Quick Take: Pawn Stars, "The Mile High Club" and "Patriot Games"
Pawn Stars celebrates its fifth season premiere with two new episodes on the History Channel.
Review: Pawn Stars, "The Mile High Club/Patriot Games"
(S0501 & S0502) As I recently mentioned in my review of the History Channel's new show, Real Deal, I'm not a huge fan of auction/pawn shop-based television programming. Pawn Stars, the granddaddy of all pawn shop shows, is no exception. I recognize that I'm probably in the minority with my negative opinion of the program given the fact that Pawn Stars is one of the highest rated shows on cable. But I just don't get the appeal.
Am I the only one that finds pawn shops extraordinarily depressing? A certain baseline level of desperation is pretty much a prerequisite for a seller to even step foot into a pawn shop. Inherently, the sellers know that they aren't going to get anything close to fair market value for whatever priceless family heirloom or beloved collectible they happen to be trying to hock. And yet it doesn't matter. Their circumstances are so dire that they are willing to accept pennies on the dollar for Nana's antique wedding ring or Pop-Pop's Purple Heart from World War II.
When you take a moment to think about it, the clientele featured on Pawn Stars becomes particularly pitiful. The show, which documents the goings on at Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, is set in Las Vegas. So you just know that a healthy chunk of the Sin City-ites coming into the shop is desperate for money to pay off gambling debts or score their next fix.
I kind of wish a show would simply embrace the sketchy nature of the pawn industry. Instead of focusing on the significance of items that are bought and sold, I'd like to see a show that follows the sellers when the leave the pawn shop. I want to know what these folks are doing with the money that Rick or Corey or Chumlee reluctantly fork over. I imagine this hypothetical show closely resembling the first half of an episode of A&E's Intervention. The camera crew would follow a desperate seller, now flush with cash, out of Gold & Silver Pawn Shop and straight to the nearest dope spot or blackjack table. The seller parties or gambles the night away and when the cash is gone, he finds himself back at the pawn shop trying to sell his neighbor’s toaster oven.
I know I've allowed this review to drift a bit off course, let me reign it back in. Last night, the History Channel premiered the fifth season of Pawn Stars with two new episodes: "The Mile High Club" and "Patriot Games." In the first episode of the evening, "The Mile High Club," sellers attempt to pawn treasures such as an autographed Babe Ruth baseball glove and an antique tanning lamp. The most interesting item for sale in the second episode, "Patriot Games," is a 2004 Super Bowl ring belonging to former New England Patriot wide-out Ricky Bryant. The practice squad player is less known for his play on the field than for a bizarre 2008 incident involving a gun, a paper-boy, and a whole lot of alcohol. One can only imagine the trouble Bryant has gotten himself into now that would lead him to pawn his Super Bowl ring – which is precisely why my new show would be so fascinating.