Produced by Ruben Fleischer et al
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Running Time: 320 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo English
Release Date: January 8, 2008
Review Date: January 3, 2008
It’s a common practice at the moment for cable networks to create a reality show around a celebrity and his mundane daily life. E! did it with the late Anna Nicole Smith for a couple of seasons. Bravo just won an Emmy with Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List. MTV’s entry into this sweepstakes is Rob & Big, a reality show based on the “everyday” activities of professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, his best friend/bodyguard Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, and their entourage. To say this isn’t monumental television is to miss the point. These guys pull down the highest ratings on MTV for males aged 12-34. They obviously deliver what the audience of that age wants to see, just two goofy guys forging through life doing whatever and going wherever their whims demand them.
And their whims DO work overtime. From flying out of Hollywood to Arizona to pick up a bulldog puppy (nicknamed “Meaty”) to heading to Mississippi to attend Big’s family reunion, these guys are constantly on the go, often taking side trips to try things they’ve never tried before (bull riding, hypnotism, writing a will). Usually their daily tasks are more traditional (buying Big a wig for a strip club appearance, trying out dozens of mattresses for a new bed, putting the 416-pound Big on a diet and exercise regimen, interviewing a new personal assistant when Rob’s cousin Drama starts falling down on the job), but there are unusual moments, too, like deciding Meaty needs a playmate and buying a mini horse (who joins the entourage at the beginning of season 2) or buying a time machine over the internet and then flying off to Quebec to find someone who can work it. Whether it’s ADD or just good-natured goofiness working to keep these guys on the move, who knows? It’s mindless fun and hard to criticize because the two men are so good natured, so willing to try anything, and their affection for one other is truly genuine.
Here are the episodes contained on the four disc set which represents the 16 programs of the first two seasons:
1 - Moving In
2 - Go Skate Day
3 - Travel
4 - Let’s Get Physical
5 - Happy Birthday
6 - Making the House a Home
7 - Blind Date
8 - Do Work
1 - Meaty & Mini
2 - Time Travel
3 - Mississippi
4 - New Assistant
5 - Black Lavender
6 - Tampa
7 - Bobby Light
8 - New Cars
Although the box art claims the episodes are presented in full frame, they’re actually presented in nonanamorphic letterbox (1.78:1). Without anamorphic enhancement, there are aliasing, jaggies, and moiré patterns in almost every episode. The image is reasonably sharp with decent color, but no one is trying for award-winning cinematography here. It gets the job done.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track is music-heavy with lots of effective bass in the sound design to keep the episodes hip-hoppin’. This is exactly the kind of soundtrack you’d expect for an MTV reality show. The viewer is able to choose to hear the show censored or uncensored.
They’ve crammed the discs with bonuses (some repetitive), many of which first were available for download online. For convenience sake, they’re all gathered here in one box for Rob and Big’s fans. All are presented in nonanamorphic letterbox.
There is an audio commentary available for every episode. The two stars along with producers Ruben Fleischer and Jeff Tremaine (of Jackass fame) talk and laugh through each of the roughly twenty minute episodes.
There are twenty-three deleted scenes, all bits that simply didn’t rank high on the chuckle-meter.
“Rob & Big - The Real Deal” is a 30-minute capsule overview of the season one episodes with comments from the stars and the producers on the antics from season one.
“Special Meaty Puppy Footage” is 3½ minutes of footage featuring Meaty as a puppy. Since he seems much older in all of the subsequent episodes after he’s bought in episode 1, this is a chance to see more of him before he grew up.
Rob offers eight skateboard tutorials which are really more demonstrations of eight moves rather than instructional videos. Each only lasts about a minute.
A bonus section called interviews is actually seven segments which each run from 2-3 minutes apparently as a type of internet download promo for the full length episodes of the show.
Twelve deleted scenes are gathered together from this season’s episodes. Again, the bits just weren’t funny or interesting enough to make it into the finished program.
“Bonus Mini Footage” offers 2 minutes of additional views of the mini horse, some of which did come from a couple of the episodes which focus on him.
“Bonus Uncle Jerry Footage” is 3½ minutes of material culled from the two episodes that Big’s Uncle Jerry was a prominent presence in.
“Dirty Girl” music video is the 3½-minute music video which Rob, Big, Bam Bam, and Uncle Jerry made in season two’s seventh episode.
“The Best of Season 2” is a 20-minute special edition of the show where Rob and Big look back over the season and comment on their favorite bits.
“MTV Cribs Appearance” is a 7-minute tour of Rob and Big’s house and grounds including their cars (not the same new cars we see in that last episode of season two).
Mindless fun for their fans, Rob & Big comes to DVD on the same day that their show’s third season premieres on MTV, January 8, 2008.