50 best television shows set across the United States

16 of 52

Iowa: American Pickers

The premise: A reality show featuring two men who drive around their home state of Iowa sifting through other people’s junk in the hopes of finding hidden treasures. Mike and Frank are buddies and business partners in Antique Archaeology.

They drive around in a van, popping in on antique collectors which their office manager, Danielle, finds and sets up. They are so enthusiastic, you can’t help but be dazzled with their passion, and their negotiating skills are a thing to behold.

The setting: Their home base and warehouse is located in Le Claire Iowa, but they drive far and wide to get the best stuff. They turn up to folks property with more stuff than you can imagine and they sift through huge heaps of the fragments of these folks lives. Every time they go to a new place, it holds all sorts of mementos from the region and area. It’s like a little time capsule from every town they visit.

The most Iowa thing about it: The long, rolling hills you see out the van window. A good bit of the show is filmed while Mike and Frank are in the car, and they drive a lot of long, boring miles. Iowa is not a flat state, and you can tell Mike and Frank are in Iowa with a cursory glance outside the moving car.