Drew and I have been playing the Antiques Roadshow "game" for about 10 years. It goes like this: the owner of the thing presents his item and its story to the appraiser on the show; before the appraiser divulges their value determination, each of us predicts the outcome; closest number wins. If there's disagreement with their evaluation, we do the research to determine if they're "right." Truth be told, Drew's a winner. I'm betting you play this game, too. Some people in our (appraisal) profession don't have kind things to say about the show. They say that the values represented on the show are at best, dubious, or at least, not realistic representations of the marketplace. As entertainment and information, Drew and I find it compelling. In any case, it's a show we need to watch and know about because our customers, clients and friends watch it. If I had a nickle for every time a client said "I saw one of these on the Antiques Roadshow so I thought I better have it appraised" I'd have at least enough for a lifetime subscription to the Antiques Roadshow newsletter.
I like a couple of the appraisers a lot, mostly because I learn from them and they are funny, smart or both. We've met many of them and have a few on speed-dial. Alan Fausel on fine art, Noel Barrett on toys, David Rago on early 20th C. arts and crafts, Philip Weiss on collectibles, and of course, the Kenos on antique furniture are favorites to watch. Sometimes, they are like kids in a candy store. I've included links to each of their archived TV appraisals on video. I get a kick out of watching these more than once because I do learn something new every time. Then again, I have America's Funniest Videos on permanent DVR, too. Remember, AFV was America's first social networking site!