By Caitlin Choi
Toronto, Ontario — August 7, 2012 — The people of Lizard Lick, North Carolina could not have seen it coming.
Lizard Lick, a small community in Wake County, North Carolina, plays host to truTv’s pseudo-reality series, Lizard Lick Towing. Named after local towing company Lizard Lick Towing and Recovery, the action-packed towing show follows shop owners Ron and Amy Shirley and Ron’s partner-in-towing-crime Bobby Brantley.
Each episode, Ron and Brantley handle the repossessions and Amy takes care of the shop. But this is no stay-at-home wife scenario. A large part of the drama’s edgy appeal comes from the MMA fighter and mom’s dealings with irate customers who come to claim their stuff.
Rumour has it that Brantley was one of those customers, before he started working at the shop to pay off his debt. Since then, he’s been half the muscle at Lizard Lick, tackling the wildest of repo and towing situations as Ron’s sidekick on the show.
truTV is the first to admit that their shows aren’t truly reality TV – “Not reality. Actuality.” as their slogan declares. Nonetheless the towing series has proved successful, now in its third season on the air.
One key to its success might be the complex characters of Ron and Shirley. Although shouting matches and destructive fighting make for great television drama, the nuanced sides of the couple come across in between confrontations with customers as well.
The two were involved in the strongman circuit – Ron benching 600 pounds – when they first met, according to Ron’s autobiography Lizard Tales: The Wit & Wisdom of Ron Shirley. The couple’s first throwdown ended with Amy driving over her future husband in her F-150 and then proceeding to steal his truck. However, the two later gave into love and started a family and the shop.
Ron, who is an ordained minister, hosts a huge barbeque meal each year for those people whose property has been towed by Lizard Lick. But don’t let his gentle side fool you, he doesn’t put up with any flak for his career of choice.
Lizard Lick started as one guy and a truck in 1998 and it has transformed into a fleet of 20 trucks and 15 staff, with some tough-as-nails owners at the helm.
The show airs at 10 p.m. on Monday nights on truTV. Clips are available for viewing at truTV.com. It may not be entirely real, but for millions of viewers it’s entirely entertaining.