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  • American Restoration: Volume 1

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 17th, 2011

    (out of 5)

    “Remember back in the day when things were made by hand and people took pride in their work? My name is Rick Dale, and I bring these things back to life.”

    If you watch Pawn Stars on History, than Rick Dale really needs no introduction. From time to time the Pawn Stars guys get in something that they want to have restored to increase its value. For most of those projects they go to Rick and his team. Now Rick’s gotten his own spin-off series, and it’s set up very much like the other show from the grunge guitar soundtrack to some of the same wheel-and-deal aspects. This is pretty much the same production setup, and it will appeal to the fans of Pawn Stars.

    “Every restoration has its own set of challenges. There’s no owner’s manual for what we do. There’s no job that we can’t handle.”

    Each episode begins with the introduction of some items that have been brought in for restoration. The owner gets on the camera and gives us all the sentimental reasons why they want the item restored. It very often involves a dear departed loved one. Then they get with Rick and start to talk about what needs to be done…and, of course, the cost. Rick does a pretty good job of selling the price, and there are few negotiations here. From that point the show takes us through the restoration process from disassembly to reassembly. Finally, we witness the unveiling of the restored item to the owner.

    Just like at the Gold & Silver Pawn shop, this is a family business, for the most part. Rick is joined by his son Tyler whom he hopes to leave the business to someday. He also works with his brother Ron, who mostly does pick-ups. Then there’s Kowboy. No, that’s not a typo. That’s how he spells his name. He’s the beer-drinking tough guy. Kyle is the expert at putting things back together. And for all of you Chumley fans out there, these guys have Brettly. This is the guy these guys constantly make fun of, and the show often catches his ignorance and mistakes. He’s not near as charming as Chum, so I’m not sure why Rick would really keep this guy on staff.

    There are certainly more than a few cool items that include a NASA helmet, foot X-Ray machine, a huge air-raid siren, and plenty of Coke coolers.

    This is not a season set. The first season was only a few episodes long. This set gives you 16 episodes from the first two seasons on two discs.


    Each half-hour episode is presented in its original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The picture looks about average for television. But, the truth is, that picture quality isn’t going to be an issue for fans of the show.


    The Dolby Digital 2.0 track doesn’t do the production justice at all. Dialog is the only thing that really comes through.

    Special Features


    Final Thoughts:

    The show is obviously intended to appeal to Pawn Stars fans. In that respect, I think it does the job. It’s not quite as entertaining, and the personalities aren’t quite as compelling. I’d call it Pawn Stars lite. It does appear a little more staged, as well. Rick and the boys from Pawn Stars make a couple of appearances as well. The real strength of the show, the thing that might keep you coming back here, is watching the incredible transformations these things make. Got to give credit here. Rick knows his stuff and really does put quality on display. “People have no concept of how much work actually goes into each one of these jobs.”

    Posted In: 1.78:1 Widescreen, A&E Home Video, Disc Reviews, Dolby Digital 2.0 (English), DVD, History Channel, Reality

    3 Responses to “American Restoration: Volume 1”

    1. Michael Durr Says:

      Hrmmm, thought this show would work out better. I’ll have to check out a couple of episodes at some point though. Love what he does with the stuff he gets from the Pawn Stars folks.

    2. Sara Lemus Says:

      Miss the show wish it was still on.It is far deter than all these car crap

    3. Sara Lemus Says:

      The show is far better than all the car crap talk about boring that stuff gets old!

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