STUDIO: A&E Entertainment
MSRP: $15.99
RUNNING TIME: 418 minutes

It’s an empty storage locker of special features.

The Pitch

It’s Let’s Make a Deal meets reality TV, with a wow factor.

The Humans

Darrell Sheets, Barry Weiss, Dave Hester, Jarrod Schulz, Brandi Passante, Dan Dotson, Laura Dotson.

The Nutshell

The A&E reality show follows five professionals who buy storage units whose previous owners have run delinquent in payments.  The buyers aren’t allowed to see the full contents of the units and have to buy them mostly sight unseen.  They bid on them auction style and sometimes they come up with hidden treasures that they can flip for a profit or they crap out on a worthless unit.  It’s always an adventure that’s made even more fun by the interactions of the bidders, which isn’t always friendly.

The Lowdown

This show completely hooked me from the first episode.  It’s a gas, pure and simple.  It has the element of scoring possible big paydays or taking complete baths depending on how much the buyers shell out for a unit.  But the real hook of the show is the buyers themselves, five colorful characters who actually do this for a living.  While they’ve become big TV stars, these guys have been duking it out in storage auctions for years.  And while their interactions are frequently fun, often they’re not, and some genuine animosity is a regular fixture on the show.  The formula for the show is simplicity itself: the buyers bid on the units by  auction, which is carried out by the John Moschitta-like lips of auctioneer, Dan Dotson.  One of them wins, then he goes digging to see what he’s purchased, and gets and expert opinion on items with which he’s not familiar.  They can and do find the weirdest shit that is often worth a small fortune.

The buyers consists of Darrell Sheets, Dave Hester, Barry Weiss, Jarrod Schulz and his partner in biz and life, Brandi Passante.  Darrell is described as “The Gambler,” who will frequently go big on just a hunch and describes the reason he does that type of work as that he’s looking for the “wow factor,” that one big score of rare and unbelievable value.  Dave Hester is the self-professed villain of the piece, called “The Mogul”.  He’s the biggest and most successful operator, with both a thrift shop and higher end outlet.  He frequently drives up prices on units just to piss of the others and more often than not comes down with the biggest scores.  He’s had his run-ins with all of the cast members more than they have with each other.  He doesn’t care if he comes off like a douche as long as he makes his money.  And he’s added “Yeeeeeppppp!” to the lexicon.

Barry Weiss is the jokester of the bunch and dubbed “The Collector”, a retiree who is in the game to find collectibles.  He often shows up in colorful attire, rolling in in several of his vintage cars and bikes, and likes to pull stunts like having psychics sniff out valuable units or a little person on stilts try to see over the junk.  Most of the buyers like Barry, although he’s rubbed Hester the wrong way with his antics a few times.  Finally, Jarrod and Brandi are the married couple who aren’t, and called “The Young Guns.”  Jarrod is the newcomer and had to prove himself to the more experience Darrell and Dave.  He and Brandi own a small thrift shop in Orange, CA.  At first they didn’t usually have the resources to compete with Hester on larger units and when Hester didn’t get the unit, he would assuredly drive up the price just to rankle them.  Jarrod and Brandi often argue about which units they find valuable.

The show is more addictive than crack, with the anticipation of what’s to be found in the units and the often contentious but never boring auctions, to the buyers consulting with experts to find out if they’ve scored or missed on their purchases.  It’s fun to hate Hester, who can devolve into cutthroat mode real quick.  Darrell frequently tries to get over on Hester but doesn’t, Barry’s antics always add color to the show and Brandi’s and Jarrod’s bickering is always fun.

The Package

Picture quality is good and sound is fine in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.  There are 19 episodes on three discs.  But if you’re looking to bid on this based on special features, you’ll lose your shirt.


Out of a Possible 5 Stars