Best Of Snoop Dogg's Father Hood:
No one will confuse these contrived 20-minute peeks into Snoop Dogg's life as 'reality,' though they do indeed show the real Broadus family doing 'real' things. Then again, no one will dare say these tasty, bite-sized chunks of a fresh-look fantasy life aren't addictive and wholly entertaining, either.
Snoop Dogg (nee Snoop Doggy Dogg, Calvin Broadus) made millions in the hip-hop scene as the breakout star from Dr. Dre's influential album The Chronic. And he's still hustling to make bank, loaning out himself and his family to this goofy celebrity expose while also branding himself in innumerable ways. (Numerous under titles for his varying ventures pop up; I think I caught mention of Snoop Dogg Rims and Snoop Dogg Shower Gel, among others.) Once past Dogg's laid-back, seemingly perpetually stoned demeanor, you find the putative heart of the show: Snoop's serious about being the best father he can b,e while providing his kids with every opportunity to succeed, and on their own merits. He pushes his boys, especially eldest son Corde, to excel, admitting his own success essentially comes down to being extremely lucky. At the same time he admonishes them to step out from his shadow and achieve things for themselves. Of course it never hurts when your dad can get footballer David Beckham and footballer Jerry Rice to teach you the finer points of the two sports.
Broadus is charming, and at times child-like, bringing laid-back to admirable extremes. When called on to be serious with his kids or the wife he clearly adores, Snoop cuts the muster. But how much of this gravity is the real at-home Snoop, compared to the cameras-on, likely-scripted, A-game Snoop with producers and cameras running around behind the scenes is up for debate. I'm not saying Snoop's being anyone but himself; however many of these episodes feel so contrived - with seemingly semi-scripted segues and an overall 'camera's on, let's talk about THIS' air that is at first distracting.
But things loosen up a bit, too, especially where Snoop's Dogg House is concerned. Looking for his own space to chill, Snoop has retrofitted a tiny garden shed with sheetrock, electricity, a TV and some plastic lawn chairs. I'm glad I'm not the only one who's thought of this, but it's not enough for Snoop and his modest multi-million-dollar home, who eventually gets the Man Caves television crew to come over and pimp his shed while he takes the kids to Vegas.
Snoop's happy family and unpretentious ways - just check out his closet - offer a relatability to Snoop Dogg's Father Hood that's missing from scenes of Ozzy staggering around his mansion, for instance, yet the show isn't perfect. At a brief 20-minutes per episode the show still feels padded with interstitials of Snoop describing his kids - in every episode. Meanwhile, set-ups often feel pat. Instead of 'what's Snoop been up to this week?' we get 'let's send Snoop to a yoga class this week!' Though little to no mention is made of Snoop's blunt-smoking ways, in the end watching Snoop grin, kick back, eat a chicken wing and tell his manager to plan a wedding in two days somehow makes perfect sense, and near-perfect dome-relaxing entertainment.
Episodes included on this single disc release are:
Downward Dogg: Snoop gets stressed, trying yoga, meditation and acupuncture to ease the pain.
Snoop It Like Beckham: Snoop tries getting his kids to appreciate soccer, all the while sneaking Roscoe's chicken under Boss Lady Shante's nose.
The Dogg Whisperer: What do you get when you have about 15 dogs? A real need for a trainer.
Vows: See what happens when Snoop gets ready to renew his wedding vows.
Quarterback Camp: Snoop's son Spank threatens to squander his chance at becoming a football phenom.
Dogg Fight: This wide ranging episode goes from Knott's Berry Farm to the boxing ring, with some other weird stops in between.
Snoop's New Dogg House: What's a celebrity to do when he needs a new chill-out room? Get some other TV show to build him one for free!
Snoop's Got Heart: Of course he does, as this episode profiling his Youth Football League, and his willingness to learn ballroom dancing, attests.
1.33:1 fullscreen episodes are letterboxed in non-anamorphic format anyway, and are otherwise adequate in appearance. Decent detail levels, colors and a minimum of compression artifacts mark this as looking about as good as the episodes did in their original broadcast.
Dolby Digital 2.0 Audio does the job, with no real wiggle room, as befitting a second-tier cable channel reality show. Distortion isn't really a problem and all of the 'unscripted' dialog comes through loud and clear.
Extras are limited to a ten-minute, repetitive and relatively uninformative Snoop's Car Tours featurette, and a funny, six-minute street-interview segment called Snoop's Dictionary Quiz, which definitely helps if you want to know what 'Chuuch on the move' means.
From the ubiquitous "they call him Snoop" theme that seems to play continually throughout each episode to the brief 20-minute run-time, it's pretty clear Snoop Dogg's Father Hood isn't too concerned with societal relevance. Other than shout outs towards creating a happy family, this is as fluffy as reality TV gets. But on the backs of Snoop and Shante's delightful personalities, and indeed because of the show's brevity and light tone, it's like a bag of potato chips. You know what I mean. This Best Of collection, while a lot of fun, merits only a Rent It vote, but it's enthusiastic. The fact is, you'll burn through these episodes in two sittings, tops.
- Kurt Dahlke
~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com