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STUDIO: MTV
MSRP: $24.99
RATED: Not rated, packaging warns of “adult language and situations”
RUNNING TIME: 200 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:
•”Best Of & Behind-The-Scenes” Special
•Factory clips|
•Deleted scenes
•”Factory Party” from jackassworld.com
•Cast Commentary
•Uncensored audio


The Pitch
Rob Dyrdek buys a warehouse in which to live out his fantasies.

The Humans
Executive producers: Jeff Tremayne, Rob Dyrdek, Shane Nickerson, Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Rob Dyrdek, Christopher “Drama” Pfaff, Chelsea Chanel “CC” Dudley, Scott “Big Cat” Pfaff, Jeremy Larner.


The Nutshell
We join star skateboarder Rob Dyrdek in his quest to ride a zipline, shoot tennis ball guns at people, and make everyone’s dreams come true. This is reality television at the Fantasy Factory.


The Lowdown


Police are on the lookout for a block-faced man, suspect in a recent string of hammer assaults.


We enter a large warehouse containing a skatepark, a pit of foam balls, numerous basketball hoops, a house, and some offices. A man, young by millionaire standards and old by skateboarder standards, owns it all. One day a batch of plastic skateboarder figurines arrive. Some of them are made in the millionaire’s likeness. They are intended for sale; younger, poorer skateboarders will line up to buy the image of their idol in plastic. The man goes to meet his adoring public, wearing a full-body costume in the image of the figurine that was itself made in his image. One wonders if Zeus came down to one of his temples in Athens and saw that the statues of him looked more like someone else, would he conform himself to their image to be better recognized? At the end of the day, the corporation selling these figurines requests that the pantheon of idols be increased, that new figurine designs should be dreamt up. The news comes just as this man was expressing an idle interest in being attacked by sharks. Therefore, he decides that the new plastic homunculus will be a surfing skater, “Shark Attack,” so named because he communes with sharks. Expressing a desire to make manifest in his life the mythic experiences implied in the design of this figurine, the man decides he will give himself up to actual shark attack. Or more specifically, allow a shark to bite the sleeve of a titanium-steel chainmail suit that he will be wearing at the time.

We have just spent several days (compressed to 20 minutes) in the life of skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, sovereign and lord of the Fantasy Factory. Another day he’ll make a dance video, another day he’ll accuse an employee (who is also his cousin) of having or desiring sexual congress with a certain mannequin, another day he’ll buy a restaurant or motel (which is to “mogul up,” in the parlance of millionaire skateboarders), another day he’ll “get shamaned up,” summoning a shaman-for-hire who will tell him what his “power animal” is. Occasionally this is broken up by stunts involving drag racing, bicycling, car jumping, or falling on giant inflatable cushions. Now and then an official from Guinness World Records will pop in to bestow accolades. Maybe this time he broke the land speed record on a skateboard. Maybe this time he rode a skateboard the size of a school bus. Said accolade soon disappears among the 34 other framed Guinness certificates on the wall in his skate-house.

An associate, “Big Cat” (who is not a cat but a man) breaks his neck on one of Dyrdek’s many ramps. Upon his return, clad in a neck brace, he is awarded (by Dyrdek) with a powered mobility scooter, a reproduction of a lion’s head affixed to its front.



Having just ambushed and murdered an innocent party of giants, the killers celebrate by greedily consuming their ill-gotten gains.


Dyrdek makes wagers, compelling others to do something if he makes an unlikely basketball shot. Like some sort of anti-Sisyphus, he always makes it in, no matter what. His associates are thusly forced to ride along on Dyrdek’s dangerous stunts or do things that will bring them shame. Emile Cioran once said that boredom “is the echo in us of time tearing itself apart.” Dyrdek must feel that echo profoundly; he spends every day in search of adventure, with a drive to trample boredom that could only come from a man’s quest to keep time itself salient and whole. Unfortunately, despite all the best efforts of a world-class board-skater, time, like all created things, will perish. I for one killed about three hours watching this show. But on the other side, will time be reborn? Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, in a final analysis, fails to answer this, and thus cannot be considered prophetic.


“You call yourself police, let’s see some id. No, not ‘I.D.’ Badges don’t mean shit in the Fantasy Factory. I’m talking Sig Freud. I want to see your id, or some monsters thereof. Look, you say you wanna haul away my beloved block-faced man-servant here, well I’m the one behind the tennis ball cannon, so I set the terms.”


If you enjoy watching scripted reality TV where a millionaire skateboarder screws around, pranks his staff, and undertakes various stunts with expensive safety equipment, you might enjoy this show. It doesn’t strike me as being terribly clever, and don’t expect any insights into the world of skateboarding, or tips thereof. But clearly there are people who like this sort of thing, and if you do, then this is the sort of thing for you. I don’t judge. I like reading comic books from the 1950s where half of the twist endings involve the hard-hearted hunter getting killed and skinned by animals, or the alien planet is actually Earth or the unhappy husband accidentally murdered his mistress instead of his wife. Who am I to judge.

The Package

Non-anamorphic, interlaced transfer. Watchable, of course, but jagged edges and combing are your consistent bedfellows. Special features include a behind-the-scenes special which is mostly Dyrdek introducing scenes from the show (probably aired on MTV as a promotional puff piece prior to the show’s premiere). Commentary tracks on every episode by Dyrdek and his employees. Deleted scenes, uncensored audio, “Factory Clips” and “Factory Party” (the latter two are basically just additional footage, more deleted scenes).

Rating:

“If that’s all there is my friends then let’s keep dancing” out of 10