Why It's Finally Time To Cancel Pawn Stars

Ah Pawn Stars: the show that officially turned the History Channel into a TLC-esque reality wasteland. When it first came out in 2009, it quickly became the History Channel's highest-rated show, and the staff of the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop became bona fide celebrities. However, after seven years and 12 seasons, it's time for the show to wind down. Like any other long-running TV series, Pawn Stars has become a hollow shell of its former self, and we're here to tell you why.

The plots are repetitive

When it first hit the airwaves, Pawn Stars had some semblance of a program that you would find on the History Channel,as in it being a show about history. A seller would come in with an historical item, and Rick would explain its significance in history, thus giving us a fascinating history lesson.

However, as with any channel undergoing network decay, the show deteriorated into the annoying arguing seen only in the realms of reality TV shows. It became less about history and antiques, and more about the family bickering. The Old Man complains about something, Corey and Rick make some comment about his stubbornness and age, then Chumlee does something idiotic to break the tension. Someone comes in with an item, an obligatory factoid is brought, then it's back onto Kardashian-esque drama between the guys. The episode then ends with Rick, and perhaps Corey, rolling their eyes at The Old Man's nostalgia, with Chumlee in the background as the pawn shop's perennial court jester.

Other than one or two major transactions with various one-off segments, the show resembles just one of many equally foolish shows about which family member can say the stupidest statement before the next commercial break.

It's flanderized its cast AND jumped the shark

Eventually, every long-running program reaches the most dreaded of television trope milestones: Flanderization and Jumping the shark. When these occur, it's over — the show's on life support and nothing more can be done, besides pulling the plug.

First off, there's the Flanderization (emphasizing one character trait until it's the only trait) of the cast. When Pawn Stars first began, each of the guys had realistic roles: Rick was a knowledgeable straight man who could negotiate tough deals, the Old Man was gruff but likeable, Corey was the young up-and-comer trying to prove himself, while Chumlee was comic relief who still knew enough to work the shop if he had to. Plus, they could all interchange roles if need be. Now, they're so scripted, there's no room for anything else besides each guy's one role and predictable dialogue. Even the sellers who come in could all be the same uniform individual, rather than the colorful characters from the show's infancy.

Then there's the shark-jumping, which is when a show turns to cheap gimmicks and outrageous scenarios to get those precious viewers. Pawn Stars is hardly advertised for what crazy historical item people bring in anymore, but for what stupid antic Chumlee is going to do this week, or what generation-gap thing the Old Man is going to complain about this time. Plus, the supposedly outrageous plots might be somewhat entertaining, but are also painful to watch, because they have already been done so many times before. They're not just jumping the shark — they're jumping the same shark, all the damn time.

Chumlee's legal problems

Chumlee, the adorable dimwit of the show, has proven to be a fan favorite, but recently that image was shattered when his home was raided earlier this year in March, with enough drugs and weapons found to put Scarface to shame. The reason the authorities actually went to his home in the first place was due to a former pawn shop employee accusing him of sexual assault (the charges of which were dropped, due to lack of evidence), so right off the bat this story is incredibly dark.

The police seized marijuana, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia in such great amounts, they suspected him of being a dealer. They also found twelve guns (only four of which were actually registered by Chumlee) and a "Chum Chum" room where they found a dancing pole, a bag of a "white powdery substance," and a dollar bill with white residue. After Chumlee was exposed as a Grand Theft Auto villain, he was arrested and charged with various drug and gun crimes. Chumlee took a plea deal in May, which allowed him to remain out of prison with three years probation, leaving him with plenty of time to Chum Chum, though hopefully drug-free this time.

The effects of this scandal were clearly felt ... or at least, we assume they were, since History Channel has remained completely mute about the ordeal. This begs the question: will Chumlee ever return to the show? This, along with Rick possibly reducing his role, means that the two most well known cast members of the show might not return in the future.

Rick is losing interest

After a while, everyone suffers a little burnout from their career, but the burnout that the hosts of one of TV's biggest shows is something else entirely. Rick Harrison, the face of Pawn Stars, didn't know what he was getting into when the show went on the air: "I figured that a show would mean free publicity and free publicity would mean more business, but everyone told me that no one wants to watch a show about four fat guys in a pawn shop."

Well, people obviously did want to watch four fat guys in a pawn shop, as proven by the almost-immediate success of the show. However, Rick never even wanted a long-running series: "All I was hoping for was a season or two, so everything that has happened is beyond my expectations. It's insane."

After seven years, he's gotten tired, saying in 2015 that he was planning on drastically reducing his duties with both the pawn shop and the show within two years: "I promised my wife that after two years I'm massively going to slow down, can't work 12 hours a day, every day for too long before it burns out. So two more years and then I'm going to really slow down..."

So there you have it — when the guy in charge is getting tired of doing the show, how much longer can it last? It's been rumored that perhaps Corey and Chumlee might take over the reins of the show, but with all of Chumlee's legal issues, this might not be so feasible without Rick's familiar presence to keep things in line.

It's affecting real-life business

Ever since the success of Pawn Stars, the actual business that made the show possible has been pushed aside like an unwanted stepchild. According to Travis Benton, the general manager of the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, unpredictable filming schedules makes it incredibly difficult to do any actual buying and selling. The huge influx of tourists (on average, anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 daily) to the shop means that actual customers are outnumbered by almost 100-to-one. Whenever filming needs to be done, customers who aren't being featured are kicked out, causing business to suffer even more, which not only affects the shop's bottom line — it can mean less commission for employees.

It's not just their shop being hurt by the show — other business ventures of the Pawn Stars cast are suffering as well. In October 2015, Rick Harrison opened a shopping area called Pawn Plaza near the pawn shop, but many of its original tenants have since gone under. Four different restaurants have shut down while others are barely breaking even, with their owners complaining that Rick didn't fulfill obligations to promote their businesses: "Everyone had these grand illusions of what was going to go on in the plaza, and it didn't come to fruition." It seems that Pawn Star's success can only go so far without losing its luster.

The host makes unsolicited, transphobic comments

Ah, the transgender bathroom debate. Is there any minor celebrity who won't get involved in you? Of course not! Where would this world be if people didn't get into debates they are clearly clueless about?

Like everyone else on God's Earth, Rick Harrison was asked what he thinks about the transgender bathroom debate. Except, he wasn't — he was just asked how he feels about being a conservative, and brought it up randomly. He said — and again, this is the main Pawn Star dude opining — "You have some cities that are saying that if you have a man who feels like he's a woman, he can use the women's restroom. I guarantee you that will be taken advantage of by some very bad men who want to go into a bathroom where there's young ladies." Yep, that argument again.

Seriously, it's already illegal to be a terrible person — making it so non-terrible trans women can pee in peace wouldn't make it more likely that terrible men could be terrible. They're going to be that way anyway! Besides, why the guy from Pawn Stars felt the need to go on about it is beyond us. His show has nothing to do with it, and nobody asked him. That's not a good look for any show, especially once whose one and only hook is "is this old thing worth a bunch?"

They fired a female co-worker for being naked online

Pawn Stars is far from the only bastion of sexism, but it's seemingly gone out of its way to be sexist, namely when it outright fired a woman simply because she had been naked online. And not, like, the day before or anything — the show whose very freakin' name is a pun on porn stars fired one of their workers, Olivia Black, because ... she used to be in porn. Like, what? Wouldn't that make your show seem more authentic?

Not one to take a sexist firing lying down, Black sued Pawn Stars for, well, being awful, though the legal term was "discrimination." Her goal was to get back on the show — she hadn't been fired from the pawn shop, just fired from the show about the pawn shop, because that's not confusing! Ultimately, she decided the shop, and the show, weren't worth it, and so she went back to nude modeling. We're going to say she made the right choice, since this show is clearly a sinking ship. It's social backwardness doesn't help their cause, either — there are plenty more accepting pawn shops where people can get good money for their vintage music boxes or whatever.

The experts are terrible

A big part of Pawn Stars is the experts who come in to authenticate antiques and other items, but many whom we've come to know and love have turned out to be ... less than angelic, to say the least.

For instance, take Johnny Jimenez Jr., a frequent toy expert on the show, who was arrested in 2015 for battery and domestic violence, after he was caught on camera allegedly yanking his drunk girlfriend to the ground. Then there's autograph "authenticator" John Reznikoff, who misidentified Al Pacino's signature on a script of The Godfather in a 2011 episode. It actually belonged to producer Al Ruddy, proving Paul Simon partially right: you can call someone Al, but don't ignore the surname.

It turns out that yet another "authenticator" was involved in a fraud scheme as well, this time outside of Pawn Stars. In 2015, Drew Max, an authentication expert featured on the show, was involved in a New Jersey lawsuit in which he "identified" fraudulent sports memorabilia. The memorabilia had been seized by authorities, then auctioned off, but most of the items were phony — Max "fixed" that problem, so to speak. In August 2016, Max was sued for "massive fraud," because he had been selling misidentified memorabilia. Imagine that.

The plaintiff in the case claims that Max was using his Pawn Stars fame to lend further credence to his business. What other "experts" will be exposed by the intense public scrutiny that Pawn Stars has created? And how much more of this show will the public stand before it becomes mere background filler, to inevitably be replaced by better background filler? Please, for the love of television, it's time for Pawn Stars to go.