Cast: Rick Harrison, Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison, Richard “The Old Man” Harrison, Austin “Chumlee” Russell[
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: A&E Home Video
DVD Release Date: August 24, 2010
Online Availability: Amazon for $18.99
I once believed that I hated reality shows on television. What I have learned is that I hate the standard formula for reality shows. I hate shows like The Bachelor/Bachelorette, The Greatest Race, Survivor, and Kate Plus Anything, Especially Kate. What I do like are the shows that offer unusual job paths (Ice Road Truckers) or that include people with severe disorders of some sort (Hoarders). Pawn Stars falls 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 family.
The show revolves around the most successful pawn store in the Las Vegas area. The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop has more historical memorabilia than you could possibly imagine. Sure, they take jewelry and other things you might expect from any pawn store, but Rick and the gang are out to make money and if that means selling a hot air balloon they will do it! You don’t need to be overly familiar with season one to feel at home watching season two. This is because the basic format for the show is the same. Every day is a new day and it’s a day to make money. People bring in their wares to pawn or sell and Rick and the gang (his father, The Old Man and his son, Big Hoss) determine the authenticity of the item if it is required before haggling a price. While Rick and the others often seem sympathetic (to a point) when people tell their stories, it is clear that they are out to make money (it’s a business). It’s always amusing to see someone realize how much their item is worth and have them ask for the full value only to see Rick double over in laughter and state, “It’s not gonna happen.”
The one thing that seems to be missing from Pawn Stars are the real nuts. This is a show about a pawn shop in Las Vegas. C’mon! Where is the guy trying to sell his wife for a little gambling money? The fact that people are selling things does not make the show, it’s the people that run the shop and the customers that come in to haggle. It would have been interesting to see some real crazies (I know they are out there). With that in mind, I hope that in one of the future seasons they opt to show the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop during the night shift, as I am sure they get some real doozies in at about 2-3 AM. That was the major thing that this season lacked in my opinion.
As with all things, it’s clear that Pawn Stars has some staged elements. The biggest thing I tend to notice is the presence of Rick’s help at the shop beyond his family. People like Chumlee and Peaches appear to be more trouble than they are worth. With Peaches it just seems like she doesn’t take her job seriously. Chumlee, on the other hand, if he were truly as dumb as they make him appear I can’t imagine that Rick would allow him to work there. If he did, I highly doubt he’d be doing anything that revolved around customer relations or money.
Still, the show is worth watching. It’s enjoyable seeing the excitement on someone’s face when they realize they hit the jackpot with something they brought in. It’s also kind of funny when a person learns that their item is essentially useless or a fake. Rick brings in plenty of specialists and experts to make sure that each person receives a fair deal on their item and that he doesn’t get ripped off in the process. This gives you a chance to learn a little bit about a lot of things including the history behind almost every item on the show. Even more interesting is the segments on restoration. Seeing the product come in (everything from cars to antiques) and what the restoration experts in Las Vegas do to it is amazing. If nothing else, Rick certainly knows who to go to in order to get the job done right.
The Pawn Stars: Season Two Episode Guide
#2.1 – “Fired Up” – Notable appraisals include a wooden airplane propeller that could have been a gift from Charles Lindbergh and a 17th century musketoon. Rick visits the doctor where he learns that he is suffering from too much stress.
#2.2 – “Sharks and Cobras” – Notable appraisals include a collection of megalodon teeth, a 1965 Shelby Cobra frame, and a World War II chronometer.
#2.3 – “Old Man’s Booty” – Notable appraisals include a police cap that was stolen from a Russian Militsiya, World War I trench knives, and a locked chest with unknown contents. Rick and Big Hoss trick the old man into thinking they sold his 1966 Chrysler Imperial when in fact they took it to have it restored as an anniversary present.
#2.4 – “A Shot and a Shave” – Notable appraisals include a quilt filled with celebrity signatures, a 1950s barber chair, and a 1845 Harpers Ferry musket.
#2.5 – “Hot Air Buffoon” – Notable appraisals include Prohibition-era whiskey, some 1925 McKenzie handcuffs, and a Gibson Les Paul guitar. Meanwhile, Big Hoss buys a hot air balloon to the dismay of Rick.
#2.6 – “Steaks at Stake” – Notable appraisals include Colonial era coat buttons, an antique comtometer, a Suzuki motorcycle, and some Montie Montana memorabilia.
#2.7 – “A Christmas Special” – A standard clip episode that occurs while Rick, Big Hoss, and Chumlee prepare to go out with the Old Man to celebrate the holiday.
#2.8 – “Secret Santa” – Notable appraisals include currency printed by Benjamin Franklin, a 15th century battle axe, and a 1950s camera from the USS Wisconsin. The staff takes part in a secret Santa exchange for the holiday.
#2.9 – “Pawn Shop Pinot” – Notable appraisals include a Volvo semi-truck, a 1923 Louis Vuitton truck, a demijohn from the 19th century, and a 16th century replica signal cannon.
#2.10 – “Bikes and Blades” – Notable appraisals include a set of military knives that could have been smuggled back from WWII, a miniature reproduction of a 16th century suit of armor, and some 1940 quartermaster’s glasses.
#2.11 – “Rick’s Bad Day” – Rick ends up having a bad day and it seems nothing can go right for him. Notable appraisals include the ball and chain of a prisoner, an antique potty chair, a fake playbill for the night of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, and halberd axes.
#2.12 – “Wheels” – Notable appraisals include a Dutch East India ship’s bell circa 1602, an Indian racing mini-motorcycle, 200 year old Scottish daggers, and a roulette wheel dating back to the 1900s.
#2.13 – “Chum Goes AWOL” – Notable appraisals include gold demonic figurines that have been painted black, a savings book from the 20s, a 1901 Edison phonograph, and a speedboat.
#2.14 – “Shocking Chum” – Notable appraisals include a Yamaha Rhino, silver 1702 rupees that is part of the Taj Mahal treasure, and a shock therapy machine.
#2.15 – “Pezzed Off” – Notable appraisals include a collection of Pez dispensers from the 60s and 70s, an 18th century musket coach gun, and a U.S. Navy uniform.
#2.16 – “Tattoos and Tantrums” – Corey pisses off Rick and the Old Man when he buys a tattoo kit that he plans to take to a shop to trade for a tattoo. Notable appraisals include an 1888 McClellan saddle supposedly used in Dances with Wolves.
#2.17 – “Guns and Rangers” – Notable appraisals include an ivory tusk, a fiberglass life-size Power Ranger, and a 1997 NASCAR trophy that had been presented to Jeff Gordon. Antique portraits of Napoleon and Josephine are also appraised.
#2.18 – “Pinball Wizards” – Notable appraisals include a 1973 Bally’s pinball machine that is brought in disassembled, a Segway i2, a couch shaped like the behind of a Shelby Cobra, and a portable gramophone.
#2.19 – “Chopper Gamble” – Notable appraisals include a 1768 colonial lottery ticket signed by George Washington, a set of Pete Rose baseball cards dating 1967, a Schweizer helicopter, and a pair of Plug 8 handcuffs.
#2.20 – “Spooning Paul Revere” – Notable appraisals include a Kam-Act MK-2 archery bow, a silver table spoon supposedly made by Paul Revere, and an Anton Schneider cuckoo clock.
#2.21 – “Off the Wagon” – Notable appraisals include a Civil War saber possibly owned by a Confederate officer, an 1800s Kelsey Excelsior printing press, and an antique thermometer from the 1800s.
#2.22 – “Fortune in Flames” – Notable appraisals include a WWI military issued flamethrower, a mid-1800s pepper-box revolver, and a 1963 Volkswagen Baja Bug.
#2.23 – “Backroom Brawl” – Rick and the Old Man ride Corey about the backroom, nudging him towards cleaning it out, which leads to a possibly valuable discovery. Notable appraisals include an antique ivory sundial, a Midway sharpshooting arcade game, and an album of photographs of Jimmy Hoffa from 1963.
#2.24 – “Big Guns” – Notable appraisals include WWII model training rifles, two Soviet launch keys, a 1920s Gibson banjo ukulele, and a Gilbert Erector set.
#2.25 – “Flight of the Chum” – Notable appraisals include a 1950s Las Vegas Club $5 casino chip, an autographed Lou Gehrig jersey, and a watchmaker’s staking kit from 1888.
#2.26 – “Bumpy Ride” – Notable appraisals include a 1930s Coke sampler cooler, a 1777 French musket, a rickshaw that had been used in a Siegfried and Roy show, and a Grammy award once owned by Ronald Dunbar and General Johnson.
#2.27 – “Helmet Head” – Notable appraisals include am 1870s antique diving helmet, a 2006 Miami Heat NBA championship ring, and an antique wooden pirate’s chest.
#2.28 – “Bow Legged” – Notable appraisals include an 18th century pegleg, a wooden motorcycle, and an antique Kalliope Musikwerke music box.
#2.29 – “Hell Week” – Corey and Chumlee face a physical fitness challenge and the loser has to buy lunch for a week. Notable appraisals include a coffee grinder from the 1800s, an antique Native American tobacco store statue, and a home movie of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
#2.30 – “Zzzzzz” – Notable appraisals include a commercial grade espresso machine and coffee grinder, an 1884 Colt revolver, and a small collection of Presidential campaign buttons that date through 100 years from 1860 to 1960.
#2.31 – “The British Are Coming” – Notable appraisals include a war bond engraved by Paul Revere in 1775, an 80s replica of a 1909 fire engine, a 1965 Chevy Impala station wagon, and a 1946 Seeburg Jukebox.
#2.32 – “License to Pawn” – Notable appraisals include an antique tricycle, a copy of the final draft script of the movie Goldfinger, an antique toy train set, and a three-cent, George Washington postage stamp.
Video for Pawn Stars is nothing special. It works just fine and is representative of your average television show, but it’s not anything amazing. It’s full frame video with fair coloring and a standard amount of detail. This only comes in DVD and in all honesty there would be no point, given the type of show this is, to be shown in Bluray. That being said, it would have been nice to have a better quality with a higher aspect ratio and perhaps even anamorphic widescreen. You won’t have any problem watching this, but it’s average at best. If you’ve seen the show on The History Channel then you are well aware of the quality that you will receive on these DVDs.
The audio for Pawn Stars is handled with Dolby Digital 2.0, which is not a huge surprise considering the full frame video presentation. I would have been shocked to discover anything higher than this. While this is nothing impressive, the dialogue is clear and the volume levels are steady. This isn’t a show with a massive amount of special effects (or any really), so 2.0 works fine in most cases for a dialogue-driven show. Sure, something more powerful is always nice, but this works fine.
Unlike so many other reality television shows that we have reviewed, Pawn Stars actually has a small bit of bonus material in the form of additional content. You get about 30 minutes worth of extra clips. Some of the things here are actually pretty cool and will allow fans to have a bigger appreciation for the show. These extra clips are definitely worth watching, though it’s too bad there wasn’t more here.
Despite some shortcomings found in Season Two (mainly too much of the same thing), Pawn Stars still manages to be an effective and entertaining television show. I am hoping for some changes in future seasons, but for now, this will work well to please fans of the show. If you’ve never seen Pawn Stars you should check it out on The History Channel. If you pick this up, you won’t have any problem catching on to the show whether you’re familiar with it or not, but if you like what you see you will want to be sure to catch season one, as well. This is recommended for fans, for everyone else, catch it on The History Channel to determine where you stand.