I’m all for a bit of mindless entertainment but I must draw the line at some things… Due to a prolonged illness I’ve had to do a lot of sitting still over the last few weeks and I’ve found TV helps keep me from moving about. I’ve been watching Storage Hunters UK and I am genuinely confused about the show.
For those who don’t know, the UK version of US smash Storage Hunters is a show in which a bunch of “dealers” bid on the contents of storage containers, which they only get to examine for one minute, in an attempt to make a profit on the goods inside.
So here’s my confusion: Rather than just opening “his” containers, the host asks a burly mate to cut the padlock with bolt-cutters. Why not just unlock them?! Then, the rag-tag team of “goods dealers” look over the usually-themed contents – maybe it’ll be a container of medial equipment or musical instruments or fairground games – for one minute. Then they all bid for it while the host does a ridiculous “American’s Idea Of What An Auctioneer Does” impression. He starts yelling (literally, this isn’t a pisstake) “brrrrrrrr one hundred brrrrrrrrr two hundred brrrrrrrrr three hundred!” Brrrr! That’s what he thinks all those fast-talking auctioneers are saying?! Brrrr?! It’s hilarious and nobody seems bothered by it.
In the UK version (I haven’t seen the US one) the bidders all have characters of their own: There’s a fat couple who are always bickering, a ditsy Essex gal, a gigantic boxer-type in a tracksuit and sweatbands and a cartoon Cockney wide-boy. And they all have their own “call”! The wife of the couple shouts YES! The Essex gal shouts MINE! The boxer calls out an amount, then the rhyming-slang for it, then ends with BOOM (Five Hundred Monkey BOOM)! The wide-boy just yells I’LL ‘AVE SOME O’THAT! over and over. It’s ridiculous.
Then, when one of them apparently wins the auction (though, as far as I can tell, there’s no real structure or progression to the auction – they just shout and the host picks someone) they take a look around the container to see what it is they’ve actually got. Sometimes it’s worth MUCH more than they paid, sometimes it’s worth MUCH less. It is never, EVER worth about the same as they paid. And who decides how much the stuff is worth? Who values their gear? Well, they do it themselves, of course! Yep, they bid for, win and value their own stash! No need to have it independently checked, they just walk around going “That’s worth about £200, a bit more than I paid, I’m making money here!” and nobody cares.
And that’s literally it. It’s like a cross between WWF Wrestling and Cash In The Attic. It’s like someone said “we need a more exciting, semi-scripted auction show based around the valuation but not sale of obviously pre-chosen tat” and the commissioning editors – presumably between draws on their crack pipes – said “I’ll ‘ave some o’that!” It’s absolutely fucking awful and I had to tell you about it.