TV Review: Comic Book Men Episodes 301 and 302 (AMC)

There are no shortages of reality shows on television.  Everything from drunk angry housewives, wannabe pop stars, the daily lives of “celebrities”, Honey Boo Boo, and 400 cooking contests.  Then […]

There are no shortages of reality shows on television.  Everything from drunk angry housewives, wannabe pop stars, the daily lives of “celebrities”, Honey Boo Boo, and 400 cooking contests.  Then there is AMC’s ‘Comic Book Men’.

‘Comic Book Men’ is the creation of Kevin Smith.  The show is, in Smith’s words, “Pawn Stars for geeks” (When people come in to buy and sell their collectibles of all kinds, the show offers tidbits of information about the merchandise in between the negotiations).  It is filmed at Smith’s comic book store, ‘Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash’ in Red Bank, NJ.  It features Walt Flanagan, Bryan Johnson, Mike Zapcic, Ming Chen, with appearances by Smith.

30604 (1)

Where ‘Comic Book Men’ differs from other reality shows is in the story.  Every reality show, like any scripted show, needs to have a beginning, middle, and end with some sort of conflict needing resolution.  But while most reality shows seem less like reality and more rehearsed and coached, ‘Comic Book Men’ flows with a sincere feeling of exactly what you would expect if you walked in to a comic book shop run by a group of guys who are friends.

Episode 301. “The Incredible Bulk”

In the first episode of the season, Lou Ferrigno stops by the Secret Stash.  The former Incredible Hulk star is hired by Kevin Smith to whip Bryan Johnson back in to shape.  Or at least start the process (I had the opportunity to get within about 3’ of Lou Ferrigno at the NYCC a few years ago, if anyone could do it it would be Lou…the man is huge).  There was someone trying to sell her vintage Archie comic, cuts to the podcast (which feature Smith), and the standard conversations between all the guys.  TV moms they had crushes on (Judith Light a surprise admission for Ming) and would you kill your friend if both of you were in the Hunger Games.

Episode 302.  “To the Batcave”

The second episode has the guys traveling to the Delaware home of one of their customers who invited the Comic Book Men to his house to see his Batcave in his house (I could not write enough adjectives to describe how fantastically awesome his Batcave was).  A man comes in to price his original Star Wars action figure set and we find out which type of hero is better, tech or magical, the guys’ favorite talking dogs, and if they had $1,00,000 what kind of man cave would they build.

For those who may have never had an interest in the show because of it being centered on comic books, I really don’t have anything in common with California Housewives who do $1000 lunch dates and mid-afternoon face lifts (do you?) but I’ve tuned in to their show (and I may have said too much).

If you are a fan of the show, it is business as usual for ‘Comic Book Men’.  Podcasting with Kevin Smith, ripping on Ming, talking about the kinds of topics every geek watching has most likely had at one time in their life or during your lunch break at work, finding out what the first appearance of Elektra is going for, and the appeal of a reality show that actually feels like reality even when the topics of each show may not always be reality.

 

Comic Book Men Season 3 premieres Sunday, October 13th, 2013 on AMC.

About Staff Writer