Storage Wars Season One (DVD Review)

When Southern California storage unit bills go unpaid, the contents go up for auction.  Storage Wars is a reality show on A&E that follows four professional buyers and their teams as they gamble that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  When the lock on the unit is cut, they have five minutes to look without entering or touching any of the units contents.  Then an auctioneer takes the bids.  Sometimes they bid because they think they have spotted something worthwhile, sometimes they bid each other up, and sometimes they bid just so another guy can’t have it.  Storage Wars is as much about the bidders as it is the stuff they find and by the end of season one, you will definitely find you have favorites.


Once again another reality show has sucked me in!  Last time it was Billy the Exterminator and now Storage Wars.  I wasn’t sure I’d be interested in this kind of show but I thought I would give it a chance and I’m glad that I did.  Let’s go down the list of the following Storage Wars episodes from season 1:

Disc One

  • High Noon in the High Desert – Auctions in Victorville, CA net A new car for Jarrod.  Visit Darrell’s home to see the auction items he has picked up throughout the years including pen and ink Picasso’s.  Barry attends a moving/storage auction with items belonging to Suge Knight.  Everyone who bid made a profit in this episode.
  • Railroad Roulette – Westminster, CA is on the railroad tracks.  One side of tracks is good side of town, other is bad and that makes the units especially interesting and hard to judge.  Barry brings his buddy Jay, a little person and outfits him with night vision goggles and stilts.  Jarrod buys a fake Movado watch but still ends up with $50 profit on his unit and Barry ends up with a BMW Isetta hidden in his unit.
  • Melee in the Maze – There are six units for sale in Cerritos, CA.  Units include brand new electronics equipment. Darrell gets stuck with a unit he didn’t really want, but it turns out to be worth thousands.  Barry forgot there was an auction and was a no show.
  • War on the Shore – Huntington Beach, CA.  Darrell celebrates after finding sports memorabilia in his unit and Barry ends up with a salesman’s sample piano worth over $10,000.
  • The Old Spanish Standoff – Riverside, CA.  Dave eggs Jarrod on when bidding against Barry.  For  $250 Darrell gets an antique mannequin/telephone he sells for $2000. Dave takes a unit with office equipment that turns out to not be profitable.  Barry finds old moonshine still that isn’t worth what he expected.  Jarrod and wife Brandi  go home empty handed again.
  • All Guns to Port – In Long Beach, CA Barry wins a unit for$250 after looking foolish by bidding himself up.  Dave shows his arrogance by sticks his lock on a unit while they are still bidding. Barry finds flare guns and other interesting guns that are worth some good money.  Jarrod just hopes to break even on this day, while Dave triples his money.
  • Senior Center Showdown – Darrell’s son arrives at the Homeland, CA auction with a shirt that says that his competitor’s stores suck.  Dave gets stacks of old Elvis newspapers for $750 that are worth up to $90,000and Barry goes home empty handed.  Jarrod and Darrell argue when Jarrod won’t move away from his unit. In Inglewood, CA, a lower income industrial area, Jarrod goes without Brandi and has buys multiple units.

Disc Two

  • Midnight  in the Gardena Good and Evil – Barry brings psychic sisters to a Gardena, CA auction that earns him a unit with shrunken heads.  Jarrod’s unit has collectible toys and lands him his biggest score yet.
  • Collector’s Last Stand – in Norwalk, CA Jarrod bids his entire $1400 bank on a single unit but Dave outbids him.  Barry wins a unit with a locked cabinet inside with an pocket spittoon he plans to keep.    Darrel and his son Brandon buy a unit with old paintings with money hidden in the frames.
  • School House Lock – Fullerton, CA.  Brandi wins a locker when Dave and Darrell are so concerned with each other they don’t notice her bidding.  Barry wears lucky socks hoping for a leg up and finds some vintage vinyl amongst the junk.  After having the records appraised, Barry vows to throw out his lucky socks.  In Long Beach, CA  two out of three units fail to impress.  Darrell takes the last unit for $400 after bidding against Dave and ends up giving it to Dave for only his deposit. Jarrod and Brandi are the big winners of the day on a unit Brandi bought.
  • Gambler’s Last Resort – The gang heads to Las Vegas.  Jarrod wants the first unit based on a bag of Levi’s jeans (worth $1200) and wins it for $175.  The second unit goes to Darrell for $1100 and has a lot of jewelry finding the “wow factor” with a profit of $16,675.  Dave wins the third unit that yields a rock collection (valued at $5,000) after being bid up by Jarrod and Brandi.  Barry leaves empty handed.
  • Auction Royale – The group is still in Las Vegas, for Storage One’s three day auction.  The first unit has few items, wrapped in blankets – this one is a gamble and Darrell, the gambler takes it.  Brandi likes the second locker but she is outbid.  The third unit (won by Jarrod) is blocked by a big mattress and is also quite a gamble.    Barry finally gets a unit hoping that the owners were in a hurry and missed some valuables.  The various units contain stripper shoes, neon signs and casino chips.
  • Makings of A Mogul – Perris, CA.  Dave wins a unit for $60 that is almost empty.  Darrell takes three units to fill the box truck he brought.  Barry wins a unit hoping for something collectible.  One of Darrell’s units is full of bullets and anger control medication.
  • Trouble the Oil – Long Beach, CA – Dave calls Barry arrogant which is pretty amusing, coming from the most arrogant man alive (in my opinion).  Barry wants the first unit and Dave bids him up just for fun.  No one wanted the  unit but Barry finds some very unique helmets, which he plans to keep.  Jarrod and Brandi take the second unit for $300 and find a phonograph.  The third unit has an old bike which prompts Dave to spend $375.  Barry correctly predicts that Dave will eat it on that bike.

Disc Three

  • Chairman of the Hoard – Orange, CA – Rumors surround the auction of 7 units in Orange, CA.  Most of the  units  came from the same person who was likely a hoarder.  Barry buys a very messy locker and finds the first issue of Hot Rod Magazine that turns out not to be the real deal.  Brandi and Jarrod get a unit after the auctioneer mistakenly thinks Dave has bid.  Dave takes home a small unit for $300 based on a bedroom set and he is happy to find a jewelry box inside.  Dave’s jewelry box of rhinoceros horn and ivory makes him the big winner with a unit worth over $12,000.
  • High End Heist – Torrance, CA – an upscale facility next to a wealthy neighborhood.  The auctioneer has learned to ignore Barry when he bids twice in a row.  Barry wins the unit for $825 containing a land yacht with no sail. Dave wins a unit that contains a Jaguar which can’t be sold with the unit but is happy with the rest of the contents.  Brandi bids without Jarrod’s agreement and wins a unit.  Jarrod wins the next unit planning to show up Brandi.  In the Jarrod vs. Brandi competition, Brandi wins.
  • Young with the Gun – A Riverside, CA auction draws a crowd.  Barry tries to befriend the crowd and lets a new young friend bid for him on a unit with an old trunk.  The old trunk turns out to contain an old sock but a cardboard box has fur coats.  Barry sends the furs to Dave.  A new bidder, Bill, goes against Jarrod and wins a unit he really wants.  Darrell shows up late and bids on the last locker.  Bill lets Jarrod take a look and see what he almost had.  Darrell ends up being the big loser for the day when his locker holds little value.
  • Skullduggery –  Yucapia, CA, Darell buys a locker with antique furniture.  Brandi likes a horse’s head in the second unit and pays $475 ($175 over Jarrod’s cap).  Darrell’s son Brandon has a hat taking a dig at Dave’s business and it starts an argument.  Barry leaves without a locker but is happy he avoided all the drama.  Dave’s unit contains a skeleton.  Brandi’s horse head is bought by the appraiser for $2000.
  • Live and Let Bid –  Trash talking continues in Encinitas, CA.  Darrell tries to dump a locker on Dave but ends up taking it for $250.  Barry, dressed in green wins the second unit.  Dave Jr. takes his first unit for $5500.  Darrell’s unit contains a 150 year old bleeder worth $500, making his unit very profitable.


For a TV show on DVD, I was pleasantly surprised with the video quality of Storage Wars.  Most importantly, in all lighting conditions you are able to see what’s going on.  They get inside some cramped interior storage units with no natural light at all and I never had a problem viewing the action.  Normally, I would comment on skin tones, but the people on this show have such crazy skin tones that its almost hard to decide what is normal.  Darrell has a red face and white eyes from easily 30 years of sunglasses tan.  Then there is Dave, always in the same length shorts who has very tan legs but every now and then you catch a glimpse of the blinding white just above his knees.  Barry’s got the face of an old smoker who worshiped the sun.  So when skin tones look red, orange, or off….I’m convinced it’s the people themselves, not a problem with the video.


Again, you have to remember we’re talking about a reality show about storage units.  The audio quality is more than adequate as you hear Dave bidding with his drawn out “yeeeeppp”.  They certainly didn’t take advantage of surround sound, or have much of an opportunity to do so.  Dialogue is clear, and I was always able to hear the bidders bumbling and grumbling about each other.

Special Features

There are no special features.  I would have expected an interview with each of the main bidders about how they got into the business,and  how long they’ve been doing it.  It’s too bad that the lack of extras will being the final score down.

Final Thoughts

Storage Wars, like other reality shows in the past has totally sucked me in.  Suddenly I feel bad for Jarrod for being a small fish in a big pond.  A lot of reality shows are easily turned into obvious drinking games.  For my Storage Wars drinking game I suggest taking a shot every time Darrell says “wow factor.”  Barry is one of the most interesting guys who keeps for himself anything truly interesting, and has an endless supply of people to take his random crap to for appraisal.  There were no special features which brought down my overall average quite a bit.  If they are looking for ideas for special features, I would like a featurette explaining where Darrell has been and why he always has sunglasses tan lines around his eyes!  Dave is such a jerk, it’s almost painful to watch and I found myself hoping that an overly stuffed unit would collapse trapping him inside.

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