More motorcycles will be showing up on cable TV this summer. Whether the new shows will take the easy route and lean on stereotypes remains to be seen.
I was skeptical when I first heard about the new show premiering next month on AMC, "Ride with Norman Reedus." AMC said the show would follow "Walking Dead" star Reedus and his famous friends as they travel around the country to cool motorcycle-related sites. "Along the way, they will stop at various locales such as custom bike shops, tattoo parlors, collector’s warehouses, or a roadside smokehouse…with plenty of time for unplanned detours and tire changes."
OK, tattoo parlors and smokehouses are part of the wide world of motorcycling, but they're ultimately a thin slice that gets way more than its share of exposure in the entertainment media. I was intrigued by the "tire changes" mention. I thought Hollywood types, when they have a flat tire, just pull out the gold card, let the minions take care of the grubby work and get airlifted out to the spa. Will we see roadside tire repair advice from Norman Reedus that we should add to Lemmy's tips?
I was more encouraged when I read on and saw that the "series will also showcase different types of motorcycles each week including vintage, minis and cruisers." Hmm. Maybe it won't be all Harleys and scowls for the cameras. Even better, I saw AMC's "sneak peak" video. Hey! Three different brands and two different styles (albeit, all twins) of motorcycles! There's hope.
Then I watched the official trailer, below. It showed a Honda Grom and a Motus, among other things. Maybe this will get interesting.
There are six one-hour episodes of "Ride with Norman Reedus" and it debuts on AMC on June 12.
The other motorcycle programming coming up later this year is something completely different. The Discovery Channel says its miniseries, "Harley and the Davidsons," "tells the epic story of how two 19-year-old kids from Milwaukee started a company in their backyard that would go on to become an American legend."
Of course there are a lot of arguments about what's legend and what's truth in the Harley-Davidson story. (Anyone want to debate the tomato can carburetor?) So will the six-hour miniseries dig deep for the facts or take the easy route and fill in the blanks with Hollywood-style invented drama? Should we be scratching our heads that this thoroughly American topic is being addressed by a production company based in Great Britain that Discovery purchased?
Lemmy has already been organizing his Harley-Davidson reference archives for fact-checking. We'll find out when the miniseries debuts in September.