Pawn Stars: Why This Show is Such a Hit

The History Channel’s Pawn Stars is a reality show that follows the day-to-day workings of a 24-hour pawn shop owned by Rick Harrison, his father, Richard Harrison, and his son Corey Harrison. The audience sees people coming into the pawn shop to sell their belongings. The items people sell are as varying as their reasons for selling them, and, because of this, the show has taken America by storm.

The Characters

The characters of Pawn Stars make the show interesting and engaging. Rick Harrison is the main character as the owner of the 24-hour Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, Nevada. The store is a family business, so he works there with his father, Richard Harrison, and his son Corey Harrison. Based on how they discuss different items that come into the store, these guys know their stuff. After decades of experience running a pawn shop, they are extremely business-minded, and are comfortable buying and selling even the most valuable items. Their knowledge of historical pieces is extensive, and when they don’t know about a certain item, they have a huge network of experts they can call in on a moment’s notice to appraise pieces. Chumlee, Corey’s childhood friend, also works at the shop, though he is not as business-minded as the trio. He is often the source of comic relief throughout the show.

The Premise

On the reality show, we see all sorts of people come in to sell, and sometimes pawn, old items. Usually, the items we see on the show are presumed to be very valuable, or at least unique, though I’m sure they see their share of mundane items in the shop, as well. At times, the guys can make a deal right away. Other times, they must call in a host of experts to appraise and authenticate items. Sometimes pieces need to be restored to their original glory before they can be resold, and the audience witnesses some of these restorations first-hand. The audience sees all of these scenarios in the course of the show, and hears the guys talk about how they decide to buy and sell different items.

The Appeal

Why would anyone want to watch a bunch of guys buy and sell items? To start, it is fascinating to see the different pieces that come into the store. The array of items that come through the doors is extensive. People bring in everything from priceless Civil War artifacts to old bicycles to autographed posters. Just when you think the guys have seen it all, someone comes in with something they have to call an expert about just to identify it. Seeing the experts come in is also really interesting. Often, they share lots of information about the history of the item and, sometimes, when the item is a fake, they share all the different ways they were able to identify it as such. When a deal is made, often the piece needs to be restored before it can be sold, and the difference between the original item and the restored piece is breathtaking. The professionals working on restorations are artistic geniuses, and they always manage to capture the essence of the piece in the restoration. Finally, when the guys decide to buy an item, there is always a scene in which the seller and the guys haggle over the price. Each seller haggles differently, and it’s fun to see if they will get even close to the price they wanted.

All in all, Pawn Stars is both fun and educational. It’s a great show for the whole family to watch!