Maybe you caught the premiere episode of the new AMC series “Small Town Security” the other night, as it debuted directly after “Breaking Bad”? If not, you missed one hell of a crazypants show. The series chronicles the lives of several of the folks working at JJK Security, a small security firm in Northern Georgia. So far, it sounds like every other annoying reality TV show on AMC or TLC or the Discovery Network. But actually? This series is filled to the brim with oddities and surprises. After the jump, we give you 10 reasons why “Small Town Security” should be a required part of your Sunday night lineup, handcuffs and all. (And please, watch the illuminating clip, too!)
1. The show stars a woman named Joan Koplan, who is absolutely batcrackers, in the best way.
2. Joan Koplan released a record when she was a teenager, under the name Tiger Joanie Scott. She always wanted to be famous, and claims that her career as a film star was cut short after she refused to do a lesbian role in the camp classic “Myra Breckinridge.”
3. When movie fame didn’t come, Joan took to the cable access airwaves. She hosts a cable access TV show called “The Joan Koplan Forum” where she discusses the topics of the day. She’s previously gotten in trouble with the station head for discussing vaginas on camera and swearing too much.
4. She loves the phrase “speecy(?) spicy meatball” to describe controversial things.
5. She’s obsessed with her dog Lambchop, a ratty little chihuahua she carries around everywhere.
6. She is terrible at doing her own makeup and is regularly featured with lipstick on her teeth and smudged eyeliner.
7. Joan has a weiiiiiiiird relationship with her deputy Dennis Scott. Though Joan is married, Scott seems almost like a weird S&M slave for her. He lights her cigars, cooks for her and calls her “Chief.” She eats with him and not her husband.
8. Oh, and about Joan’s husband Irwin: He’s a hoarder who wears a comically mismatched toupee.
9. Dennis Scott has a fascinating backstory: He used to be a back-to-the-land separatist who moved his whole family to Montana to escape the impending Y2K disaster. They built a bomb shelter and collected weapons and lived off the land. And had three kids. When the impending Y2K doom never happened, he became disillusioned and moved back to society.
10. Oh, and Dennis used to be Denise. So Dennis is actually the mother of three kids. In a clip from Joan Coplan’s cable access show, Dennis very eloquently describes how making the F-to-M transition “wasn’t a choice.” In a heartwarming scene, Joan asks him how he feels to have realized the transition in its entirety and he sweetly says, “Free.”