The concept of “Pawn Stars,” the History Channel’s latest stab at reality TV, is admittedly yawn-inducing. Set in a family-run pawn shop off the strip in Las Vegas, the show works thanks to the personalities of the shop owners and employees and an interesting collection of items that come into the shop.
The store is run by the Harrison men, three generations – including the cranky, “I’ve seen it all” Navy vet grandfather Richard, his affable and extremely patient son Rick and the goofy and nearly always put-upon grandson Corey. Corey’s buddy Chumlee also works at the store, but he is so thick-headed you’d swear he was a hired actor brought in to play the idiot side kick.
History lessons are snuck into the episodes (it’s the History Channel, folks) when customers try to sell or pawn old fire arms, coins and military uniforms, but the show’s main charm is the personalities behind the counter.
That being said, the highlight of the first season is when cameras catch the honest reaction of a man who came into the store to try and sell an antique hand gun he paid $800 for at some point. A weapons expert examines the gun and has to break it to the guy that he bought a fake pistol actually worth about $75. Priceless.