American Pickers – Collection 3
American Pickers is essentially a new spin on the tried and tested Antiques Roadshow. But rather than the BBC rolling up to you local village and you lining up with stuff you’ve had lying around in the attic, Pickers features two very excitable hosts who troll rural America for crazy old coots who have been hoarding crap their whole life, and then proceed to explore their junk piles, sifting out any interesting (valuable) pieces and try and bargain the owner down to a reasonable price.
The hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are different as chalk and cheese but manage to keep a banter up and avoid killing each other, and on their travels they do come across some seriously interesting finds. For the most part however, the really amazing thing is just how much stuff people can amass over their lives, turning what may have once been an innocent hobby into an all consuming disease. Some of the people we meet in American Pickers literally have numerous huge barns packed to the rafters with junk. I pity the fool who is left to go through it after they have died.
One guy, a hippy who made a killing in the 70’s, in continually building new buildings on his sprawling estate just to house his junk. He buys bulk lots at auctions, including a bulk lot of something like 70 windows. Who does this kind of stuff!
American Pickers is really about what the hosts find, it’s here that we really start to shake our heads in disbelief at what people have been sitting on for years, just left out in and old barn, rotting away. The hoarding disease apparently doesn’t compel you to actually look after the stuff you hoard.
The down side to Collection 3 is that the hosts seem to be edging their way to center stage, making the show a little too much about them. With some segments obviously stinking of filler, and some of the humour feeling forced, I only hope that next season we get the focus back on the treasures they find, and how much profit they make.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read