History has a way to occurring in the most ordinary of places. The objects that mark as a reminder of these events sometimes have a way to making themselves known not in a museum, but in a private setting.
American Pickers (2010-Present), has been a staple of the History Channel schedule for nearly a decade. The show follows a team of antique collectors who travel across the country looking for hidden historical gems to fill either their personal collections or to sell to waiting customers.
Though American Pickers is labelled as a reality show, it’s not what one thinks of when one thinks of a typical reality show. That being said, I find this show rather boring. I understand the unique concept of the program, but it has never hooked me as other shows have.
History has always been a fascinating topic. But sometimes, it must be couched or presented in a way that is exciting.
America: The Story of Us premiered in 2010 on the History Channel. Airing every 4th of July, this 12 part, 9 hour long documentary tells the story of 400 years of American history. Combining interviews, computer recreations and dramatic re-tellings of the events that shaped America’s history, this show is an academic history book brought to life.
As a history nerd, I find this program fascinating, even after multiple viewings. The history of our country comes alive, as if the viewer is experiencing it first hand. I especially appreciate how the changing technology is woven into the narrative, used an example of the American ideal of thinking out of the box to achieve our goals.
Pawn shops don’t always have the best reputation. But sometimes, it’s the only option when one needs money fast.
The History Channel show, Pawn Stars, premiered in 2009 and has yet to leave the air. Set in the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, the show follows Rick Harrison, his father Richard “Old Man” Harrison, his son Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison and employee Austin “Chumlee” Russell as they go about their job working at the pawn shop. Every episode, a customer will bring in something to sell or pawn. There is usually some haggling and if needed, bringing in an expert to confirm the price of the object. At this point, a deal is made or the customer walks out still carrying what they came in with.
Yes, Pawn Stars is a reality show. But, Pawn Stars is different. Not only does the viewer learn something about the object in question, but they also don’t feel brain dead by the end of the episode.
Harry Houdini is a g-d among magicians. From the street magician doing simple card tricks to the glitziest magician on the biggest stage on the Vegas strip, he is among the immortals. But he was also a human being.
Born Ehrich Weiss in Hungary in 1874, he emigrated with his family to America as a child. Taking the stage name of Harry Houdini, he became world famous during his lifetime and since his death in 1926, he has become a legend.
The History Channel two part series, Houdini , stars Adrian Brody as the legendary magician as Kristen Connolly as his wife, Bess. I watched the first part last night. It is a well made series, the production values are excellent. What I enjoyed was the time travelling aspect of the screen play, going back to Harry’s childhood and then returning to his adult self. Harry and Bess, despite their fame and status are normal people with the same problems that we all face. Their marriage is not all butterflies and roses, as any marriage is. What I am enjoying about the program is seeing the the real people under the legend.
The first part aired last night at 9 PM EST, the second part airs tonight at 9 PM EST. I recommend it.