Were you to combine the television shows Antique Roadshow, Pawn Stars and Let’s Make a Deal and set it in a self storage facility you’d have something that resembles A&E’s hit series Storage Wars.
I’m not a fan of reality television shows that feature spoiled housewives, bad behaving adult, rich people with bad toupees and former celebrities. I do, however, enjoy series like Ice Road Truckers, The Deadliest Catch or American Pickers. Most of these shows are addictive because of a combination the personalities that populate them and the bizarre world that they live in. Bidding on abandoned storage units isn’t exactly the most glamorous profession. As such the main characters of Storage Wars are more or less blue-collar workers. At the top of the food chain is Dave Hester, “The Mogul,” who seems as interested in bankrupting the other buyers as he is in making a profit. Caught in the middle is Darrell Sheets, “The Gambler,” who tries to be cold and calculated but from time to time can’t keep himself from being helpful. The bottom feeder of the group is Jared Schultz, “The Young Gun,” who is occasionally accompanied by his wife Brandi. Schultz runs a thrift store and doesn’t have much experience. He’s competitive to a fault and tends to get exploited by Hester and Sheets. Then there is “The Collector,” Barry Weiss, who is the wildcard. He’s looking for collectables, rather than trying to make a living off of his finds. He’s known for his outrageous tactics and equally strange wardrobe. I don’t really like, or identify, with any of them.
You’d think, by not really having a rooting interest, that I’d find the series unbearable. That’s not the case. For me the show is all about digging through someone’s abandoned possessions and finding the hidden gems. As the series progressed I found myself silently bidding on the various units, playing against the featured buyers and amassing my own running ledger of profit and loss. I even found myself looking up storage auctions in my area.
Storage Wars is about venturing out into the great unknown at a price that most viewers could afford. Would we have the same success as the featured buyers? I doubt it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy living vicariously through the show’s characters. I know I was certainly excited when Schultz discovered a box of collectable toys. He had no idea what he had stumbled upon but the geek in me knew that he was sitting on a goldmine.