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Antiques Roadshow Behind the Scenes: An Insider's Guide to PBS's #1 Weekly Show Paperback – December 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Packed with quick hits called "Marsha's Musings," Bemko shares insights on the personalities and logistical demands that go into making ARS, but that's only the beginning. The book combines valuable "how to" tips for collectors with tales of wrap-party hi-jinks and appraisers' favorite recollections from 13 years of cross-country travels.
The show's history is honestly reviewed, warts and all, including the infamous "watermelon sword" episode in which two appraisers concocted a scenario to inflate the value of a Confederate weapon. The fraud resulted in a strict code of conduct for all ARS appraisers.
Hundreds of color photos feature happy (or shocked) collectors and treasures brought to the show, and profile the team in front of and behind the cameras. Bemko also recalls her favorite appraisal stories, and first on her list is Lark Mason being overcome with emotion as he views a carved marble lion from China (valued at more than $100,000).
But her fondest reminiscences are reserved for "ordinary people collecting what they love without really knowing, or caring, what the pieces may be worth." And that, in a nutshell, sums up the appeal of this book, and the continued success of Antiques Roadshow. It's not just the appraisers or the objects, but the curious collectors -- whether shy or outrageous -- that draw us to the show.
This will make an ideal gift for the antique lover on your Christmas list, no matter what their collecting passion.
Accompanied by mostly color photos and occasional sidebars, information includes how the show first came to America (it was inspired by one in Britain), an intriguing and shocking controversy from the first season, silly things people have brought to be appraised, how the show is set up in each town it visits, and information about and advice from the show's favorite appraisers. My favorite section is the last chapter, which contains updates on what happened to some of the antiques that appeared on the show. While _Antiques Roadshow_ does occasionally have these types of updates available on their official website, I wish this section were longer.
_Antiques Roadshow_ is a vast production, especially considering that
its set is created in each town it visits! It visited my state recently, and (not having any interesting antiques) I was tempted to get in their ticket raffle just to see how it all works! I didn't, but thankfully this book explains it all, without having to stand in line for hours! If you enjoy the show from the trunk opening with the catchy theme song playing in the background to the ending with the often-humorous feedback booth, you'll enjoy finding out all about its intricate workings and the people who work so enthusiastically to bring it to us.
Written by producer Marsha Bemko, Behind the Scenes explores...well, behind the scenes of the long running PBS show. We get the details of how sites are chosen, how equipment is moved, and how tickets are obtained. Quite frankly, some of this was not all that exciting, but I did come away with the understanding that what I actually see on my screen is only a tiny bit of what the appraisers and producers actually encounter in a typical shooting day. Bemko gives us the reasons people and items are chosen (it's got to be good tv!) and how the appraisers approach her as to why they should have a segment taped. I especially enjoyed knowing what tips the appraisers gave for getting on air, and what happened to some of the big ticket items after the show aired. I also am alive with curiosity over the items discussed within the book that never made it to air--I want to know more about them! And naturally, the interviews with the appraisers were intriguing and fun. Got to love those Keno brothers!
This book is a wealth of information for all lovers of the television show, and just a plain fun look at what goes on behind the scenes. I can highly recommend it for those who love antiques and especially, Antiques Roadshow! Now if only I can find something valuable lying around my house that will make those appraisers sit up and take notice...
Probably the most useful section is that on "what not to bring to the Antique Roadshow". I am a collector of certain collectibles and spend a lot of time answering queries asking "is this valuable?". My specialty is old records and most of what people are saving has little monetary valuable. If people would read just this section of Bemko's book it would serve a purpose.
There is also a small "reference" section at the end listing some books (obviously the Kovels' and Rinker books and web sites for some specific organizations. This is a very subjective list as no musical items are there or are stamps. And a "google" search will serve you better than this list.
The book is slim - 178 pages - and the type is LARGE (I though I got the special "large print edition", but I think it was just a way to fill up space. There is a lot of white space here. There are sidebars with "Marsha's Musings" which are often just repeating something already in the test. There are maybe 50 photos of items from the show or scenes from the show.
The "fun part" for regulars is the little bit of "gossip" Bemko shares. I particularly enjoyed knowing the history of the show before it got to PBS. Not only was the ORIGINAL American to import the show in it for - as he says - the money, but he actually did make money by getting the lifetime US rights to the show.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love the book and learn so much about this Wonderful show..thanks..Published 6 months ago by Thorisa Yap
Fantastic! All the really good deals, all the bios, all the details, WoW!
I bought it for my husband who has an interest in antiques and he tells me about something he found... Read more
bought this book for my wife, an AR addict. read it myself, with pleasure. not a great book but has nuggets of behind-the-scenes information that extend our knowledge of the people... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Steve
Fascinating read for fans of the show. Interesting to read how the "regulars" got into the antique business, as well as the selection process for airing certain... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Carol W. Aigner
I bought this book for my daughter-in-law. She seemed happy to get it. I'm looking forward to browsing through the book after she has had a chance to look at it herself. Read morePublished on January 5, 2014 by Gramma Ruth
My wife and I have been fans of PBS's series Antiques Roadshow for years now, so I was quite glad when this book fell into my hands. Read morePublished on August 31, 2013 by The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt Johnson
I love the TV show. It was very interesting to learn all of the inner working of what it takes to put on such an amazing show - week after week. Really fun read.Published on June 5, 2013 by Amy Daveler