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Review this tv show
May 25, 2012I don't share some of the critics beliefs that this is a "me too" show.
The focus of this show is Hollywood props auctions, where the actual auctions take very little screen time. The team seeks out TV and movie memorabilia to sell at auction.
It actually incorporates many of the current popular shows in its genre. It's a little bit, Antiques Roadshow (that probably gave this genre the start), Storage Wars, Pawn Stars, American Pickers and a little bit TMZ.
The downside of this combination is that people will expect the same depth in each one of these arenas mentioned above, and when they don't find this at first glance quickly come to the conclusion it's a me-too show. One must open their mind that these generalities are necessary in this unique type of business melded with the length of time for each episode. As with TMZ, Joe Maddalena is the head of the team and his team places him on a pedestal, on a lesser level, as the journalists do of Harvey Levin on TMZ. Joe is clearly a movie and entertainment junky from his childhood but his passion doesn't get in the way of making money for his clients who are usually amazed at the value of their treasure. Joe admits that his friends and acquaintances though his idea of selling Hollywood props on consignment to be a foolish venture, but has proved them wrong for a number of years.
But Joe's friends are probably not too surprised as he is considered an expert in many fields. Born into a family of antiques dealers, Joe learned early how to turn his passion of collecting historical autographs into a career. At 12 years old, he organize the first baseball card show in Rhode Island and by 14 years old he had amassed over one million baseball cards, thousands of autographs and over 100,000 comic books and original pieces of art.
Today his expertise is well known and relied on. In 1997, he was instrumental in exposing the Lex Cusak $13 million dollar JFK/Marilyn Monroe forgery hoax, and was interviewed by Peter Jennings of 20/20 as an industry expert. Maddalena is widely recognized as the nation's leading authority on entertainment memorabilia and historical documents.
All the elements seem to be here. They have a cute hottie with a bubbly personality named Tracey McCall. She got her start when she won a modeling contest for a jeans company and has since appeared in numerous TV shows and commercials, so she has a lot of connections in the industry. Joe's right hand man, Brian Chanes, is a historical document buff, extreme sci-fi fan, and film memorabilia expert. Jesse D'Angelo is a prop maker and experienced specialist in many technical areas behind the scenes in Hollywood. Most episodes are not staged but some take on the staging of Pawn Stars or American Pickers. The episodes are slow compared to Pawn Stars and maybe a little more the speed of American Pickers. More celebrities are seen than on other shows of this type, and I suspect as it keeps growing more celebrities will risk a visit and reflection on personal memorabilia. I would like to see more of the buyers, but it's clear many of these are doing it for their own personal collections in their own homes which would open them up to buglers that would make a better haul in one visit than a bank heist. You sense some sellers are only interested in showing their collection and getting free publicity for future sales. Joe tends to treat these sellers with more respect than Pawn Stars but I would like to see more conversation after the visit that you'll find on American Pickers.
I think Hollywood Treasure is on its way and will remain if they can avoid from getting stuck on sci-fi memorabilia exclusively. This may be difficult since many collectors of entertainment memorabilia are obsessive sci-fi fans.… Expand
The auction segments are fascinating as buyers become locked in bidding wars and props sell for obscene figures. But the series could ultimately hurt Maddelena's business. The means by which he authenticates certain items, at least as presented here, is not convincing.
Hollywood Treasure will intrigue film junkies and memorabilia collectors. For the rest of us, it's breezy amusement about a world that, like the movies themselves, we will always be watching from the audience.
The show suffers from fakey scenes of Joe and his team in the office--they feel pretty staged--but when Maddalena is out meeting people who want to sell the Hollywood memorabilia they own, Hollywood Treasure is a lot of fun.