Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Remember, you heard it here first.

I came across this review on the internet so I thought I would post it here. I hate to advertise for the History Channel but I have to admit, I do learn something everytime I watch this show.

Why We Watch: 'Pawn Stars'

When it comes to reality television, the History Channel rarely comes to mind. The channel typically focuses on the major events of World War II, the Kennedy Assassination and top Revolutionary War figures. But on Monday nights at 10PM ET, it's taken over by a reality juggernaut that offers the most entertainment and educational value of any show on television: 'Pawn Stars.'

If you're not watching Pawn Stars, you're missing out. The show profiles Rick Harrison; his father, The Old Man; and his son, Corey, as cameras follow them around their Gold And Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. Some humor is thrown in with the help of Chumlee, Corey's best friend who helps manage the increasingly popular pawn shop.

The premise of the show is simple: people come in to potentially sell the Harrison men antiques, historical artifacts or some of the craziest products you've ever seen. Rick usually gives a history lesson, then haggles with the owner to get the best price he can for the products. The goal, as with any business, is to generate as big of a profit as possible.

But Pawn Stars isn't like any other History Channel show. Like 'American Pickers,' another great show on the channel, Pawn Stars delivers entertainment value that TV viewers simply won't find so easily elsewhere.

There is just so much to like about 'Pawn Stars'; here's you should start watching it:

1. It's more fun than history. Although some people can't get into history and all that surrounds it, 'Pawn Stars' is so much more than a history lesson. Yes, there are lessons taught each week, but they're done in a much different way. Unlike so many other History Channel shows, viewers aren't forced to watch reenactments or listen to an actor pretend to be someone from the past. 'Pawn Stars' has the real history in the shop, Rick talks about it a little and the haggling begins. It's more fun, and it sheds some light on what all this old stuff is really worth without getting bogged down in the historical significance of it.

2. The variety of stuff is incredible. If you're turned off by 'Pawn Stars' because you're concerned that it will be like 'Antiques Roadshow' and highlight old chairs, think again. The show has had folks try to sell everything from a medal worn around the time George Washington died to receipts signed by Andrew Jackson for his troops' guns. For those that aren't so keen on history, Rick tends to buy all kinds of goodies, like movie scripts, signed baseballs and even planes and boats. As Rick says time and again, if it's a profitable product, he'll buy it, no matter what it is. Perhaps that's why his shop sells everything from championship boxing belts to great pieces of art. No matter what you bring into the shop, Rick will consider buying it.

3. The banter makes the show. A key component in the success of 'Pawn Stars' revolves around the dynamic of the show's characters. The shop was founded by Rick and his father, the Old Man, more than 20 years ago. Since then, Rick's son Corey has been groomed to take over the business after his father and grandfather finally retire. Along the way, the show delves into the generational differences between the three Harrisons and does a fine job of making the Old Man a caricature of himself. He's old, crotchety and doesn't take guff from his family. Rick is a fun-loving, nice guy that laughs more than any other person on television. And Corey, the self-assured, all-knowing son of two pawn shop titans, typically learns a lesson or two about life in each episode. All the while, they're supported by the supposedly dim-witted Chumlee who provides some of the best one-liners of any show on TV.

'Pawn Stars' is so much more than a history show. Sure, there is a hefty heaping of history thrown in, but it's supported by some of the best comedy and entertainment on television. And if you're missing out because you don't typically surf to the History Channel, the time has come to click over.

Yes, 'Pawn Stars' really is that good.

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