• Publisher: A&E Home Video
  • Format: DVD
  • Available: Everywhere
  • MSRP: $19.00-$29.99

”American Pickers” is a show on History Channel about Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz (and Danielle Cushman), two very likeable average Joes who travel the countryside buying and flipping other people’s “junk” which to them are antiques and collectibles. They call themselves “Pickers” and run their business out of Iowa called Antique Archaeology. The show takes place mostly on the back roads of America where the dynamic duo scours and dig for treasures and hidden relics buried behind cob webs, rust, dust, soot and time. There’s nothing they aren’t interested in or not knowledgeable of. From vintage Harleys, old oil cans, classic signs to collectible toys. Together they offer us inside access into the inner workings of the antiques business in addition to the wonderful Americana of our history.

Thanks to the History Channel, we got our hands on a copy of the “American Pickers” Season One DVD. Although I’ve seen all the episodes personally, it was nice rewatching the adventures of Mike and Frank again and to live as Pickers vicariously off them from the cleanliness and comfort of my couch. The three-disc DVD released by A&E Home Video comes in a regular single DVD case, no fancy box set or packaging. It features Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and has a 453 minutes run time, which roughly translates into over seven hours of treasure hunting. It includes all 12 episodes from season one, with four episodes on each disc. Each episode has a run time of around 40 minutes. The episodes include:

DISC 1 (4 episodes, approx 180 min): Big Bear / Super Scooter / White Castle on the Farm / Invisible Pump

DISC 2 (4 episodes, approx 180 min): Back Breaker / Mole Man / Frank’s Gamble / 5 Acres of Junk

DISC 3 (4 half-hour episodes, approx 92 min): Bigfoot in Alabama / Know When to Fold / Fill er Up / Leland’s Cafe

There isn’t much to say about the quality of the videos, they’re pretty much what you’d expect and your typical run of the mill conversion full-screen copies at 1.33:1 ratio. What’s disappointing however is the lack of bonus features and extras that’s expected from DVDs and seasonal sets. What you’re getting here is essentially all the original episodes and nothing else. This is extremely disappointing for many reasons. First, if you’ve seen all the episodes, there’s nothing really new here to offer. Second, being that this is reality TV so you know that there must be hours more of unused and cut footage. Lastly, there’s a lot of extras that could have been included if A&E Home Video decided to try a little harder. Maybe some background history on Mike, Frank and Danielle, a tour of their shop, follow ups on items picked and sold, their favorite pieces, etc. There’s just so much more that could have been included and it would have all been extremely fascinating, educational and fun. But nope, you get none of that.

“American Pickers” is definitely one of the better antique shows that’s currently airing on the History Channel. Mike and Frank are extremely likable, down to earth and have excellent on screen chemistry. And while the DVD set is disappointing with its lack of bonus features, it makes up for it with its excellent and interesting programming that’s accessible for all ages. I would highly recommend it to anyone who’s either a hardcore “American Picker” fan, an antique junkie or anyone who hasn’t seen the show.

If you want more of “American Pickers,” the show is currently on its second season, which you can catch online at history.com or Monday nights at 9/8c on the History channel.