Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 15th, 2012
“I’m Rick Harrison, and this is my pawn shop. I work here with my old man and my son, Big Hoss. Everything in here has a story … and a price. One thing I’ve learned after 21 years? You never know what is going to come through that door.”
Pawn Stars returns with another volume set. It’s the 5th, and it features episodes from the 3rd & 4th season. We’re still about a year behind the current air schedule, so expect these sets to continue every month or so for a while. This set has two discs with 16 episodes total.
The Harrison family runs a Las Vegas pawn shop. That in itself is like striking gold. We have a lot of pawn shops in Tampa, but I have to figure if there’s a city in this nation that contains a large number of people hoping to turn their stuff into quick cash, it’s the gambling mecca out in the sands of Nevada. I’m sure that was one of the reasons History chose this particular pawn shop for their reality series Pawn Stars. And no, I don’t think it’s an accident that the name sounds a lot like Porn Stars. The other reason they chose this shop has to be the personalities of the Harrisons themselves. If these guys weren’t already real, somebody would have had to make them up by now.
The main guy appears to be Rick. He’s a fast-talking negotiator who will end up taking your treasure and a finger or two with it if you don’t watch out. There’s no question this guy can deal. A lot of folks go up against him, perhaps because of seeing him on the show. But you’ve got to be sharper than a lot of the knives and daggers that come into his shop in order to keep up with him. He has an inherent understanding of his opponent, and he knows that most ordinary folks aren’t even in the same league. And that’s what keeps them coming in. Everyone likes to think they can out-negotiate the best, and Rick is one of the best. Hell, I’d love to try my skills on the guy. The billboards won’t tell you, but going up against this guy is the biggest gamble in Vegas. Remember, the house always wins, and that goes for pawn shops as well as casinos.
Next you have “The Old Man”, Rick’s father. I get the idea he must have started the shop and owns the major share of the business. He might have been as sharp as his kid at one time. I don’t know. It seems that his purpose now is to play the store grouch. There’s little doubt he holds on to a nickel like a great white shark holding on to a baby seal.
Finally you have Big Hoss, Rick’s kid, and his long-time friend Chumlee. Both look like biker gang members. They have arms loaded with tattoos, and Big Hoss, Rick’s kid, drives a hefty bike. He’s obviously learning the trade on the job, which sometimes gets him in deep water with the elder two. Take, for instance, the time he buys a motorcycle frame and puts a ton of money into building a custom bike. Chumlee, on the other hand is the target of everyone’s jokes. He appears to be a little simple, but I can’t tell if it’s an act or he really is that stupid. This season he appears to exhibit a couple of Rain Man qualities when he fixes an RC car no one else could fix. He also gets to do some negotiating this season, but he’s still not given very much respect.
The real stars of the show have to be the people and the stuff they bring in. Some of the cool stuff brought in this season includes: The guidance system for a heat-seeking missile, a 1960′s Playboy Bunny outfit, a submarine, a miniature Model-T from the 1930′s, a Babe Ruth autograph, a large collection of glass eyes (creepy), a Batmobile recreation in full size, a desk gun, a Martin Luther King, Jr. phonograph, a football signed by the 1942 Chicago Bears, a million dollar giant car-crushing robot, a child’s training musket and the first three years of Sports Illustrated.
Chumlee’s exploits include his purchase of a Buick that he has outfitted with hydraulics. Corey bets Rick that the Old Man can’t tell the difference between a Picasso and a drawing by Chumlee. It all makes for another interesting collection of Pawn Stars episodes. “The trouble is I’m not even sure if it’s legal to own this.”