June 7th, 2012, 03:06 PM
Believe it or not this is the cast of Storage Wars, not the latest batch of hunks for this season of The Bachelorette.
Forget bath salts, if you really want something addictive just turn on your TV. Plus TV probably won’t make you want to eat anyone’s face…unless it happens to be the challenge ingredient on an episode of Iron Chef and someone whips up a tasty looking three course serving (Appetizer:Face a-la-carte, Dinner: Open-Faced Sandwich, Dessert: Puff Face-stries). But when it comes to TV, people will always tell you the same shows are addictive: The Wire, Lost, Justified, Downton Abbey, Mad Men. You know, all those quality programs with artistic ambition, well-crafted writing and nuanced performances. But let’s be honest, those aren’t the shows that you watch 7 episodes in a row of when you flip the TV on, simply because you can’t bring yourself to change the channel. These shows, however, are. Or at least they are for me. Basic cable has cracked the code of hos exactly to keep me watching through every commercial break: cliffhangers and marathons of episodes.
5. American Pickers - This show about a couple guys digging through old barns and houses stuffed with rusty old garbage could be incredibly boring, but the two hosts make it a fun ride and make you excited about their latest find. I honestly never thought I would be excited about the prospect of finding a rare oil can, but that’s just how infectious their enthusiasm is. Plus checking out the bizarre places crammed with junk is always amusing.
4. Swamp People - When a show is filmed entirely in the USA, and only features born and bred Americans, but still requires subtitles, you know you’re in for a treat. This is a show about people in the swamps of Louisiana who hunt alligators for a living, which is pretty insane and looks horribly unpleasant. I don’t know what is scarier, the alligators or the dentistry. But when they start fighting with a big old gator it becomes pretty riveting TV. And yes, you do find yourself rooting for the gator a lot.
3. Pawn Stars - Will Rick buy that Civil War era rifle? Will Big Hoss risk buying a used ice cream truck? Will Chumley say something really dumb and scripted about whatever collectible is brought in? (yes) Will the Old Man live through the entire episode? These are the questions I ask myself pretty much every episode of Pawn Stars, and boy do they keep me watching. By highlighting collectibles and rare finds over what 95% of the pawn shop business is actually about (buying a blood-stained gold watch from a crackhead so they can go buy more crack) they’ve come up with a winner.
2. American Restoration - Every episode of American Restoration is simple: a couple people bring in really cool old timey items, the guys on the show fix them up so they are even cooler looking old timey items. But once you see the rusted shell of a unique item and hear what they have in store you just can’t help but see it through to the end. Every time they try to put in a “story” or feature the “characters” it is some of the most poorly scripted reality TV I have ever seen, but checking out that shiny refurbished item is always worth it.
1. Storage Wars - Ok, I’ll be the first to admit the premise of this show is depressing from every angle. Storage lockers go unpaid for (probably because the person is dead, in prison, or in horrible debt) and then get bid on by people desperate to dig through dirty old junk in hopes of eeking out a bit of profit. But boy oh boy is it addicting! Just waiting to see what odd treasures they discover is great, but when they happen to stumble across a safe and have to bust it open it’s low stakes suspense TV at it’s finest. I’ll also be the first to admit that the producers clearly plant some of the more unique items to spice the show up, but who cares? This show has Barry Weiss, after all, the greatest personality in all of reality TV.