Here’s the problem with so-called “reality shows”: When the storyline finally gets to the good part, the “stars” may feel the need to continue their business off-camera.
Fans of the Discovery Channel reality show American Chopper have hung with the Teutuls through a lot—a lot of arguing, a lot of foolishness, a lot of whining and a lot of stuff that just doesn’t make a lot of sense. A lot of people have suspended their disbelief to continue watching a show that may or may not be real—well, as real as anything can be on television, anyway. Is the feud between Paul Sr. and his sons Paul Jr. and Mikey real? Some believe that yes, nothing that is that stressful, that acidic, that broken could be faked by a bunch of non-actors. Others believe that, no, the entire thing is a made-up situation for the benefit of ratings, although the Teutuls do continue to maintain that, yes, the feud between father and sons is all too real.
Regardless of which way they land on the realness factor, fans have stuck with the Teutuls through good and bad.
Now, how are they rewarded?
Well, when a potential breakthrough is actually at hand, the Teutuls decide to take everything behind closed doors.
Fans will undoubtedly have mixed opinions on this decision, as well. Some will likely feel shortchanged in the deal, feeling that they’ve stuck with it all through the bad—why do they get the door slammed in their face when the good finally arrives? Others may agree that such negotiations are too important—and potentially fragile—to be contaminated with the cameras. The Teutuls themselves are split on this point.
Paul Jr. finally responded to his father’s many attempts to make contact, deciding it was time for them to just speak face-to-face, to get everything out in the open. But, he also decided that “out in the open” should be behind the scenes.
“I think me and him need to sit down and talk,” Paul Jr. said. But, he made clear, only if the cameras were not involved. “It’s hard sometimes to measure sincerity when there’s 12 people in the room with cameras and soundpacks and mikes. There’s a series of things that I have not filmed for the show, because they are too personal and too important, and this would be one of them.”
Senior, on the other hand, while agreeing to the “no camera” mandate by Junior, wasn’t of the same opinion on letting the cameras into their reunion.
“I’m not sure if I get the camera thing,” said Paul Sr. “You know, in a sense, I feel like we’re cheating our fans by not doing that. But, if he doesn’t want to do that, and he wants to meet personally without cameras, I’m fine with that.”
So, there will be no cameras when the one thing the fans have looked forward to for show after show after show finally happens: The two Teutuls meet and try to work out their difficulties. What will happen? Who knows—but, for fans, whatever happens, good or bad, it will all be hearsay.
Oh, and Mikey?
Well, honestly, Mikey has seemed like he’s just kind of out there somewhere on the last few episodes—so who can know what he might be thinking, reunion-wise, although one might suspect that he will fall in line behind his brother’s ultimate decision. After all, the only problem Mikey really seems to have with Paul Sr. is that he and Paul Jr. cannot get along.
Image: Wikimedia Commons