DVD Review: Shipping Wars (Season One)



When it comes to reality television there seems to be a certain format for showcasing various quirky industries. All you have to do is gather a number of competitors that regularly compete against one another for business and then follow them on a regular basis. The format is fairly simple and has been exploited in any number of series that have an industry followed by the word “wars” in it. Throw in costs and you can make it into a competition each episode as each competitor can make or lose money based off of their production for that particular episode. It’s easily repeatable as long as you have enough interesting personalities to make whatever industry you want to cover into compelling television.

Shipping Wars is no different, this time focusing on independent truckers using uShip as their battleground.

The series follows Roy Garber, Marc Springer, Jennifer Brennan, Jarrett Joyce, and Suzanne and Scott Bawcom as they bid on two selected jobs. Once a winner of each job is determined the task of shipping the objects, some of them fairly unusual, wind up costing time and money. At the end of each episode the costs are tallied against the cost of the job and monetary gains (and losses) are determined.

Shipping Wars is the shipping world’s version of Storage Wars or Texas Car Wars in that it’s an easily repeatable format. There’s the bid, the win, the ship and the final cost. The only variable in each episode are the problems that arise, etc, from the time of bid-winning to the time of completion. Otherwise it follows its set formula to a fault every single episode.

It makes the show fairly easy to get into; you’re introduced to the personalities as they bid for the opportunity to provide services and with each win (and loss) give an insight into the world of independent trucking & shipping. After a while, though, the show’s formula is going to make you a fan or turn the channel.

It’s easier to watch on a weekly basis as opposed to DVD because the formula can be grating at times. There isn’t any variant or changes to it at all throughout the first season. If you can’t get into the show, or find the people a bit obnoxious, then nothing that happens is going to change your opinion.

Shipping Wars is entertaining to a degree but after a while the show’s devotion to formula made me want to change the channel.

Additional footage from the series is included and that’s it.

For a television show it’s a fairly interesting one at first but unless you fall in love with the people involved it’s going to get bothersome after a while.

A&E presents Shipping Wars (Season One) Running time: 3 hours, 40 minutes. Released: November 13, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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