Sometimes when choosing DVDs to review I pick something that I think my wife will enjoy, because, you know, happy wife equals happy life and all that. One such DVD was Storage Wars. It’s not something I’d normally go for but sounded interesting enough, and I knew my wife would love it. What I didn’t realise was that rather than myself finding it just interesting enough, is that I would instantly enjoy Storage Wars as one of the most instantly entertaining and enjoyable reality TV shows that I’ve sen in a while.
The premise of the show is simple enough: When rent is not paid on a storage locker for three months in California, the contents are sold by an auctioneer as a single lot of items. The show follows professional buyers who purchase the contents based only on a five-minute inspection of what they can see from the door when it is opened. The goal is to turn a profit on the merchandise.
Whilst turning profit is the main motivating factor, the real action for Storage Wars is when real hidden treasure is discovered and a $200 bid becomes a $20,000 find.
Of course, it wouldn’t be reality TV if you didn’t have a groups of diverse contestants. And whilst the term contestants might be stretching it a bit as three of the four teams run various types of second hand reselling businesses, and the other contestant sells antiques, so in essence they are only doing their jobs.
But diverse they are. You have Darrell Sheets and his son, nicknamed the gambler, but essentially the most down to earth guy on the show, who doesn’t actually have a shop, but on-sells his gear some other way. Dave Hester is essentially the mean guy. And by mean, I mean petty and mean. He is the most despicable man on reality TV. You will instantly hate him. Jarrod Schulz and his partner Brandi Passante are the newbies to the whole storage auction thing, and by being married and business partners, help bring a little extra tension to the show. Initially this odd couple are the ones you’ll be rooting for, but later in the show, a subtle arrogance sneaks in. Finally there is Barry Weiss. Weiss is an antiques dealer who reminds me of Hugh Hefner and is essentially only on the show for the novelty factor, he always seems to luck out, but is always happy, and really upsets Dave by bringing clairvoyants to one auction, and that if nothing else, gets my seal of approval.
Essentially the show is about what people store and forget about. It’s about taking a risk and sifting through other peoples hoarding, often finding enough to make a few bucks, but occasionally hitting the jack pot and making you wonder why on earth these people didn’t just grab their valuable stuff when they couldn’t pay the storage rents anymore.
It’s amazing what we humans pay to store for later and what we forget we had. Entertaining and addictive, Storage Wars will put a new single word catch-phrase in your vocab and show you that you do have an amazing ability to hate.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read