By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Reality show reveals the quirky, dark side of the pawn biz.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The shop owners promote their business as a positive one, but the show's overall tone/presentation suggests a darker, seedier side to the work that they do.
Positive Role Models
Les and his adult children have a strong working and family relationship.
Violence & Scariness
Security guards sometimes strong-arm difficult patrons. Angry customers sometimes threaten Les Gold's life; the police are occasionally called. Gold wants the staff to be armed; they go to a firing range as a family. One patron drops off a homemade cannon and sets it off. Security checks and fingerprints are taken prior to making any sale so that the store doesn't deal in stolen goods.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some sexual innuendo. Among the items pawned is a stripper pole, which many clients like to try out by dancing suggestively on it.
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Lots of strong language. Words like "hell," "bitch," and "ass" are audible, while stronger curse words like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
The series is a promotional vehicle for American Jewelry and Loan.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette boxes and other smoking-related items are pawned.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality series -- which follows events at Detroit's American Jewelry and Loan pawnshop -- features unsettling and/or violent moments that suggest a darker side to the business (for instance, angry and/or violent patrons, threats made against the life of the storeowner, and his desire to have his family and employees carry guns). Also expect lots of strong language (words like "ass," "hell," and "bitch" are audible, while curses like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped -- but still used frequently), and some sexual content (like dancing on a stripper pole).
Where to Watch
Based on 4 parent reviews
Hardcore Pawn is “must watch” TV
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UPDATE: This show sucks now.
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What's the Story?
HARDCORE PAWN follows the day-to-day madness at American Jewelry and Loan, Detroit's biggest pawnshop. Owner Les Gold, a fourth-generation pawnbroker, runs the business with the help of his adult children, Seth Gold and Ashley Broad. Together they decide what to offer for a wide range of items, including everything from jewelry to stripper poles and ponies. They don't always agree, but they always have each other's backs, especially when angry patrons get violent and/or threaten their lives.
Is It Any Good?
Hardcore Pawn highlights the process by which the enormous pawnshop buys and sells items, as well as the steps that the Gold family takes to ensure honest transactions. But the real entertainment comes from showing Gold and his kids discussing and negotiating over some of the more interesting and/or weird items that people attempt to pawn.
Like the people in the Vegas-centered show Pawn Stars, the Gold family promotes their business as a positive one. But this show has a grittiness to it that suggests a darker side to the work that they do. Aside from the continual presence of large guards and security devices, the show also tends to linger on some of the nasty and/or violent patrons that Gold and his kids deal with, as well as concerns for their safety. Some adult viewers may find it amusing, but it really isn't intended for kids.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what a pawnshop is. What purpose does it serve? Can people get the things they pawn back? Is what pawnshops do legal?
How real do you think this show is? Is the Gold family's life/business really as eventful as the show makes it out to be?
What parts of the show do you think might be heightened/exaggerated for TV? What role does editing play in what viewers see?
- Premiere date: August 16, 2010
- Cast: Ashley Broad, Les Gold, Seth Gold
- Network: truTV
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: October 24, 2022
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