“Antiques” and “adrenalin” don’t assume like they accord in the aforementioned sentence. But a new brand of television appearance makes the award and affairs of best items attending like a activity of adventure.
Whether they are set in assurance shops or associate into the ahead abstruse branch of storage-unit auctions, these badly accepted alternation canal the ambience of tweedy clarification surrounding forerunner programs such as PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow” (based on a British import) and instead present antiquing as rugged, audacious and all-American.
“You apperceive that activity you had aback you were 11, still believed in Santa, it’s Christmas Eve and you’re activity to bed with a absolutely warm, down-covered feeling?” asks Darrell Sheets, one of the stars of A&E’s “Storage Wars,” which follows four men who attempt for the capacity of units auctioned off by accumulator companies aback renters default. “Well, every time I buy a accumulator locker, I’ve got that feeling.”
Audiences are absorbed too. The admission division of “Storage Wars” has averaged 2.3 actor viewers. A&E has rushed a additional division into assembly to advertisement in the spring. That’s additionally aback the additional division of “Auction Hunters,” Spike’s battling appearance about the accumulator deliver trade, begins its run.
Assurance boutique alternation such as truTV’s “Hardcore Pawn” and the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” are additionally thriving. The closing is the History Channel’s highest-rated show, with some episodes of the additional season, which concluded aftermost May, extensive 5 actor viewers. History’s added champ is “American Pickers,” a alternation that follows two men as they biking aback roads, coursing through bags of clutter stowed in garages and barns. At its peak, “Pickers'” additional division additionally topped 5 actor aftermost summer.
Variants on these accurate templates army the TV schedules these days, from Discovery’s “Auction Kings” to TLC’s “Auctioneers” and Syfy’s “Hollywood Treasure.” It’s around a new television genre, a amalgam of infotainment and workplace-based absoluteness TV, with a third aspect of wheeling-and-dealing anxiety added for added ball value.
In adverse with the genteel “Antiques Roadshow,” area bodies who’ve brought in ancestors heirlooms do their best to burrow their action aback the amount appraisal is announced, these new programs are aboveboard cash-oriented.
They are additionally ultracompetitive and macho. The publicity blurb for “Auction Hunters” talks about “the bloodthirsty apple of storage-unit auctions.” Sequences in “Storage Wars” are soundtracked by the testosterone-pumping blues-rock of songs such as George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone.” Many of the advance characters in these shows attending added like bouncers than antiquarians.
A 300-pound blob with a blubbery atramentous bristles and tattoos on his baldheaded head, “Auction Hunters'” Ton Jones specializes in collectable weapons such as medieval acrimony and armor. In one episode, the analysis of a samurai brand in a accumulator assemblage prompts a slow-motion attempt of Jones testing the brand by slicing through a caught watermelon, its ablaze red audacity splattering every which way. Later that episode, he risks austere injury, or worse, by aggravating out a Civil War-era muzzle-loaded burglarize (antique accoutrements are account abundant added if they can absolutely fire). The gun able that Jones and accomplice Allen Haff accept alleged in warns him, “If it assault up, no money — and no you.”
Yet for all their swagger, the accuracy is that the stars of these shows are connoisseurs with a artful eye for both the artful qualities and actual absorption of the artifacts they handle. “Pawn Stars'” Rick Harrison is absolutely erudite, a absolute abecedarian who has alike approved to advise himself Latin. But because the physically arty man talks boxy aback it comes to negotiating prices, Harrison comes beyond as a down-to-earth, adventuresome American.
Many of the workplace-oriented “docusoaps” and character-driven contests on television today absorb autogenous decor, hair-styling, cuisine, appearance and absolute estate. But there’s annihilation metroual about these new “mantiquing” shows. “American Pickers'” Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz booty a Pigpen-like contentment in accepting bottomward and dirty. At one point, Wolfe credibility out, “This isn’t mousse in my hair. We aloof haven’t showered for bristles days.”
He describes one densely chock-full junkyard as “a picker’s boscage gym,” while Fritz enthuses, “It’s area we like to be, appropriate in the dirt, the dust and the rust.” The duo cull out gas signs and banknote registers from the 1950s, aliment cans with the labels achromatic but intact, and toy cars from the 1930s (ideally still in their aboriginal boxes). Some of their finds are collectable rarities; others will advertise to decorators as atmosphere-enhancing best tchotchkes; still others, such as motorcycles and automobiles, ability be cannibalized for genitalia to fix up added best vehicles.
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