1/26/2014 by D. Cammarota
TV Pawn Shows
In the last five years, pawn shop stars have become some of the biggest stars in Hollywood reality television. Richard "Old Man" Harris and his son Rick from Pawn Stars are beloved Las Vegas Pawn shop owners whose antics have been entertaining Americans since the summer of 2009. Pawn Stars gave rise to Hardcore Pawn out of Detroit in the summer of 2010 and Beverly Hills Pawn in 2013, and we've been hooked on pawning ever since. Before the wave of fame, The Pawn Stars shop was like any other Vegas Pawn shop, so why and how did this phenomenon catch on?
If we think about it, reality television at its core is about getting a behind-the-scene glimpse into areas of American life that we may never otherwise get to see. Pawn Shops have always held a bit of mystery and who isn't a little fascinated by Sin City? Put that together with people loving to see other people either score big or hit the skids and it makes sense that this Las Vegas Pawn Shop has created quite a stir.
Beverly Hills Pawn has brought another dimension to the pawn shop reality genre. Not only do Americans get to spend an hour in one of the country's most prestigious zip codes, we get to see a more glamorous side of pawn dealing. From the inventory of luxury items, to rare Hollywood memorabilia to the brash, no-nonsense hosts, Beverly Hills pawn has all of the elements required for great reality television.
Perhaps it was the flailing economy around 2009 that gave birth to these pawn shop stars. It is, after all, the job of the producers and creators of the reality television genre to keep their fingers on the pulse of American culture. Around the time of their inception, more and more Americans found themselves needing to sell their stuff or obtain short-term loans on their valuables, so they could relate to and learn from the everyday dealings that are shown. Perhaps it is the magical mixture of the fantasy of finding a hidden treasure or the reality of being in a financial bind but whatever the reason, these unlikely Pawn Shop stars are now permanent fixtures on the landscape of American pop culture.