When it comes to these many reality TV shows that are scattered all over cable and satellite, there are a lot of questions regarding just how “real” these reality shows are. One very popular such program is American Pickers which is a reality television series about Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe. These two men travel throughout the country scouting out valuable collectibles and antiques. Alongside them is Danielle Colby-Cushman who is in charge of the business (Antique Arhaeology) while the other two are away.
Many of the aspects involved in American Pickers are indeed falsified. It would be impossible to truthfully say that the series is a 100% genuine reality series. This article will go into greater depth about the reasons that American Pickers is a farce.
The very show was born out of an idea Mike Wolfe had. In 2006 he spoke to the owner of Crazy Eyes Productions, Justin Anderson, with the concept of American Pickers in mind. The other leading man on the show, Frank Fritz, was working as a safety and fire inspector. Although Fitz and Wolfe are very old friends it isn’t as though they have been traveling the road and picking through piles of junk before American Pickers became a TV series. Despite this fact, it is true that both men did have an interest in antiques prior to the making of the show. Of course the two old buddies also have a friendship that is entertaining and easy to watch, which also made the duo an attractive option for the show.
Danielle’s presence on American Pickers is clearly more for her looks, as she has no real ties to antiques. The primary reason she ended up on the show was due to her friendship with Mike Wolfe which had endured about decade. For her the role is an “acting gig” more than actually playing the part of office manager.
The fact is that American Pickers has become a mostly scripted series and much of what is seen on TV isn’t how things look behind the scenes. Although it looks like they carpool together in a Mercedes Sprinter that isn’t actually the case according to some sources. It has been said that Mike and Frank take two different cars to their destination. When we see them talking in the car together it is actually staged dialog which has been filmed and edited prior to their drive.
As they travel the road in their own vehicles they are accompanied by the crew for American Pickers, consisting of camera/equipment trucks, and some even say dressing trucks, makeup trucks, and more. It isn’t as simple and straightforward as it appears on television. When Mike and Frank arrive on their destination everything is already planned out. They already know about the salvaged antiques and prices have already been decided, generally months before they ever film, according to some.
Although much of the series is certainly falsified, other aspects of it are real, such as the friendship between Mike and Frank. Real or not, American Pickers serves as entertainment—and many people would agree that it does a good job.