Day 101: Pawn Stars, Season 1 & 2

I’m not going to lie. It has actually been quite difficult for me to keep up with my blog posts lately. At the beginning of February, I made a commitment to work on my book for at least a few hours before I sat down to write a movie review. This structure worked for a while, and my blog fell a bit behind (honestly, I still have notes about movies I watched over Christmas). And, because I was out of the habit of writing a post daily, the frequency of my reviews plummeted. Last week was probably rock bottom in that I only posted once. And it was a mediocre review of a mediocre film. Boo, me. That’s pretty embarrassing. Throughout the week, I kept promising myself that I would just write something—anything–for My Life in the Queue. But, being the diligent procrastinator that I am, I kept pushing it off. And so, this week I have promised myself I will publish updates every day. That’s a whopping five posts. I guess I just wanted to make my goal known so that the fear of public humiliation will drive me forward. How’s that for a carrot on a stick?


Since I am being totally upfront and probably talking too much about myself (because this is a blog about reviewing Netflix titles and I am sure my personal issues are not the reason people read the site), I should also say that I feel a little guilty for writing something so frivolous today. I mean, taking the time to write a post about a show where people pawn their items in Vegas seems shallow and pointless following the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan (and I think I would feel the same no matter what I chose to review). When I watch or read the news, I am bombarded with images that are like nothing that I have seen before. It’s horrifying. I feel I cannot even come close to comprehending the level of devastation that has happened (and is still happening) there. And while part of me feels like I am a jerk for being insensitive enough to post a trivial review when more important things are happening in the world; but the other part of me really wants to write these posts to mentally escape—if even for a moment—from the “real” world.


Somewhat ironically, for my mental relief from reality I chose a reality TV show to review. Yeah, that wasn’t exactly the most well-planned move on my part. Oh well.  At the end of January, I started to watch the first season of Pawn Stars upon the recommendations of several readers. I have seen and loved American Pickers, and was thrilled when I was steered towards Pawn Stars. Like its title implies, this show is all about a pawn shop. However, this shop is like no other pawn shop I have seen before. It’s a family-run business in Vegas that deals in high-end and historical items. I am always shocked at some of the things people try to sell here. Some of it seems like it should be in museums. Where do people get this stuff? A-fricking-mazing.


I have to admit, I was hooked on this show early on. In fact, when my husband and I finished season 1, we kept right on going and plowed through season 2. I am fascinated by the amount of items in this store and the range of what they carry. One of the things I love about Pawn Stars is that the store brings in experts to appraise and provide historical background on many of the items. It’s in these encounters that we discover that a certain gun was altered from its original state by a soldier to personalize it, that Paul Revere crafted an old spoon that had been sitting in someone’s basement, or that the old spinning wheel that a woman thought was extremely valuable was just a decorative reproduction (doh).


Also, I appreciate that Pawn Stars takes several of their purchases in to be restored—and that the audience is shown both the “before” and “after” of each. I am excited to check out the spin-off show, American Restoration, to see just how these transformations take place. What can I say? I am sucker for a good makeover (I’m talking to you, She’s All That).


Although the store seemingly employs more people than the four who are prominently featured on the show, I like the concise cast. This pawn shop is a family business—the grandfather (the Old Man), father (Rick), and son (Big Hoss) are all involved. OK, it’s more of a patriarchal chain of command and I would love to see the women in the family if they work there as well, but maybe they will pop up in later seasons. However, the three generations plus Chumlee (a coworker and friend of Big Hoss) are entertaining to watch. I love that just about anything makes Rick laugh (and that the editor seems to add in extra of his chuckles throughout the show), that Chumlee always says crazy things, and that the Old Man is no-nonsense. And while some of the team’s antics are silly, I find it to be an enjoyable show. I guess I am a fan of silly (It’s good silly).


Overall, I really dig this show. Like American Pickers, I am enthralled by the little “factoids” that pop up onscreen and I love to see some of awesome items that somehow end up in Sin City. Looking at these old treasures and (sometimes) junk is such a fun way to navigate through history.


There. I did it. My first review of the the week where I promised to get back on track. And I was only partially all over the place thematically and emotionally. Here’s to a better week for everyone.


Thanks for reading!


Score: B+

Netflix Watch Instantly Queue: 220

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