"Detroit Rubber" seems like a show that should be on regular TV and not just YouTube's LOUD channel, but that's where it is right now. It chronicles the lives of the guys who run the Burn Rubber shoe boutique in Royal Oak, Mich., just outside of Detroit. If you suspected that this was the dopest spot to get the freshest kicks in greater Motown, you ain't trippin' . And your intuition was rewarded when Detroit Tigers slugger Prince Fielder and family walked into the joint in Episode 1.
Nice, right? However, conflict happens when Fielder makes a request — for a pair of ultra-rare Air Jordan version "4.5" retro sneakers (size 13) — that were made in 2005 exclusively for Eminem's entourage. (Yes, these blueberry beauties are a real thing, for those of you not obsessed with gym shoes.) Perhaps 50 pair of these Jordans were manufactured, and the shoes can cost up to $10,000 on the secondary market if you really get carried away.
And Fielder said he needed to have them in 12 hours, because he was leaving for the World Series and he needed new shoes. Hey, it's the World Series. It's like a best-of-seven Academy Awards Red Carpet out there.
Still, store owners Rick Williams and Roland Coit doubted they could fill the order.
But as luck (or story editing) would have it, one of the show's executive producers just happens to be none other than Marshall Mathers, AKA Slim Shady, AKA Eminem. Do you think Em came through? Do you think his manager, Paul Rosenberg, happened to have a pair of the shoes that were size 13? And did Fielder really pay for the shoes with autographed memorabilia? Ah, what's a little trading among millionaires?
Truthfully, this plot contrivance switch — the show's executive producer saving the say — seemed a little like cheating. But there's another way you could take it. If I could put on my Bill Simmons pop culture cap (or shoes) for a moment: Remember in "Wall Street" when Bud Fox impressed Gordon Gekko with that first stock tip about the airline, which he knew about only because Fox's dad worked for the airline? Yeah, eventually Fox had to come up with other ways to feed Gekko.
There's a lot of reality TV programs going around these days. "Big Rich Stupid" and "Breathing Channel's Extreme Cajun Watch Repair" are two such examples, probably, of the kind of programming you'll see. The epidemic is so acute, TV simply cannot handle broadcasting all of the content available. So some ideas get relegated to the internet, apparently waiting for a cancelation and a spot in a network lineup. Like shelter animals.
"Detroit Rubber" did well in its first episode because of famous names and inside information. But the chemistry between Williams and Coit is good, and Detroit, even suburban Detroit, is a promising backdrop for a reality show. This should work. Just remember what Gekko said at the end of the meeting in "Wall Street":
Bud Fox, I look at a hundred deals a day. I choose one.
Aw, heck, with the DVR, even that's not true anymore. Except it's harder to DVR "Burn Rubber" because it's not on TV. Yet.
Big BLS H/N: Huffington Post (Huntington Post)
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