Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Watch This Show - Storage Wars

No, seriously.  This show is incredibly entertaining!

I discovered Storage Wars by, well not so much by accident but out of "there's-nothing-else-on" syndrome.  Mind you, I was at my dad's place in Florida, a home which has very basic cable access with no channels cut out (i.e. no "favorites" lineup in place, just every freakin' channel you have to cycle through).  So when I visit, it really is just a matter of flipping channel to channel through a whole bunch of muck.

So one night I just got fed up and stopped on A&E and this show was on.  It only took minutes and I was absolutely hooked!  Yes, it's by all standards a reality show, but I consider it a competition show - the exception to my rule about watching so-called reality programming.  It has a great cast of characters, the segments leading up to commercial breaks hold you in suspense, and it's a glimpse into a world I didn't really know existed but am now fascinated by - the world of storage container auctions (they make it look SO easy but I know I would be so out of my league if I tried to go to one).

Here's the premise:  when storage units are abandoned, the treasures within are put up for auction.  In each episode, the cast - Dave, aka. "The Mogul," Darrell, aka "The Gambler," Barry, aka "The Collector," and Jarrod (with wife Brandi), aka "The Young Gun" - trash talk each other and lay out their plan for getting lockers that day ... how much they'll spend, who they'll try to outbid, etc.  The auction is fast and furious (a riot is the inevitable "Yuuuuuuuup!" bidding style by Dave) and I can never predict how exactly they determine what to bid and when.  All I know is they get five minutes to look at each locker (they're not allowed to go in or open any boxes) and have to judge from there whether to go for it.Obviously these people make a living doing this so they know what to look for and can spot hidden gems at just a glance. 

The real fun then comes when each buyer starts going through their purchased lockers.  They talk about what they find valuable, what they think they can resell, and what they deem as junk, and a running tally is posted on screen to keep track of what they bought the locker for and what they rack up.  Before the first commercial break, they usually leave you with someone finding a possible windfall (a mini-cliffhanger, if you will). 

The next part of the episode has each buyer taking one item off to get it appraised or evaluated by an expert they know.  From vases to antiques to one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, you find yourself wondering along with the buyers what they could be worth and, more importantly, if they'll make their money back/make a profit. Of course the reveal of the value is done with the standard pause-for-dramatic-tension (guess it should be dubbed "the Ryan Seacrest), but (dammit) it works.

The show then ends with a tally of each buyer's take for the day, whether they won or lost and by how much.

Again, this is a show I never would have thought myself to watch, but it's really fascinating and addictive.  I think I watched six or seven in a row that first night and there were moments I actually laughed out loud and others where I went "no way!"  Like I said ... hooked. 

Bottom line:  Get sold on this gem of a program.

Storage Wars airs on A&E.  Check local listings.

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