What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while some mild language (“hell,” mostly) is the strongest that this show’s content gets, the dusty subject matter isn’t likely to entice too many kids. Mike and Frank are crafty businessmen who use seemingly devious sales techniques to get the antiques at the lowest price so they can resell them for the maximum profit. While their tactics sometimes make them seem like they’re taking advantage of people’s naivete, the process does show how the economic market works as a whole and is a good intro to the exchange process.
What's the story?
Whoever drew the comparison between one man’s junk and another man's treasure surely had Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz in mind. Business partners and lifelong friends, Mike and Frank are professional “pickers\": antiques experts who hit the road in search of people’s junk collections to weed through for lost treasures they can buy and resell to dealers. Often their quests turn up little more than intriguing folks and fascinating stories, but once in a while they unearth some real gems that they turn around for a hefty profit.
Is it any good?
AMERICAN PICKERS offers a unique glimpse at the antiques business, taking viewers into the trenches with Frank and Mike, two buddies with a passion for their work and an eye for diamonds in the rough buried below piles of rusty cars and dilapidated farm equipment. The show’s subject matter obviously caters to antiques enthusiasts and history buffs (the hosts often explore the historical value of the pieces they find), but even novices will enjoy seeing what the guys manage to dig up in other people’s backyards.
While they don’t necessarily set out to take advantage of the people they meet, Mike and Frank are ultimately opportunists looking to make a buck off of someone else’s stuff and, indirectly, off their unfamiliarity with the lucrative antiques market. It’s an eye-opening example of how things work in the exchange market and underscores the reminder “Buyer (or in this case, seller) beware.” Kids and tweens probably won’t be too interested in the show itself, but adults will be intrigued by the guys’ modern-day treasure hunting.
Families can talk about...
Families can discuss what aspects (if any) of this show you'd consider educational. Do you think the show is intended to teach or just to entertain? How reliable are different types of media (TV, internet, newspaper, etc.) as teaching tools?
How do the goods we consume get to us? How does the cost of a good change related to the number of people who handle it?
Kids: What type of career would you like to have? What special skills or knowledge will you need for it? What risks and benefits do you foresee?