End of road for reality series
After a decade of trailblazing TV, finishes up with a two-part finale, writes
MERICAN Chopper has closed the book on nine years of riveting reality TV with the two-part American Chopper Live, broadcast in the US this week.
The saga of Orange County Choppers, run by Paul Teutul Sr, and Paul Jr – the shop was opened by Paul Jr after an epic father-son feud – blazed a trail for the family-centric reality shows that followed in its wake.
As the series comes to an end, we caught up with Paul Sr and Paul Jr, and asked them to reflect on the show.
American Chopper airs in Australia on pay TV channel Discovery Turbo Max. Do you think the show has run its course after nearly 10 years?
Senior: I’m sad, really, because I kind of really liked what I was doing. It became a part of my life; like it was supposed to be what I was supposed to do when I got up in the morning. If I had my way, I’d continue it. Could it have gone on more? Yeah, it definitely had more legs.
Junior: To be honest, I’m ready to move on. Ten years is a long time and we still have an amazing following . . . to end the show on a good note . . . is a nice, graceful way to go out. It’s been an amazing ride. Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
Senior: I honestly believe that all that stuff is history and it becomes your life, whether the experience is good, bad or indifferent. I can’t go back and say whether I’d do this or that. The reality is that some of the things that went on [in the show] were bad, but some good came out of them. When you act on the spur of the moment, sometimes you make the wrong decision. And sometimes that decision is not as bad as you thought.
Junior: I would have liked to have seen some things go differently but some things happen for a reason. For me, these past three years with the separation (from OCC) and a lot of ugliness and lawsuits, I’d rather not have experienced that. But I will say I grew tremendously as an individual from the adversity and it kind of propelled us to the place where we are now, creatively. What are your plans for the future?
Senior: We just opened the first Orange County Chopper Cafe and we’re doing two more (cafes) in Miami and one in Panama. And we’re taking our merchandise worldwide now, which we haven’t done before. Let me say this: I can guarantee you that, at some point, I will be back on TV.
Junior: We’ll keep doing the bike thing and we have a bunch of products coming out, including bicycles modelled after the bikes. I feel like we’re just getting started. We have some (TV projects) in the works but it’s all preliminary . . . we’re gathering some ideas and there’s a high level of excitement about what’s next.
Daily, various times, Discovery Turbo Max.
Paul Teutul Sr and sons Paul Jr and Mikey.