Storage Wars is a reality show about people who buy other people’s junk. One of many shows about picking through trash and hoping to find treasure, Storage Wars sets itself apart by having a very unique premise. Instead of attending a garage sale or flea market and purchasing one item or two, the principle characters of the show attend auctions and bid on entire storage units. Consequently, when they win a locker, they are stuck with the good and the bad contained within. Spoiler: it’s mostly bad. But like searching for a thumbtack in your junk drawer, or for that one last cheesy Bugle in a bowl of Bits ‘N Bites, rummaging through a freshly purchased storage locker must provide the new owner with the delicious anticipation of unearthing a pirate’s booty. I can see why it might become addictive. Find one box of antique guns – or stack of comics – or rack of fur coats – and all the hours of sifting through bags of garbage become forgotten. The pursuit of hidden treasure becomes as rewarding as the gem you may eventually find.
Herein lies the fun of the show itself. It engages our imagination. Reviewing the show, Todd VanDerWerff writes how the mystery of the what’s inside the locker is more interesting than actually finding out what’s in it. In the words of one of the show’s stars, Jarrod Schulz:
“It’s not about what you can see. It’s about what you can’t.”