Whether you want to watch guys hunting gators, digging through junkyards, or risking their necks on the high seas, basic cable has you covered. Tune in and man up.

By Grady Smith
Updated July 20, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

Deadliest Catch

  • TV Show

Storage Wars (A&E, Tuesdays, 10 and 10:30 p.m.)

Watching folks bid on the contents of abandoned storage lockers sounds deadly — but the players’ vibrant personalities make Storage a real TV treasure.

Pawn Stars (History, returns Aug. 13, 10 p.m.)

Think of it as a freshened-up Antiques Roadshow. People bring potential valuables to the shop, run by three generations of the Harrison clan. Customers get the cash, while viewers get the drama of the haggle.

Swamp People (History, available on iTunes)

Watching Cajuns hunting alligators in the Louisiana bayou would be riveting enough. But add in trigger-happy sons trying to please their stoic dads, and we’re weirdly charmed.

Gold Rush (Discovery, available on iTunes)

Todd Hoffman and his not-always-loyal crew spend their days panning for pay dirt in the frozen Alaska ground. Will they ever truly strike it rich? That’s the question that keeps us tuned in.

Ice Road Truckers (History, Sundays, 9 p.m.)

Sure, there are no feral beasts or tumultuous waves present, but we never tire of watching 18-wheelers twist along icy, winding mountain roads.

Deadliest Catch (Discovery, season finale on July 24, 9 p.m.)

The long-running series, which took a poignant turn in 2010 with the death of Capt. Phil Harris, follows Alaskan crabbing vessels as they brave rough seas — and constant on-deck politics.

Bering Sea Gold (Discovery, available on iTunes)

Not into digging for gold? Good news! Apparently you can just vacuum it up off the bottom of the Bering Sea…if you can survive freezing temperatures, frequent storms, and rowdy bar fights.

American Pickers (History, returns Aug. 13, 9 p.m.)

Antiques-obsessed treasure hunters Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz sift through piles of junk looking for gems. Watching them geek out over rusty pieces of Americana (see: anything with a Coca-Cola logo) is consistently endearing.

Mountain Men (History, available on iTunes)

Three off-the-grid men try to get by using only what they can hunt or gather in the wilderness. Though their challenges may differ (grizzlies! caribou! poachers!), one thing is constant: Those. Amazing. Beards.

Barter Kings (A&E, Wednesdays, 10 and 10:30 p.m.)

Antonio Palazzola and Steve McHugh are masters of making a deal, working out elaborate trades to get shiny new toys. How do you start with a welder’s mask and end up with an ATV? Watch and see.

Episode Recaps

Deadliest Catch

  • TV Show
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