Pawn Stars, volume 4
release year: 2010-2011
viewing setting: home DVD, 10/18-23/2016
synopsis: The Gold and Silver pawn shop has been open in Las Vegas for twenty years, and features a group of employees that's just as varied and unusual as the items that are brought into the store on a daily basis.
impressions: The confusion on episode numbering continues, still. This "volume 4" DVD set consists of sixteen episodes, specifically numbers 63 (Cornering the Colonel, 9/13/2010) through 78 (Case Closed, 1/24/2011.) Accordingly, I've changed my terminology from "season" to "volume" which is more accurate for what they're packaging and selling. Anyway, you can find a complete summary here. The items that I liked the most included a WWII land mine kit (episode 64), an 1861 double eagle gold coin (episode 65), some 290 million year old fossils (episode 70), a collection of 1990s Atlanta Braves championship rings (episode 74), and a chess board made from Titanic wood (episode 77.) Also of note, and I've seen it in previous collections but much more so in this one: in almost every episode, the camera focuses briefly on some attractive female customer in the shop.
some trends I've noticed: I felt it was time, after 70+ episodes, to provide some commentary on the psychology of pawning. I don't mean the normal haggling that goes on when one person wants to get the most money possible and the other wants to pay the least money possible. No, I'm talking about some common mistakes that would-be sellers make when they come to the pawn shop:
(having something only you think is valuable) example: Sammy Davis Jr's collection of VHS tapes
(something you paid a lot of money for so you just assume it's not fake, and worth a lot of money) examples: counterfeit anything, a poem supposedly hand-written by Jimi Hendrix
(something you did zero research on before you brought it in, and/or have absolutely no idea what it is or what it might be worth)
(something that would be worth a lot of money if you had any provenance/proof that it is what it is) example: a whip that was supposedly used by Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark (this guy actually got mad at Rick and didn't understand why Rick wouldn't just believe him and pay top dollar)
(bringing in something that would be valuable once thousands of dollars are spent on restoration, but asking for the post-restoration value not the pre-restoration value)
acting: n/a, but there are really four main personalities here, plus some experts who are interesting and know their stuff. There were several side plots in this group of episodes, including Chumlee getting business cards, something about working the night shift, and an appearance on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" Bob Dylan appears briefly in one episode, the Oak Ridge Boys in another.
final word: Never dull, always entertaining slice of life in a pawn shop.
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