Hardcore Pawn



Reality show reveals the quirky, dark side of the pawn biz.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.


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.


Some sexual innuendo. Among the items pawned is a stripper pole, which many clients like to try out by dancing suggestively on it.


Lots of strong language. Words like “hell,” “bitch,” and “ass” are audible, while stronger curse words like “f--k” and “s--t” are bleeped.


The series is a promotional vehicle for American Jewelry and Loan.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigarette boxes and other smoking-related items are pawned.

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).

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:Ashley Broad, Les Gold, Seth Gold
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Hardcore Pawn was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old June 26, 2012

Hardcore Show!

This is an awesome show. Pre-teens and teen show. So basicly 11-19 & up! wach it you'll LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kid, 10 years old August 14, 2011


love it
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 17 years old Written byle824 January 19, 2015

Not worth the time.

I only had to watch a few episodes of this show to discover my disgust. The amount hostility and swearing is mindless and stupid. I would not recommend this for kids or anyone who doesn't want to watch bad actors fight over pointless objects and disagreements.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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