Going for the Golds: Detroit’s ‘Hardcore Pawn’ Returns Aug. 16
TruTV execs appear to think they’ve struck gold – as in Les and Seth Gold, the father-son team who, with their daughter-sister Ashley Broad (Gold), are proprietors of Detroit’s legendary American Jewelry and Loan on 8 Mile and the cable channel’s latest reality-show stars.
After a one-hour, two-episode tryout last December, the family pawnbrokers debut at 10 p.m. Monday in their own regular series, Hardcore Pawn, and truTV is promoting the bejeezus out of it. On-screen reminders of the show’s premiere have aired during virtually every program on the station’s schedule.
And with good reason, since it’s hard to imagine how the Golds possibly can top Monday’s return with any successive episodes. It’s almost a certainty that TV has never witnessed a horse performing on a stripper pole, even on America’s Got Talent. If that’s not enough, Les gets a little ass during the show – in the form of a tiny donkey who follows the horse inside the pawn shop. You read that right: inside the building.
Shot on location inside the 50,000 square-foot Detroit emporium and produced by Richard Dominick, the man who gave the world The Jerry Springer Show, Hardcore Pawn has enacted some subtle changes since its December test run. The most noticeable difference is that, following the style of other truTV reality series, Les, Seth and Ashley are intercut throughout the show in individual shots, commenting on the in-store action and philosophizing about the highs and lows of pawnbrokery. Ashley, for her part, tries a bit too hard to position herself as the contrarian bitch of the store as general manager; a key will be whether viewers are attracted by her chutzpah or repelled by her attitude.
In the main storyline, a woman who claims American Jewelry and Loan lost the diamonds out of her earrings goes on a mini-rampage, calling Les everything but a respectable merchant and eventually threatening his safety, which in turn causes Les to go off on the store’s security crew.
Hardcore Pawn is not a show for the meek of ear: edited f-bombs fly around the store faster than pawn tickets. But like Les likes to say, it’s a crazy business.
Back-to-back episodes repeat at 2 a.m. Tuesday.