A couple months ago, while flipping channels, I saw a commercial for a new season of this show Pawn Stars on the History channel. While I've never been one to just sit and watch the History channel, this "reality" show and its cast intrigued me and eventually I caught an episode.
Needless to say, I was hooked.
This show follows the daily activities at the family owned Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. Heading the cast are owners Richard (aka The Old Man) and his son Rick, as well as Rick's son Corey (aka Big Hoss) who is being "groomed" to become the owner someday and Corey's childhood best friend "Chumlee."
In each episode, people bring in items that they think might be worth something. It's up to the pawn shop staff to find out if the item is real, what the history is, and how much it's worth. Often times they'll call in an expert who has more extensive knowledge when it comes to finding out authenticity and history on an item to help determine its worth. Once they figure out if an item works or is real, then comes the fun! When an expert determines the value, they tell what it would go for in a public auction, however the shop has to be able to make a profit on it, so usually start at 50% less than the actual value and the negotiations begin! Often times people want the full value, but usually settle for somewhat less.
What I love about this show is that you get to learn the history about the items and the time period they're from and it's presented in a fun format so you don't get bored while learning about history!
Another fun aspect of the show is that occasionally the cast/staff will have a competition amongst themselves. Who can make the most profit for the store? One time Corey made a bet with The Old Man that he could sell a watch for $5,000 - The Old Man didn't think he could so he agreed to it; if Corey lost, he had to show up to work in a suit and tie for a week, but if he won, The Old Man had to come to work in a pair of baggy Ed Hardy jeans!
Funny story: when my hubby and I went to Vegas for our honeymoon back in 2008, we literally walked RIGHT PAST this pawn shop when we (stupidly) walked from Downtown to The Strip (something I don't recommend AT ALL, let alone in heels!)! I'm kicking myself now for not having noticed it! hehe
Critics seem to dub Pawn Stars as being "American Choppers" meets "Antiques Roadshow." Regardless, I find it as fun, good, educational TV!