Dr. Mrs. Ghostal and I got into the A&E show Storage Wars a few weeks ago. I’ve never been one for these reality shows – I’ve never watched Antiques Roadshow or Pawn Stars or American Pickers and hell, even that one Toy Hunters episode has been sitting on my DVR, unwatched, since January or whenever it aired. But after a comment from Power Pal Ben Leach, I decided to watch a few eps of SW and got hooked.
Of course, like many such shows, you can find no shortage of Internet commentary claiming it’s entirely staged – particularly an episode in which some buyers, Jarrod and his wife Brandi, discover an extremely valuable cache of vintage Mego Super Heroes. There’s a thread about it at the Mego Museum and the consensus is that it was entirely staged; one fellow claims to know the collector who “donated” the figures to the show.
Now, every single person in that thread is a stranger to me, so believing what these anonymous posters write is as naïve as believing what one sees on the show. I’m sure many would be quicker to believe the posters, as I think people have a tendency to equate cynicism with truth; it’s easier to believe the worst than the best of people. But I’ve seen the Mego episode cited in many places online as proof of the show’s being staged, which seems like a classic case of hearsay being treated as fact.
I am not saying Storage Wars isn’t staged – I think a lot of it, perhaps most of it, probably is. Which is disappointing, and definitely hurts one’s enjoyment of the show. It requires you to sort of watch it less as a reality show and more like The Office, enjoying it for the characters and drama rather than any semblance of real-life stakes.
But I’m also not saying the Mego incident was staged. I simply don’t know what the truth is. I’m not going to take the word of either the show or some posted text on the Internet.* But I thought this was interesting enough for a post. Feel free to correct me on that, or to discuss the topic further.
*But I’m also not going to start making phone calls to try to track down what actually happened; I don’t have the time or resources to do so, and I don’t really want to anyway – I’m not an official journalist and I don’t write this blog for a living. I write it for fun.