Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Sins of the Father

Do you watch the American Chopper? For me its one of the "real people" shows I watch: Stagehands Catch Crabs, Stagehands Drive Trucks, Stagehands Cut Trees, and Stagehands Build Bikes. American Chopper of course being the last. I think when I started watching a while ago it was more about the fabrication than the personalities, but the last two seasons they haven't really let it be that anymore.

A while back Sr. fired his son. I can relate to this. When my mother and I tried to work together we could really never make it work. For some folks, working with family isn't the best possible choice. I'm not sure we ever saw what the reality of the environment was and I don't know how much of it was work and how much was family issues, but in the end they couldn't make it work and there was a parting of the ways.

Jr. had a one year non-compete with OCC and so he spent a year kinda foundering and the show really suffered for it I think. This year he's back to building bikes at his own shop and for the first time in a bit the show had back some of what it had lost.

But it's also had this just wrenching, terrible through line of the father/son dispute with all kinds of sniping and lawsuits and politicking. It's been really hard to watch at times. Through the whole thing I've always thought that it shouldn't matter what he's struggling with, it's on Sr. to get it together and repair his family. The things he says about his kids to the people that work for him are just awful, and his take on the whole situation is just unfortunate.

I suppose we need to layer over this the thought that we're seeing something that's been edited and structured by a TV producer, and *maybe* there's been some of this that's just been for show. But my read is that if that is the case it's the greatest TV show in the history of the medium.

This season has climaxed with one client ordering bikes on the same theme from both companies. That show aired last night and Discovery is running a viewer poll so fans can vote for who they think is the better bike builder. If the show isn't a put on the results are going to be shattering for Paul Sr.

It's not very close.

More than the total wipeout on the scoreboard I thought the comments on the page were really telling with fan after fan saying they really wish Sr. would make things right with his son.

I really hope he can.

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