MTV // 2008 // 300 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // September 10th, 2008
Following the smash success of their first (and second) seasons, Rob Dyrdek and Christopher "Big Black" Boykin return for a third season of their reality show, which culminates in an unexpected event. The other surprise is that the show went from airing on MTV2 to the big network, which also provided a surge in publicity and press opportunities. So with the breakout success, does the show's luster seem to diminish?
You've heard most of this from me before. Professional skateboarder Dyrdek and his security guard Boykin return for more laughs and hijinks, along with his bulldog Meaty and his miniature horse named, well, Mini-Horse. Rob's personal assistant (and cousin) nicknamed Drama and Boykin's friends "Bam Bam" and "Zeus," who are part of Boykin's exclusive Chunky Boyz group get more airtime in this season. What's a chunky boy you ask? Anyone over six feet tall and 300 pounds can qualify for the exclusive title. The gang's all here, come on in!
Maybe it's just me, but for whatever reason, I don't remember the Season Three run of episodes lasting as long as it did, but nevertheless, 15 episodes are spread out over three discs, and they are:
* "Poop in the Pool"
Things are pretty self-explanatory here from the show's title, as Rob and Big find an unwanted surprise in their backyard pool. They go through a variety of emotions, including shock and anger (by interrogating Drama and subjecting him to a polygraph), and acceptance (with a painting at the bottom of the pool and the new security precautions that are employed after the incident).
* "Racing Turtles"
So among all the other things to do in California, there is a bar that races turtles. Rob and Big become quickly addicted to the sport(?), to the point of finding and training a turtle of their own. This episode is great for the rivalry that develops between them and a costumed superhero, along with the continued use of the "net gun," which is exactly as it sounds.
* "Mini-Horse Road Trip"
Rob and Big head up to Northern California to show off their "Hollywood" mini-horse to the heart of America, and this episode shows the mini-horse competition and the road trip that preceded it.
* "Meaty Goes to Hollywood"
Rob firmly believes that Meaty is so charismatic that a Hollywood career is in the cards for him. They go to a animal talent agency (yes, there is such a thing) and eventually land a pet food cover for him, thanks to pet food company owner Dick Van Patten. The genesis of this show is the boys' confusion that they can't land a Kashi "Best Friends" cereal box cover, and the lengths they go to try and get to a cereal box cover is shown.
No, it's not a beer-drinking episode, but Rob and Big decide that they want to break some world records from the famous collection book. While Big Black finds a couple of eating-related records he has no problem breaking, Rob looks to break almost two dozen skateboarding-related achievements.
* "Big Bob"
Producer Jeff Tremaine (Jackass) loves to put his talent in makeup and prosthetics, so five foot nothing Dyrdek becomes the nearly seven foot "Big Bob," as he tries to walk in the shoes of his security man to see what life is like for a big man.
Inspired by the acts of kindness by one stranger, the boys decide to pay it forward their own way, giving out free clothes and skateboards to those who are in need, and spending some time at a retirement home. This is actually a nice episode to watch and possibly best represents the essence of the pair.
* "Harry the Healer"
This might be the start of where things fell quality-wise, and Rob decides to employ various alternative healing methods, not only for inspiration and personal improvement, but to also show his skeptical (and much larger) friend the power of alternative healing.
* "Dating Game"
Another attempt to find Rob a good girl follows like Season One's "Blind Date," except it's done at home and in the vein of the famous Jim Lange show, except Rob might have rigged the "game" in his favor, despite Big Black's attempts of finding a good girl for his buddy.
Drama celebrates his 21st birthday, and Rob, Big and all of the friends do it in such a way that they make fun of him, but almost immediately follow it up with a heartfelt gesture. Definitely one of the funnier things to see.
* "Meaty's Birthday"
Why not celebrate another birthday, except this time throw a bash for the bulldog? In the meantime, gift baskets are showered upon Meaty at a bar designed for pet gatherings. Only in Los Angeles.
Dyrdek's father and mother, whom I'll call "the nicest people in the world," visit their son in California, and for whatever reason, he decides to torment them. Some of it is funny, but other parts of it are kind of childish.
Rob, Big, Drama and Bam Bam head to Mexico, partially to blow off some steam, but also to record their world-famous song "Dirty Girl" once for the adoring masses. There's also ample opportunity for them to enjoy Mexico in their own unique way.
* "Haunted House"
I honestly didn't remember this episode at first, mainly for the title, but then when Rob decides to look into the supernatural causes for reasons behind a rodent infestation, I remembered it pretty quickly afterward.
The show reaches a conclusion when one of the boys is having a baby, an event that will change their lives forever.
The overall tone of this season is "forced." Rob and Big just don't have their hearts in a lot of what's going on. Where Seasons One and Two flowed a bit more naturally, the structure of Season Three is more visible than before. Plus, there are a few more jokes made at the expense of the cameramen who just happened to be shooting on a particular day.
Is that to say that Rob & Big might have jumped the shark? Not entirely. There are still hilarious and flat out fun moments in this season. "Poop in the Pool" was memorable, if for nothing else than for the "net gun" moments it provides. I was so enamored of the net gun that I was giving it some serious though as an entertainment enhancement. When done properly, it's the funniest, dare I say greatest, piece of equipment. "Guinness" and "Charity" are also enjoyable for the content of each episode. At the end of the day though, the oft-used phrase "do work" is evident in Season Three of Rob & Big, because when you're having fun doing what you do, the minute it becomes a job, it's no longer fun anymore. That's what it looks like Rob and Big go through here.
As far as the discs go, they look and sound like their older brothers from Seasons One and Two, with the minor exception that I think the audio has been punched up a little from the older discs. The extras are a little lighter as well. Getting the smaller stuff out of the way first, the "Best, Worst and Unused" episode is basically a clip show that was aired halfway through Season Three. Almost three dozen deleted scenes are here, and they last almost an hour and a half. Watching Rob and Big eat a Hawkins House Special burger, which is about the size of a small child, was startling, but there's a really nice moment where they decide to eat with some homeless folks that honestly does bring a tear. Another funny montage of Dyrdek being compared to Tony Hawk is included too. Commentaries on all episodes with the cast and crew is the big jewel, however they start off somewhat slowly and don't really pick up in enjoyment until the second disc. Among the nuggets on the tracks are that Dyrdek might have gotten rid of the horse, or the backyard environment, I'm not sure which, and some other behind the camera stuff that people didn't see. The tracks were OK; I thought the earlier discs were more enjoyable.
For as much as I like the show, there are some problems with the content here. First off, large chunks of the music in Season Three has been replaced by more generic material. For instance, Ginuwine's "Pony," which plays during the Mini-Horse competition, has been replaced. There are other instances, but that's the first that comes to mind. Second is that there is no "Play All" function on the deleted scenes in total. You can play all on one page, but not all 33, which is an annoyance, but oh well.
Rob & Big is still enjoyable and worth the time investing. I would encourage you to first check out the show (MTV2 re-airs episodes frequently) before pulling the trigger on a DVD set, and even then I'd recommend Seasons One & Two before this one. Fans of the show might be bummed that the music has been replaced or the extras might not be as voluminous, but it's a worthy companion.
Not guilty boys. It ain't no thing when your doo doo's dusty...dusty.
Review content copyright © 2008 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: 300 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Commentaries on all episodes with Rob Dyrdek, Big Black, Drama, Zeus, Jeff Tremaine, and Ruben Fleischer
* Deleted Scenes
* "Best, Worst, and Unused" Episode
* Official Site
* Official DC Page
* Rob Dyrdek MySpace Page
* Big Black will get your Back