I just saw a bare snippet of Pawn Stars. In it, some guy brought in an autographed copy of a Marilyn Monroe poster. He was helped by Rick’s son Corey. And the show immediately cut to Corey in the back being interviewed. Corey said something like, “Marilyn Monroe was one of the biggest stars of the 1950s. She was Hollywood royalty.” Blah, blah, blah. It was real standard stuff — the kind of thing that uneducated people mistake for erudition. But what was strange about it was that it was Corey and not Rick, who we at least kind of think might know a thing or two.
It got me thinking about the future of Pawn Stars. Someone will come in with a first edition of Thomas Shelton’s Don Quixote, and take it up to Chumlee. Then it will cut away to a back room interview where he will say, “Shelton was the first person to translate Don Quixote into English — just seven years after Cervantes wrote his iconic novel.” Blah, blah, something else Chumlee would never know, blah.
If you miss my point, let’s be clear: Chumlee is the idiot on the show. He’s the guy the producers use to make the show interesting. They would, in fact, never have a segment where he looked learned. Like everyone else, Chumlee plays a part, and in his case, it is the comic relief. But they are now doing it with Rick’s son Corey — someone no more serious, and probably quite a lot duller, than Chumlee. I have never bought it coming from Rick himself. The show is so staged, it is about as “real” as a performance at the Folies Bergère.
It’s annoying to watch these people pretend to be knowledgeable about anything at all. What they are knowledgeable about is how to take advantage of pathetic drug and gambling addicts who sell their only valuables for one last shot at redemption. Any reasonable society would consider everyone involved in this show to be what they are: the bottom most of the bottom feeders. Instead, they are seen as “stars” because, after all, they are rich.
We are one step away from having a show about human traffickers. It’d be very easy to piece together. Just take an “old man” who only cares about how much money he can skim off the desperate people fleeing violence and lack of opportunity. Take his son who only cares about skimming off the same poor souls, but who is too smart to say that publicly. Take the grandson who’s hoping he won’t die of a heart attack before he can inherit all the old guys’ money. And top it off with a wisecracking loser who makes comments about leaving immigrants to die in a semi trailer. It’s television gold!
Oh! And don’t forget about the interview segments where all of them discuss their wisdom of the human trade and how much better their lives would be if we just brought back chattel slavery. After all, it would be The History Channel. We want to make sure it has some history in it. Also: experts who discuss how slavery used advanced technology that must be indicative of ancient aliens.