Credit: Emily Shur/A&E

Image Credit: Emily Shur/A&EThe concept of A&E’s Storage Wars is incredibly simple. Unpaid storage lockers go up for auction, and the four profiled buyers mine them for valuable goods (and basically anything that can earn them a few bucks in resale at their respective thrift stores). In fact, in theory, it sounds kind of boring. After accidentally spending three separate Saturdays marathoning this show in the last month’s time, I can declare that presumption false.

These “buyers” are actually like mythical creatures that have the ability to turn apparent junk into major cash with a single wave of their sunburned paws. But the gamble is that the business doesn’t always pay (particularly for buyers like rookie Jarrod who tend to make riskier purchases). They only get five minutes to peek inside a locker and decide how much money they will invest, knowing very well that the contents might not provide any return. (In one episode, Gordon Gekko doppelgänger Barry even brought a pair of psychics with him to tell him whether lockers were worth purchasing.)

Each of the four men the show follows has at least a few success stories to share. One man, Darrell (maybe my favorite of the bunch because he’s not as underhanded as the rest), once talked about paying a few hundred dollars for a storage locker that turned out to have a rare comic book collection inside — we’re talking first editions/nerd paradise/a storage buyer’s retirement fund. Needless to say, he won that battle. And seasoned buyer Dave, who I despise because he consistently hikes up the price of lockers with no intention of purchasing them, tends to have at least one major score an episode.

I’ve spent some time since my most recent Storage Wars marathon pondering the appeal of the show. Is it the big wins? The losses? The growing knowledge of surprisingly valuable crap I need to be looking out for? Well, it’s all of that. Plus, since I was kid I’ve always wanted to find buried treasure and these men sort of do exactly that — except it’s buried under rat dropping-covered boxes.

Considering the most recent episode attracted 3.3 million viewers, I’m guessing I’m not alone in my fascination with this show. Are you watching Storage Wars, PopWatchers? And why?!