The 2012 season of American Chopper began with more good wishes then seen during the past several years. While it would be difficult to suggest that Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. have made up and that all was forgiven and even forgotten, it’s no longer “senior versus junior.” Now their relationship appears both more civil and more positive.
The American Chopper season opener had several themes, some visible and some not.
First, it was good to see the Teutuls moving forward in their efforts to establish some sort of familial relationship. While the two Pauls made some progress notably absent from the show was Mikey, who as promised appears to have left the program. His relationship with the senior Teutul is unclear.
Second, both Orange County Choppers and Paul Jr Designs had interesting design projects. The former was working on a bike for the OCC Cafe which is to be built in its headquarters building while Paul Jr’s shop was working on a project for Geico that was designed to honor members of the military.
Third, Rick got married. That was both a nice storyline and a good way for the two Teutuls to break ice in public. It was generous of Rick to invite both of the Pauls to his wedding knowing that their relationship includes a lot of psychological baggage — and possibly a new round of yelling at what should be a civil ceremony.
Fourth, the show includes a view of the entrance and grounds to Paul Sr’s house. This is quite a complex with out buildings and nicely-fenced fields. It’s quite a step up from homes shown earlier in the series and indeed this episode makes no mention of mortgages, loans or foreclosures. The series does, in a sense, follow some of the ups and downs seen with the economy in general during the past decade.
One of the oddities raised by the show is whether greater peace and harmony inside a family will make for good television. American Chopper has always been about more than motorcycles. It has, to a very large extent, very openly looked at the powerful conflicts between a father and his sons. This has made for viewable and often gripping television but there has also been a cost to all the households involved.
Whether being on television has been good for each of the principles involved is not entirely clear because most familial disputes are quiet and certainly not on national television. but here it is back again and with us now for at least the rest of the season. Once again there will be a new opportunity to see what happens as the saga unfolds — there might be a joint bike build with Teutuls junior and senior — and once again a chance to look at our own psyche and relationships.