Beginning the 2012 season of American Chopper on the Discovery Channel last night, fans were likely pleased to find that, yes, it is simply “American Chopper”—no more “Senior vs. Junior.” The tension is obviously lower between the two, but is still there, to some extent—but, they do seem to be trying. Was all “forgiven and forgotten?” No, it did not seem to be. But, the two are obviously working on it.
Senior is obviously willing to do whatever it takes to work things out with his son. He is trying. Will fans accept that he is trying? Time will tell on that one—there has been an awful lot of animosity towards Senior over the last few years, and it seems doubtful that one season—certainly one show—will erase those feelings. But, maybe fans—anti-fans?—will give him a chance, as Junior is trying to do. Fans who still want to pound on Senior in defense of Junior--for example, David Letterman's recent interview with the two--should consider the fact that they are really just making things harder for Junior in the long run.
Mikey apparently followed through with his decision to leave the show. Not only was he noticeably absent from the season premiere, no one even mentioned him; it was as if he never existed. But, that was his decision. Was he at Rick’s wedding? Most likely, yes, he was—it would be surprising if he totally ditched it. But, he was not part of any of the shooting, none of the fun, none of the discussions. So, he is definitely gone, at least for now.
Rick Says, "I Do" without Incident
Speaking of Rick’s wedding, it was nice, and everyone seemed happy, as they should be at a wedding. There did not seem to be any tension between the Teutuls, and it was a good opportunity for them to do some public ice-breaking, and just have a little small talk that didn’t include the “heavy stuff.” They need more of that—just chit chat, and stay away from the soul-searching discussions every time they get together. Maybe they will actually start enjoying each other's company if they can just have a few laughs together.
Both OCC and Paul Jr. Designs—which are staying completely separate, by the way—started new builds, as well. OCC began a bike that will be showcased in the upcoming OCC Restaurant, the first of several, if things go as planned. And, Paul Jr. Designs began a build for Geico, which will feature all five branches of the military. And, Paul Jr. finally acquiesced to Senior’s idea to do a build together—something “simple,” Paul Jr. said (ironic, considering Paul Jr. cannot say or do anything in a simple way, or, it seems, in less than about 3,000 words). Time will tell if the father-son duo is able to pull it off without coming to blows.
If Senior and Junior are able to pull themselves back together, American Chopper could actually be a better show, one that could exemplify family values. Hard to imagine, yes, after years of Senior vs. Junior, and all of the nastiness that has occurred, but it could happen.
American Chopper airs on the Discovery Channel on Monday nights at 9 p.m.
Image: Discovery Channel