As you know I have a thing for American auction and salvage hunting shows. I’m not so much interested in the camper antique side of things but the shows where knowledgably people buy and sell old antiquated stuff that can be restored or used again and put to good use, like an old car or perhaps a metal road sign from the 1940s. Buying a rare musty old antique clock for a lot of money and sticking it on the mantelpiece waiting for it to stop doesn’t do it for me. The brown and copper collector is boring. No, the fun is when the experts who know their stuff scour the country looking for things that have great value to other people and businesses who want to reuse and restore that old stuff and give it a home, stuff what we mostly call junk. According to Salvage Hunters and American Pickers the stuff is simply just laying in garages and barns waiting to be exploited. There are lots of funny people out there who hoard and collect for decades. They mentally find it hard to let go of their past and so build it up around them like a womb. We all know those people. Many of them are our parents. Stuff has no value unless someone wants to buy it is my motto.
In the United Kingdom we have the similar TV series ‘Salvage Hunters’, where Drew Pritchard and his various drivers jump in the white van and go looking for architectural salvage. In America they call it ‘picking’. Where as the British version mostly sees Drew visiting stately homes, orderly salvage yards and museums, American Pickers sees its Iowa hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz get down and dirty in all manner of old countryside barns and houses in the sticks, more house clearance territory than manicured lawns. They really do see value in crap and seem to make money from it, Wolfe, America’s most successful picker, running a small chain of antique and salvage stores across America and so keen to get on TV to grow his brand.
As with all of these shows they tend to have a chubby sidekick for the senior man/star to bounce humor off, the second banana here a one Frank Fitz, also knowledgably in the world of rust and dust. These guys know their stuff and so extremely engaging when talking about the finds. Mike looks like Uri Gellar, if he was a bass guitarist in a pub blues band, ready to tee up weight gags, Frank having the Dom Deluise thing going on and always eating. The token totty is the most contrived aspect of the show in the rubenesque form of Danielle Colby-Cushman, the busty tomboy back in the office dealing with leads and sales for ‘Antique Archeology Ltd’, Mike’s company. Danielle is a life long friend of Wolfe and seems to have got the non job purely to add some glam to the show, a bondage fashion designer by day and burlesque dancer by night.
The actual hunting for the good stuff feels genuine and the owners mostly happy to sell their junk, mostly hoarders and old folks. They seem to be oblivious to the film crew so perhaps the episodes slightly more composed than we now. There is no suggestion of planted items here like there are in the America auction shows like Storage Wars and Storage Hunters and so another plus to why you should watch it. American Pickers is in no way scripted like those shows either. Mike and Frank would be offended by that and appear bright and intelligent guys who know their subject and don’t need to write anything down. They positively enthuse and delight with their knowledge on screen the way Jordan Hembrow does on Toy Hunters and you learn things. I love watching people on screen who love their job and really know the brief and can articulate their knowledge and experience about their stuff on screen by nailing key points. I think that knowledge is as appreciated more by the old boys who do the collecting in the middle of Nebraska to.
The show was pitched way back in 2006 by Wolfe who thought he could make a really interesting documentary show about picking. Finally in 2010, with this type of TV all over cable TV, the History Channel said why not and pretty quickly a surprise hit in the States, the biggest debut hit for the channel since the Ice Road Truckers with 5.3 million. You are pulling on Americas heartstrings when you rummage through their history and great to know stuff you thought was rubbish has value. Just by eating your tea and watching these shows you can make money. All sorts of people collect all sorts of things and all sorts of people want to buy them. Did you know rusty old metal signs from the 1960s are worth 100 bucks and upwards? The next time you see a Texaco or Castrol Oil sign in a skip make sure it ends up in your boot. That’s your Christmas shopping paid for. As materials become more finite then items will be less sturdy and metal in the future and so the value only likely to go up.
Series one of four so far lets us get to know and admire our presenters and we certainly learn about Americas history. I can see why these shows are successful as we all love treasure hunting and we all love money. I’m sure in real life the boys have to travel serious miles to actual find anything special and heavily edited. But it’s great fun and engaging TV. Some snobby regular History Channel viewers were not best pleased this type of documentary made it onto their channel and some felt the old ladies and eccentric characters that amass junk were perhaps being taken advantage of. But I always think that the agreed price on camera is not always they hand over as it would look very bad if the guys are paying very little for things of increasing value. The owner of the item sold will find out what its really worth when they watch the TV show and so may want more cash down the line or no doubt sue, which seems fair.
I love History - anything ranging from the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, ranging through the Tudors, the Stuarts, and famous criminals like Jack the Ripper, to more recent history - Suffragettes, the two World Wars , and Martin Luther King .
So, you'd think that the History Channel would be right up my street wouldn't you ? And, you'd be wrong . This channel can be found on Virgin Media 234, and on Sky 529, with both having +1 channels allowing you to view programmes an hour later .
So, why would a history lover like me NOT like this channel - well, the answer is simple - a vastly unbalanced selection of programmes, and far too many repeats.
Lets start with a few programmes that REALLY get my goat : Ice Road Truckers , Ax Men, Americas Toughest Jobs, The Universe, and Expedition Africa. The astute amongst you have probably already picked up that these have very little to do with history , and you'd be absolutely right . Most of these shows are simply documentaries showing people doing admittedly tough jobs under admittedly tough circumstances, and while they are perfectly good documentary programmes, they are NOT history, and would be more suited to a channel such as Discovery.
Then, we get onto the actual History bit of the channel (because to be fair, they do show some history programmes .) The problem is, they tend to spend a lot of time focusing on two particular areas of history, namely World War Two, and Henry VIII. And often, they'll do this by showing the same programmes repeatedly thoughout any given week. Now, I can appreciate the current Henry VIII obsession with it being 500 years this year since he came to the throne of England, so I'll let that one slide .
But the War has been done to death - and I'm getting just a tad sick of seeing Hitler goose-stepping onto my screen - especially when in most cases the series has been shown in full just a couple of weeks before . I appreciate it is important history - but so is everything else that went before it!
The channel does occasionally squeeze some really interesting show in - I particularly enjoyed watching a very detailed programme about the Egyptian 'Book of the Dead' that absolutely fascinated me . And the Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire series is wonderfully rich and detailed . And more recently, there has been a brilliant show about executioners - how they came to do their jobs and how the various execution methods were developed .
But, this makes just a couple of decent history programmes in a week otherwise filled with stuff about people chopping down trees, moving big structures, and working on oil rigs , briefly interrupted by Hitler shouting a lot .
As a channel, it could be wonderful if it scrapped the 'Look how tough and manly my job is' programmes and provided a better mix . At the moment though, I'm lucky to find a couple of hours of decent tv to watch a week on this channel .
I've always liked History from being a schoolchild, so when I first got the chance to watch this channel on satellite TV I grabbed it.
For me this is an excellent channel which is repeated on Sky a hour later History+1, (logically enough).
The range of programmes shown is immense covering virtually every period from the Egyptians through the splendour of Rome, the Middle Ages, through to modern conflicts in the Middle East.
My favourite period of History though is the Second World War and the History channel mor ethan caters for my tastes showing not only documentary but also dramatised accounts of events that took place.
Recently they have repeated the World at War which just has to be the greatest account of World War II ever televised and even now over 20 years after it was originally made it is very p[owerful.
If you have even the smallest passing interest in History you shold really give this channel a look, you won't regret it.
I love the History channel - Sky 529, then repeated on 530.
I believe if you know about history then you know about the present and have better understanding of life - good or bad.
I prefer 20th century history and the History Channel have had some brilliant programmes on world war 1 and 2, the Russian Revolution, Stalinist Russia, post-war Europe and Japan. They have also covered such events as the Iranian Seige and the assassination of J.F Kennedy etc.
If you or your children are studying history at college or uni this is a good channel to view as the programmes often give a good insight - eg often-rare footage or interviews are shown. eg. I recently watched a series of programmes about the Russian Revolution which included film archive plus interviews with Russian citizens and soldiers - brilliant stuff.
I also learned a great deal from the History Channel's series on the Holocaust. When I was at school this was not covered on the history syllabus and not being Jewish I did not really understand the impact of this truly horrific period in Germa history - but, once again, I felt I've learned a lot from watching footage and listening to victims' stories.
The history channel also cover some biographies - I've watched ones about Stalin, Hitler, Hitler's women, Goebels, Eichmann and Freud - brilliant stuff!
Of course one can't mention history without mentioning England - there have been good programmes which have focused on post-war Britain, crime during world war 2, the royal family and colonialism.
In conclusion then, if you want to view an informative and well-produced programme about past events have a look at the history channel!
As far as I am concerned my TV can be welded to the history channel. It is the most informative and interesting channel on TV. It is factual and so absorbing. I have been accused by my wife of living too much in the past and when I have had a scotch or two, I begin to reminis and recall bygone days. I get very nostalgic, but I love it too. As you get older you do seem to recall the past with fondness. I know that some of the history channel topics are not to get fond over in their content, but it casts your mind back you know, and you remember the better times. I also find it so very interesting to see actual film of the two world wars and try in my humble way to imagine what it must have been like for the men on the front line (whatever side). I can get so deep into the programmes that I sometimes feel as though I am there with them. My favourites are docs. about my hero Nelson, what a man he was. I would just love to have met him. Wellington, Drake, Elizabeth I, Victoria, Montgomery, Hitler and members of the third reich, I can remember Churchill and how I was devastated when he lost the election after the war, I remember thinking "What on earth are we to do now?" The history channel brings them all to life. The best, there is no other and I love living in the past.
The women have "Lifetime-Television for Women" and the cable gods handed men "The History Channel". Is it fair? It could be fair if the channel actually was a history channel instead of the Hitler channel, Marlboromax's mom actually came up with the name for the channel and she is quite right. They just dwell on Dubya Dubya Too. I mean maybe there are a bunch of old men sitting around watching it and reliving their sacrifices they made to make Eastern europe communist, but I hope that in fifty years I do not want to watch shows about the Gulf War on the History Channel all the time. So aside from all the Nazi and Hitler stuff they do have some good programs, their History IQ show is fun to watch and you can play along at home with the internet. Now I am warning you, if you haven't played the game yet and download it and get on there do not be discouraged by how good some people are. See there are some people (very Akin to my Dooyoo critics) that have the whole day to fritter away so they play History IQ over and over and memorize all of the questions. so there is no way you can beat them. Although they do keep track of you number of games played and your averahge score which is fun. The Channel plays too many episodes of "Black Sheep Squadron". I realize this is more affordable than coming up with original programming, but who wants to see BSS? I mean if you have to rely on Historical entertainment television pout on stuff like "They died with their boots on", "Zulu", "Bridge over River Kwai" and so forth. They have some great serials, "in Search of" is about the most interesting, fascinating, stimulating program on TV (not counting playboy or Spice channel). They just talk about some famous piece of history and show where it is located nowadays, anything from the Guillitoine, The musketball that killed Nelson or Washingtons wooden teeth.
The FBI show is ok but the channel is too soft on cops and the authorities in general. This generally is a half hour of Nazi Free programming. They totally lied and misportrayed the Outlaws Motorcycle Club as being a bunch of hardened criminals in one episode while the guys really are just a group of fun loving motorcycle enthusiasts who have been targeted as a social scapegoat by the FBI. The serial called "Great Blunders" basically blows. At some point in time people have to come to the conclusion that lots of things you hear in war that bolster morale and popular support simply aren't true. And this show just keeps circulating ancient propaganda as if it is facts. Case in point, always running down the Germans for attacking Russia in 1941, after the war Keitel had adamantly declared that the Russians were staging an attack on Germany, and now the Russians are forthright in admitting they were going all the way to Cherbourg in July of 1941, but we get to hear over and over about Hitler fighting a two front war and no winter uniforms and all that jazz. History's Mysteries is a cool show but unfortunately they leave out a lot of possible evidence or information to keep something a mystery rather than just a cool story. People love intrigue and mystery, thats why we still wonder what happened to Earheart and Noonan even after a dozen Japanese have confessed to executing them. The best facet of HC is some of their original features. They just got done running a huge thing called "Gold", it was fascinating to watch how that precious metal has shaped and dominated the world. If you get a chance to order this channel give it a try, it is for sure there is always something watchable on it. If you can't check out their website. I was just sitting here revenge rating people and stuff like taht with my TV on and I had it on the history channel going on about Guadacanal b
ut then they start talking about Josef Mengele and they get the German Ambassador von Statten on there. I just want to let any one who saw the show on Thursday Okt 4th 2001 at 515pm that I told that Ambassador off once. I went to DC for a model United Nations when I was a senior in High school and he was our special keynote speaker. I tore into him for saying that no German land laid East of the Oder river. i tore him apart in German in front of everyone and the kids all cheered me on. It felt so cool to be 17 and calling a world statesman a liar. BTW I had already appointed myself as God at the model united nations, all the cool kids got mad at the East Coast grinds who were ruining our sessions with minor points becomming big deals to them and they wasted all of our time so the kids from the West Coast all gave me thier votes because I was funny because I was high on drugs so I took control of the UN, and declared myself God. This did not go over well with the Southern Baptists. Anyways I was having fun and then I tore into this von Statten in front of everyone and it was fun.
History was never my strong point and in school it was even worse. As a teen you know the mode. bbbboooorrrriiinnnngggg . So I barely made it through . Well, as I got older I began to question history and myhusband told me once....... those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it . So I started to pay attention, read and then my local cable company got The History Channel. I have never enjoyed history more. This station covers everything from World War I to Vietnam and more. It doesn't just go over a story or give slight details. It goes in depth about each subject. I didn't realize what Roosevelt died from , do you know ? I didn't know about some of the details surrounding the Kennedys? Did you ? Want to know ? Then tune into the History Channel . It will be the best lesson you've ever received .
I think this is a terrific channel to keep you up to date with you’re history. It has so many different programmes on to keep you entertained. Its brilliantly presented and I think it’s a marvellous, educational and informative channel. Last week I was watching a documentary n the World Wars, it was really good and it learnt me some important fact about the wars which I didn’t know. If only I was at school and studying History, this channel would be perfect. I think the programmed was called ‘Secrets of War’ if anyone is interested. Its available when you buy the sky package and I think it’s a very good channel. You certainly can learn a few interesting facts. They have some interesting documentaries on the ‘Mafia’ or some other ‘legends’. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I like it and I think it’s a terrific channel to watch and learn. It used to come on at 4pm but now it comes on in the mornings as well. Look out for the biographies on the ‘Queen’ ‘Hitler’, two very different but very intriguing stories.
When I was studying for my 'A' levels, I found this channel extremely helpful. It gave excellent insight into wars, battles, people and the past itself. It was very helpful during my 'a' level History which I took, especially for coursework. I am sure watching the History channel improved my History grade. I know it can seem boring but the documentary style programmes are very informative, you can pick up a lot of knowledge from watching the channel. I loved the biographies they did, I even went out and bought the books of the people they had done. Like J.F. Kennedy, Chruchill Mussolini and many more. Its a brilliant channel surprisingly for you to pick up quotes, that was very helpful for my exams.One of my favourites was by Winston Churchill who said 'The first victom of war is truth'. Funny, watching the History channel was often valuable revision time. I strongly recommend this channel to anyone taking History at degree, A level or GCSE To do well in History you need all round knowledge this channel is an excellent basis for supplying you with that. Its available free as part of the sky multi-pack, it is worth having just to help your kids grasp the dates and historical concepts. It helped me a lot. A excellent educational channel, some quite fascinating stuff on.
This to me has been an excellent source of histrical information. Available for some bewteen 4 and 8, and longer for others(depending on their subscription.) Event such as the American Civil War, Ancient peoples and modern history and presented in a very informtaive manner. Also biographies of the famous and infamous are shown. History Channel is a good source of infomation for any history buff and some of the subjects can even be of help for those taking history exams. Channels such as this are of very good quality and a welcome break from the more banal afternoon shows, which I am not a fan of
This is one of the best channels ever brought to sky I watch it all the time. The programmes are varied but they are shown quite a lot of times. If you have digital you get the extended hours. Programmes include the world at war, Sink the Bismark and the battlefield. All age ranges should find this channel very intresting especially if you are studying history (I used it). The only thing that I would lik to see an improvement on is more new programmes an less repeats.
One of the best things about joining the multi channel revolution is the sheer breadth of choice: with 50 or 60 channels to pick from, even if you only watch some of them once in a blue moon (where DID that expression come from? Answers on a postcard, please!). I have been a fan of the history channel since its launch - like most of us who just missed it by a decade, the second World War has a fascination for me, and the History Channel has war documentaries virtually every day. They also cover other interesting topics, biographies of interesting 20th Century icons from Gandhi to Marilyn Monroe. Well worth whatever portion of the Â£27 a month I pay SKY that gets spent on it! My only criticism - too many repeats!