Judge Ryan Keefer could almost be a chunky boy, but he's not tall enough.
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?
Facts of the Case
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"
• "Racing Turtles"
• "Mini-Horse Road Trip"
• "Meaty Goes to Hollywood"
• "Big Bob"
• "Harry the Healer"
• "Dating Game"
• "Meaty's Birthday"
• "Haunted House"
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.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
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.
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Scales of Justice
• Commentaries on all episodes with Rob Dyrdek, Big Black, Drama, Zeus, Jeff Tremaine, and Ruben Fleischer
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