Decision on the horizonPublished 10:29am Monday, December 17, 2012
Do you just absolutely detest Dave Hester?
Are you harboring a secret crush on Brandi Passante?
Do you think it’s possible Barry Weiss is just a little bit crazy.
If you even know what I’m talking about, you’re one of the millions of fans of the A&E show “Storage Wars.” There are tons of us out there and the show’s success is proof. It is reportedly the most-watched show on the network.
In my house, there is a running battle. My wife thinks Dave Hester is the living end. She loves it when he bids up others on the show just because he can and then “sticks” a storage locker on someone for far more than it’s worth.
He drives me insane. I can’t stand the way he behaves and I’m often yelling at him on television while my wife giggles with glee.
There are various others on the show. There are Brandi and Jarrod Schulz, a couple who runs a thrift store and who are my favorites. Jarrod is a young gun and is a lot of fun to watch and the show and, as for Brandi, well, I’m one of those with the secret crush.
We also both love Weiss, an older guy who is a collector and we enjoy the antics he brings to the show. He is eccentric and maybe a little nuts, but he really is an enjoyable character. The truth is you never know what he may do or even what kind of crazy vehicle he may show up to the auction in.
The other original character is Darrell Sheets, who neither my wife nor I am crazy about. He is okay and sometimes interesting, but overall not someone we really watch the show because of.
Anyway, at my house the DVR is set to record Storage Wars every time a new episode comes on because we love it. We all watch it, including my sons who think it’s funny.
I have never really questioned whether or not the show is real. I don’t really care that much to be honest because it’s just a lot of fun to watch.
Thursday morning, however, I had to start thinking about it because of a story I found on abcnews.go.com. According to the story, Hester has filed suit against the show and A&E because of his recent termination.
According to Hester, almost the entire show is staged. He says the producers place things in the storage lockers and even sometimes put the whole locker together from a place that is regularly featured on the show.
He says he was fired for being concerned about the public being misled and speaking up about those concerns. He has filed a suit for just under $1 million and is also seeking punitive damages to discourage the show from being misleading.
“[The] defendants … would like the public to believe that the Series presents a genuine and accurate portrayal of the abandoned storage locker auction process,” the lawsuit states. “The truth, however, is that nearly every aspect of the series is faked.”
Of course, there is still quite a bit to come as to whether or not Hester’s claims are true. He could be telling exactly what happens or he could be a disgruntled former employee.
If they are accurate, however, my family and many others will have to decide how important truth is in our reality television. In the past, many viewers have not been turned off even though there were substantiated reports of a reality show being faked.
The bottom line is whether or not it is more important to tune in and hate the bad guys or root for the good guys – you know, kind of like with every other show on television.
The jury is still out.
Thadd White is Managing Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publication. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 332-7211.