There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.
There's a reason landlords tend to be venal and lazy, it's because doing the job right is an incredible pain in the ass, so most don't even bother. I know I'm not the only one with stories about waiting weeks for repairs, or rents jacked up without warning. I'd rather move my family into a Mercury station wagon than sign another apartment lease.
And why are there so many bad landlords? Tenants. If you're lucky, they merely show utter disregard for the property they're living in. At worst, they're using your property to cook meth or run an illegal daycare. Or both. You couldn't pay me enough to be a landlord.
Even then, some lessors have to be the most absolutely loathsome. Enter Spike TV and World's Worst Tenants, which purports to show you folks even worse than the guy I lived next to who played Emerson, Lake & Palmer at 2:00 AM every night.
I still have "Karn Evil" related nightmares.
Todd Howard looks like Stone Cold Steve Austin with another decade's worth of "performance enhancers" coursing through his distended veins. He also sports what may be the dumbest ponytail in the history of man, considering it's attached to an otherwise bald head.
He's also an "eviction specialist" who -- along with his wife (I think) Randye -- and another fellow named Rick, kick weirdos out of their homes. I assume Randye is his wife because she has the same last name. I mean, Todd wears a wedding ring on a chain around his neck, which I can only assume is because his fingers have become so bulky (thanks to natural nutritional supplements, no doubt) it no longer fits on his hand.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The first thing you'll notice about World's Worst Tenants is that the acting is worse than in a Rob Schneider movie. Bad enough I have to stare at that ponytail for 30 minutes, but they can't even film real evictions? The men and women of law enforcement laugh at your temerity, Todd.
Sure enough, in the post-episode credits (squashed to near illegibility on your TV screen courtesy of Randy Couture's Fight Master promo) it says the previously shown scenes were "inspired" by real events. At least America's Most Wanted (RIP) straight up told us we were watching "dramatic reenactments."
Which is unfortunate, because if true, these stories are largely hilarious. I'd like to watch an ex-Marine square off with a crazed bodybuilder being kicked out of his house for distributing illegal steroids (all while Rick threatens his lurking crew of meatheads with a Taser). And I'll bet actual footage of the bat-wielding weirdo with a trio of Real Dolls would be much more disturbing than what we were "treated" to. And then there was the guy illegally running a generator in his closet so he can keep running his "World of Warcraft" campaign. At best these would be at least marginally interesting to watch, but even going by the liberal standards of reality programming, World's Worst Tenants is cheaply manufactured crap. The soundtrack ought to be nothing but Milli Vanilli songs.
And focusing on the freakier subjects allows us all to ignore the inherent ugliness of the eviction process itself. But then, I guess it wouldn't be quite as funny to have Howard kicking families out in the street because their mortgage ended up underwater after the housing crash.