Those who've watched the film "Domino" (based upon real-life bounty hunter Domino Harvey) recently may be interested in the A & E series "Dog: The Bounty Hunter", which was spun off from a special called "Take This Job", which profiled unusual careers. The series follows real-life bounty hunter "Dog" Chapman who, with the help of his family (wife Beth; Dog's brother, Tim; Dog's son, Leland; and Dog's nephew, Justin), tracks down criminals on the Hawaiian islands.
The series jumps between Dog's home life and professional life as Dog takes care of his family both at home and while chasing down the bad guys. Given that it's a profession that one hears so little about (I'm guessing intentionally, as the hunters probably don't want every trick of the trade to get out), it's interesting to see the way that Chapman and his crew operate (although I'm unsure if it's similar to how other bounty hunters work) on a day-to-day basis.
After capturing their target, Dog (who had a criminal past and then went on the right side of the law) and his crew try to get help for the people that they arrest and convince them to try and correct their ways or direct them to places where they can get help. The difference with "Dog" is that the show is able to occasionally get under the situation and show the sadness and tragedy or people who have completely lost their way. Sometimes, the crew run into people who are just plain nasty.
Those are the two sides of the characters on the show, as well: they're intimidating folks who are always walking into a potentially volatile situation (and an unpredictable one - the people the crew questions don't always tell the truth, requiring Dog and his crew to play detective) - they can be tough if needed, but they can also show compassion, crack jokes and try to get people on the right track - Dog even has to chase down an ex-housekeeper in one episode on this "best of" set.
Unfortunately for fans, A & E has decided to release the show on DVD so far in "best of" sets instead of full seasons. These are, according to the box, episodes picked by Dog himself, but it's still dismaying that the show is being released this way. The episodes included here are:
50. 3- 7 2 May 06 Take Your Daughter to Work Day
- Daughter Lyssa is brought into the family business and while she has a rocky first day (forgets the snacks), she does learn the biz while on stakeout. and on the hunt.
53. 3-10 30 May 06 The Thief Who Stole Christmas
- Dog hunts a fugitive wanted for burglary and a host of other crimes.
54. 3-11 6 Jun 06 Rock-a-Bye Bounty
- Dog's fugitive ex-housekeeper is on the run, and a member of the family is used as bait to bring them in.
58. 3-15 25 Jul 06 Cupid in Cuffs - Dog visits a local Jeweler to try and get something nice for Beth for Valentine's Day.
61. 3-18 15 Aug 06 Bustin' With Justin
- With Duane sick, Dog has to call it a substitute hunter, although in this case, the team worries about whether or not Justin's a team player.
62. 3-19 15 Aug 06 Run Fugitive, Run
- The team hunts down a criminal with a long history of domestic abuse, while Beth trains to run in a race to benefit a domestic abuse charity - although some doubt she'll finish.
66. 3-23 19 Sep 06 Ticket to Ride
- Dog sets out to find Jasmine, a woman with 37 - soon to be 38 - arrests. Dog and the gang also shop for new cars.
68. 3-25 3 Oct 06 Mother Knows Best
- Two moms of two separate criminals decide to revoke bail and send their kids back to jail, so Dog and the gang go off on hunt.
VIDEO: "Dog" is presented in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio by A & E Home Entertainment. The show is shot with hand-held video cameras, but it still looks awfully good, as the show looks continually crisp and clear - also helped by the fact that many scenes take place during the day.
The presentation does show some slight shimmer at times, but otherwise looks crisp and clean. No pixelation or edge enhancement appears, nor are there any issues with the source material. Colors look natural and crisp, with no smearing or other issues.
SOUND: "Dog" is presented in Dolby 2.0, and the audio sounds crisp and clear throughout. Dialogue remains easily understood, with no distortion or other issues. Music (including the Ozzy Osbourne theme track) sounds full and well-recorded, as well.
EXTRAS: Photo gallery.
Final Thoughts: "Dog: the Bounty Hunter" is a compelling reality show looking into a family who all work in a profession rarely discussed. Although it's disappointing that A & E continues to offer "best of"s with little in the way of supplements, audio/video quality is still solid. Recommended.