Thursday, February 11, 2010
Farewell American Chopper
TLC aired the final episode of American Chopper earlier tonight, and for my money it was a sad, somewhat heartbreaking end to the on-TV saga of the Teutul family.
Say what you want about the bikes featured on the show over the years. Insult their quality and functionality, make fun of chopper culture -- do all that stuff. To me, the show was never really about motorcycles anyhow. It was about Senior, Paulie, and Mikey. It was also about guys I think I would probably really like to hang around with like Vinnie DiMartino and Rick Petko. Maybe I'm just being too sentimental in the wake of the show's abrupt cancellation, but I'm gonna miss certain aspects of it.
I'll admit that I thought some of the drama was staged along the way, and some of it indeed may have been. But considering that Senior filed a million-dollar lawsuit against Junior a few weeks ago over ownership of Junior's shares in the OCC company stock, I'd say the animosity and tension were generally very real. TLC apparently knew it was real, too, and pulled the plug.
The episode ended with Mikey selling his house and apparently moving away, Junior getting officially engaged to his girlfriend and moving on with his own company, the remaining core of the OCC build team delivering a Kobalt Tools-themed chopper to Lowe's, and all the family wounds still open and bleeding. It was a real bummer.
That said, the show survived probably a lot longer than it should have, outlasting every other chopper-related show on television by a mile or two. Without question, the chopper fad of the 2000s is over. Choppers are fashionable items, and like any other fad, they come and go in and out of style. It was the Teutuls themselves that made the show last so long. So who knows; maybe in 25 more years when the chopper craze returns, it'll be Paulie Junior duking it out with his own son on "The New American Chopper" with occasional visits to Senior in the old folks home. Time will tell.
I can only hope that the Teutul clan will realize that money, fame, and TV shows all eventually go away, but the love of family should always endure. So here's an offer of best wishes for peace and reconciliation. I hope they learn to love each other again and get along. Those are the things in life that really matter.