As regular readers might know, I spend a lot of time in front of the TV, even more so after getting laid off and now working from home/looking for work. One show I stumbled upon recently is the History Channel’s Pawn Stars, which stars three generations of the Harrison family (Old Man, Rick and Corey) as they run their Las Vegas pawn shop. It’s a fun little show with plenty of people bringing in everything from ancient weapons and jewelry to pooping chairs and wine-making jugs. It’s kind of a mix between a nicer American Choppers and a more interesting Antiques Roadshow.
I also learned something from the show, and that’s what pawning actually is. See, I used to think it was just selling your stuff to a pawn shop, but that’s not it. When you pawn something, you give the pawn shop the item and they give you a loan. Then, you have a certain amount of time to come back and pay back the loan (with interest of course) or else the item becomes the property of the store and they can do what they want with it.
I like the dynamic of the family and of course checking out the items being brought in is always interesting, especially when the cockier people discover their item isn’t worth anything or the unexpecting people find out theirs is worth some big dough.The owners will also bring in experts to tell them about pieces they’re not as familiar with.
There’s another pawn store show on truTV now called Hardcore Pawn which, in my opinion, pales in comparison. First off, the porn/pawn pun just doesn’t do it for me in this case. Seems like it’s trying too hard. Second, the series stars a family in Detroit that just isn’t as enjoyable to watch. The main guy is nice, but he looks super greasy, his son’s okay and then the owner’s daughter is a total bitch, which she seems completely cool with. For some reason, I can’t find any official websites for this show. The truTV site doesn’t work for me and there isn’t a Wikipedia page, which I found weird.
Another aspect of the show I wasn’t that into is that the people coming in to pawn seem generally a lot more desperate. You’ve got old ladies trying to pawn their gold teeth and people bringing in anything that’s worth a little money just to get a few bucks to pay the rent. You can tell some of them are strung out andnot in good health. So, while Hardcore is probably a much more realistic representation of what a pawn shop is like, I guess I just don’t want to watch people in such dire straights. Wouldn’t you rather see a girl bringing in an antique pooping chair because her mom has too much junk than an old lady being turned away because she only has one gold tooth and that’s not really worth much?