A&E // 2011 // 295 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // February 11th, 2012
A&E's hit reality series Storage Wars returns for a second season of aggressive bidding and intense treasure hunting, as Barry Weiss, Darrell Sheets, Dave Hester, and Jarrod and Brandi take over Southern California's biggest storage centers in hopes of scoring precious items that could instantly earn them a fortune. Now that the show's fan base keeps growing and the ratings are on the rise as well, it's the perfect time for this group of eccentric "celebrity" bidders to take the action to the next level. Luckily for them, stepping it up comes with an exciting payoff: Storage Wars: Volume Two is just as exciting and addictive as the series' fast-paced, engaging first season.
The rules of the game remain the same: Dan and Laura Dotson of American Auctioneers kick off each auction, reminding everyone that they have about five minutes to peek into the unit without touching anything. What follows is the traditional, mostly amusing bidding war led by the show's stars. Before you know it, viewers get to feed their curiosity as the camera follows our bidders while they carefully examine their unit's contents. While some of the stuff they just bought will bring them easy cash, other items will just cause them a painful loss. Truth be told, if there's one thing this business has taught them, it's that paying big bucks for a seemingly promising storage unit doesn't always pay off.
The appeal of Storage Wars springs from several structural elements of the show. First, there is the big curiosity factor, causing both bidders and viewers to wonder just what the heck they will find inside these usually overloaded units the past owners failed to claim or pay for. The large amount of items these guys stumble across from time to time range from trashy to outright bizarre. If they get lucky, they'll actually discover some really compelling objects that seem to be worth the trouble. That said, they also gain possession of a horde of trash, usually leading to disappointing faces and empty pockets.
Secondly, there's the bidding, which in the second season of the show, is headed into a more hostile direction. You won't get to see any fistfights on the screen just yet, but the joy of some of the show's stars to simply mess with their competitors by deliberately running them up a few hundred bucks dramatically boosts the entertainment value of many episodes. Attitudes collide as the egos of the bidders reach a boiling point, resulting in quite a few verbal disputes. Jarrod and Dave especially get into it, and the result is nothing but a solid dose of utterly brainless yet ridiculously hilarious reality television.
After the bidding comes the digging, which serves as an adequate way of ending each episode. This is not the most intelligent form of TV entertainment, but there's just something very appealing about watching Barry and Co. as they either get excited or really bummed out about the crap they just scored. Did I mention the constant bickering between the show's stars? As ridiculous and childish as they may be, the little feuds here and there just add the some extra spice to the mix.
One rather important note about this DVD set. Although it may suggest otherwise, Storage Wars: Volume Two only includes around half of the Season Two episodes. It's a little odd the packaging doesn't mention any of this, consequently leading buyers to believe they're buying a set with thirty-one episodes. This is not the case; you're only treated to fourteen of them. Yes, that is rather disappointing.
On a slightly better note, Storage Wars looks good in standard definition, and the show is presented in widescreen format with clear picture and sound. No special features on either of the two discs, but subtitles are included.
Storage Wars: Volume Two may be more of the same, but it's good. Although this isn't the most entertaining reality TV show out there right now, it provides light, harmless entertainment for those finding some joy in watching a group of aggressive bidders take chances and drop a bunch of cash on stuff locked up in small storage unit. Who ever thought that could make for compelling television?
Yuuup! Not guilty.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 295 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site