Even in the midst of the week-long Managerial Economics mid-term, as well as a Decision Models case-study, I took time out last night to catch the premier episode of “Family Armor” on TLC, a show starring Fuqua’s own Jason Forston. The show delivered on all that was promised: machine guns, exploding cars, stunt driving, crazy engineering and stories of the wealthy and famous needing the protection that can only be provided from an armored vehicle from Texas Armoring. But as I listened to the story of the Greek business man and watched the resulting armoring and gadgetry added to his SUV, I kept thinking to myself “Is this real?”
Of course, the answer is yes, Texas Armoring is a real company that was formed well prior to this show, but it’s just so hard for me to fathom that this is really needed in some parts of the world. Maybe if I had a few hundred million dollars and lived in Dubai, it would feel more real. The only experience I have with smoke coming out of the back of my vehicle is the beater truck I used to drive, which burned a little oil if you pushed it hard enough!
The one thing I struggle with in the format of the show is the tie-in with being Mormon. Not that the owners are Mormon, I just wonder how it improves upon the story. When the show moved away from the shop and showed Trent and Jason and their respective families, I was impatiently waiting for more cars and guns! It almost seems like TLC is forcing the religion “issue”, trying to add the explosive family element like on American Chopper. But clearly, the guys of Family Armor aren’t king-sized A-holes like the Teutul’s; in fact, they seem to be the polar opposites! Nor does it seem like there will be any awkwardness due to religion like you have on 18 Kids and Counting. So basically, it’s like the show intro says…these are guys with a serious job, who happen to be Mormon. Okay, good to know.
If I were in charge of editing this show, I’d leave the family/religion element alone and just focus on the cars. At the heart, I think this is a gearhead show. A show for people who like engineering, action movies, crazy cars, and maybe a few guns and explosions for good measure. I’d model this show after Mythbusters, which is unapologetic about the eccentric hosts, doesn’t shy away from all of the math and engineering lingo, and in general is just about having some fun.
I do recognize this is only the first episode, and was a good one at that, so there’s time to iron out the storyline. One thing’s for sure….I’ll be tuning in next week to find out if TLC incorporates my suggestions!