After 10 years and a lasting legacy of shows about people who hate sleeves almost as much as they hate each other, American Chopper is ending its run on the Discovery Channel. The series about a father and son who work on motorcycles/clumsy metaphors for their relationship was canceled once before in 2010, after the constant fighting between Paul Teutul Sr. and Junior spurred Discovery's sister channel TLC to pull the plug on the show, no doubt while exclaiming, "Families fighting bitterly with each other? Good sirs, this is not what reality television is about!"
However, while Chopper eventually bounced back on Discovery Channel, its future became in doubt again during this most recent season, when executive producer Craig Piligian briefly fired Junior for acting the way he had for eight years but even more so, as though fame had perhaps validated his behavior. The show now seems to be really and truly dead again, leaving behind countless imitators of the "family docusoap" format it helped to pioneer, as well as many other series in which burly dudes fight each other over hunks of metal.
Some of those dudes, Outlaw Garage's Jesse James and Fast 'N Loud's Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman, will take part in American Chopper's farewell during a Dec. 11 live bike-building competition from Las Vegas, a contest that will now be overshadowed by a looming finality, and the promise of last-minute redemption for the Teutuls' fractured relationship. It is expected that the roar of their engines will barely be discernible over the sound of so many doves crying.