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Pawn Stars: Quality Infotainment Essay

1220 words - 5 pages

History repeats itself in a somewhat cyclical pattern. Possessing a broad knowledge of what has happened in the past, and what is happening presently, allows a person to understand what is coming next. The history channel is a very popular network in America, and globally for that matter. Astounding amounts of people learn the entirety of their historical knowledge from the history channel. Thus, what gets aired has a direct influence on what these people know, and what their influences are. This network not only has its own series of informational programs, it broadcasts–as well as creates—documentaries and historical films. These films range from interviews with veterans of World War II to documentaries on ancient Egypt. Of course, one type of show attracts more viewers than another show. Furthermore, one show attracts a completely different demographic of viewers than another show in another genre.
Pawn Stars is a show that the history channel produces. The show is set in a seemingly very popular pawnshop in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rick, the owner of the shop, has taken over for his dad, “Old Man”, who still hangs around a desk in the back corner of the shop. Rick’s son, Corey and his friend Chumlee, also work in the shop. All day long people bring in various trinkets and treasures. Most of these items, if they are real, date way back into our history. A few have even come from before the colonies—we now know as America—were signed into independence. Of all the shows aired on the history channel, the one that can benefit the most broad demographic of viewers is Pawn Stars. It appeals to younger people with its fast-paced portrayal of pawnshop lifestyle. While middle-aged people—even older folks—can feel at home with the fact that the show borrows many facets from the very popular Antiques Road Show.
Among the amazing things the shop encounters came an encased postage stamp from 1861. The civil war had broken out, America had no circulating currency, and stamps were being used as money. This particular encasing was very rare, and only 1000 were ever made (License). A person watching this episode –even one who has never experienced an in-depth history lesson, or paid attention whilst attending—is captured by the way this episode portrays the significance of the change in currency, and the monetary value of anything from this era. Historical aspects like this help Americans gain a better knowledge of what their country stands for. It gives, even the youth, a passion for items that reveal the way life was for their ancestors.
Not all of the information learned from pawn stars is purely historical. As well as the fact that there are times in the show that are far from educational. Such as the owner’s personal problems, and a large focus on the screw-up of the bunch, Chumlee. These parts of the show are supposed to entertain and have been added to satisfy what a great percentage of Americans have been trained to like. Shows like Jersey Shore, and...

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