What happens when you take six dogs and their owners, follow them around Manhattan, and inject The Real World-style sensibilities and graphics? You unleash Animal Planet's new series, Dog Days.
Each episode trails a handful of New Yorkers as they ridiculously pamper their pooches with everything from birthday parties to trips to chic doggie salons. Dog Days
also features plenty of sight gags and jokes to keep the non-obsessed dog fan amused for an hour.
The series begins at the Madison Square Park dog run and features the exploits of single woman Jill and her dog (and "man-bait") named Oliver; artist Anne and her best friend Paquita; student Karyn and her rambunctious Cyrus; and Lori and Stephan and their "baby" Max, among others.
Viewers quickly learn about the absurd lengths to which some owners will go in catering to their canine companions when Karyn throws a party for Cyrus and his "friends" — replete with a dog psychiatrist. It turns out that Cyrus's dog-run bully/frat-boy routine is a product of his boredom.
Lori and Stephen, seemingly clones of Paul and Jamie Buchman from NBC's Mad About You, are searching for a place to board Max during their trip to Barbados. Interviews with dog sitters go poorly, so the search turns to alternatives like the Ritz Canine Hotel — with an unsightly collie as a guest — and a doggie bed and breakfast. Doggedly determined to find a good place for their pet to stay, they eventually settle on a day-care center that Max has visited before.
Then there's a Blind Date-esque treatment of Jill's date with Matthew — the man Oliver helped her land in the park. Both are more interested in their dogs than each other. Dog Days
also tags along when Anne and Jill go on the prowl (with Paquita and Oliver, of course), and when one of the other owners experiments with speed dating.
Overall, Dog Days
is slightly amusing and watchable. The series will probably hold the most appeal for over-the-top dog owners like those portrayed. The rest of us will marvel at how young New Yorkers can afford their rent and still manage the freight for trips to the doggie salon or pooch party planners.
bow(wow)s on Animal Planet Monday Oct. 14.