It doesn’t take much for a television show to grab my attention. I watch a lot of garbage and not ashamed to say it. Recently, I’ve become addicted to programs that show real life people buying things. Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, Auction Hunters, American Pickers, Auctions Kings; I watch them all.
It’s sad. I know.
There’s something truly fascinating about the idea that you can find something for nothing and turn it into thousands of dollars. I watch these shows and think to myself, I could easily do this, and I would never have to work again. It’s the same feeling I get watching televised poker.
So, last night was the season premiere of Auction Hunters on Spike TV. To promote the occasion, the executives at the station decided to put on what can only be described as “Al Capone’s Vault…But with Stuff Inside.” They got the two hosts of Auction Hunters to do a LIVE storage auction.
Here’s how it worked. The hosts were in a warehouse with a bunch of storage boxes that they “bought before the show aired and definitely didn’t have any planted items in them.” They had one hour to go through all the stuff in the storage units and sell them for profit. There were about 10 “experts” from various fields of knowledge, ready and waiting to bid on items. Spike also donated money to a charity somewhere in the middle of all of this.
Folks, this may have been the worst hour of television ever produced. First off, half the show is just watching guys go through the locker, with really no rhyme or reason. The guy from Loveline, Mike Catherwood, was MC’ing the whole thing, but even he couldn’t keep things linear. After the guys would find something in the locker, they would run over to the experts and try and sell it for some quick cash. Nothing was compelling, nothing was interesting, and nothing made any sense.
Shows like Auction Hunters work because of two reasons. One, through the power of editing, we only see the buyers find storage lockers with really cool things in them. We never see them buy crap units, because that isn’t fun. Second, the show is interesting because you learn about the items, find out their history, and hear what they are worth.
In last night’s show, you got none of that. You just got guys finding things that looked like they could be expensive and then selling them with no real explanation at all. It was like watching a security cam feed from a flea market.
Auction Hunters tried to break the mold of their genre last night and failed miserably. Stick to what ya know, boys.