Judge Victor Valdivia has his own scripted reality show, but even there he can't get people to tolerate him.
This ain't the Huxtables.
It ain't entertaining either. Snoop Dogg's Father Hood is the worst kind of reality show: scripted and contrived. Snoop himself is an immensely charming, charismatic, and talented MC, but even his most devout fans will have a hard time sitting through this series. The situations that Snoop is placed in are mostly silly and forced and the "acting" is clumsy and unconvincing. If these really are the "best" episodes of this show's first two seasons, then God deliver us from the lesser ones.
Snoop Dogg's Father Hood is a scripted reality show in which rapper Snoop Dogg, his wife Shanté, children Cordé, Cordell, and Cori, and their live-in houseguest Anthony all share a house in L.A. Here are the eight episodes collected on this disc:
• "Downward Dogg"
• "Snoop It Like Beckham"
• "The Dogg Whisperer"
• "Quarterback Camp"
• "Dogg Fight"
• "Snoop's New Dogg House"
• "Snoop's Got Heart"
It would be one thing if the show was simply a show built around the lives of Snoop and his family. It's painfully obvious, however, that, like E!'s other awful reality shows about the Kardashians and the Playboy Playmates, this show has been carefully scripted and assembled for wacky TV-friendly escapades that are ever so entertaining. Hey, look at Snoop hanging out with David Beckham! (David Beckham?) Hey, look at Snoop sparring with Roy Jones Jr.! Look at Snoop having to deal with pooping dogs, vacuum cleaners, unruly kids, and his wife's repeated attempts to better his eating habits. See? He's really not such a tough gangsta rapper after all! That, presumably, is what we're supposed to think. What you'll probably actually think, however, is that these episodes are insufferably silly and artificial. During the Beckham show, for instance, there's a running thread in which Shanté is struggling to keep Snoop from indulging in his beloved fried chicken. So at the end, when Snoop takes David Beckham out for some fried chicken, guess who comes out of the kitchen to ensure that Snoop eats a salad? Why, Shanté, of course! There's also another episode in which Anthony attempts to become a radio DJ and sends in demos to every radio station in town. It so isn't hilarious when only one station calls him in, and it's a Spanish station that makes him read humiliating announcements on the air that he can't understand? Really, who couldn't see these twists coming? Well, anyone who hasn't seen more than five minutes of Three's Company or, worse, Full House, but c'mon! You're laughing, right?
It's not an accident that the only two episodes on this collection that are not painful to watch are the two "serious" episodes, "Quarterback Camp" and "Snoop's Got Heart." In the first, his speech to Cordé about how important it is to take advantage of opportunities, especially considering his family's background, is a real moment of emotional power. Unlike the rest of the series, here Snoop isn't "acting"-he's simply stating the facts in plain but affecting language and the scene is all the better for it. In "Snoop's Got Heart," Snoop discusses why he's taking such an interest in one of the kids in his Junior Football League, who comes from a troubled background not unlike his own, and he similarly drops the goofy shenanigans and just reacts from the heart. The show should have had more interesting and revealing moments like that instead of juvenile situations that are nowhere near as funny or entertaining as they're intended to be.
Lionsgate has put together a fittingly mediocre DVD package for this show. Curiously, the liner notes proclaim the video in full screen, but the transfer actually has black bars that look more like 1.78:1 non-anamorphic. There's also a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mix. Both look and sound like every other reality show on E!. The only extras are a pair of featurettes. "Snoop's Dictionary Quiz" (7:11) involves interviewers asking people on the street to decipher Snoop's lingo. "Snoop's Car Tours" (9:50) is an interview with the builder who restored and designed Snoop's cars. Both are dispensable and add nothing to the show. Why not include an interview with Snoop where he discusses how he came up with the format for the show and what his family thinks of it? That might actually have made this DVD worth having.
As it stands, even the most devout Snoop fan should preview a few episodes before deciding to buy this disc. Each episode is only 20 minutes long, but they're mostly so inane that, with a couple of exceptions, they feel about seven or eight times as long. Both Snoop and his fans deserve much better that this.
At least the Huxtables were amusing. Guilty.
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