DVD Box Set Review: Pawn Stars – Season One

Pawn Stars - Season OneCast: Richard Harrison, Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison, Chumlee, Peaches
Rating: N/a
Studio: History Channel

Release Info:
Original Air Dates: July 19, 2009 – Present
DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010
Online Availability: Amazon for $17.49

The best part of my job is when I receive something that I have never heard of and it ends up being one of my favorite things. This happens occasionally with product reviews, but it is rare that it occurs with movies and television shows. However, it did happen with Pawn Stars. When the show was offered to me for review, I decided to get it, thinking it would be entertaining and it would kill some time. I didn’t think I would become addicted to it after one episode, but that’s just what happened. Even though I am not a fan of reality television, there is just something about this show that I enjoy. In fact, once I finished watching these DVDs, I promptly began watching season two of Pawn Stars which is currently airing on The History Channel.

Dom hates reality television more than I do, so I thought it would be fun to get him to watch at least one episode with me. Come to find out, he enjoys the show much more than I thought he would. He actually got mad when he thought I was going to watch more of the show without him. He made me wait, so that he could watch the rest of the episodes with me. I think this is the first reality show, minus something like American Idol where that has happened. Even with other reality shows that I adore, like Operation Repo, he has me watch them alone because he likes them even less than I do. Apparently, Pawn Stars is the exception to that rule.

The show has a relatively simple format. Everything takes place in Las Vegas at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop. Rick and his dad, “The Old Man” own the shop together, though Rick seems to be the main guy in charge while the Old Man is more behind the scenes. These two guys are training Rick’s son, Corey, “Big Hoss” to run the show when Rick is ready to retire. Big Hoss is Chumlee’s boss and then there is Peaches, though some people wonder why she has a job since she rarely, if ever, shows up on time. The main players are the three Harrison men and Chumlee with a selection of lively and interesting patrons looking to pawn and sell their goods. The format works and the show has gained thousands of fans as a result.

The Pawn Stars Episode List
The first season of Pawn Stars sets the stage for the way things work at the Gold and Silver pawn shop in Vegas. The shop holds its share of hard to find goodies and they make a decent amount of money as a result. Sure, they have the usual offerings you can find in any pawn shop. They have watches, jewelry, and music equipment. They also carry fine art, gold records, sports memorabilia, and war memorabilia. Along with this there is a huge selection of guns, other weapons, and more expensive items like classic cars, old fashioned Coke machines, and the occasional boat and/or airplane.

The first season contains fourteen episodes that last between 20-25 minutes. If anything, these episodes go too fast. The time literally flies as you watch these episodes.

“Boom or Bust” – Rick has his eye on a Civil War cannon that could be worth upwards of $40,000. Other hot items include some Roman armor (or not so hot as the case may be) and a huge table saw that will take more than a couple men to move.

“Confederate Conundrum” – A guitar signed by Chuck Berry comes in and the guy trying to sell it is shock when he finds out how little his guitar and the attached signature are worth. An antique cash register and a Civil War saber that may or may not be real also come in.

“Sink or Sell” – Big Hoss buys a Chris-Craft boat despite the fact that Rick hates boats and wants nothing to do with the shop owning one. Big Hoss could end up in tons of trouble as a result if the boat ends up costing the shop money. A loaded Colt also comes in for sale.

“Knights in Fake Armor?” – Chumlee gets the distinguished duty to find out if an 1884 Trapdoor rifle will fire like it should. An old Pac-Man game comes into the shop and needs restoration, too. The big item, a medieval jousting helmet could cost upwards of $30,000 if it is real, unfortunately a bolt makes the deal seem shady.

“Gangsters & Guitars” – A 1962 Continental comes into the shop and it’s got suicide doors! The only thing that can stop Rick from picking up this car is the price. Some Confederate money comes in, as well as a 1942 Gibson guitar that needs to be checked for authenticity.

“Damn Yankees” – A 1951 World Series baseball is brought into the shop and it was signed by the Yankees. Naturally, the signatures need to be verified before a price can be negotiated. A West Point jacket that was worn by a famous local general is also brought in.

“Brothels & Busses” – It’s trade time in the shop when a man brings in a 1750 Blunderbuss and trades it for an engagement ring. The most interesting attempted sale comes from a guy bringing in an ejection seat. A Schwinn bicycle is also featured.

“Time Machines” – A 1950s Coke machine comes into the store needing plenty of restoration. This is followed by an old radio and a flintlock pistol from the 18th century.

“Rope a Dope” – The guys try to make a deal on a 1929 Ford Coupe, but the real interesting sale comes from a calf-roping machine that Chumlee ends up riding. Rick puts Peaches on the graveyard shift with Chumlee for constantly being late. After one night she swears that she won’t be late again, though no one believes her!

“Rick’s Big Bet” – A gas pump is brought in and purchased that needs quite a bit of work done to it to make it look like new. Big Hoss is unable to recognize a Faberge crystal glass so he ends up having to take a quiz about various items in the shop. If he cannot identify something he will be forced to work graveyard.

“John Hancock’s Hancock” – A document with multiple signatures from John Hancock is brought in and Rick looks to make sure the signatures are authentic on this exciting item. An Indiana Jones bullwhip is brought in, but there is a question as to how close the whip ever made it to Harrison Ford’s hand.

“Plane Crazy” – Rick gets angry at Chumlee when he buys fake art. A map of Colonial Boston is examined and the guys might have a chance to purchase an airplane for the first time.

“Peaches & Pinups” – The big items brought in for this episode include a wooden crossbow and a selection of old adult magazines.

“Old Man’s Gamble” – A 1979 KISS pinball machine is checked out as a potential buy for the shop. Chumlee looks to raise money for a 1982 Harley shovelhead.

Storyline/Plot: [rating:4.5]
Replayability: [rating:4.5]

Audio/Visual:
Viewers will be pleased to know that the DVDs for Pawn Stars come out looking identical to what you would normally see on your television. The picture is clear, the colors are strong, and things look good. I did not notice any compression errors, dirt, noise, or any artifacts. With this being a show that is currently airing you should be able to expect a good picture and that’s what you get. Sure, it doesn’t stand out, but for reality television it looks just fine. Regular viewers will be satisfied with what they see.

Much like the video, there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to the audio. Things sound as standard as they get in this Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track. The music is catchy when it plays, the sound effects are effective, and the dialogue is always easy to hear. Sure, it’s not going to blow your surround sound up, but I don’t know many standard television shows that will.

Visual: [rating:4]
Audio: [rating:4]

Bonus Features:
There are only three featurettes that have been included with this box set of Pawn Stars. That being said, they are all pretty entertaining and in most cases this is a lot more than you will receive on similar box sets, so I don’t see much worth complaining about. The featurettes are listed below.

“Meet the Pawn Stars” – This is pretty self-explanatory. It includes biographies of the four main people that are involved in the show.

“Real or Fake” – Again, this sounds pretty easy to figure out, right? It’s all about the guys offering tips on how to spot the real items from the fake ones.

The only other thing on here is some additional footage of moments and transactions not featured on the show. All in all, not too bad for a set of bonuses. These are simple, to the point, and worth watching.

Bonus Features: [rating:4]

Bottom Line:
I am not a big fan of the standard reality television show, but I have to admit, there is just something about Pawn Stars that I absolutely love! If you haven’t seen this show you should check it out. Season two is currently airing and it’s just as fun and interesting as the first season, if not more. I am glad to own this box set and was pleasantly surprised that I liked this show as much as I do. All it took was one episode to make me a fan. If you like reality shows then I am sure you’ll enjoy this. Even if you don’t, chances are you will probably find it pretty amusing. Check out an episode and buy it if you like it. This one, at least for me, comes highly recommended!

[rating:overall]

[tags]TV Box Set Review, The History Channel, Pawn Stars, Season One, Pawn Shop, Chumlee, Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison, Richard Harrison, television, DVD Review[/tags]

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One Response to “DVD Box Set Review: Pawn Stars – Season One”

  1. [...] in line with these types of shows. I first came across this particular reality show when I reviewed Pawn Stars – Season One. My take was pretty positive. The Harrison's are a likable [...]

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