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American Chopper: Sr. vs. Jr. Returns Yet Again, December 2010

14 Dec

December 14, 2010

I thought I was done. After the “season finale” in which the gang all went to Sturgis, I thought this show would be gone for awhile. There’s usually a break of a few months between seasons. There I was, taking a nice break from writing about phony-reality television. No American Choppers, no Scrappers (except for the spam some loser from their Facebook page keeps sending) for what I  thought was the long haul. I figured I’d see an ad, read an article, catch a commercial when American Choppers returned but no, this caught me by surprise. How did I know it had returned? It was a suggestion on my TiVo. Thanks. Betrayed by my own TiVo.

At any rate, just because the show came back, there was no real reason for me to write about it. Oh, I was always going to watch. Unlike Scrappers, I do tend to enjoy this show and except for a season or so in the middle, I’ve seen it from the beginning. In all honesty, I get a lot of clicks on the site from the Choppers blogs, but I get a lot of clicks from other things too. However, in this latest show, something caught me eye. Or rather, my ear.

It was Senior.

He didn’t yell. He didn’t insult his son. Though he said some uncomplimentary things about Paulie, they weren’t gratuitous, or simply just “he’s a jerk”-type stuff. And talking about PJD’s debut at Sturgis, he was nearly complimentary

That’s what got me. Senior was reasonable. A reasonable Senior.

Of course, I am an episode behind, so we’ll see how long this lasts.

So here I go.

First, the bikes.

OCC was contracted to build a bike for the Fallen Heroes Foundation, honoring soldiers who died in combat. Remembering the POW/MIA bike, I figured this was right up their alley.

I was wrong.

For some reason, Sr. left the design totally in the hands of the ass-kissing primate, Jason. Jason designed a really cool looking bike. Seriously, it was. It was a true GI Joe bike, desert colors, with ammo draped over it, grenades, claymore mines, and a rifle. It was a really great tribute to war and weapons. I’m sure Duke or Hawk would awesome fighting Cobra on it. I’m not really sure how it was a tribute to fallen soldiers. Everyone gushed about how cool it was, and I agree, it was, but as a tribute it fell flat.

But Jason got to run around with a gun.

PJD was contracted to rebuild and personalize an ATV. Having four wheels and resembling a dune buggy, you may realize that this was not, technically, a motorcycle. To be fair, this is a start-up and Paulie has to take what he can get.

Problem- Paulie knows nothing about ATV’s. Worse, he told the costumer, something called “Blingstar,” that “I don’t really understand quads.” I see a public relations course in his future.

Solution- Odie knows ATV’s. Put him in charge.

Problem- Odie is an inexperienced kid who mumbles when he talks because he doesn’t move his lower jaw, is obsessed with the word “freak” (Seriously- count how many times he said it this episode) and is totally not ready to run a build. When learning that the kid was to be in charge, the buyer, to his credit, didn’t run away, but he did laugh out loud.

Solution- Let Vinnie supervise Odie.

Unfortunately, that is not what happens, so parts don’t arrive on time, guys show up work and have no work to do, and Odie chooses to paint the ATV in unfortunate 1980’s-style neon orange and yellow. It’ll be Hulkamania running wild all over again.

It also inspired no confidence when Odie flipped the quad and landed flat on his face.

PJD has also expanded to the point where Mikey’s blind assistant helps take apart the bikes, and some old guy hangs around in the background.

More on the bike, er, ATV, next week.

The highlight of the show was Senior. He never yelled. He never screamed. I don’t know what got into him, except maybe he finally watched his own show and realized what a goon he looked like.

He gave Paulie credit for building two bikes, gave him credit for actually getting the business up and running, and even back-hand complimented the bikes.

This week he got an invitation to his son’s wedding, and to the surprise of no one, he didn’t go. Say what you will about the guy, and I agree- everything in the family is about 95% his fault, if not more. But this week, he sounded so damn reasonable that even if you didn’t agree with him, you had to admit that he still made a logical point. He said he wanted to go the wedding, but if he did, he would be a distraction, and he was right. He thought it would take away from Paulie’s day, which it might have.  Certainly, a lot of questions would have been asked of Paulie, and who knows what pressure he might have felt.

Personally, I would have gone, but Senior made sense. I didn’t agree, but I could see his point.

Next, Senior reached out to Mikey. After about a dozen emails, they agreed to a sit down in neutral territory to work things out. Senior, calmly and reasonably, explained how he never had a problem with Mikey, how any trouble with Paulie had no bearing on their relationship. Again, damnably reasonable. THIS WASN’T PAUL TEUTUL SR!

For whatever, reason, Mikey decided not to go. He also decided not to tell his father so his father showed up at the diner, waited around for half an hour, tried to call his son, and then left. If I didn’t know better, I’d feel sorry for him.

By the way, this week we also saw Mikey’s new art studio, in which I’m pretty sure he hung up some drop cloths and called it art. And blink and you missed it, there was a “Free Rick” poster there too.

So bottom line, Mikey will have nothing to do with his father unless he patches things up with the rest of the family, which isn’t really fair to his father.

Nor is it fair to us, the viewers.

I don’t know what happened this week, I have no idea what they slipped into Senior’s coffee, I don’t care if he’s in therapy, next week he better scream and yell, blow up a mannequin of his son, take an axe to an old car, anything but be calm and reasonable.

Or this show may have to focus on making bikes again.

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