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Antiques, reality TV style

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Antiques are a fascinating to a broad range of viewers. To hear wonderful language being used to describe an antique, Antiques Roadshow filmed in England is a treat for the eyes and the ears. You see a beautiful object, learn its provenance -- all taking place in front of a scenic view -- castles, lush gardens -- narrated by an expert who respects the object and its owner. The show sparks your imagination. "Maybe I can find a treasure at a yard sale or buy something from a street vendor." It makes you look at things in a totally different way.

PBS's Antiques Roadshow's USA edition may visit your area. Learn about the history of furniture, art, Civil War, and the importance of their creators.

Pawn Stars on the History Channel covers antiques in a much different way. Experts in toys, books, historic properties, et cetera are a phone call way to assist in valuing an item and giving background. The four key people at Pawn Stars are family members who treat each other with very little regard. It may be just for the camera, but it sometimes goes too far, especially with regard to their treatment of Chumlee.

Storage Wars on is like watching a cafeteria food fight. People outbid each other just because they don't like bidders in the crowd. It's a total shot in the dark as to what may be uncovered in a locker but participants get "the fever" and bid anyway. One episode featured a collection of snakes. Experts are called in after a storage locker has gone to the high bidder.

On American Pickers -- also on the History Channel -- Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, bring total excitement to the quest of antique hunting and prove that literally anything can have value. On the road seven months of the year, they tirelessly travel the United States -- and recently, Italy -- for special items to resell. Looking to make money, they have an interest in the history and esthetics of antiques. They have a great deal of knowledge which is shared with viewers. Their assistant extraordinaire, Danielle, is a tattooed angel, who makes connections from locations in Iowa and Tennessee. The best asset these pickers have is their ability of knowing how to ask. When invited in, they respect the property owners and can agree to disagree. Their negotiating skills are good and usually bring success for both seller and buyer. They're likeable good guys all around.

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