Is It Me? Or Did American Pickers Just Jump the Shark?
Is it just me, or did anyone else find last night’s William-Shatner-interior-design-themed American Pickers episode a wee-bit odd? I settled in last night as usual to watch Mike and Frank search America’s heartland for rusty gold, when two specific things threw me for a loop:
First – a commercial for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups starring none other than Mike and Frank! On one hand, this is a positive sign for the guys demonstrating the growing popularity of American Pickers and its netting them an advertising gig. Thing is, this type of ad is a slippery slope resulting with product placements dropped in the middle of the show, as seen on the likes of stellar TV like The Biggest Loser where, seemingly out of nowhere, one of the contestants or trainers will say something along the lines of, “You know what I need to help me solve this puzzle? Some Jennie-O Turkey or a stick of Extra Sugar Free Gum”. These strategically placed product ads always make me snicker for their sheer goofiness. When I saw the American Pickers in a commercial for Reese PB Cups, I immediately glimpsed the future and realized we could be a few weeks away from Frank saying, “Mike will you pass me the flashlight with the Duracell batteries so that I can jump into this mega-pick…nothing helps me to find rusty gold like Duracell.”
The second and more egregious jumping-of-the-shark incident occurring in Monday night’s show was Mike and Frank becoming personal shoppers/interior decorators for William Shatner and his wife. Don’t get me wrong; I get it — it’s William Shatner — if he called me and asked me to jump rope and do cartwheels around his compound for a little extra cash, you’d better believe I’d go — but that’s not what the AP audience wants to see. We want to see treasure hunting; whacked out hillbillies living in abandoned theme parks who, for whatever reason, happen to be in possession of several rare fill-in-the-blanks and are “darn tooting not going to take a plug-nickel less than $1000 for their thingamajig” We don’t want to see endless Spock and space jokes as Mike and Frank spaz out over William Shatner.
Was Shatner’s AP decorated study cool in the end? Yeah.
Did I learn what a pie safe is? And do I now want one? Yeah!
But still. I guess what I’m saying is that the more famous these guys get the more this kind of stuff is going to happen. Many of the people Mike and Frank visit are already starting to use their catch phrases (‘honey-hole’, ‘mega-pick’, ‘junk drunk’ etc.) and their anonymity may have been part of the shows charm.
Will I keep watching? Of course.