Gather Your Loved Ones About You (and Prepare to Sell Their Stuff), Here Comes "Pawn Stars: Volume 4 - The Pawnening" Review

Pawn Stars: Volume 4… Even Pawn-y-er

Rick Harrison, Old Man, Big Hoss, and Austin Harrison (who for some inexplicable reason insists on being called “Chumlee") are back for another round of pawn shop hijinks at their family-owned Las Vegas pawn shop, the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.

Though the level of hackneyed, clearly choreographed arguments between the bickering family members/owners threaten to nearly choke viewers, Rick Harrison seems to remain a consistently pleasant and fair shopkeeper. His vast array of knowledge is no doubt why this series is as successful as it is – even amidst the flood of pawn, salvage, auction, and storage treasure-hunting shows that seem to be multiplying by the hour. In explaining the significance of various items to a typically blank-faced Chumlee, Rick doles out all sorts of useless information that would make you a hero on your local trivia team…and not anywhere else. Nuggets of wisdom like the original meaning of “gridiron” in football (which was when the fields used to be painted in squares, thus, making a grid). I never thought I would want to know that. But, now that I do, it’s kind of neat.

In Season 4, there are few surprises. After all, it’s a formulaic show by nature. It’s not as if there is some big overall plot arc through the seasons. Unless, of course, the guys from Hardcore Pawn ever take a cross country road trip to incite an all-pawn edition of Celebrity Deathmatch (Remember that show? Man, I feel old). People take their items into the store (a first edition Rolling Stone, Picasso drawings, a decommissioned US Air Force issued heat-seeking missile from the 1960s, 70’s era Evel Knievel pinball machine, etc), and try their best to haggle for a fair price. The interesting thing about this show is its experts. Las Vegas appears to have a treasure trove of specialists in all manner of artifacts and Americana at its disposal. There is even some History channel crossover action when the boys from American Restoration drop in to take a look at items that would need the greatest amount of work to resell. (Fun fact: American Restoration was actually a spinoff of Pawn Stars. See Rick, I know some stuff too!)

The success of Pawn Stars plays on two things: Rick’s knowledge and the happenstance of customers finding out that the antique gun/painting/photograph they hold so dear is, in actuality, worthless. Pawn Stars is pretty good about not relying on the shock of a forgery to keep people watching. If they would calm down on the manufactured “drama” and occasional spouts of yelling that some ad guy thought would keep the audience coming back for more, they could have a much more interesting and informative show. After all, the Antiques Roadshow has been on forever and you never see those guys screaming for no reason.

DVD Bonus Features

There are none.

"Pawn Stars: Volume 4" is on sale June 5, 2012 and is not rated. Reality. Directed by Jairus Cobb. Written by Jarius Cobb, Greg Volk. Starring Austin Russell, Corey Harrison, Richard Harrison, Rick Harrison.

Ashley Sims • Staff Writer

Ashley Sims is a comedy writer and blogger from Atlanta, currently living in Brooklyn. She watches way too much TV and writes to support her brunch addiction.


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