage, or Counting Cars, have seen wild popularity.
Counting Cars is one of the most popular shows out there right now, a show about a garage in Las Vegas that restores and customizes cars for customers. The lead guy, the owner of the shop, Danny Koker, is a person people love watching. The show airs on History Channel, but that doesn't mean it is real. There's a lot to the show that isn't true, completely fabricated, and often times a complete illusion. This is, of course, for the sake of "good television."
It's not all bad, though, it's still a real shop that restores real cars for real customers. But all is not as it may seem. Let's take a look at 10 things that are fake on Counting Cars, and 10 things that are actually true.
It's a fairly well-known fact that the two shows are related, especially for those who are fans of the equally fake Pawn Stars (even more fake, actually), yet for those who came to the show in later seasons may not know the correlation.
Danny Koker was featured for his services on a couple of different episodes of Pawn Stars before History Channel decided that a show based around his auto shop would be good television. It was a good call on the part of the network.
The idea of a stranger accosting people on the streets and handing them wads of cash for their cars is a bit of tenuous one, and it has been proven that in fact, this is a fake aspect of the show, considering how alarming it would be for anyone to be approached by a strange man in a preposterous bandanna with a camera crew.
It is often that the people are approached off camera, all deals settled beforehand, and then a scripted conversation ensues, or if not scripted most assuredly staged. This is a fake thing on the show.
While it may seem like an absurd fake backstory for an already pretty absurd personality as is, this little tidbit is entirely true. Count Koker, aka Danny Koker, has his own rock band by the name of Count's 77.
They're a legit band, too, with videos and show dates, active in the Las Vegas scene. Danny Koker is the lead singer of the band (naturally), and their music can best be described as a band that lives in the asthmatic delusions of an era that should probably be forgotten.
The show does a really good job, as makes sense, of showing the end product of each build is a complete masterpiece, and showing the customers being 100% satisfied and blown away with the project.
While it makes sense for TV to show these "wow" moments with cool cars, the fact is that Danny Koker's shop, Count's Kustoms doesn't always get the best reviews, and there have been a fair number of customers who aren't happy with their service. It is the real world, after all, and not a reality TV fantasy land.
With as many cars as Danny Koker sees in a day, in a week, throughout the course of his life, it might seem like he would be able to sell his cars without a second thought, and while that is true of his commissioned work, as they are never really his cars in the first place, he has a hard time with his own builds.
There's a piece of him in every one of his builds, or so he says, and so parting with that particular car is like parting with a piece of himself. Understandable, but all art is only validated once it's out in the real world, in a new environment. Every artist knows that.
It seems that in every episode there is an excessive amount of interpersonal drama between the people featured on the show, and between the crew. Whether it's antics, or fights, or most anything dramatized on the show, it's all fake.
Once the cameras are rolling, the characters feel as if they're on stage, playing roles, and they have to be the most extreme version of themselves, just for the sake of the performance, for the show. It's all fake, even if it's not scripted.
Mike is one of the most polarizing characters of the show, because of his endless schtick. He wears horns on his bandanna, it's what gives him his namesake and also, apparently, what guides every single thing he does and says on the show.
Many get tired of it very quickly as it is a shallow surface level humor that just gets old. But the fact of the matter is that Mike is actually quite excellent at pinstriping, he is a solid talent in the field. If only the show would feature that, instead of all the puerile humor surrounding his name.
The lawsuit against Joseph Frontier made some pretty big headlines when it all went down. Counts Kustom's sued their former employee for stealing money from the company and using it for personal benefits. They also sued the company that recommended Joseph.
Frontier had representation, and his lawyer filed to dismiss, and the suit against the company fell through, too. It seems that Count's Kustoms sued as a means for a petty money grab and some extra press, though it can't be said with absolute certainty.
While it would seem like perfectly logical common sense for the host of a custom car show to be ultimately knowledgeable about all things cars, the fact of the matter is that Danny Koker is self-taught and uneducated, and sometimes this shows.
He gets his facts wrong, and many have called him out and criticized him because of it, taking stabs at his credibility as a mechanic. In recent times, some have dialed in on this, and all claims made by Danny are double checked before airing, as his knowledge is often faulty.
The way reality TV works generally involves a lot of post process, editing, splicing, rearranging, the works. When a final product is aired, everything is in order, makes sense, and seems like it is chronological. Of course, for good TV, this should be that way.
But, filming on the set of Counting Cars is far from chronological, as many builds are going on at the same time, up to fifteen, which makes filming an absolute anachronistic nightmare. As a bit of a cinematographer, I can say assuredly I would hate to have to film a process like this one. One massive headache, start to end.
It's well known that Danny Koker has a hard time keeping his opinions from reaching the public. He's hot-headed to a degree and always speaks his mind, no matter the subject, political or not.
He's known for saying that politics comes before business, and is in full support of the current system, along with being known for saying that environmental issues are merely a game being played by politicians, and not a real threat to humanity. Talk about an educated man.
While there are many conversations that must occur in a car shop that involve customization and rebuilding work, when it comes to making reliable and good television, you have to eliminate as many variables as possible.
Which, inevitably, leads to the scripting of things that at one point were real conversations or things that needed to be discussed and were, but then were discussed again for the cameras. Many of the conversation on Counting Cars, and most assuredly in reality TV, are fake.
Danny Koker is infamous for his aesthetic, almost always wearing a bandanna, glasses, his goatee and often black-centric outfits. He's attempting to look like a bad biker dude, and it works for him, though he never, ever, takes his bandanna off.
Some say it might be tattoos, a birthmark, or other things, but the likeliest of all theories is the simplest and most logical: that he is hiding his receding hairline, in complete denial about it. The funny thing is that he could rock the bald look if he would be man enough to accept it. For now, he'll cover his forehead and eyebrows in ridiculous fashion.
Many have mentioned how whiny Koker's crew is on the show, always bickering, always fighting, always whining to him about this, and about that, and that other thing. They'll say in forums that if they had a crew half that whiny they'd all be fired and replaced hasta pronto.
There's truth there, actually, but the fact is that they are a successful shop that cranks through a pretty incredible amount of projects at any given time. Which means, of course, that the whining is fake. As soon as cameras are rolling, the drama gets taken to eleven.
A dirty little secret has recently been exposed about Danny Koker, the lead personality of the overdramatized car show that's gained some extraordinary popularity over the past years, and it's this; he has been on television before.
Once upon a time, he was the host of a pretty outrageous nighttime television show that featured horror movies, by the name of Saturday Fright At The Movies. He hosted the show, under the moniker of "Count Cool Rider," hilariously. Note the receding hairline, in reference to our feature about his balding predicament and the iconic bandanna.
Scott Jones, one of the beloved characters of the show Counting Cars, mysteriously faded away after the second season, never to return again. Exactly as to why he stopped appearing on the show, has been up to a lot of speculation.
Many say that it was because he embezzled money from the company, and is one of the more popular theories. This is a fake reason and has no backing or evidence, merely hearsay and gossip. The real reason is that no one knows the real reason.
When talking about the fake things of reality shows like Counting Cars and other similar type reality TV shows, inevitably the question of whether or not they even do any kind of restoration comes into question.
Many like to accuse Count's Kustoms of faking it just for TV, but that is just unfounded. Despite the fake things circulating around the production and hype of the show, at the core, they restore every single car that comes through their shop, and it often takes an insane amount of time and work.
While Count's Kustoms may restore every single ride that rolls through their garage, the stories of just how they get a hold of rides, who they get them from, and other details about the exact origins and destination of the cars featured is often muddled in the realms of deception.
There's a forum that talks about a Chevy Truck that Counting Cars got a hold of, and the story behind how they found it and what they did with it, saying it was abandoned and unclaimed, is essentially entirely false. Though the work is real, that doesn't mean anything else has to be.
Rock n' Roli, as he's known as on the show and by fans, was the go-to detailer for the shop for many years, and he was in almost every episode. With his fame came an added element of danger that perhaps he wasn't expecting.
His detailing trailer, housing thousands of dollars of detailing equipment, was indeed stolen from a parking lot. This was a true event, and further investigation revealed that some people decided to steal the trailer, due to the fact that it had a famous person's name on it. Poor Rock n' Roli.
The timeline of builds on the show is grossly fast-forwarded when it starts to become clear just how operations actually work chronologically in the show, and it's entirely fake.
What makes the show such a nightmare to film is a two-part issue. One, the shop has at least 15 cars in the works at a time, which makes organization of footage a complete nightmare. Second, it often takes up to a year to complete a build, averaging at over six months per build. So, when in a quaint half hour a car goes from trash to sick custom, it is glossing over an insane amount of hard work on the part of the crew.
Sources: Pinterest, Google Plus, & Screamer Magazine