A&E // 2005 // 176 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // March 14th, 2007
You can run, but Dog'll get you. As long as he doesn't unlawfully imprison you, or whatever that trumped up charge is all about.
Dog and the other bounty hunters have returned for a third season of fugitive apprehension on the A&E network, and in the midst of their captures, an unexpected turn of events happened, one that surprisingly isn't covered on this disc. Is the network's biggest draw still worth checking out even as it comes out on DVD?
Things are pretty straightforward when it comes to the episodes on The Best of Season Three, as there are eight episodes on this disc, and the episodes appear to be out of the original airdates. The episodes are:
* "Take Your Daughter to Work Day"
* "The Thief Who Stole Christmas"
* "Rock a Bye Bounty"
* "Cupid in Cuffs"
* "Bustin' With Justin"
* "Ticket to Ride"
* "Mother Knows Best"
And yes, like before, everything is a half hour long with no breaks, which brings things down to about 22 minutes an episode.
Those who are familiar with the magic of Dog: the Bounty Hunter can skip ahead a little bit, but for those that don't, Duane "Dog" Chapman, his business partner Tim, a.k.a. Youngblood, and three of Dog's children (older son Duane Lee, younger son Leland and daughter Lyssa) all participate in the family business. On the surface, their bounty hunting business (and the show that A&E has produced a show around) seems to be glorious for sensationalism's sake, but on a deeper level, they provide a service. They help people get their friends and family members out of jail to help tie up any loose ends, but they also show some flexibility with those that may require a helping hand. They get drug addicts into rehab, they offer some of those addicts chances to work in their offices, but if any of those chances are squandered, then they're sure to bring in the person, who by this point has escaped any sort of program, or may even have a warrant for their arrest.
Over the course of many years, Chapman and his crew at Da Kine bail bonds have captured hundreds of fugitives, but as their reality show has grown in popularity, getting a truly solid capture has become an increasingly difficult proposition. In Season Three of Dog, the Bounty Hunter you can even see the shift. More and more people throw the proverbial Hawaiian "hang loose" hand signal at Dog, and he poses for photos with great frequency. Some of the criminals see their capture as a badge of honor, almost like they're doing it for the screen time. Other captures seem to give the Dog more of a chance to say something cheesy that hangs around for most of the episode. And in some other episodes, the ones that I like, they are not afraid to break it down to someone who deserves to get the talking to. The fugitive in "The Thief Who Stole Christmas" is told in pretty clear terms that future infractions of the law will essentially have him traded around jail for yes, a pack of cigarettes. Others, particularly in "Rock a Bye Bounty" (when the group have to capture one of Dog's former housekeepers), provide the tender note that many have grown accustomed to on the show. Thankfully, some of the people on the show (OK, the women) have realized a need to start looking good for television. Beth has gotten rid of the big hair, yet her bosom has its own cell service area, and Lyssa has gotten in shape and grown her hair out, even if a slight almost recessive-trait overbite still remains. As far as the guys go, nothing new that the viewer hasn't seen before, and the shows by and large remain unchanged in terms of basic formula then the previous two seasons.
Allow me a final moment on the soapbox. Chapman, Tim, and Leland were all in hot pursuit of Andrew Luster, who was convicted of the sexual assaults of several women before fleeing to Mexico in 2003. Dog and his gang captured Luster (before spending some time in a Mexican prison) and brought him back to an American prison, where he spends his time today. So in the midst of the capture, Dog was given some less than reliable information about coming back to the United States, and late in 2006, was arrested by U.S. Marshals as a result of the Mexican charges they faced and didn't stand trial for. How people can deprive the liberty of a convicted rapist, I don't know, but at the moment, the Chapmans are awaiting formal notification that their injunction request (filed in a Mexican court) was denied, and the Mexican government is intent on extraditing Chapman to Mexico to try him on these charges. So call and write your respective government officials and tell them to stop this nonsense from progressing further.
A couple of points about this disc. The first is an aesthetic, and that's the opening menu. When the Chapman clan all stroll out, Justin can be seen on the far right hand side. Justin (Dog's nephew), while being a presumably nice family member, is not terribly active in the business whereas Duane Lee is a show regular. And the updated family stroll is in current episodes now, even for this season, so a little attention to detail wrist slap is given to the A&E team. Second, from an emotional standpoint, not giving Dog, Leland, Tim and Beth the chance to speak their peace about the case (or include the "Family Speaks" hour special that has repeatedly been aired) is a little disappointing. I understand from a legal perspective and all why everyone has to be quiet about the case, but not including that hour-long special was a little bothersome.
If you're not already watching Dog: the Bounty Hunter, then any of the "Best of Season" discs should be more than adequate to serve as a primer on the charm of the show. The people involved are fun, the task they do every day not many people would consider, and they're doing what they can to get bad people off the streets and try to give a chance to those that appear redeemable. Watch the show; you'll feel the same way.
The court hopes for two things for the family Chapman; first, that even more people buy the DVDs and watch the shows to see what it is they do, and second, that they get as much good news as possible, as they need and deserve it. Court is adjourned.
Review content copyright © 2007 Ryan Keefer; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 176 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Stills Gallery
* Official Site
* Season One Review
* Season Two Review
* Dog's Wedding Special Review
* Dog the Bounty Hunter Official Site
* Free the Dog!