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dog grooming reality show reviews – blurry reality

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Dog grooming doesn’t make a good TV.

I’m comfortable making this statement after watching more than half of the High Dogepisodes of and the premiere of perfect doggie. While I love talent pageants between skilled professionals, neither show manages to make the process of washing and shearing, then gluing shiny doo-dads on a dog’s fur interesting.

I am also comfortable recommending High Dog (HBO Max) as an otherwise delicious show, and insisting that you don’t waste your time perfect doggie (ABC, Tuesdays at 8 am).

Matt Rogers, host of Haute Dog
Matt Rogers, host of Haute Dog (Photo by John P. Johnson / HBO Max)

As a cat I’m probably less charmed by the mere presence of dogs, so maybe the DOGGIES OMG LOOK AT THIS DOGGIE is enough to make both shows worth your while.

Also, my anxiety increased whenever someone moved a pair of scissors near a dog. I am aware that professionals do this job every day and know how to keep dogs safe.

I’ve watched a lot of reality TV competitions about things I don’t do myself – baking, pottery, home decorating – and they’re still big TV. Dog grooming, not so much.

I also don’t like talent contests where the canvas is a living creature that didn’t choose to be spray painted and dazzled.

High Dog does not solve these problems, but it does succeed by following the I have arrived! model: it’s a wacky party on a set that looks like the child of Holey moleyABC’s clubhouse, ABC reboot Matching game, and At home with Amy Sedaris. In many ways, it echoes classic game shows, even though its format is a version of Chopped.

The rising star of High Dog– pronounced just “hot dog”, not oat dog– the flamboyant and decidedly gay Matt Rogers, who, in the same way Nicole Byer does I have arrived! his, brings the show to life. His witty asides and reactions to what’s going on work just as well as occasionally.

He also has excellent chemistry with Judge Robin Thede (A black lady sketch show), who is so hilarious that she could easily wear the show herself, and groomer Jess Rona, who is also quite funny and playful. They seem to have a good time with each other and make songs with ease.

High Dog judges Jess Rona and Robin Thede and host Matt Rogers with a competitor and a dog
Haute Dog judges, Jess Rona and Robin Thede, and host Matt Rogers with a competitor and a dog. (Photo by John P. Johnson / HBO Max)

perfect doggie host Rebel Wilson has a much more understated comedy style and she’s great at times with the contestants. Its central problem is that its judges are completely useless.

While High Dogjudges gather around the grooming stations and review the work that has been done, offering specific comments that feel informed by knowledge, perfect doggieThe judgment of is terrible: nonspecific and essentially unnecessary.

If you want to show me people who judge a profession, I want more than light reactions. Editing or casting these three judges reduced the comments from the judges to things like “so beautiful”, “good job”, “well done”. Here are the full comments from one groom: “This is probably one of the most demanding breeds when it comes to coat”; “I think she looks fantastic.”

The most specific comments the judge receives are comments like this, which are a transcript of everything the three judges – Jorge Bendersky, Lisa Vanderpump and Dr. Callie Harris – have said about a dog: ” The candidacy was a bit sloppy on the collar “; “It wasn’t as sharp as it could have been, yes I agree with you”; “I really want you to think about living outside of your framework and really showing America how exceptional you are.”

perfect doggiethe renowned judge is Vanderpump Rules star and former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills actor Lisa Vanderpump and her dog, and I think her dog spends more screen time in the premiere than her commentary.

ABC has only provided one episode to TV critics, and maybe she’s growing up in the role, but it’s unclear what kind of judge she is yet. “I love the dog. We don’t agree, ”she said, acting reasonably. “I applaud your energy and enthusiasm. ”

His best moment in episode one is a weird aside after seeing a dog transform into a lynx. Without moving her lips, she says: “If I can’t get my hands on this animal…”, then adds: “There is something wrong with me. I was so drawn to this lynx. She almost whispers this to her fellow judges, like she doesn’t think it should be part of the show when that’s exactly what we need from a lay judge.

Pooch Perfect Judge Lisa Vanderpump With What I Guess To Be A Dog
Pooch Perfect judges Lisa Vanderpump with what I guess is a dog. (Photo by Christopher Willard / ABC)

May be perfect doggie just biding his time. Seasonal competition between 10 pairs, a groomer and an assistant, with one hour episodes, she has a lot more time to complete. And during the preview, it fills it with the backstory: so many cutaways of interviews!

During this time, High Dog bring in three groomers for two challenges, then send a home with $ 10,000, Chopped-style, in less than 30 minutes.

The two shows have something in common with Netflix’s glassblowing show, Soufflé, in that most of the process is ignored and we only see flashes of what happened.

perfect doggie is based on a format that first aired in 2020 in Australia, which was also hosted by Rebel Wilson and basically tanked; a BBC version, not hosted by Rebel Wilson, has just concluded, having generated complaints.

Rebel Wilson welcomes Pooch Perfect
Rebel Wilson hosts Pooch Perfect (Photo by Christopher Willard / ABC)

The American perfect doggie barely reaches the level of the most-phoned Food Network competition. The elements are there, but they don’t freeze, and the show itself doesn’t exude passion or love for its subject matter.

There’s a weird, animated dog house that’s meant to be outside the set, and the narrator is meant to be the voice of Rebel Wilson’s dog, but that doesn’t make sense. They spent a lot of money on a track, and an audience of stuffed animals, which doesn’t add anything, because there’s no cohesion to it all.

Worse, it’s full of the kind of lazy edit that tries to create moments of tension out of unrelated reaction shots, like when a competitor says something we’re supposed to find shocking and then the edit cuts off the other teams. who turn their heads, as if they heard it and are now judging.

Robin Thede, Jess Rona and Matt Rogers on Haute Dog
Robin Thede, Jess Rona and Matt Rogers on Haute Dog (Photo by John P. Johnson / HBO Max)

The only thing perfect doggie has for him are more interesting challenges. It opens, in the ABC episode offered to television critics, with a main challenge that asks groomers to turn their dogs into other animals; Later in the season, according to the preview, there will be challenges ranging from glow in the dark to the required Disney / ABC synergy challenge.

The first main challenge is for groomers to change their dogs into other pets, using grooming and supplies which I guess come from a dog safe version of JOANN Fabric.

The transformations are impressive. One dog turns into a peacock and another turns into a fire ant. But, like, what are you going to do with a dog that looks like a peacock? Does he wear these feathers for days or weeks?

I’m worried about all these dogs and what they’ve been doing to them in the name of reality TV. But I would also like to know more about what is being done and why it is safe.

It is missing, alas. perfect doggie fills in the gaps with an emotional thread in the interviews, and has nothing to offer, while High Dog fills it with energy and joy, easily making it the best of both shows.

Perfect dog: C-
High Dog: B
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