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RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 320 minutes
A modern-day Odd Couple for the skateboarding set.
Rob Dyrdek, Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, Meaty, and Mini Horse
When skateboarding superstar Rob Dyrdek needed a bodyguard to help deal with the hassles he faced on the streets, Christopher “Big Black” Boykin was there to answer the call. Their relationship soon transcended professional boundaries and the two became best friends. Rob & Big follows the pair as they live the high life up in the Hollywood Hills and go on adventure after adventure.
Rob was excited. It was going to be the best damn dog & pony show Adams County had ever seen.
Somehow Rob & Big managed to put a smile on my face. Numerous times. I’m not the biggest fan of skateboarding and the involvement of Jackass
alum Jeff Tremaine didn’t rouse my trousers. But the series exudes a
joy that cannot be denied. Rob and Big Black are incredibly likeable
personalities and have a great chemistry. You can’t take your eyes off
of them. They’re out there enjoying life. Running across the
merchandise in a mattress store. Trying to time travel using a Hyper
Dimensional Resonator. The experiences in life everyone should have.
of the best episodes create comedy by sticking Rob and Big Black in
unusual situations. The “fish out of water” scenario. The first
season dabbles in these episodes with Big Black accompanying Rob on a
trip back home to Ohio and the guys dipping their toes in the blind
dating pool, but it isn’t until the second season when things start to
A little known fact: Big Black spends his free time recreating Chi McBride’s iconic roles.
It begins with “Meaty & Mini”, which tells the tale of how Rob and Big Black ended up with a mini horse living in the backyard. When Meaty the bulldog gets a bit too rambunctious, it’s decided that he needs a friend. A Big Black to his Rob, or a Rob to his Big Black, depending on how one looks at it. Rob decides a mini horse would be the best buddy Meaty could have. Watching Rob and Big Black deal with getting the horse home (it rides in the backseat with Big) and figuring out where it’s going to live provides plenty of chuckles. Rob may not have realized what he was getting himself into, but he takes responsibility for it. He tears down the skating set-up he had out back and has a little barn and corral built for the newest member of the family.
My favorite episode of the set is “Mississippi”. Big Black’s got a family reunion to go to and Rob’s coming along. But is small-town Mississippi ready for Rob? They go out looking for places to skate and get some funny looks from the locals. The mayor pulls up, a cigarette wedged between his lips, and inquires as to just what the hell is going on. Getting “skateboarding” for an answer, the mayor sits for a moment, staring at the out-of-towners, before driving off. Other highlights from the episode are Big Black going back to his old high school to talk at the pep rally, with Rob occupying the mascot costume, and Rob trying to find a suit to wear to church.
Rob had never seen the inside of a girl’s room before.
The single funniest moment in either season is in the episode “Black Lavender”. At one time, Big Black was a male stripper going by the name of Black Lavender. So Rob helps him return to his roots (his Roots will have to wait for another season). Big is fitted with a wig and gets back on the stage. His performance is more than a little terrifying and had me in tears. Just like the stripping clowns from many of my childhood birthday parties.
If TV shows were cupcakes, on a scale of one (Hostess cupcakes from the day-old bread store) to ten (gourmet bakery), Rob & Big would sit somewhere in the middle, supermarket bakery territory. Not the best you’ve ever had, but tasty enough to hit the spot.
Each episode has commentary with Rob, Big Black, and executive producers Jeff Tremaine and Ruben Fleischer. They sit back and watch the show, giving some behind-the-scenes info as the moments arrive. Mostly they just enjoy each other’s company and the shenanigans onscreen. The rest of the special features are split between the seasons. Season 1 has 23 deleted scenes. They’re all short and not terribly exciting. “The Real Deal” features Rob and Big Black discussing the show and their friendship, intercut with related clips. We also get eight skate tutorials with Rob going through and showing us how to do a variety of slides and grinds. He goes over the mechanics of each trick, as well of the dangers. The interviews are the same from the “Real Deal”, just in their entirety. Saving the best for last, we have the “Special Meaty Puppy Footage”. It consists of outtakes from the pilot episode, but an adorable puppy makes for good TV (even without the use of a wide-angle lens and a minimum of close-ups).
The cigarette says it all. Best damn dog & pony show Mayor McElderly had ever seen.
Season 2 offers more of the same. There are 12 deleted scenes this time around. “The Best of Season 2” is another clip show where Rob and Big Black run through their favorite scenes from the past season. The “Bonus Mini Footage” is nice, but doesn’t hold a candle to the extra Meaty footage. The “Bonus Uncle Jerry Footage” is less nice. Uncle Jerry is fine in small doses. Starting the footage with a minute and a half of him yelling “dirty girl” is not the way to keep me watching. Likewise, the “Dirty Girl” video overstays its welcome. Though it’s handy to have around when you’re in need of a quick laugh. Rounding out the special features is Rob and Big Black’s appearance on MTV Cribs, which pretty much speaks for itself.