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Two men "Frank and Mike" travel around the country looking for pieces
of American history. From reading other reviews it would sound as if
these two men are monsters but that is not the case. They are simply
bartering for items that an individual has been storing on his property
for years. These collectors live in rural areas and have preserved many
items that no longer exist. Yes many of them have long beards, own guns
and own large tracks of land that they have stored cars, bikes and who
know what else for many years. That is no reason to automatically judge
them as being idiots, and bigots. Many of these men know exactly what
they have and know exactly what they are worth. Also many of these men
are in there 60's and 70's, some older and many feel they have to start
selling there collections before they die. Many times when the guys
show up to "pick" and they end up buying items from the widow who has
know clue and just wants to get rid of her husbands collection.
Frank and Mikey or a strange brew but I think its kinda of funny and entertaining. I often find myself impressed of there knowledge and how polite and respectful they our to the folks they are buying from. Many of the collectors they buy from have very deep feelings about there collection and letting go with there items. I think they do a good job of not insulting the collectors and in a way its kinda like a little bit of therapy. They talk the men into selling some of there possessions and most likely they hadn't sold anything off there property in a long time. In all this is a very good show and it is surprising because you never know what they will find.
From reading other reviews here, there seems to be a trend to judge the
show not on it's merits, but rather because of the History Channel
affiliation. We don't have that problem in Australia. This shows on
normal free TV, just like all other shows. I hadn't even realised it
was a History Channel show.
I should say in advance that I enjoy shows like Bargain Hunt (UK)and I really enjoy American Pickers.
So, to the show. Obviously these are setups. But the people who appear seem to be real people, and Mike and Frank put them at ease as much as possible. The boys are funny, entertaining and the show is educational. It is an interesting look at different parts of America and the real people who live there. Usually all we see here in Oz are the cities, and often it's not a very flattering view.
I don't think of this as "reality TV" - I think of it as a fun way of learning a bit more about America, it's people and it's history.
We don't watch much TV, but I do turn it on for this one.
Let's separate the vitriol and resentment of History channel's
programming shift as presented by other reviewers to acknowledge this
fact: History has clearly shifted it's initial charter. While I share
many of the forlorn opinions of disappointed viewers in History's
departure from educational programming, I say to those who resent this
change to donate to PBS. History needs to pay the bills and meet viewer
demand, so alas we're subject to 75% 'reality shows' that are on the
thinnest thread tangentially related to history.
So I evaluate American Pickers as a show in its singularity, and not in the context of the network's namesake. And as far as 'reality' TV goes (a content matter in which I generally avoid), I find this show as wholly engrossing television. My review assumes the reader is familiar with the show's premise.
The appeal has layers for many viewers, perhaps accidentally. It appeals to the human element, the business element, and the joy of discovery. Not necessarily in that order.
The human element shows the primary hosts are affable and enjoyable, and they treat their prospective sellers with respect. The dynamics between the Mike, Frank, and Danielle are enjoyable to watch and relatable to anyone who has worked in a front office/field environment.
The business element is fascinating in the negotiations, valuation, and reward (or loss). For those who have suggested that Mike and Frank are "vultures" looking to "rip people off," I counter by saying these two are forthright businessmen, and they do the work of what any middle party doesthat is to maximize profit. If the negative reviewers want to cry injustice, I'd suggest a study in how much it cost to manufacture any iDevice.
The third element, and perhaps most inclusive, is the joy of discovery. Whether it's an old oil can or a rusty old gear shift, it's fascinating to see the collection of odds and ends that would otherwise be discarded, forgotten, or simply erode with time spark with new life by those who can assign value. And superficially, they discover some really interesting items.
So this program has as much to do with history as "Ice Road Truckers" or "Tracking Bigfoot" or any other sensational program on History. Let's face and embrace reality viewersHistory has mostly abandoned history some time ago. So whether this show is on History, Discovery, NBC, or Comedy Central, it matters not. This show is good TV regardless of the network.
I love this show. American Pickers is one of the best reality TV shows to come out of America and even rivals my favorite reality show, Bargain Hunt from the UK. Mike and Frank whilst they seem a little over the top for us Aussies, simply love their job and their passion shows. In a strange way it is a bit Abbott and Costello-ish but that is the beauty of the partnership. Add Danielle who is holding the fort whilst Mike and Frank are away and the team is complete. The characters they meet in their day to day travels picking are the heart and soul of America and every nation. Some of the collections they unearth are to be envied by us all. But the true gem is the fact we learn about the history of the items they pick and the companies that made them. If you read this and have never watched the show I hope this inspires you to have a peek.
With the overflow of reality shows on TV today, I find this show refreshing. The three characters do not belittle each other or the people they meet on the road. I know Daniele has only been on one road trip. This may be one of the few reality shows that does not have to be bleeped for language. Mike and Frank truly love antiques or junk, take your pick. They are respectful to all of the sellers and even over pay sometimes when they do not have to. I have friends and relatives that enjoy this show for the history aspect as well as the pure entertainment value. I watch this show and actually learn something almost every time.
For those not familiar with the show, two antiques proprietors from Iowa travel the country in search of sellable junk. The often end up scouring through miles of old stuff on farms and in junkyards throughout the nation. The show, like DIRTY JOBS and that new pawn shop show, is a perfect mix of entertainment, education and history. The boys have their personal favorites -- one loves old bikes, the other, old signs -- but they will buy anything they think they can sell, to collectors, retail establishments and auction houses. They try to double their money on an item, if they're lucky. The duo is vaguely reminiscent of Tim the Toolman Taylor and his sidekick, Al. Many of the people they meet are elderly gents, often with tons of historical information to go along with each piece of rusty treasure. Back at the office, they employ a busty brunette who runs the business and directs their searches. The show's producers are smart to frequently cut back to this gal, as she is stunning eye candy and the perfect foil for the boys' antics. While she is married, I wonder how many marriage proposals she has received since the show started -- and what she makes of all this newfound fame. The show is laced with humor and good-natured fun. I hope it runs for many years.
My crew and I have a list of all the places these con artists have gone
to. We can hardly wait to cheat that 90 yr old guy out of his
weather-vane. The one in the midwest that got mad because they kept him
waiting while poring through his things.
The less tech savy the seller, the better. If we buy a porcelain sign for $300.00, the person thinks we're heroes because he really thought it was only worth $30. What he doesn't know is it's actually worth 3000.00. This show is going to spawn a lot of copycats. Here's how your own experience will go.
Hi, you don't know us, but we want to look through all your valuable antiques and collectibles and get you to sell them as cheaply as possible. We'll confuse each deal by appealing to your emotions, "bundling" things together to get 2 cheap items instead of 1, noting each item's faults, and relying on your ignorance.
If you don't want to sell, we'll just come back when you're not home !!!!!!!
Like so many other shows this one began simple with the two guys
digging for "rusty gold". Then as time past they learned that lots of
old men (and women) were more interested in Danielles cup size rather
than the subject of the show.
The viewers who made this show famous aren't watching for scripted jokes or how much skin the hired help can show. We want to see the pick....NOTHING ELSE.
If I wanted a burlesque show then that's what I would watch. If people want to see Danielle and Mikes brother go on a date then maybe "History" channel should make that a separate show. Maybe they can hire Chumlee to hang out with them and compare who is the worse actor. Don't even get me started on Pawn Stars (which was also ONCE an interesting show)
I'm VERY close to stop watching Pickers all together. Sorry Mike, You're a great guy but you're letting the show go in all the wrong directions.
Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe are business partners buying (mostly) and
selling old junk. They travel the country and even the world to find
interesting items. The boys are helped by Danielle Colby-Cushman.
I'm sure that there is some scripting going on but it doesn't really matter. I don't think anybody actually believe they make their money doing this. The reality is that they probably barely cover their gas money. That's not why I like this show. It's about interesting items and their history as well as the chemistry between the guys. One can't help but like the guys. It's fun to see some of these items and the prices isn't even that important.
American Pickers represents a strong niche of society, the buyers,
sellers, and collectors of treasures that most people wouldn't regard
as treasures. Having worked in a similar type of store growing up, I
can relate to their plight.
'Pickers' can take different forms. Some are pure pickers who will go place to place, yard sale to yard sale, buying select items like Mike and Frank do. Others will buy entire estates for a flat fee: trashing the trash and selling the good stuff at different rates. There are multiple variations in the middle.
What makes Mike special is that within picker ranks there are invariably people who are looking for the buck, more than the adventure. There are very few people like Mike who will say something like "its worth more than that" and offer someone a better price on an item when the owner of the item gives him a low price offer. Commenters who think Mike and Frank are "rip-off" artists are incredibly misinformed.
1) Selling items requires knowing the market to sell in. If you place an item for auction you pay a fee on top of placing the item up, and it may not go for what you want. 2) Even selling on Ebay you may not get the price you want. When the show gives the "price" of items, that doesn't mean thats what Mike and Frank will get for the item. But people sell items to them because Mike and Frank have developed a customer base who the individual seller may never be able to find.
American Pickers is a show that does what it advertises to do: tell the history of America piece by piece. The little "historical quips" are NOT what tells the history, as the idiotic review before me noted. Rather the history of America is told through the items, their materials, and the people who hold on to them. American Pickers is a highly recommended show for anyone who wants to deviate from the path of the history books and see American history as it exists today.
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