Shipping Wars

When I first heard of the knockoff series Shipping Wars, I was skeptical. The fact that these people had the nerve to steal the title and idea of one of my favorite shows, Storage Wars, was basically a deadly sin.

But when A&E decided to start showing the story behind interesting hobbies and careers with shows like Storage Wars, Storage Wars: Texas and Billy the Exterminator, it had a bit of an appeal to the public. So why not build off of that?

The basic idea of Shipping Wars is opposing shippers bid on lots that need to be moved across country. As the bid drops, the shipper makes less and less money, until one shipper is left standing. They then have a certain amount of time and space to move that item to its destination, or else they lose the money that they should have made.

This is similar to Storage Wars in more ways than just its name. In both shows, there are auctions going on, except for the fact that “storage wars” are fought at storage lockers and “shipping wars” are fought at online auctions. All of the bidders are at each others’ throats in each show, so there’s not much difference there. They all assume they are the best, creating, at times, a funny showdown of talent.

The appeal of Storage Wars was the differing personalities it featured. The viewers get something similar to that with Shipping Wars, but with only two opposing groups: There are the young guns and the oldsters. The experienced cast members typically criticize the rookies, which makes it a little cliche, but they do deserve a little criticism. Even I, who has never and mostly likely never will be part of the shipping business, knew that the mistakes they made were extremely risky business-wise. 

The addition of a girl as a main shipper (like Brandi from Storage Wars) brings a different perspective to the trade. I don’t know if I like her showy, hardcore attitude, but it does give the audience the right idea: Women can be central players in trades like these.

Having to get used to a new group of lovable (and sometimes not so lovable) reality TV stars is a tough thing to do. However, despite the cliché Roy character, who is similar to Dave Hester from Storage Wars, the cast seems to be a group that I can get used to (whether I like Roy’s personality or not).
It remains to be seen how people will react to the knockoff. I can see it catching on though, just as most of the other new shows on networks such as A&E and The History Channel have done.
3 out of 5 stars