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I'm not exactly a big fan of reality television, but every now and then, I stumble across a series that actually manages to both intrigue and entertain me. One of those shows is A&E's Jacked: Auto Theft Task Force, which follows a specialized New Jersey police unit (also known as the Wolf Pack) as it tracks down stolen cars, keeps an eye on traffic, and tries to catch a multitude of criminals engaged in all kinds of car theft. The series' first season is now available on DVD, and here's what this two-disc set has to offer:
Jacked is not necessarily the most spectacular cop show on television, but its strong focus on a small unit that primarily deals with car theft eventually sets it apart from others. Each episode follows ATTF members as they patrol the streets at night and look for stolen vehicles or potential car thieves. Whether they run tags, respond to alerts of stolen cars, follow suspects undetected before blocking them in, or even engage in dangerous pursuits on foot, the tasks these highly trained officers engage in on a daily basis are quite numerous.
Most of the time, everything goes rather smoothly, and the ATTF retrieves stolen cars and catches the bad guys without major incidents, but there are times when the job can get really dangerous. As some of the officers point out, stolen cars are often used in more serious crimes, and in those cases the ATTF must use extra caution during its attempts to block vehicles and arrest suspects. Some of the thirteen episodes on this set offer viewers a pretty good picture of all the challenges the unit occasionally deals with, and most of these incidents turn out to be quite intense. In one episode, for instance, they follow a suspect who merges onto a busy highway and ditches a stolen car on the shoulder. In another situation, they respond to an incident involving multiple shootings.
Jacked is an interesting, fast-paced show offering viewers an informative insight into the work of a special unit that serves its community by cracking down on car thefts and trying to discourage people from engaging in criminal activities. Besides capturing the true nature of the officers' job, the series also does a great job focusing on the strong unity of the task force and how well these men work together as a team. It's pretty obvious these guys all love what they're doing. Their expertise and willingness to explain strategies and demonstrate high-tech gadgets contribute to the success of the show.
Even though tracking stolen cars plays a major role in each episode, the show's producers made sure to include enough variety by having unit members such as Tony Del Duca, O.C. Gathright, or John Rice (among others) occasionally describe how exactly they block off cars and use all their gear to locate stolen vehicles. Whether they use a state-of-the-art license plate reader to check cars, a high-tech decoy car to capture potential thieves, or even a helicopter with a heat-seeking camera to facilitate high-speed pursuits, the amount of tricks and equipment the ATTF has at its disposal is impressive.
Besides the 13 exciting episodes of the First Season, this two-disc set includes four featurettes which provide a brief behind-the-scenes look at the ATTF. "Getting to Know the ATTF" is a 10-minute piece featuring interviews with some of the unit's members, who briefly discuss what they like about their job and what it's like to work mostly at night. "High Tech ATTF" sums up all the cool gadgets the officers use when they are patrolling the streets. It's a little repetitive because most of this is already covered in the episodes, but it also briefly focuses on how the team's trucks and SUVs are converted into high-tech police vehicles. The bonus section also includes "All in a Day's Work," which touches on several aspects of the group's job, including what it's like to work in bad weather conditions. Wrapping up the special features is "The Thieves," an insightful 14-minute piece during which ATTF officers discuss what thieves are after and how they exactly operate.
From a technical point of view, the Jacked: Auto Theft Task Force: Season One DVD features a clean and sharp enough video transfer that boasts a solid image quality for a TV show shot mostly at night. The audio transfer works just as well.
When I first started watching Jacked: Auto Theft Task Force, I found it really hard to stop. Most of the show's 13 episodes offer vibrant, action-packed proof that reality TV can indeed be quite intriguing at times. If you enjoy reality TV, this is definitely a must-see.
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