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 the 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 include 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).
The third season flows a lot like the previous two seasons, as there really isn't a lot of room for change or growth. The biggest change is that Mikey is no longer considered the goof he was when he was first introduced. Well, he is still a goof, but he is taken a little more seriously. His role in the OCC is no longer answering phones and cleaning up after other people like it was in the first season. Instead he gets to play a more active role in the bike making process, which is something we saw when Paul gave him a chance to design and build his own bike in the end of the first season. Since then, he has gradually played a more important role as an OCC mechanic. This season sees Mikey working with Vinnie again to build another bike in a much stronger role than previous seasons.
Basically what each episode looks at is the trials and troubles that the crew at the OCC runs into during their latest project. All the while Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. go at it. They yell and scream at each other over the most trivial things. But it is this dramatic touch that gives the show its edge. It's pretty cool to see how these custom choppers get built and also listen to them yell at each other... or is it? Well, not always. Sometimes it feels a little too pushed and the Pauls arguing over this or that gets old. Although watching the bike fabrication process is generally intriguing to watch.
Still the episodes are entertaining on their own right. If you've enjoyed past seasons, then season three's thirteen episodes should do you well. The crew at the OCC build bikes for some high profile individuals like athlete Lance Armstrong and actor/singer Will Smith. The season concludes with a tribute bike being made for one of Paul Sr.'s heroes David Mann, a renowned bike artist. The season also features another tribute that sisters the bike they made for New York Fire Fighters in season one. The tribute bike is for the New York Police Department, which is another emotionally involved two-part episode dealing with the salute to the NYPD and 9/11.
Overall my impressions of this third season are the same as season two. When I first sat through season one, I enjoyed it. However with subsequent seasons, I found the show was pretty much the same, episode after episode. The general flow of each episode pretty much has Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. arguing over something and the OCC frantically trying to finish their current project, because it is the most important one they've ever had. The bottom line is that this can be fun to sit through, but it is not something I can imagine wanting to watch over and over again.