My Review of Scrappers: Brooklyn’s Jersey Shore

5 Aug

August 5, 2010

Spike TV debuted their new reality show the other day and it really hit home.

My home.

Scrappers follows a bunch of Earthy guys who tear metal out of abandoned buildings and sell it junkyards. Sound exciting? Well, it was to me. You see, I live in the area they filmed in.

I had s sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach from almost the very first shot. One of the “scrappers” was standing on a rooftop, and behind him was the building where I worked for nine years and the gas station where I filled up a few days ago.

After that it was like a drinking game- take a drink when you see someplace in your neighborhood. Take a drink when you recognize some homes in the background. Take a drink when you see some stores you pass all the time. Take a drink when the guys stop in at a bar just 2 minutes from your house. Had I been drinking, and I wish I was, I would have been wasted ten minutes in.

That would have made the show more bearable.

Scrappers follows a couple of “crews,” guys who toss scrap metal into the back of their vans and sell them for a few bucks at a scrap yard. Know the old expression “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”? On this show it is literally true. They dig through construction sites and abandoned homes to pick out brass fittings and aluminum.

The show makes no bones about how it wants to stereotype these guys. They are all Italian, their businesses are called “crews” and the show’s theme music is Dean Martin’s “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head.”

Hmm. Italians. Crews. Rat Pack music. Do the math.

The Scrappers are not presented in the best light, though I am not sure what the best light could possibly be.  For example, one “crew” has a guy who sleeps late everyday and seems to have the same number of brain cells as Grandpa has teeth. He also seems to have trouble doing basic things, like talking and walking. He and his partner bicker like an old married couple.  Another crew has trouble getting a refrigerator out of an apartment. “Mamaluke!” the owner keeps yelling, and of course he was wearing his wife-beater undershirt. I was waiting for him to offer them some sausage and peppers.

Three guys from a scrap metal crew couldn’t get the fridge down the stairs, despite the fact that it obviously fit or how could it get up there to begin with? They took the doors off, they took the grill off the back, they ripped it apart, one scrapper who wants to be in MMA even punched and beat up the fridge, and still they couldn’t get it down the stairs. Why not? It was obvious to me- there were four guys already on the narrow staircase- there was no room for the unit! Get three of those guys out of there and you’ll get it done!

Another crew couldn’t close the door of their van because the scrap was too big.

A member of the same crew wouldn’t take a mother-load of free scrap because the guy giving it to them was wearing a tie.

But hands down, the lowest of the low, the “Situation” and “J-WWOW” of Scrappers, are these guys, Dino and Mimmo.

Would you allow these guys to touch your junk?

These are the guys called in when the better guys need somebody to do their grunt work. Between then they have the business sense of a worm. They were paid $100 to haul away some old bricks. They could not sell the bricks and had to take them to a junkyard, where they paid $160 to dump them. A full day’s work, net profit: a loss of $60.

The way Jersey Shore proved to the world that every stereotype about the Jersey shore was true, I’m afraid Scrappers will do just that for Brooklyn. Soon everyone will believe that Brooklyn is full of guys like the scrappers, who can’t find an address around the corner and have trouble filling buckets with bricks. Do I know guys like the scarp crews? Sure. I also know doctors and lawyers. Even bloggers, heaven help me.

I also know guys like Dino and Mimmo, heaven help me.

I prayed all night that this show gets cancelled. Fast.

But then I saw this:

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz declares August 2nd Scrappers Day.

That man may have just lost my vote.

13 Responses to “My Review of Scrappers: Brooklyn’s Jersey Shore”

  1. Supermonge August 6, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    I had real life Drama with one of the “Stars” of this show a few months ago… He actually, Stereotypically got Angry with me for just Talking to his Girlfriend…True Story…The whole thing was too hilarious for me to actually take seriously…HA! This whole deal with him actually being on a reality show is like Bizarro Universe to me.


    • bmj2k August 6, 2010 at 11:41 am #

      Was it Noot? It couldn’t have been Darren? Dino?
      Who cares, these guys are interchangeable.


      • Supermonge August 6, 2010 at 11:49 am #

        It was the dumb stocky one that overindulges in his Brooklyn Accent…if that Narrows it down at all…


        • bmj2k August 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

          Oh sure, the one in the torn t-shirt with the beat up van.


  2. Thomas Stazyk August 7, 2010 at 2:06 am #

    When will they stop making shows like this?


    • TexasTrailerParkTrash August 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

      Probably after a nuclear war destroys all civilization except for cockroaches and the Salahis….and then, they’ll be pitching that show to Bravo.


  3. Matthew August 21, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

    Uhm. It is only the most awesome reality show on television!!! No contrived family drama, just a pure reality show – almost a documentary, filming the life of charming, hardworking Americans! There is so much dignity in that! As an Italian-American I say God Bless them all! But my favorite is Mimmo.


    • bmj2k August 22, 2010 at 12:12 am #

      Thanks for stopping by Matthew.

      I’m glad you enjoy the show. I am certainly not going to argue someone’s likes and dislikes, and I’m glad you enjoy it. Even as someone who doesn’t, I admit it is entertaining.

      However, I live in their neighborhood, eat where they eat, know who they know. You say it is not contrived? It is HEAVILY contrived and SEVERELY edited. It is far from a documentary.

      Dino and Mimmo? More than anyone else they play and act for the cameras.

      Yes they work hard, and yes there is dignity in that, but the producers show them in the worst possible light. Scrappers, the show, is an insult to Brooklyn.


  4. k72 September 20, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    This show is awesome! It’s probably making Thomas Edison turn in his grave, but I think you’re being a little bit of a snob. Watching this show makes me want to visit Brooklyn! It’s just so nice to see such warm-hearted, down-to-earth Americans trying to make an honest living. P.S. Loved the part where Dino stopped everything he was doing to go snuggle a dog that was passing by. He even invited it out for dinner! I’m not sure I’d call that contrived.


    • bmj2k September 20, 2010 at 12:28 am #

      Glad you like the show, and no, it is not all bad, but I think I see it through a very different light as I live in the same area and go to the same places. As far as Dino goes, I think the fact that he invited the dog out for dinner speaks for itself.


  5. k72 September 20, 2010 at 12:48 am #

    Really? I think it speaks pure honesty. Hate isn’t good for the soul. xxx


  6. Daniel September 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Well.. I got to be honest I thought the show was hilarious. I am a Canadian from a small steel city called Hamilton. I been doing scrapping on the side every blue moon since I was a kid, and I can relate to the hands on grunt work they are doing.

    I think the fact that these guys play every Goodfellaz stereotype to a T makes it hilarious. Like these guys act, look and talk so stupid its funny.. Its entertainment.

    You think people want to sit down and watch regular every day normal people scrap metal? Hell no, we want to see colourful people acting and doing funny shit… What the hell is wrong with you people? Its funny.. its entertainment.


    • bmj2k September 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

      I agree. It is funny, it is entertaining. It also makes everyone in the borough look like a jerk. Imagine if they filmed a show in Hamilton and it portrayed all of you as stereotypical stupid steel mill grunts with brains the size of walnuts. It is like Jersey Shore is funny to everyone but people who actually live there, Scrappers is funny to everyone except the people who live in Brooklyn.

      These guys are funny, they work hard, they make good TV, they are also pretty stupid. They are not the pride of Bensonhurst. The part of Brooklyn they (and I) live in also has a high number of doctor’s offices and is one of the areas of Brooklyn with the highest average income. Can’t tell that from Scrappers. It makes us look like all pizzerias and vacant lots.


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