Parking Wars

TV review by
Scout Davidson, Common Sense Media
Parking Wars TV Poster Image
Reality show about parking is OK for teens but not exciting.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Parking authorities behave properly, if a little arrogantly. Ticketed drivers, however, are often upset at being ticketed and respond accordingly.


Generally nothing more than threats -- but even those could be upsetting for younger viewers.


It's mostly bleeped out, but it's also not too hard to predict the kind of language you might hear from someone whose car has just been towed away.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Night scenes can involve drivers who've been drinking, something that's never portrayed in a positive light.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids under driving age might be bored by this show ... unless they're so far under that they're still fascinated by tow trucks and three-wheeled metermaid vehicles. There's not too much in the way of objectionable content, though some language gets bleeped, heated exchanges sometimes occur, and night scenes do sometimes show drivers who've been drinking. Still, this is no COPS.

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What's the story?

PARKING WARS follows the exploits of parking authorities in cities like Philadelphia and Detroit as they go about ensuring that cars are following all the right rules and regulations. Ticketed drivers are caught on tape acting defiant, rude, or just plain oblivious, and viewers learn just how hard it is to hold one of America's most hated jobs.

Is it any good?

Parking Wars isn't exactly a terrible show, but it's hard to love a program that celebrates the folks who give out parking tickets. Viewers can either root for the drivers -- who frequently display pretty bad behavior in the face of getting a ticket (or worse, having their car towed away) -- or the ticketers and tow-truck drivers, who often act like they're outraged over why people could possibly be upset with them just for doing their jobs. Which, on the face of it, is accurate; still, it's tough to empathize with a civil servant behind bulletproof glass who crankily forces a customer to wait in line after line and then makes sarcastic cracks to the camera about what a pain those customers can be.

Although the show is somewhat tedious -- especially for adults who've experienced this kind of thing in real life -- and no one on either side really comes out smelling like a rose, teens who are just getting ready to become drivers might learn some valuable lessons about the real world from watching.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why producers decided to make a reality show about parking. Is it as interesting as other behind-the-scenes reality shows? Why or why not? Do you think it's trying to send any specific messages? Families can also discuss why cities need to enforce parking laws. Why is it important for citizens to pay attention to the rules? How is this similar to following rules at school?

TV details

  • Premiere date: January 8, 2008
  • Network: A&E
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: DVD
  • Last updated: October 6, 2020

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