America: The Story Of Us Collector’s Edition (Box Set with Book)/American Pickers – Volume Two/Only
In America w/Larry The Cable Guy, Volume One/Pawn Stars – Volume Three/Storage
Wars – Season One/Top Shot Reloaded
[Season Two] (A&E DVDs)
Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: B/D/D/D/D/C Main Programs: B/B-/D/C+/B-/B-
The History Channel now have a pretty consistent, stable set of his reality TV
shows, but they are not always as obnoxious as the usual fare. They still too often have the same style, but
can go beyond the usual if the subject matter is interesting. We now look at a current cycle of such shows
and a new edition of a hit mini-series.
covered America: The Story Of Us
Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray and you can read all about it (especially if
you missed it) at this link:
DVD edition not only adds an extra DVD with the Modern Marvels episode on The
Statue Of Liberty, additional scenes from the mini-series and a terrific
400+ page book companion in a paperboard box that makes for a nice gift
set. Hope a Blu-ray version surfaces
the show has some nice moments and shows some rare items, American Pickers tends to have a cynical underside that says its
co-stars Mike Wolfe & Frank Fritz are openly exploiting, ripping-off and
celebrating tricking people into selling them valuable items for lower prices
than they should. This sense continues
in this Volume Two set over the
eight episode here. No one has
acknowledged this and the guys at least know this to some extent when they
start to brag and if anything, it gives buyers a bad name and makes them look
like con artists to at least some extent.
I still like the show, but this aspect deserved to be addressed. There are no extras.
and totally useless is Only In America
w/Larry The Cable Guy, V.1 (now known as the man who ruined Cars 2 for many) is just awful all
around and you are better off skipping unless you are a diehard fan of Mr.
Git-R-Done. This is just so bad, there
is nothing more to say about it.
better is Pawn Stars – Volume Three
which is better than American Pickers
in the integrity department and has actually improved as it has moved
along. We covered Season Two at this link, which will give you more of an idea of how
the show works:
3-DVD, 16-epiosde set has no extras, but is compelling viewing usually and some
of the items you’ll see here you’ll never see again.
good but also interested in getting rare items is Storage Wars – Season One in which a gang of competing people are
willing to blindly bid for items left behind (abandoned, held for storage space
unpaid for, etc.) to see what they’ll get if they pay enough. There is something oddly underhanded here too
as one wonders if the storage company has tried hard enough to get these items
back to the original owners/storage clients.
However, it is not unethical and these things obviously happen. This 3-DVD set has no extras.
we have Top Shot Reloaded [Season Two],
finally following the interesting debut season of the show in which experts
marksman and markswomen compete for prizes and each other to see who is the
best. You can see more about the debut
season at this link:
premise of the original show is that they had the best gunslingers they could
find and that it would be a mini-series, but this surprise follow-up is not bad
and about on par with the first, though I would recommend the first before you
see this set for reasons of flow. The
4-DVD set has extras that include four featurettes: The Top Shot Experience, Extended
Team Selection, Weapons Rundown
and Anatomy Of A Shot.
enhanced 1.78 X 1 image and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo across all six releases
are about on par with each other, including some softness in the image and lossy
limits in the sound. Otherwise, this is
consistent with A&E/History DVDs in these genres, though I wonder if the
other shows will see Blu-ray.
- Nicholas Sheffo