DVD Review: Shipping Wars Season One

Sections: Movie Review, TV

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Our friends out at A&E sent over a delight for us to review today, folks, and if the high cost of gas has got you down, just imagine how much worse it is for a guy towing a fifty foot tall ceramic dwarf. You’ll get to find out exactly what that’s like–along with plenty more unusual tows–in Shipping Wars Season One.

Shipping Wars Season One joins us with several “shippers”, or people who contract to haul large or otherwise unusual loads long distances for pay. They compete against each other using the medium of uShip, a website that brings together shippers to let them compete for business via reverse-auction style: each shipper bids their best price on the job, and the lowest price at the end of the auction lands the business. Then, the shippers go out to retrieve the object, drive it to where it needs to be, drop it off, and collect their cash. Naturally, it’s nowhere near as easy as it sounds.

We’ll join five such shippers: hard-charging, abrasive Roy Garber, who is joined by his kitty. Next is rookie and all around terrible luck magnet Jarrett Joyce, followed by bubbly-yet-tough cowgirl Jennifer Brennan, big-rig–with an ego and preposterous muttonchop mustache to match–driver Marc Springer, and military couple Suzanne and Scott Bawcom as they make their way toward fame and fortune…or at least break-even.

Each episode will not only show us what’s to be delivered and for how much, but also the bumps in the road–only a bit of a pun intended–along the way, and the ultimate result of each transporters. We’ll not only see the profit and loss for each run, but we’ll also get to see the ratings. After each shipment–successful or otherwise–those who contract the services can rate the transporters’ performance with uShip based on the performance.

The truly compelling part about Shipping Wars Season One is that there’s much more going on here than just the movement of material from one part of the country to the other. There’s the interplay between the drivers–strictly remotely–as they not only bid on loads, but also share their strategies,  as well as their perception of their competition’s strategies. There are the amazing and bizarre things that happen on the load–hassles with the police most notably, but even the weather and the loads themselves will play hob with some of the trips–and then, the progression of the drivers themselves as they move up in the ranks ratings-wise. There’s comedy in here, a little drama, a smidge of suspense, and a great whopping lot of the unexpected thrown in for that little extra touch.

“Shipping Wars” is a lot of fun to watch because they keep things moving along at a very brisk pace. Half-hour episodes cruise on by, and it’s very difficult to get bored watching these because in that half-hour, there’s almost always something unexpected. Shipping Wars Season One, meanwhile, is a great way to get started with a series that will hopefully prove to be as big a hit for A&E as some of its other reality fare.

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