I know, it’s very easy to accuse Storage Wars of jumping the shark at numerous other locations, but hear me out. The show’s undoubtedly campy, and sure there’s at least five different instances where a former show member, or an A&E person, or someone else loosely associated with the show has talked about how fake it is, and how doctored the lockers are, and how there are so many planted items in them. But I don’t care, I still liked the show, and it was always a great way to kill 22 minutes at a time.
The show then hit a massive speed bump when it became apparent that for whatever reason, show member, Barry Weiss was leaving the fold. The writing was kind of on the wall at that point, and the show was already beginning to become unraveled with the firing of Dave Hester, and the constant incorporation of other “buyers” like Nabila Haniss, the fat German guy with the dumb-as-a-brick wife with huge tits, and Ivy Calvin, with Barry becoming absent from time to time. And the season finale episode that was a clear eulogy to Barry’s time on the show had me wondering if the show was ever going to come back, at all.
Not that I’m paying any attention, but it looks like all the spinoffs in Brooklyn and Texas have already gotten the axe, based on how I don’t even see them showing up on any schedules anymore, but I was pleased when I suddenly noticed that “plain” Storage Wars started popping up notifications of new episodes taped again.
So, I tuned in, with tempered expectations that there was going to be no Barry, and in spite of the fact that he was a big dick, the lack of Dave Hester meant the lack of a good self-aggrandizing heel would be noticeable too.
I’m a few episodes into the new season, and it’s apparent that Ivy Calvin and the fat German guy appear to be the replacement mainstays, with some artificial drama injected into the show, with Jarrod and Brandi’s second store in Long Beach, struggling and causing them lots of financial distress.
The fat German guy is apparently the heir to Dave Hester as the guy you want to root against every episode, and everyone seems way more artificial and scripted than before, but when it boils down to the treasure hunting aspect of the episodes, it’s pretty much the same song and dance but the absence of Barry has really derailed the show tremendously, and it goes to show how much of an impact he had on every single episode, especially now that he’s gone. I’ve DVR’d his new solo show Barry’d Treasure, but I haven’t actually gotten a chance to watch it yet.
However, the most recent episode is when Storage Wars officially jumped the shark for me. In the typical formulaic structure of the episodes, we’re told where the auctions are going to be, auctioneers Dan and Laura get about a minute to talk the place up and give a general idea of what they think is going to be in the lockers, and make one sexual and/or humorous innuendo remark, before the other “players” are shown driving to the same location.
From the cabin of their big-ass Ford F250 pickup truck, Darrell and Brandon Sheets are then seen suddenly talking about Subway, in name. And the next thing you know, the innocuous ride to re-introduce the Sheets father and son to the audience, has turned into a commercial for Subway’s new Flatizza flatbread pizzas.
A supposed reality television show about modern-day storage unit treasure hunters has turned into a platform for product placement. And of Subway, no less. It’s kind of funny how their actual commercials all use super-fit professional athletes to promote the health benefits of Subway as opposed to all other fast-food restaurants, and then Subway pays for a product placement on Storage Wars, where they use two fat white guys who probably have never seen a treadmill in their entire life to promote their pizzas. Real juxtaposition there.
But yeah, after two seasons of planted merchandise, all of Barry’s corny-charming one-liners, fake rivalries and other things that might have constituted shark-jumping for many other people, it’s when Storage Wars starts utilizing product placement that does it for me.
I’m almost reluctant to watch any more episodes now, because I don’t really want to know what’s going to be schilled next.