Monday, January 22, 2007

Get Yourself a Dirty Job

When my dad, whose judgment I normally trust, told me about Dirty Jobs, I was skeptical. I mean, we both like MythBusters, but who doesn't? It's fun to watch the guys explode (ahem) urban legends. But what's fun about watching a guy travel around the country doing dirty and/or gross jobs, like worm farming? Turns out, it depends on the guy. The show would not be watchable without host Mike Rowe, whose quick, self-deprecating wit and game attitude make him a joy to watch whatever he's doing - a good thing on this show, where the jobs, like salvaging fixtures from an old dorm, sometimes don't make good TV by themselves. The viewers aren't the only ones who like Mike; he charms everyone he works with, becoming best buddies with them by the time he leaves. Probably the only person who ever didn't like him was the guy at the charcoal place in Missouri, who was forced to work with Mike by his dad, and who got upset with him for slowing everyone down. He's a comedian, guy. Did you expect he would be good at your job?

What I also love about this show: the recognition it gives its crew. I can't think of any other reality show, educational or otherwise, that makes its sound and camera guys part of the show. Mike features them in his Dirty Jobs song and nearly flattens field producer Dave Barsky while cutting down a tree, but there's one episode, at a South African monkey sanctuary, where the crew gets a starring role. The crew is terrorized by an evil monkey (like the monkey in Chris Griffin's closet, only with less pointing), bonked, bitten and scratched in just the first few hours there, so that the first fifteen minutes are given over to their terror. When Barsky gets on the phone with producers in the U.S. and tells them, with no preamble, "Dude, we're all going to die," he's kidding, but he's also... not kidding. When monkeys are evil, they're very, very evil.

So get yourself a dirty job - or, at least, watch someone else do one. There's only a little bit of schadenfreude involved.


Julie said...

I love Dirty Jobs, and I love that you used schadenfreude. Four stars!

Lori said...

Thanks! Whenever I use it, I can't get the song from Avenue Q out of my head. It's just so catchy!

Colleen said...

Dude, i **JUST** discovered it recently as well! Like, no more than a week or so ago, and im soooo addicted. And yes, i agree 100,000% its all about Mike. He is so funny, and lighthearted, and a good sport, and also very intelligent. You can tell by the types of questions he asks. I saw one last night with him at a farm that makes cow poop into biodegradable flower pots, as well as leeching methane off it for energy, and he was asking insightful, scientifical questions, and totally understood how the machinery they used to refine the poop was like a big cow stomach in itself. I think he used the word "ruminate." I was in love.

And i also saw the Monkey Episode, and i was **HOWLING**. Yes, it was a very, very dangerous situation, and that bite was serious, but it was soo, sooo awesome, and watching his interactions with the british lady and their discussions and goodhearted insults at each other was quality, quality quality tv. Did you see the one where he was at a bug ranch, that breeds exotic bugs? Apparantly he and his crew saw a van with the logo of the place on the side and approached them and were like, "Hey, whats up? " and thus an episode was born.

Fabulous show with real cool people all around. I approve wholeheartedly :D