For more than a decade, the History Channel series Pawn Stars has provided a unique and interesting look into the culture of pawn shops. Once seen as seedy businesses always looking to screw people over, Pawn Stars has helped viewers see a different side of things. In the years since the show has been on the air, Rick Harrison and the rest of the crew at World Famous Gold & Silver in Las Vegas have watched countless valuable items come through the doors of their shop. In the process, they have shown what goes into determining the value of an item. While the show has become wildly popular, some people can’t help but wonder if it’s all been staged. That leads us to one simply question: could Pawn Stars be fake? Keep reading to find out.
The History Of Pawn Stars
The idea for Pawn Stars had been ruminating long before the show made its debut. Rick Harrison, who owns the shop featured on the show, had been trying to get a TV show based on his business for years. Although the shop had been shown in a couple of documentary series prior to Pawn Stars, no full fledged TV deals came along until Brent Montgomery and Colby Gaines came into the picture. Montgomery and Gaines had been looking for a pawn shop to do a show about and World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop turned out to be the perfect fit. The family owned element of World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop takes away from some of the negativity commonly associated with pawn shops, and the employees at the store bring lots of personality.
How Pawn Stars Works
During each episode of Pawn Stars, customers bring in a variety of items which are inspected and appraised. Since some of these items are rare, Rick has experts who specialize in specific areas who can provide more information on what certain items are worth. Backstories are typically given on the items that are brought into the shop and there have been several things featured on the show that hold historical significance. Once the customer is told what the item is worth, they can choose to sell the item, keep it, or haggle with Rick for a better price. On top of transactions, the show also focuses on the people who work at the shop and the different dynamics of their relationships.
Is Pawn Stars Fake?
Pawn Stars is billed as a reality TV show, but as we all know most reality shows aren’t nearly as real as they seem. Unfortunately, it looks like Pawn Stars isn’t an exception. Though Pawn Stars doesn’t appear to be scripted, some of the sources have reported that some of the scenarios are staged. Mike Hoover, who appeared as an extra on the show said, “The segment took almost an hour to shoot (the aired segment lasted about 5 minutes) and they re-ran several scenes. They brought that cool museum guy in to validate the piece. It didn’t appear to be scripted very much, but they did re-shoot a couple of the negotiations. The girl with the item decided not to sell in the end. She didn’t ‘just walk in’ that day, but at the same time no one seemed to have a script they were going by at all.”
The Las Vegas Journal went into even more detail about how the show as filmed. According to an article in the journal, “The pawn brokers Benton manages typically spot unique items and show them to producers who decide if they are worthy of broadcasting.” Sellers are then coached to learn how to behave on camera. Some sellers have even been removed from the show because their camera presence wasn’t where it needed to be. On some occasions, sellers who do randomly walk in the store as asked to come back at a later time/date to be filmed. Since there’s probably no shortage of people who want to be on the show, the producers have the freedom to be very selective.
Does It Matter?
The fact that Pawn Stars isn’t entirely real may or may not matter to some viewers. On one hand, some people may feel a little misled. On the other hand, many viewers will recognize that the show probably wouldn’t be as smooth and entertaining if the sellers weren’t pre-screened before the episodes. No matter which side you’re on, there’s no denying the fact that Pawn Stars is one of those shows that you can get caught up spending hours watching.