Season 2 of American Pickers picked up where Mike and Frank left off last season. The show’s intro remained the same with maybe a few slight alterations, but I thought the guys earned a new and improved opening sequence. The show was one of the top shows on cable this year, so come on History Channel, throw ’em a bone!
This episode had Mike and Frank travel to North Carolina for some picking. They started at a junkyard where they had to haggle with two young guys who were selling the items for their grandfather. When Mike heard they would be searching through a junkyard, he said they were “On it like a duck on a june bug.” Huh?
This ended up being a pretty successful pick since they bought a 1950 Studebaker, some Gulf horseshoe promo items, glass railroad lantern shades, a Pepsi-Cola sign, oil cans (of course), and a No-Nox gas pump — all while slipping on 20-year old hams. Frank: “Dude, I stepped right in that ham!”
Danielle had the best line of the show when she called the car a big grey turd.
The next stop was another junkyard of a picker/dealer, named Mike, who wanted retail prices for everything. “Junkyard Mike” didn’t seem too pleased to have the pickers around. Despite his unceasing grin, he was throwing prices out there that were way too high and he just looked annoyed the whole time. He had an old Airstream trailer that Picker Mike wanted more than anything. Junkyard Mike gave Picker Mike a number of 75 for the price. Picker Mike grumbled a bit but finally agreed to $7,500, but Junkyard Mike actually meant $75,000! He put an insanely high dollar amount on it just to get rid of the Pickers. It seems to me like this guy may be in business to sell stuff, but he really didn’t want to sell anything to the Pickers. This whole sequence was a little painful to watch since no one seemed to be enjoying themselves or to like one another. The Pickers ended up with a tricycle that was missing a wheel, a license plate frame, an RC Cola sign, and some worthless toy cars.
The next stop had the Pickers visiting Charles, who was happy to unload some stuff, but at the end of the bit, he looked like he had been played. I’d love to see a behind-the-scenes footage to know how one of these picks goes, and how long it lasts, with the camera crew and all the lighting and retakes. These sellers are either annoyed by the process or annoyed at the fact that they feel screwed. The biggest items from this pick were a huge Phillips 66 sign and a battery operated toy car in its original box.
Mike and Frank took the sign to NASCAR’s Ryan Newman, where they traded it for a racing outfit Newman wore in one of his races. Like everyone else the Pickers visited, Ryan Newman, took a while to warm up to the pickers. It seemed like his agent may have convinced him this would be a good publicity stunt, but he had better things to do, like buffing his classic car collection, which included a Sanford & Son pickup truck and one of the Dynaflow cars used in Rain Man. It looks like being a NASCAR champ pays pretty well. This guy’s spread was incredible!
Overall, I was expecting a little something more this season. I was hoping the History Channel producers would read some of the message boards about how the Pickers come across and try to soften their image a bit, but that didn’t happen. After each person they visited, there was a short clip of that person saying how nice the Pickers were and what great guys they were, blah, blah, blah. That’s only there for TV’s sake, and they probably were just handed a check for agreeing to appear on the show. Just look at their faces right after the sale, and it’s easy to see how they really feel.
I still love the show and will faithfully watch it, but I really want Mike and Frank to be better portrayed as good guys. Maybe they need to send Danielle out on a pick. She seems to be able to keep the guys in line.
Any other American Pickers fans out there? What did you think?