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American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior: Deadliest Catch Bike

24 May

May 23, 2011

Since this episode mixes up the OCC and Deadliest Catch crews, here is a very short briefing about Deadliest Catch.

Crab fishing in Alaska is called the deadliest job in the world and that isn’t just hype. The odds of dying are very high and the chance of injury is almost 100%. Some of the main players on the show are Sig Hansen, captain of the Northwestern and one of the most respected captains in the fleet, and the Hillstrand brothers who skipper the Time Bandit and are as good at having fun on board as they are at catching crab. Jake and Josh Harris are the sons of Phil Harris, captain of the Cornelia Marie, who died last season and the boys’ are having a rough time with a new captain.

As an alleged reality show I have to wonder where the line is drawn between simply filming what happens in the Teutul lives and the show actually influencing them. It can’t be simply a coincidence that twice this season OCC and PJD have gotten involved with other shows from their network. It has happened a few times in earlier seasons too. It has to be very tempting for the network to cross-promote other shows and boost ratings this way. I am sure that a lot of Deadliest Catch fans who never watch American Chopper will tune in tonight. And a few weeks ago it didn’t hurt the people from the new show Sons of Guns to be featured on American Chopper.

And remember, Senior and Junior get producers credits (and salary) on the show so there is some incentive to keep an interesting feud going. Is it all fake? Can’t be. Actual lawsuits have been filed, but how much is sweetened by the producers? I’m not sure.

The show began with a disclaimer from Paul Senior and if you think things are strange on a normal episode this was a good warning: “We’re here in Alaska and we’re going to be doing some pretty crazy stuff so make sure that whatever you see here you don’t do at home.

Then we got the pre-credit tease and we saw Sr. firing an assault rifle and lots of Jason but no Paul Jr. In fact, there will be no Paulie or anyone from PJD on this program. Realistically , for about 45 minutes it was an episode of Deadliest Catch guest starring OCC. And speaking as a fan of Deadliest Catch, seeing that buffoon Paul Sr. in the Time Bandit wheelhouse made me sick. Senior stood out, not only on the boat, but during the whole time in Alaska because he wore a bright red motorcycle jacket and pants. However, you knew it had to be freezing in Alaska because his shirt also had sleeves.

Like last week, Rick got a lot of screen time just explaining what was going on, and unfortunately Jason got a lot too. I don’t need to explain how annoying he was, but when he fired one of the Hillstrand’s AK-47s I hoped the police would get involved.

The guys went out on the Time Bandit where Senior got seasick and the OCC crew and Mike Fourtner from the boat took turns blowing things up, then they went dog sledding (where Sr. fell into t snow bank) and glacier climbing. And of course, there was always time for Sr. to badmouth his sons.

Captain Andy: “A crew is only as good as its weakest link.”
Paul Sr.: “We got rid of that.”

To the camera, Senior said: “As far as Mikey or Paulie coming out here, first of all I don’t think they would ever do it, I don’t think they would set foot on this boat. They’re just not used to the adventures life that I’ve lived.” I think if you substitute “adventurous” with “drunk” you get nearer the truth.

For the last 15 minutes they went back to OCC where Sr. made Jason change the ugly sissy bar and Robb did an amazing job on the paint, including a dedication to Captain Phil. It was a “bare bones” bike, which I found funny since last week Senior was bragging about all the technology they add to the bikes.

The bike was unveiled at Catch Con and if you are knowledgeable about Deadliest Catch it will be no surprise that among the Captains we saw Sig, Wild Bill, Captain Keith, and a new captain, Scott Campbell, but not Derrick Ray. And while all the boats were visible in the background and Jake and Josh got some face time we never saw the Cornelia Marie. Never mind the Teutuls, there is some serious behind the scenes drama happening there.

Next week is finally the beginning of a bike build-off, pitting Sr. against Jr. and also injecting some much-needed new life into this show. But since the Hillstrands spilled the beans that the call for the Deadliest Catch bike came from Discovery headquarters I am sure that the network is behind that too.

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