“Rob & Big”: Seasons 1 and 2

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
January 8, 2008

Less asinine than Jackass and more “real” than The Hills, MTV’s reality series Rob & Big is an entertaining diversion that mixes friendship and a few crazy stunts into each episode.

In this four-disc box set, all 16 episodes from the first two seasons of the show are included. Rob Dyrdek may not be the most famous skateboarder out there, but he is charismatic, funny, and apparently has the means to charter a private jet so he can fly off to pick up his new puppy Meaty. Christopher “Big Black” Boykin is Rob’s best friend and bodyguard.

Boykin’s size often is used as a visual gag, but he’s rarely presented in a mean-spirited fashion. Even when he’s showing off his girth in a G-string (don’t ask), he’s clearly in on the joke. The show is built around the odd couple premise of the long-time friends.

But like Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood, the episodes’ most enjoyable elements aren’t the crazy antics, but the everyday slices of life that the characters experience. Watching Dyrdek return home to the Midwest where his family clearly misses him is rather touching. And seeing Boykin’s relatives prepare for a family reunion is a lot of fun.

There are some episodes that obviously are set up for the cameras: Would the pals actually have purchased a time machine if they weren’t being filmed to do so? And would anyone really buy a minature horse to keep their dog company (or listen to a dog psychic that tells them they need a woman in the house)?

Clearly, no.

But the point is that the duo has a show and knows how to entertain its audience.

And instead of focusing on contrived romances or feuds with frenemies, this reality series focuses on friendship.

There’s also an added dose of reality when the stars of the show aren’t always treated as such. The look on Dyrdek’s face when he’s described in a newspaper as a “C-lister” is priceless not because it’s true, but because he understands his role in the Hollywood food chain.

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