Howe and Howe Blech

Discovery just wrapped up the first “season” (I use the term loosely, I suppose) of Howe and Howe Tech. These guys, Mike and Geoff Howe, are twin brothers who make some very cool “homebrew vehicles.” Their Ripsaw track vehicle, for instance, is quite versatile and the inner geek (and little boy) that dwells in my soul really gets interested in those sorts of things. It’s just got a ton of cool factor AND utility – their demo videos showing what these vehicles can do are quite impressive.

Unfortunately, the show, like a lot of video games, just isn’t as good as the demo.

I did give the show an honest chance – I’ve caught four or so episodes after Dirty Jobs on Tuesdays. It just fails to impress for a variety of reasons.

The show, intentionally or not, is an American Chopper rip. Therefore, it’s more about the tensions between two brothers with big egos than it is about actually building the vehicles shown on the show. The producers have decided to play up fights and arguments over the details of how they built their vehicles, and it’s a damn shame. The audience on Discovery doesn’t really go for that sort of stuff (even if sister channel TLC likes to do it with many of their shows). People tune in to Discovery to watch something interesting and learn from it. If people are learning something from this show, it’s that maybe two identical brothers (whose wives are sisters) shouldn’t go into business together.

If I was looking to give these guys a contract, I’d have to think twice after watching the show. Time and time again things are bungled by staff and deadlines always seem to be an issue. Then, when they’re complaining about deadlines, Geoff spends time trying to convert a snowmobile into an amphibious vehicle. Though this isn’t the best use of resources, Mike decides that instead of talking to his brother and working things out together, he ends the project by crushing the vehicle and tossing it into a dumpster.

The thing to do with this show would be to completely redo the production. Show it about how they build the things (without the bullshit), show what the things can do, and show what these guys are working on for the future. Keep the bitchiness out of it and put more information in to it. While shows like Deadliest Catch have their moments of “family friction,” it’s really a very minor, small part of the show. The vast majority of the time on DC is spent catching crab. Wish I could say the vast majority of time on H&H was spent building stuff.

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