A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality show, which focuses on two men whose main job is rifling through the contents of abandoned storage lockers, is fairly mild, aside from occasional swearing (mostly bleeped) and plenty of consumer brands mentioned by name. The guys' strategy is based on finding hidden value and determining which lockers might contain valuables and which ones are filled with junk. It’s pure capitalism as they try to buy low and sell for a profit. While the show is not targeted to kids, the guys are entertaining enough that some might find the show appealing.
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What's the story?
Allen Haff and Clinton Jones are AUCTION HUNTERS, who make their living buying the contents of abandoned storage lockers. Their mission? To determine if these cluttered closets are full of junk, or if something valuable is hiding behind a pile of broken toys or within a sealed box. The guys won’t know until they pay cash up front for the contents, hoping to uncover the ultimate bounty -- a hidden gem.
Is it any good?
Auction Hunters is very much a product of our era, where shopping has become sport. But with unemployment, bankruptcy, and foreclosure the dominant themes of the economy, there’s no telling what series regulars Haff and Jones might find in these lockers. That element of surprise is what makes it possible for them to make a living at this, and it’s also the key to this surprisingly enjoyable reality show.
Voyeurism, of course, is one reason it appeals. Witnessing all the stuff that's been amassed is at once fascinating and horrifying. (The stuff, the stuff!) The men are an unlikely, but interesting, pairing. Haff is boyish and clean-cut; Jones is burly, covered in tattoos and intimidating. But they make a good team, sussing out the potential value stashed in the lockers after just a brief peek inside, and then trying to sell off the goods. Haff in particular is fun to watch as he explains his strategies for evaluating rival bidders and negotiating with prospective buyers. At a time when much of the country is struggling, it’s exciting to see people who have managed to turn misfortune into a successful business. But it's a sobering reminder of what consumerism has wrought.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the economy. The men on this show make their living buying abandoned storage lockers that might contain valuable objects. Why are so many storage lockers abandoned? Why do you think the original owners have left their possessions behind?
Talk about the value of kind of work. Does it seem opportunistic? Or is it solid entrepreneurship? Or both?
How does this show compare to other reality shows about people with unusual jobs?
For kids who love reality television
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