Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Show: National Dog Show

Episodes: Two ninety minute episodes, comprising the 2007 and 2008 shows in their entirety
Clips: None
Studio: NBC Sports
Rank: B
One of the greatest myths of our time (okay, that may be overstating it) is the notion that people who like dogs will like dog shows. In fact, only a very small percentage of animal lovers are going to enjoy the tightly controlled, overly-coiffed canines that are trotted around the ring in order to show off their most favorable genetic traits.

I admit that it is somewhat interesting to see the different breeds, which always come in an astonishing array of sizes and shapes (and how about that Samoyed?). There's also a lot to learn in terms of the names of breeds, and the announcers manage to throw out a worthwhile factual tidbit every once in a while.

But the fact of the matter is that dogs trotting around rings are not that fun to watch, particularly when compared to dogs doing almost anything else. After an endless stream of pet videos from YouTube and America's Funniest Home Videos, we've seen dogs be their cutest. Here, they are merely handsome.

The 2008 edition is buoyed somewhat by host John O'Hurley, whose casting was probably inspired by Fred Willard's turn as a dog show announcer in "Best in Show." He is affable and charming, as always.

All that being said, if you are a hardcore fan of dog breeds, this is the Superbowl of your weird little world. If you're an enthusiast, my calling you an elitist isn't going to spoil your enjoyment of purebreds battling it out for the coveted blue ribbon.

If you have only a mild interest in this programming, I would suggest waiting until you have a few friends over, and throwing down some dollar bills on the outcome. It worked to liven up trotting horses around a track, and I suspect it will do the same here.
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