Monday, March 7, 2011

Trashy TV Shows

Ever since our family had gotten a dvr unit as part of an upgrade in service (Which actually ends up costing less than C-----t, oddly enough!) I have been recording a few different shows that I hadn't had a chance to watch before.  I started out recordig some shows that I'd see before ad just didn't have dvds for (Sealab 2021, Robot Chicken, etc), but the I decided to check out some ew programs.

The first one I checked out was Pawn Stars, about a pawn shop located in or near Las Vegas.  Much of the entertainment value for me is actually listening to the stories behind some of the items, even if they may be made up.  A lot of the time it seems realistic enough, but there are many times when it's obvious that it's scripted.  A dream sequence is even inserted into the episode, complete with the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire set and cast.  The main characters shown are "The Old Man", Rick, "Big mley"; Three out of four are family, Grandfather, Father and son, with Chumley being the childhood fried of Big Hoss.  Chumley is a source of a lot of comic relief due to bumbling acts, but they are sometimes more painful to watch than you'd like.

These people can sometimes do a somewhat good deed, but greed is common, and they lie about what something will cost to refinish, or how much it's worth.  They also drive down purchase prices to below half of what the 'experts' they have comne in to identify items, and often Rick will claim something is obviously fake, only for it to be authentic, whereas he then makes a 180 turn and says how awesome it is.  Overall, it's a pretty entertaining piece of television, and I'd suggest trying to watch it at least once; you can find it on the History channel of all places, probably citing the iformation about antiques.

Another show worth mentioning is America Pickers, which is actually rather similar to Pawn Stars, except that two middle-aged me go out and buy antiques and interesting pieces of americana,  I haven't watched much of it yet, so I'm not sure if I'll continue watching it, but it would probably be best to give it at least three episodes before dropping it.  This is also on the History Channel, probably under the same pretense of people searching for "antiques".

Tru Tv (Formerly, as I'm sure most of you know, Court TV) has the other two shows I'm following; the first I watched, Bait Car, is actually based off the real bait car concept originally adopted by Canadian police to combat car theft.  The basic premise is that police rig a car with cameras, microphones, a gps tracking beacon, as well as a unit that allows them to remotely shut off the engine and lock the doors from the inside.  The original reason for this was that car thieves were notoriously hard to convict, as getting evidence that a given suspect had actually done anything was hard to prove.  Thankfully, now all they have to do is show the tape in court; as a matter of fact, these tapes became so popular a site was born, Bait Car (DOTCOMMM)

At first, the police were nervous that this would expose their operations, but some disagreed with this assessment; if this was more widely known, car thieves may back off in the belief that any car could be trapped in such a way!   In the beginning, people still made excuses (I need to go see... my,.. nephew's grave), but as the concept was wider known, a look of resigned fear started to appear on thieves' faces as the car they had just gotten away scot-free with was their doom.

Speaking of car theft, the final show I'll talk about is Operation Repo; it is filmed in a manner similar to Cops, but is actually scripted out, all the action supposedly based on real events.  This show, I must admit, is a guilty pleasure for me; seeing people try to lie their way out of being repossessed is a bit like a trainwreck.  I just can't look away; even though I sympathize with people who have financial problems, they wouldn't be in this situation if they hadn't avoided payments.  A lot of time creditors *are* willing to work with you, because they would rather have your payments than have to pay a company to take a vehicle from you.

Until Next Time,

-Joel de Bunchastu

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