The Second Season
American Chopper: The Series is a reality TV show about what life is like for the Teutul family. Originally the show aired as two specials in late 2002 and early 2003. After the two specials, the show was picked up as a series and has been building a big fan base since. The two main people the show focuses on are Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. (or Paulie). Together they work at Orange County Choppers (OCC), which is a custom bike shop located in Montgomery, New York.
In the first season, most of the show's focus was on Paul, who runs and owns the business, and his son Paulie, who is one of the most elaborate bike designers. In this second season there is more focus on the other individuals who work at OCC. Of course, there is still a lot of camera time spent on Paul and Paulie. Some of the other characters this season focuses on are Michael, the goofy younger Teutul brother, Cody, the only teenager employed at OCC, Vinnie, one of the OCC's most important crew members, and many others involved in the design and creation of a chopper (from the people who paint and build custom bike parts).
Similar to the first season, the second season spends a lot of time on building theme bikes for various organizations and/or reasons. We watch everyone at the OCC rush to meet deadlines, deal with unforeseen design issues, and fight amongst themselves. While the building of custom choppers is an important part of the series, it is more the interactions between the people at OCC that make this show something. The way Paul, Paulie, Michael, Vinnie, and the others interact together is really what sets this show apart from other reality shows.
However, while American Choppers: The Series can be an entertaining show, the second season just didn't feel as entertaining as the first. Perhaps the initial excitement of the show wore off for me, but after a couple of season two episodes, I was ready to move on to something else. The mood from the first season to the second has slightly changed. The relationship Paul and Paulie have is one of the big attractions to the show. They bicker and fight over almost everything. In the first season, it adds some drama and is entertaining. However the events in the second season feel slightly forced. Paul seems to yell at Paulie for just about anything and it makes the show more uncomfortable than entertaining.
Overall, I just was not as impressed with this second season as the first season. The content felt a lot less real and more scripted in the way the characters interacted and how events unfolded. The second season tried to dislodge its repetitive nature by having more camera time for other OCC crew members and I don't think it really helped. The bottom line is I enjoyed the second season, but not nearly as much as the first.
1. Tool Bike
2. Tool Bike 2
3. Football Bike
4. POW/MIA Bike
5. POW/MIA Bike 2
6. POW/MIA Bike 3
7. Miller Welder Bike
8. Miller Welder Bike 2
9. Celebrity Bike
10. Celebrity Bike 2
11. Liberty Bike
12. Liberty Bike 2
13. Mikey Special
The video is given in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The picture quality is good, with a minimal grain and slight compression artifacts. Overall, the quality looks much better than broadcast television presentations.
The audio is given in English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The sound quality is a solid replication of the TV series. The bulk of it is spoken dialogue, which is fairly flat. The track also has a lot of music and it has some richness. For those interested, the dialogue is censored, as with the original television presentation. This DVD release also supports closed captioning.
There are not a lot of special features included with this release. They are all found on the first disc. In Paul Sr. Interview Clips, Paul Sr. answers the following questions: "His Typical Day", "Having His Personal Life On TV", "Doing Interviews", "Drawbacks To Fame", "What He Does In His Spare Time", "What He'd Like To Be Doing In 10 Years", and "Meeting Celebrities". I was pretty annoyed there wasn't a play all feature and you had to select each clip one by one. The next extra is Commercial Shoot Outtakes, which is approximately five minutes of bloopers. Not hilarious, but worth a quick laugh. The last two extras include a trailer for Full Throttle and a season two photo gallery.
I did not find the second season of American Choppers: The Series nearly as exciting as the first season. The appeal of the show, which is the personalities of the Teutul family and their interactions comes off different enough that it is not as much fun. The arguments and drama at the OCC feel forced and redundant to the point it gets hard to endure. Overall, I think this second season is great for the fans of the show, and can be entertaining for everyone else as a rental.