I will probably never live this down but I want to talk about my secret guilty pleasure. Last summer I watched every single episode of “Dog The Bounty Hunter” on Netflix, I am now officially hooked. Last week I bought Dog Chapman’s biography for $4.99 out of the bargain bin at Price Chopper. I currently have about a hundred episodes saved on my DVR. So, yes I guess it’s safe to say I am a Dog Chapman fangirl. I could defend myself from an intellectual point of view, and argue that “Dog The Bounty Hunter” is a classic (it weathered what eight years?) and could be deemed one of the founding fathers of reality t.v. The Chapmans paved the way for A&E’s impressive reality t.v. line-up showcasing ‘Duck Dynasty,’ ‘Storage Wars,’ ‘Scared Straight,’ ‘Intervention,’ and so on. Sounds like a pretty legit argument right? But I’d be lying if I said that was why I watch the show. My friends and family harass me non-stop about my love for this show, and I’ve decided to compile a list as to why I, and the millions of other fans the Chapmans have accumulated, have hung in there all these years, through the bad hair-cuts and scandals, their loyalty hasn’t faltered …
- I believe there are eight seasons of Dog out there. That means we have watched members of the Chapman family grow for eight years, we watched them have children, get married, lose family members, and expand their business. It’s impossible not to get attached to someone after their life has been broadcasted across your t.v. for eight years, you start to feel invested, as if you’ve known them their whole lives.
- The family dynamic, dysfunction at its best. As cute and wholesome as the Cosby’s are, their family dynamic, and all the other family friendly shows throughout the years, are not realistic. The Chapmans have made it seem okay to have half-brothers, half-sisters, step-moms, adopted children, etc. They proudly flaunt their mixed family and Dog and Beth accept each other’s children from previous relationships with open arms.
- It is no secret that Dog associates himself with Native Americans. I personally, have a large percentage of Native American ancestry, and I love seeing him discuss his culture on tv, I feel that Native Americans are an overlooked ethnicity on television. Not too many shows out there broadcast Native American beliefs and customs.
- Everyone loves an underdog, no pun intended. Dog and his family members often discuss their pasts, they’ve all had issues with substance abuse or the law, or both. And now they are house-hold names, and have bettered their lives tremendously. The fact that they made it, is inspiration to a lot of viewers, and gives everyone going through rough patches a little hope that they too can improve their lives.
- Where I come from it is not uncommon to have friends or family in prison, my family tree is painted with convicts and felons, The Chapmans are “second-chance people.” Having been on the wrong-side of the law, and having had people I care about on the wrong side of the law, I am forever grateful of the image they paint of their prisoners. Instead of treating them like the scum of the Earth (which too many law officials are guilty of), they speak to them, get to know them, handle them gently, and feed them or give them cigarettes.
- The Chapman family franchise has grown impressively since the show began. You can’t help but be impressed and happy for the family and their successes. If you watch the first season you can tell the show and the company they ran was low-budget, and didn’t have a lot of resources to work with. If you compare their office, the tools they use, the clothes they wear, and the vehicles they are driving from those in the first season to those in the last season it’s clear they have all done very well for themselves.
So, with all that being said, I feel like I have completely justified my loyalty to Dog. You can laugh all you want, but I have good solid reasons for the hours I have wasted in front of my television the past eight years. And for all my fellow fans out there make sure you tune in to CMT in April, because Dog, Leland, and Beth will be back!