Saturday, April 12, 2008

Going to the Dogs

Some time ago, I wrote about a hilarious reality show parody, Operation Kitten Calendar. There's a new reality show on Animal Planet called Groomer Has It. It seems to be serious (but without taking itself seriously), but it comes off as a parody of the parody. It is one entertaining hour of television.
There are the usual contestants. In this case they are all dog groomers. There is a woman who suffered from breast cancer and found that dog grooming makes her happy. There's another that calls herself the "Paris Hilton of Dog Groomers." There are two who call themselves "Celebrity Dog Groomers." They don't seem to like each other much. And of course, there is an "urban" groomer, an African American man from South Central L.A., whose dream is to open a grooming school in the 'hood. His name is Artist. Naturally, because he's from the 'hood and African American, his job is to be funny in the confessional interviews. He isn't. But he's keeping it real for us viewers.
Most reality shows that involve "skilled" competitors begin with a short challenge. In this show, it is called the Quick Sniff Challenge. The host, Jai Rodriguez from Queer Eye manages to say this with a straight face. This week's Quick Sniff Challenge involved the contestants being blindfolded and trying to identify the breed of nine different dogs. Artist was having trouble identifying one, so he smelled its hindquarters. He guessed wrong.
Then, we went to the actual challenge. The contestants were surprised that their first challenge did not involve an actual dog, but one made of wire and yarn. Apparently, this is a new thing in the dog grooming world and used as a tool to practice. The contestants were told that, since these medium sized white yarn dogs were not a specific breed, they did not have to conform to any specific kind of cut and that they could create a "creative but functional cut." I was left wondering what exactly a functional cut would be. And what is a non-functional cut?
The judges are introduced. Of course, there are three. One is a nice woman who is the head vet for the Los Angeles SPCA. She said, "I think that the Top Groomer needs to be someone who wants to give back." Give back what? Unless I have missed something, dog grooming isn't exactly a glamorous, lucrative profession. The next judge is a no nonsense middle aged man who looks like he could be part of Tony Soprano's crew. He claims to be the best dog groomer in the world. The third judge is the Simon, because there has to be a Simon. He says useless things like (to a groomer who painted his yarn dog pink), "I don't like color on a dog, but you used an appropriate amount," or, "I think your dog looks horrible."
While the groomers are working on the yarn dogs, we are treated with confessional clips. The ever-witty Artist says, "They are having us groom stuffed animals. If I had known that, I would have just brought a stuffed animal from home!"
One groomer, Jasper, brushed (his claim) or cut his dog's leg off (I am left wondering if a poor camera person lost his job over missing the moment of leg removal), which caused the female judge to say, in a very calm voice, "You cut your dog's leg off and I have a problem with that."
The groomers had to name their yarn dogs before judging. As a particularly funny touch, we were treated to the usual before and after shots of the dogs. All of the befores were exactly the same. The three legged dog was shown lying on its side onthe table.
The moment of truth came. The celebrity dog groomers came in first and second. Jorge, with his yarn dog, Stiffy, was the runner up. A judge said, "I love your relationship with Stiffy." Careful readers will recall that Stiffy was made of wire and yarn.
Jonathan, who seems to see himself as the alpha celebrity dog groomer, seems to be fairly masculine for a dog groomer, but apparently is not because he names his dog, "Jonathan's Candyland Surprise."
Of course, there has to be a loser and a catch phrase for the loser. Lisa, the cancer survivor, is the first to go. The judges did not like her dog, Flower, and his purple and pink painted face. I suspect that the female judge would not have liked Lisa's relationship with Flower, since the style involved spraying paint directly onto the face, which would involve eyes and nose. Jai tells her, "Every dog has his day, and Lisa, today is not your day." Not much of a catch phrase. The runner up gets a better one. The owner of Tripod is told, "You can return to the doghouse with your tail between your legs."
There's the obligatory goodbye confessional with the loser. Lisa tells us, "Some days you get to be the dog and some days, you're the hydrant. Today, I'm the hydrant."
Clips from future shows reveal a somewhat hysterically tearful man saying, "Ninety minutes to groom a dog that has never been groomed before is impossible." The judges are bothered by a contestant brushing a dog's privates with a wire brush. Yow!
I can't wait for the next episode.

P.S. During the show, a commercial break had a car commercial in which a woman with two children tells the factory workers putting her car together that she will be taking her children on an eight hour drive. They suggest that they equip her large SUV with two DVD players. She thinks this would be a good idea. Am I more bothered by people still buying SUVs or by it being okay to buy not one, but two DVD players for your kids? Why in my day, we used to fight with each other on long car journeys, and we liked it!

14 comments:

pjwv said...

LOL2HSI
I didn't think this could get better after "the Paris Hilton of Dog Groomers" -- what does that mean? do I want to know? -- but the hits just keep coming. Are you sure you didn't just stumble onto the little-known sequel to Best in Show?
Didn't the producers know that full the full complement of required sassiness, they have to have a black woman? A dog-grooming guy named Artist is only a close second.
And I love that the first to get booted off is the woman who had cancer. There's no room for sentimentality in this dog-groom-dog world!

pjwv said...

Uh, that should be "for the full complement of required sassiness"

Nerd Girl said...

You forgot to mention that Jorge continually talks about himself in the third person... oh, crap, I just outed myself as a viewer of this show!

vicmarcam said...

PJ--I've also noticed that there is a new character showing up on these shows, but this show is lacking that one, too. There's no overly-confident (and therefore seen as obnoxious) Asian person.

D--Sorry that Vicki forgot to mention that about Jorge. Vicki will do better next time. You didn't have to out yourself. Vicki had already guessed.

Marin said...

I, obviously, haven't seen this show, but I would have given Jorge the prize simply for the dog's name. It would have been great if nobody on the show, Jorge included, got it. But that's probably too much to hope for.

pjwv said...

Hmmm . . . I tend to favor the evocative "Jonathan's Candyland Surprise" over the engagingly candid "Stiffy", but I respect and celebrate those with differing opinions.
(Now I'm going into "the Doghouse" to say what I really think, because no one will hear me!)

Anonymous said...

Actually, it was JASPER who lost a dogs leg, NOT JONATHAN. Check your facts next time.

vicmarcam said...

Thanks, anonymous. I changed the post. I was writing pretty much as I watched on Saturday, so I'm not surprised that a mistake slipped in.

And, Marin. I should have written what the nice female judge said when she heard the name was Stiffy. She said, "Does he have arthritis?" I'd like to tell you that she was being funny. Really I would. I think that you are not hoping for too much there, by the way.

Marin said...

I'm the last one to be nagging people about blog updates, but it's clearly been a week since this post, which means that there's been another episode of this show and you haven't written about it yet. What's up with that?

pjwv said...

I think she's just terrified that her fact-checking might not be thorough enough to meet the strict standards of "anonymous," who can't be bothered to correct a simple error with courtesy, and who is obviously too much of a fucking pussy to sign his/her name.

Marin said...

It wasn't me, I promise! I know how to use apostrophes.

pjwv said...

You were raised right, obviously!

dogtirednj said...

Doing some boredom inspired googling and came across your blog..I can't wait to see your update on the remaining shows as your blog has truly amused me..I don't mind confessing I watch the show..I have to-Candyland Surprise's creator is my brother

vicmarcam said...

Wow! I guess my regular readership has swelled from 3 people to 4, so I'll have to get busy this weekend.