The new and exciting show Pawn Stars is now airing on the History Channel, which is part of the American cable TV network, and chronicles the activities at a Gold and Silver Pawn Shop. The show Pawn Stars depicts life as it once was, before the introduction of ATMs in the USA. In those days, some time in the 1950’s, pawning was by far the major form of consumer credit lending. Pawning was the most common lending practice in the country at that time.
Even today, pawning helps many people in this tough economy, to make ends meet. The show is produced by Leftfield Pictures, and is filmed completely in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show was first aired on July 26, 2009. Currently, it is televised on Monday evenings in the 10 pm EST time slot. The History Channel airs two episodes of the show in a one-hour block of time. Pawn Stars depicts a real family business which is owned and run by the patriarch Richard Harrison (“The Old Man”), his son Rick Harrison (“The Appraiser”) and Rick’s son Corey (“Big Hoss”).
Their store was opened in 1988 by Richard and Rick. Now, Corey is being trained by his father and grandfather to one day take over the business. The Pawn Shop records the activities taking place at the shop; customers enter to pawn objects and interact with the shop’s staff. There is much talk and much haggling over the price before the deal is made. There are many discussions regarding the history and value of the objects brought in to be pawned, usually led by Rick and Corey.
The historical backgrounds of the pawned artifacts, as narrated by the Harrisons, form the highlight of this TV show. It is no wonder that it has been described by audiences as a really “cool Antiques Roadshow.” However, it also follows the interpersonal relationships and conflicts between the three Harrisons and Austin “Chumlee” Russel.
Chumlee is an employee of the pawn stars and is also a good friend of Corey. Another character in the show is Danielle “Peaches” Rainey, who is also a staff member as is Chumlee, and for whom Chumlee harbors an unrequited affection. Then there are a whole host of experts that appear on the show centering around experts in early American history, armory, handwriting, automobile restoration, etc. These experts are called in by the shop owners from time to time, to determine the authenticity of the artifacts that are brought in by customers. This combination of interpersonal actions and historical facts helps to make this show a favorite among audiences.
All the episodes follow more or less the same format, with historical discussions and consultations with experts on the one hand and conflicts between the Harrisons on the other. Conflicts range from questioning Corey’s decisions as a manager to general arguments over the running of the shop. More than 25 episodes have been aired so far, all of which have been received with great enthusiasm by the viewers as well as critical acclaim from the industry. It has managed to make the reviewers of this show admire the entire concept. This is evident from the comments from Christopher Long and April McIntyre. Christopher Long, of DVD Town, finds the cast and the educational value of the items examined very good and called the show “addictive.” He opined that it is the best show on History Channel, which is high praise from this critic. April McIntyre, of Monsters and Critics, in spite of her disapproval of pawn shops in general, called the series “a cool Antiques Roadshow.”
Rated 8.9 out of 10 on TV.com (voted by 30 users) and reviewed as suitable for viewing by children above 13 years by Common Sense Media, who gives program reviews for parents, the Pawn Stars is continuing on its path to success. It is expected that this show will be a mainstay of the History Channel lineup of great shows and is expected to have a long run with a loyal fan base.