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‘Storage Wars’ Gets Renewed!

January 7, 2011

The folks of A&E's Storage Wars

I don’t know how hot the A&E reality show Storage Wars is with audiences, but I know it’s hot with me. Finally a reality show that reflects a world I have some real life experience with: storage unit auctions. Of my many brief and fatuous careers I was once a professional storage unit bidder’s assistant! The world is not for the delicate of constitution, employing a level of treachery that makes antics of any housewife show seem amateur. The show travels the well-worn path of other day-in-the-life reality programing, following the antics of motor mouthed auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson and the constellation of curious characters of shifting loyalties and conflicting interests in search of the mighty storage unit score. As many families have had to down size their living quarters, lots of great stuff goes into storage. As those same families find that rent on a storage unit has to take a back seat to food, rent and other necessities, these same storage units fall into arrears. Sadly, that is were the “fun” begins for this group of colorful backstabbing hustlers.

Interestingly enough, Storage Wars is adept at showcasing what skills are best needed to succeed in the business, without sugar coating the kinds of characters one finds inhabiting that world. Believe me, there is tremendous skill involved with the lucrative pursuit. Watching these trifling folks assessing the situation – remember, they are bidding on whole units with only five minutes to scope the scene – and positioning themselves as though it were a chess game is fascinating. Like any unscripted show, Storage Wars does tend to feature only the most dramatic of results, but in the case of this particular show the tactic works. Storage auction bidding is a combination of chess, poker and the lottery and Storage Wars has been effective at transmitting this message, with surprising humor and aplomb. Storage Wars while providing a glimpse into the dark side of our consumption culture also serves as an unlikely lens in which to view our current economic downturn.

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