Quick Take: Essentially, this is half a season for half the price. A non-sale, non-discounted price of 19.95 fits in line with almost six hours worth of DVD content. A full season, had it been released that way, would simply have doubled the asking price.
Last year, History and A&E Television made the dubious decision to start releasing Volumes of their most popular shows as opposed to Seasons. I was one of the most vocal opponents of this move and some of my scathing tirades can be found on those initial releases. In truth, though, I have nothing against the idea of volume releases (especially for shows that aren't held together by continuing plot threads) as long as three things are clear:
1) They need to be priced according to content and no more expensive individually than a season set would be.
2) Don't start releasing Full Seasons and then switch tactics mid-stream to confuse unsuspecting buyers.
3) If it isn't a season, all content needs to be disclosed on the DVD packaging so the consumer knows what they are getting!
Last year, many of these early Volume releases broke my second and third rule. I mean really! How can you release a DVD when it's not a full season and NOT tell buyers how many and which episodes are included? Absolutely unforgivable. I need that information to decide whether or not I want to purchase the set. As we have progressed, though, and the notion that we're to continue with Volume releasing has stayed with us, the point becomes rather more muddy. Now, we're past the second issue and the third issue has been corrected. All of these Volume releases now contain information about the content. So, there is no deception and no confusion. You get "x" number of episodes for "x" price. It's now up to you whether or not it's worth it. That's fair. If you don't like it, don't buy it.
Volume Four of "Pawn Stars" contains sixteen episodes over two discs for just shy of six hours worth of content, basically consisting of the second half of Season Three. There are no Special features, but English and Spanish subtitles are optional. Included:
(1) Cornering the Colonel, (2) Ready, Set, Pawn, (3) The Eagle Has Landed, (4) Like A Rolling Chum, (5) Hello Nurse, (6) Chumdog Millionaire, (7) Gone With the Schwinn, (8) Bare Bones, (9) Never Surrender, (10) Honest Abe, (11) Monkey Business, (12) Packing Heat, (13) Luck of the Draw, (14) Houdini's Handcuffs, (15) Pedal to the Metal, and (16) Case Closed.
The show is entertaining for several reasons. Of course, some intriguing merchandise passes through their hands and you just might learn something. But as in any reality show, this one is as much about interaction and conversation as it is about the art of the deal. The Harrison guys are a colorful crew--real old school Vegas. Perhaps the biggest scene stealer is Chumlee (like an adopted son) who plays village idiot, but can surprise you as well. It's comical and engaging for the most part. All in all, it is rather like the unsavory and confrontational cousin to the classic "Antiques Roadshow" with more grit and edge. KGHarris, 6/12,