Sorry American Pickers, but I have found someone else. I will still catch you in reruns but I will no longer clear my Monday night schedule for you. My new love is someone from your own network: Storage Wars.
My wife and I have been watching this show like addicts, viewing their 3-hour blocks over the last few weeks and catching up on the first season. The second season begins tomorrow night and we will be firmly planted on the couch, waiting to see the treasures our pals, Darrel, Jarrod, Brandi, Barry, and Dave (yeeeeeeeup!) will find.
The premise of the show is that the “stars” attend storage lien auctions and bid on the contents of lockers that have been abandoned. At these auctions, you aren’t allowed to look through the boxes, and you can’t even enter the storage unit. You have a few minutes to view the contents and gamble on what’s hidden in the boxes. And gambling is exactly what it is — sometimes you win, but usually you lose.
I’ve attended storage lien auctions and I can tell you that most of the lockers are filled with mattresses, rakes, tires, and trash. It’s a little dubious to think that the treasures found in every episode are genuine, but suspend disbelief for a half hour and enjoy it for what it is.
There are five “stars” on Storage Wars and their different personalities and objectives make the show so enjoyable. Mostly, they are combative and nasty, but it does make for fun TV. Here’s my take on each of them:
Darrell has been buying storage auctions for years and his biggest score was a locker full of vintage comic books that he sold for $150,000, but in today’s market it would have been millions. He is a dead ringer for the Leon character in Blade Runner. Darrel is always looking for the “wow factor” and has it in for Dave, which makes for some intense auctions, and sometimes they almost come to blows. Darrel is kind of the lovable sad sack you want to win, and sometimes he wins big.
Dave is a class-A jerk when it comes to the auctions, but he is a savvy businessman and I respect him for that. If I was ever at an auction and heard his annoying “yeeeeeeeeup,” I would want to pop him in the nose, but the man knows what he’s doing and he does it very well. He loves to drive up the bids so the others have to pay more than they wanted to spend. This tactic makes their wallets much lighter for the next auction, where Dave swoops in and scores. He owns an upscale consignment shop and has a crew that helps him load and sort through all the goods. Dave knows more than everyone else combined about the value of items, and if I was in the business, Dave would be my idol.
Jarrod and Brandi are a young couple who own a thrift store, and they look for storage units that have items they can sell. These two are fairly new to the auction scene and always bid more than they originally planned. Jarrod lets his emotions rule his bidding, which is a recipe for disaster, but because this is Hollywood, everything turns out okay in the end. Brandi likes her designer sunglasses and is always giving Jarrod a hard time, but usually supports him and his ridiculous bids. Brandi is the only female presence on the show, and according to my wife, is the only one with any sense. Probably true.
Barry is the most entertaining character on the show. He channels Jack Nicholson and attends the auctions for fun. He’s a collector and has some deep pockets, so when he buys a storage unit, all he’s doing is gambling and hoping there is one item that will be worth the money he invested. He goes to the auctions for amusement, while the others are in it for their livelihood, which makes it interesting and fun to watch. Barry is the one character I would like to have over for dinner (but I would definitely keep him away from my wife).
The new season starts tomorrow night on A&E and if you like American Pickers and Pawn Stars, you’re probably going to like this. If you haven’t seen Storage Wars yet, check it out and let me know what you think. Until then, I’ ll leave you with this…