Over the last few years, reality television has spawned a new genre of shows dealing with junk. A popular series like "Storage Wars," for example, shows how professional and aggressive buyers purchase abandoned storage lockers, turning one person's trash into serious cash.
On August 18, "JUNKies," a show set in Jimmy's Junk in Long Island, NY, debuts on SCIENCE, a division of the Discovery Communications. Jimmy "The Junk Genius" Ruocco, the no-nonsense owner, has a sprawling junkyard filled with an odd assortment of parts and supplies for every conceivable project. Ruocco admits, though, that even he and his staff don't always know exactly what they have on hand.
Jimmy's Junkyard is, of course, a for-profit operation, but the attraction of the show is what inspired and inventive people can do with all those spare parts.
After watching the first episode of "JUNKies," it's safe to say that the guys at Jimmy's Junk would be upset with Barry Weiss from "Storage Wars." In his quest for one great item, Weiss routinely trashes the contents of the lockers he purchases in search of that one really great item. The rest of the contents could conceivably become great spare parts.
The "JUNKies" pilot episode also is a fascinating and frightening look into Jimmy's world. After a "fire artist" comes to the junkyard looking for a special gas valve, Ruocco draws upon his own resources, his staff and a vast network of junk suppliers to locate it. If he can't find it, it's safe to say that the part probably doesn't exist anymore.
"JUNKies" also features some regular visitors to Jimmy's Junk, including Hale Storm, a guy who could be a direct descendant of Mr. Haney from the old "Green Acres" sitcom. Hale makes regular visits with his truck loaded with "treasures," but Jimmy can only find useful items less than 10 percent of the time. A bit eccentric, Storm thinks that an antique birthing chair is a must-have item.
This SCIENCE show also appeals to the amateur inventor and tinkerer. Over the next few weeks, "JUNKies" promises to unveil inspired inventions like a hovercraft and a coffin car, both created from spare parts. Some projects are so dangerous, however, that "JUNKies" routinely broadcasts a disclaimer imploring viewers not to imitate what they see.
"JUNKies" is broadcast on SCIENCE on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.
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