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ROB & BIG
Complete Seasons 1 & 2 Uncensored

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Rob Dyrdek, Christopher “Big Black” Boykin
Creators: Rob Dyrdek, Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, Ruben Fleischer, Jeff Tremaine
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Paramount/MTV Home Entertainment
Features: See Review
Length: 320 Minutes
Release Date: January 8, 2008

“Bobby Light gonna do you right!”

Shows ***

As much as I’ve sworn off anything resembling reality TV shows, certain shows have had an interesting way of sneaking up on me. Most of those shows came from none other than MTV, where such shows as Jackass, Viva la Bam and Punk’d have taken the reality show format and done something noteworthy. Now along comes the wacky and funny series Rob & Big, which belongs right up there with the aforementioned shows.

What seems to be debated about these shows more than anything is that whether or not these shows are true reality or scripted reality. You know what…I don’t care. The misadventures of Rob & Big make for some phenomenal hilarity.

What hooked me into the show was, surprisingly enough, a commercial I saw for long before its premiere. It was modeled after those cheesy intros you’d see on such 80s sitcoms, in fact I believe the one being parodied in the commercial was Mr. Belvedere. I had never laughed more during a commercial for any upcoming TV show, so I had to check it out, even though I had no idea who Rob or Big were.

The show follows the daily mishaps of skateboarding mogul Rob Dyrdek and his personal bodyguard, Christopher Boykin…aka Big Black. The two are more than just a sports celeb and paid security, but they are the best of friends. Rob is a guy who has all the money in the world, and his lifestyle of daily cutting up in public with his super-sized bodyguard, apart from being a life that would be truly awesome to have, results in 30 minutes of remarkably funny television.

There are many funny highlights throughout the first two seasons of the show. Among them, Rob and Big hit the town for National Skateboarding Day, only to be pulled over by the cops for what Rob believes to be the crime of Ridin’ Dirty. In another episode, Rob tries to put Big on a crash diet, even though Big refuses to turn down the bad, but good, food. And to make it worse, they have to drive out to the recycle center in order for Big to get weighed accurately.

But the two standout episodes in the entire package include one episode from each episode. The first one takes place on Rob’s birthday, and it certainly isn’t celebrated like a traditional birthday. Big tells Rob that, because of the special occasion, that if he’s near his pool at any moment he will get pushed in. The celebration concludes with a wing-eating contest known as Lord of the Wangs, with Big trying to take home the top prize, as the WING KING, BABY!

The second episode involves Rob reinventing himself as the one and only Bobby Light. Who is Bobby Light, you ask? He’s a one-hit wonder R&B sensation from the 80s. Rob goes clothes shopping and wig shopping for the perfect look. And the end result is a music video for a song called “Dirty Girl” that has to be seen to be believed. It is such a priceless funny moment.

Rob & Big is simple-minded and highly enjoyable madcap fun. The first two seasons have been quite a funny ride, and I for one am looking forward as to what trouble these two guys will be getting into in future seasons.

Video **1/2

As presented on TV, the show is presented in a non-anamorphic widescreen format. While the presentation, shot on what looks to be digital video, doesn’t ring in the best picture quality, it certainly doesn’t look horrid. TV shows have come a long way in terms of visual quality on DVD, and it’s fair to say that this release is right in between the good and the not-so-good.

Audio ***

The 2.0 channel mix serves this energetic series extremely well. Also, and this is a first I think, you have the option to watch the show in either censored or uncensored glory. Music playback gets truly fine treatment, and the physical hijinks that ensue throughout the series plays off very well.

Features ***1/2

This Four-Disc package, courtesy of Paramount and MTV Home Entertainment, includes some nifty extras divided between the two seasons. First off, each episode features commentary with Rob, Big, and co-creators/producers Jeff Tremaine and Ruben Fleischer. Included with Season One are 23 Deleted Scenes, Special Meaty Puppy footage, a featurette titled “Rob & Big: The Real Deal”, 8 skating tutorials and 7 interview segments.

Included with Season Two are 12 Deleted Scenes, the music video for Bobby Light’s “Dirty Girl”, “Special Mini Footage” and “Special Uncle Jerry Footage”, a Best of  Season 2 highlights and an appearance by Rob & Big on MTV Cribs.

Summary:

Rob & Big is a true reality TV “odd couple”. It’s one show that is really hard to dislike in the slightest. Insane skateboarding mixed with hilarious madcap lunacy make this a truly funny series, as well as a quite a tremendous DVD package!

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