New Show “Auction Hunters” Believable Enough and Entertaining

CJ Moore |
“Auction Hunters” is now three episodes in and the first two episodes can be seen on the show’s page at SpikeTV.com. I checked out the first two episodes online, and my first thought was I wonder what Glendon Cameron over at UrbanPackRat.com thinks of this show. Sure enough, Cameron has blogged about the first three shows here and here. Cameron writes that the show is basically a blend of reality and made-for-TV bent realities. For the true auction goers, the show will most likely upset them. But for your average Joe on his La-Z-Boy (Joe Six-Pack, as Cameron calls him), this show is entertaining enough. While we deal with storage and even keep our eye on the storage auction world here at StorageFront, I’m closer to Joe Six-Pack. I would never go to a storage auction, and I just want to be entertained. So here’s my review from a strictly entertainment perspective… First, I must admit that I do not like and do not watch reality TV. I’d rather go sit in the middle of a WalMart and watch people shop. That would be more realistic and more entertaining. I understand why people watch reality TV. The ridiculousness of a show like “Jersey Shore” can be a good escape for many of us. But I would rather spend my TV-viewing time watching sports or shows with smart and funny writers like “30 Rock” or “Modern Family.” That being said, there is an art to how they portray these “real-life” characters and how they edit their footage together to make 22 minutes of entertaining TV, and in both these areas, “Auction Hunters” succeeds. The “Auction Hunters” characters are the perfect odd couple, like DeVito and Schwarzenegger (now, that’s a comedic duo). Clinton “Ton” Jones is a rough-looking dude. He’s got tattoos on his bald scalp and a mean-looking goatee. He’s the muscle of the operation. Allen Haff is the brains. He’s clean cut and a quick-witted fast talker who will inevitably turn this show into an acting career. Haff really hams it up for the camera, but it’s not so over-the-top that the show is unwatchable. The on-screen relationship of the odd couple is fairly entertaining, and they both bring something to the table. Both seem to be pretty knowledgeable about the value of odd items. Haff found an old Lionel toy train set in a unit he bought for $1 and knew the set had some value. After a quick paintjob, he was able to sell it for $315. Ton is more believable as a regular in this type of business venture. My favorite thing about him is he always has a guy. When they found a safe, he had a safe guy. I’m guessing if they find a coffin, he’ll have a coffin guy. Or maybe some vintage teddy bears, he’s sure to have a teddy bear guy. The characters are the most important part of a show, and I think they did a pretty good job of casting. Where the show really succeeds, is the editing and packaging. It moves fast and keeps you entertained. You’re always wandering what they’re going to find next and it’s always going to be something interesting. How can they be so lucky? Because they only show the cool stuff. One unit had a cooper cash register that they figured had to be from the 1800s. Nearly every unit they’ve purchased has had a gun, and we Americans love our guns. I’m not much of a gun enthusiast, but the history behind the guns is interesting to me.  Likewise, the history and why an item is worth something to someone is why these shows are so popular. We all feel like we might have a goldmine in our attic or storage unit. Since the show is on SpikeTV, it’s trying to go after a male demographic, and they have that man moment when they find a safe and use a torch to open it. Inside the safe, they of course found a gun (Cameron says he found a lot of safe, but rarely found much of anything of value inside them).  Of course, the opening of the safe was the coolest part. Any guy loves figuring out how to open the unopenable, especially when there’s fire involved. The best thing about “Auction Hunters” is that it left me wanting more. I plan on watching the third episode when it comes online and I’m even going to set my DVR for next week. I’ll make an exception to my no-reality TV rule. For more info on the world of storage auctions, check out our interview with Glendon Cameron.