American Chopper

 
(i)

 

Boisterous bike building; older tweens and up.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series focuses on the work that goes into building custom motorcycles, but in later episodes this is sometimes overshadowed by the growing tension between father and son.

Positive role models

The relationship between Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. goes from being loving and respectful to estrangement. The cast demonstrates teamwork in building the bikes.

Violence

There's some casual rough-and-tumble among the guys, but it's all play, and no one gets hurt.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

"Ass" and "hell" are popular, but anything stronger ("bitch," "s--t," "f--k") is bleeped out.

Consumerism

OCC obviously gets a lot of publicity from the show. The crew often works on creations with themes like Spider-Man or Wendy's, and marketing logos are prominent during those episodes.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that because this show documents the creation of custom motorcycles, it includes a lot of information and technical terms that most viewers probably won't understand. But there's still a lot of fascination to be had in watching such elaborate projects come together. Pauls Jr. and Sr. often irritate each other and share loud exchanges of some choice words, many of which have to be bleeped out. But it's obvious that each ultimately respects the other and that both think highly of their staff, with whom they share mostly good relationships.

Kids say

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What's the story?

AMERICAN CHOPPER profiles the design shop of Orange County Choppers, which specializes in creating custom motorbike creations ranging from beautiful to bizarre. Each episode details the building of a bike created for a customer's individual specifications. Sometimes customers are celebrities (Jay Leno and Lance Armstrong both own OCC bikes), and other times the crew works with themes like Spiderman, Wendy's, or firemen who lost their lives on September 11. Staff members give overviews of the alterations and upgrades they make on each project.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Paul Teutul Sr. is OCC's founder, and his massive tattooed arms, bushy moustache, and gravelly voice add to his already stern presence in the shop. While he leaves most of the work to his son, Paul Jr., he saunters in occasionally from his office to stir up some tempers (mostly his son's) or to join in the staff's excitement over a job well done. Paul Jr. takes charge of the hands-on work and is a constant presence during the entire design and construction process for each bike. While much of the jargon is a little too technical for non-gearheads, it's fun to watch their ideas take shape as the bike comes together.

American Chopper's entertainment value is high for young and old, making it an option for family viewing with tweens and up. The only iffy content in this show is the volatile temper Paul Sr. often unleashes on his hard-working crew. Parents may need to remind their kids that his anger is often bred from stress over problems with parts or an approaching deadline rather than a personal conflict with his staff.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the team effort that making these bikes demands. How does the team put their ideas on paper? What are the roles of each employee? How do they use teamwork to get to their goal? How do time constraints affect how they work? Parents can also use this show for artistic inspiration, sitting with kids to sketch their own custom motorcycles.

TV details

Cast:Paul Teutul Jr., Paul Teutul Sr.
Networks:Discovery Channel, TLC
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of American Chopper was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008
 

Love it!

I am 10 and this is one of my fovorite shows. It seems very manly and i am a big girly girl. I like the people and what they do. It is very entertaing. It has some language but other then that great!
Parent of a 9 year old Written bycarerra November 11, 2010
 
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What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
 

This show is for adults

The show is about creating specialized motorcycles and focuses around the family that owns the business. There's a lot of profanity which is beeped out. It's a good show for adults or older teens, but not for young children.

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