32 Episodes on 4 DVDs, released August 24, 2010
The "Pawn Stars" reality series has made it into a second season from the History Channel about a family-run Gold and Silver Pawn shop in Las Vegas with three generations of men assessing the value of antiques, historical items, vehicles, and junk from a number of bizarre customers in need of money.
Rick Harrison and his father affectionately coined "The Old Man" own the shop together. Rick's son, Corey known as "Big Hoss" is hoped to one day take over the shop if only he and his idiot friend, Austin "Chumlee" Russell were less moronic. Each person has their own style with dealing with customers, but always take the same steps to assess by asking questions, calling in experts when their own knowledge is lacking, and in the restoration process of certain items.
Rick is by far the most charismatic everyman of the bunch. He is friendly, courteous, and occasionally exercises a little bit of sympathy in the bargaining process. What is very impressive about Rick and his father are their knowledge of history and they can usually tell the customer more about their item than the customer knew walking in and that's before calling in someone to check items out for counterfeit and condition. It's a great way to learn things about history that you might never have learned before, for instance, George Washington was not the first president. There were several people who took on one year terms before the country officially became the United States of America!
"The Old Man" is always cranky and insulting to the others who work in the shop (who more often than not deserve it) but it's enjoyable to see him get excited about an item that comes in. His face never changes expression but suddenly he moves more quickly and his voice goes above a flat line of emotion. He and Rick get into arguments over whether items were from WWI or WWII, etc. since he was in five wars or something like that. He is a fan of old cars.
Big Hoss and Chumlee are very questionable characters on the show because you keep asking yourself, can anyone be THIS dumb? THIS lazy? THIS out of shape? Just talking gets Big Hoss out of breath. There is probably quite a bit of truth in their interactions, particularly when Big Hoss is actually being responsible, but Chumlee says the most off the wall things to customers. For example, an original script owned by the actor who played Odd Job in "Goldfinger" came in and Chumlee pipes in with, "I love Austin Powers!" and later it shows him in the backroom reading the script and trying to act out the parts like a little kid. They make him test out all questionable guns since he's dumb enough to do it.
The sad thing about the show is how many people are bringing in things to pawn or sell because of "the economic crisis" and/or losing their job. Others have the good fortune of happening to find something in their attic, new storage bin, or were asked to haul something off and find a treasure. It is always disappointing to find out when they were ripped off and something is counterfeit or a treasured family heirloom passed down through generations turns out to have "replica" stamped on it somewhere.
What's great about this show besides the educational aspect is when a customer brings something in hoping to get a few hundred bucks or a new guitar and leaves with several thousand once the expert assesses the value. The Gold and Silver Pawn shop never appears to rip customers off and usually call in experts before talking price and when they don't call in the experts, they sometimes get screwed.
It is fun to check out and best when it sticks to what it does best, focusing on the unique items being brought in instead of the idiocy of the employees and giving them reality tv show subplots.
There is additional footage from many of the episodes that appear to be segments played during commercial breaks and are pretty interesting. For example, Big Hoss discusses how to tell if a diamond is real, Rick explains the differences in pocket watches, they talk about the strategy of bargaining, and you get to hear the story of how Big Hoss and Chumlee met (a fist fight).