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Fandom on Display in Trio's 'Parking Lot'

Trio will take a peek at the obsessive world of "fandom" with its new series Parking Lot. The show, expanding on the 1986 short film Heavy Metal Parking Lot— which tried to gain insights into the mindset of Judas Priest devotees — interviews fans at diverse events from a Cher concert to a wrestling match.

The Trio series betters the original film primarily through its selection of fans to interview. The original documentary-style film consists mainly of 15 minutes of drunken teenagers yelling, "Priest rules."

Parking Lot, on the other hand, interviews mostly sober — and almost always overzealous — fans, outside of each venue. Because of that, the show reveals more of the nature of the fan and the lengths to which people will travel and go to monetarily to see their favorite performers.

The series also reaches beyond concerts to stops at sci-fi conventions, wrestling matches and sporting events, showing the communal aspects of fandom. In the first episode, after checking out Cher and Motorhead concerts, the cameras traveled to Stony Brook, N.Y., to document the eccentricities of the sci-fi crowd, where many of the convention-goers show up in full costume.

The second episode highlights grappling fans and future shows promise a surfer gathering, a tattoo convention and a Phish concert, with the band's army of followers reminiscent of "Deadheads," the rather large crop of itinerant revelers who followed the Grateful Dead on the road.

Like any good sociologist, Parking Lot's
interviewers are never seen and the questions are only rarely heard, letting fans relate their experiences in their own words. One jarring aspect of the show is the fact that it does not play the music of the artists whose fans it interviews. Certainly, one expects Yanni music to be played during a segment about the man. Instead, we hear only generic sounds.

That audio flaw aside, Parking Lot is worth a look.

Parking Lot
debuted on Trio last night at 9 p.m. followed by Heavy Metal Parking Lot. New episodes are set to appear on the network at 9 p.m. each night this week.