Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"Living With Pit Bulls" reality show: possible, or stupid idea?

I've long been convinced that a reality show featuring responsible pit bull owners and their dogs would be a fantastic way to showcase, well, reality; and we all know, when it comes to pit bulls, we are in desperate need of a reality infusion.

If it were properly and sensitively done, I think it would be an interesting and informative show, certainly more so than the reality garbage that's already on TV. I wouldn't even have a problem with sensational advertising for this show ("See real live people eat and sleep next to vicious pit bull beasts! Will these poor people survive?!? Tune in Wednesday night at 9!") if it would draw in the viewers... and maybe make them feel a little stupid for being so bloodthirsty.

But I see one major problem: The show would be incredibly dull. Horribly, painfully, terrifically boring. How does one sustain the popularity of this sort of premise? I'm not sure it can be done, even if the words "pit bull" are in the title of the show, and the show is full of pit bulls.

It just isn't interesting to watch normal people and dogs do normal, boring, average daily activities. And that is, unfortunately, what responsible pit bull owners do. They do the same stuff every other nice respectable citizen does.

I imagine a film crew at my house, taping an episode of "Living With Pit Bulls."

Me: "So, um, here's my dog Dozer. Please don't throw his ball. Don't even touch it with your foot. In fact, don't even look at it. Because if you do, he'll take you for a sucker and try to convince you to play fetch all day."

Cameraman: "No problem. So just act normal, just do what you always do."

Me: "Sure. Okay. Uh... guess I'll just sit here at the computer and type..."

[Dozer spends the next three hours trying to get the cameraman to play fetch.]

Me: "Well, now I'll just eat some lunch. PB&J. Dozer, wanna go out?"

[Dozer runs outside, pees, and falls asleep in the grass.]

Me: "Okay, Dozer, back inside. And I'm going back to the computer."

[Dozer relocates to the office and falls asleep for the next five hours.]

Me: "Well, Byrd should be home soon; I better start dinner."

[Dozer relocates to the doorway between the kitchen and the dining room and falls asleep while I cook.]

Me: "Oh, Dozer, Daddy's home!"

[Dozer jumps up and goes to greet Byrd at the front door, making Chewbacca noises.]

Me: "Honey, go play with Dozer until dinner is ready."

Byrd: "Yeah, yeah."

[Byrd and Dozer go outside and play fetch for 20 minutes or until Dozer stops bringing the ball back, whichever comes first.]

Me: "Time to eat."

[Dozer, now hot and exhausted, gasps and wheezes in front of a fan on the kitchen floor, while we eat.]

Me: "Dozer, you want foodies?"

[Dozer jumps up and drools everywhere, eats dinner.]

Me: "Dozer, go potty."

[Dozer goes outside, does some business, comes back in.]

Me: "Okay, time for bed."

[Dozer lies down on his bed and falls asleep.]

Me: "What happened to the cameraman?"

[I find cameraman's body on the floor in my office; autopsy reveals he was literally bored to death.]

Autopsy technician: "Well, that's a first. I've never thought that could really happen."

Politician: "Can we still count it as a pit bull-related death?"

Well, if you made it all the way through that episode, maybe there's some hope for this series after all. :)

In all seriousness, I think it could be spiced up by finding some more interesting owners (involved in rescue, affected by BSL, etc.) and dogs (involved in canine sports, therapy, police work, etc.).

Again, however, the show has to be carefully crafted to present a correct and appropriate image, and to avoid making statements that are common, but in fact untrue or stereotypical (i.e. "pit bulls have to be trained to be vicious," "pit bulls are stronger than any other type of dog"). My main concern would be that a bunch of Hollywood-types with ratings on the brain, and/or producers who are unfamiliar with pit bull issues (especially social issues like BSL and proper application of rhetoric, or "how to say the right things in the right way at the right time for the right effect") will screw the whole thing up.

Anyway, that's my .02 for now.


forsythia said...

Hilarious! Here's how Dozer himself would rate "his" show: "Zzzzzzzzzzzzz."

Daisy Dog said...

What a great idea, but you are right, the ratings crazies would try and spin it somehow! Episode 2: Daisy the pink pit bull goes to the dog park, people freak out when they see her and she licks them to death! Or wags her tail so hard it causes lesions!

HELP FIDO said...

This was incredibly funny! Shared it with all the members of HELP FIDO and we all had a good chuckle!
PS- we added you as a link on our blog!! helpfido.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

After having a good chuckle as I read this, I had to go out and bring in my little ole lady Stafford, Stevie, who also likes to sunbathe in 80 degree weather! I have to say, I really DO like the idea of a reality show but as you mentioned, including all of the different activities our breed really does. I have a friend that has taught her Pit Bull to be her hearing dog. She regularly goes to the Capitol building in Sacramento to speak to legislators on the stupidity of BSL. It's always interesting to see the looks on their faces when she enters the room!