“ Producer: T Group Productions / Format: "Reality" „
This show is much more than it seems on the surface. You'd think being a storage auction programme this is just some idiots wandering around storage bins buying junk but actually there are some fantastic finds and this (believe it or not) has a storyline to it, with long running feuds between teams and it does get violent when verbal warfare goes to the next level.
The storyline is based on deep seated rivalry between teams, the Taylor brothers and Brandon & Lori who are the main buyers on the show and with a net worth of $1m+ they tend to bid on everything they can find. Brandon and Lori are the Brains. They do a lot of "research" on bins and what they can sell stuff for but the Taylor brothers are the Braun who result to violence, anger, cheating and ganging up to buy bins.
I am absolutely hooked on this programme and with Series 2 starting I'm absolutely thrilled that I joined the programme when I did. I actually hope they make DVD's of this because they probably could make a few hours out of it without ad breaks, and I certainly would buy them.
Last episode was very interesting when Brandon and Lori actually bought a Tesla sports car for $28,000 with a retail value of $100,000+ so it's not like these guys are just buying and selling junk. The Taylor Brothers paid $48,000 for wristbands... swings and roundabouts, but that's my point: You never know whats inside or whats going to happen, completely unpredictable.
I do think that some of it is scripted, and you can tell when they're acting and when they're not but the money, the bidding, the anger and feuds are real, and they have encountered these problems outside of the show so it must be the case, without a shadow of a doubt they are essentially celebrities, and you can't act in real life so it does go a bit deeper, but the more gullible viewer would easily be sucked in by the acting.
Overall this is an absolutely fantastic programme. Yes it has some minor faults but this isn't storage wars where a bunch of strangers come and bid on junk. This has regular bidders, a story line, anger and violence, high value items and everything in between. I will award a 5 star rating, but I do hope they release this on DVD so I don't have to watch it on Dave.
The show is on Dave and Dave HD every Tuesday at 8 until 9 (2 episodes per night)
Storage Hunters, known as Storage Wars in the US, is an example of the new breed of Reality TV where it becomes Unreality TV, a highly comical and oddball hybrid. We started to see it here with 'The Only Way is Essex, where brain dead idiots from Essex play an exaggerated version of themselves to great praise from likewise idiots in Essex. Storage Wars isn't quite that bad as the people concerned are mostly genuine in what they do but they so play a role in a prepared narrative, the subject here being auctions and buying and selling, a sort of Bargain Hunters for obnoxious American fat mouths.
The premise is that independent traders (like our Delboy) buy and sell stuff they get from something the Yanks call 'bin sales'. In America storage is a big thing and people often store personal possessions away in lockers and garages and pay for the privilege monthly, like when they lose their benefits after six months or their business goes under and so their homes and accommodation are at risk and so their gear has to go somewhere. You pay your way in America or its food stamps and workfare.
The show follows a regular bunch or bidders who arrive at the various storage sites and prepare to bid for the contents of each garage like unit. The rules are they get five minutes to pear into the unit (no rummaging for television drama reasons) and bid on the contents, the idea being they must research the previous owner or company who has stopped paying the rent on it to get good value (after three months non payment of rent the bin contents legally belong to the storage company), why the punters are allowed to bid for it, often cheaply. Would you bid for the contents of your neighbors garage?
This being a TV show once the padlock and chains are cut ready for the auction style sale the bins featured - suspiciously - seem to have all manner of wild and wonderful things in them and you do wonder how much was 'placed' in there to make the show more spicy. One bin was 'booby trapped' when it was opened last series, an example of the rather erroneous nature of the show. Just about everything turns up in the bins and some of it rather valuable to those who have an eye for these things, which is perfectly feasible. Other stuff is just plain weird, everything from Nazi memorabilia and kinky dolls turning up in the shows I have seen. But it's mostly collectibles and oddities they are after or things of genuine value on immediate resale, like a portable hot dog stand or car parts, and so reason to do it. It looks great fun too, showbiz memorabilia the most sort after. It makes sense that people would store valuables in the units.
As this is America our bidders are generally loud and not uncommon for them to come to blows just for the cameras, the show tending to concentrate on the same few obnoxious people who show up at the auctions.
The stars of the show are unlikely married couple Brandon and Laurie Bernier, he a handsome ex boxer, she a heffer, various other characters that turn up complementing the frictions and always getting competitive over the bidding, including characters like 'Papa Bear', 'The Money' and 'Will C', covering the American ethnic spectrum to keep things volatile and jive 'talky'.
The question now is just how credible is the exercise and is it entertaining. We know the auctioneer is a stand up comic and actor and the producers have revealed that much but we don't know how many of the bidders are real. We also know the 'stars of the show' get 10k an episode under American showbiz rules and so have to perform. Effectively the general public has become the actors on American TV. But, of course, if most of the bidders and bargains are real the show becomes enticing to a certain type of gullible audience who will stick with the show and may even go out and bid on the contents of these units at the weekend because they think they too will get lucky, bins going from anything from $250 to $10,000. Whereas to me it seems most of the units contents are staged and so the bids not that genuine. But I have no problem with the idea that most of the bidders are real and this indeed their businesses of employment. Again it does look a lot of fun for something to get into. There are no shortages of showy Americans out there that want to be in these reality type shows and go along with it all. Its great publicity for them and who cares what they look like, an obnoxious d**k in most cases.
As far as how watchable it is I would say its classic daytime TV and so there, like your afternoon snacks, there as comfort TV you really don't need but not unhealthy in moderation. There are five million people at home in the daytime in the UK and they need some vacuous TV, the likes of this, Man V Food and Top Gear on the TV channel Dave exactly what they need to snack on. If I am flicking through the channels and its there I must admit I will watch it as idiot Americans bumping chest and palms for some reason is entertaining. It's the sort of TV no one admits to watching and so why it's entertaining.