You have to question why a man would call himself Dog. It might be to cause fear. It might be because he is loyal. It might just be an excuse to shit in his garden. What seems most likely, though, is that the person in question is just really, really stupid. I ask you to keep that in mind as I introduce to you; Dog The Bounty Hunter.
Dog is a thick skulled, leather skinned moron with all the dignity of a hooker who specialises in working with clown fetishists and all the subtlety of a flaming streaker at a royal funeral. Accompanied by a goon squad armed with the lethal combination of mace and hardcore idiocy, Dog marches around Hawaii completely oblivious to the sniggers of even the most homeless drug addict. His dedication to the power-mullet/cowboy boots combo might prove inspirational to Bon Jovi, but to the rest of the us it’s likely to provide a pretty convincing case for mandatory sterilisation in extreme circumstances.
Dog’s family run business issues bail bonds to convicts. When those bonds need to be revoked for any reason it’s down to Dwayne ‘Dog’ Chapman and his crew to track the bad guys down and turn them over to the police.
Dog’s style of arrest in interesting. Primarily dealing with drug addicts, owing to Hawaii’s growing problem of Crystallised Methamphetamine abuse, Dog and his team will spend the majority of any episode chasing down the villains, telling us how dangerous they are. When they finally do catch up with them they waste little time in bundling even the most placid of people to ground whilst screaming at them. Within minutes Dog decides that these people are actually alright, sorts them out with a cigarette and spends the rest of the episode telling them they need to turn their lives around. Criminals ain’t so bad.
Considering that the show is painfully stupid, it’s bizarrely engrossing. The episodes run at 22 minutes each, enough time to have a decent laugh at Dog without getting too bored or horrified. The show has a very simple formula from which it rarely strays, meaning that if you ever see something entertaining in the show you’ll most likely see it every time you watch.
My biggest complaint about the show is that quite regularly Dog and his uber-wife Beth (owner of the world’s most terrifying cleavage) will make reference to their sex life. The haunting images conjured by this suggestion not only cause me to be sick in my mouth a bit but are also quite likely to leave me with some severe erectile dysfunction in my declining years.
It would be all too easy to pass moral judgement on Dog. Fun, too. He’s an immoral twat. Thanks to a tape leaked to the internet, we now all have access to one of Dog’s racist rants, usually reserved for close family only. Dog spends time moralising to the camera, but much of what he says is contrary to how we see him acting. We’re expected to revel in his bravado for putting himself in such dangerous situations for the greater good, but not notice that he’s also putting his family in danger. We’re regularly reminded that Dog works hard to feed his children, but we’re not supposed to question whether he really needs to impregnate every woman he meets (he has 12 children and has been married four times).
There are nine episodes on offer in this two disc ‘Best Of Season One’ package. These episodes represent half of the full first series. Perhaps only including half of the episodes minimises the risk of the show outstaying its welcome. Rounding out the set is a documentary which seems to predate the series and features Dog being followed for a day, along with some paparazzi photographers. It’s actually quite interesting. Although he is a ridiculous man, Dog is doing something positive. By comparison, the photographers who follow celebrities and shy away from any questioning of the morality of what they do appear much poorer examples of humanity.
Shows like Dog the Bounty Hunter and Cops are there to show us that we can be gotten. It’s funny and entertaining to see it happen to someone else, especially when the guy making the arrests looks like a reject from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, but the message is to stay in order or we’ll send the muscle after you. How much of this Dog understands is debatable. For the most part, he seems very lacking in self-awareness (I mean, just fucking look at him). But his intentions and his contribution mean that Dog can at least look his utterly ridiculous reflection in the eye. And whilst he’s doing that, we can all piss ourselves laughing at his expense.