TV Review: 'Market Warriors' is a 'Pickers' variation
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"Market Warriors" is sort of "PBS Pickers" with a competition angle and more focus on vintage treasures. Premiering at 9 p.m. Monday on WQED, this series from the producers of "Antiques Roadshow" is reminiscent of History's "American Pickers" but manages to entertain in its own way.
Comedy actor Fred Willard ("Best in Show") narrates "Market Warriors," but his comments -- often snarky shots at the pickers -- aren't as entertaining as the pickers themselves.
John Bruno, in particular, engages the viewer as he rummages through an Adamstown, Pa., flea market in the series premiere. He's knowledgeable and jovial. Picker Kevin Bruneau is more likely to drive a hard bargain. Interior designer Bob Richter goes for items that appeal to him personally (on-screen graphics and narration educate viewers on the history of items under consideration by the pickers). South Carolina native Miller Gaffney gives away too much bargaining information.
Each of the four pickers gets $1,000 to spend over two rounds of buying items that they'll have shipped to Los Angeles to be sold at auction. The picker who makes the most money flipping his or her goods wins bragging rights and not much else (hey, it's PBS).
"Market Warriors" is likely to appeal to "Antiques Roadshow" fans, but it's also a calculated effort to compete with more popular offerings on cable, which undercuts arguments that PBS offers TV shows you can't find elsewhere. At the same time, no politician has cried for the elimination of PBS since "Downton Abbey" became a hit. So, maybe there's value in striking a balance between educational, public service programming and offering shows more viewers actually want to watch.
First Published July 15, 2012 12:00 am