Interesting extras take us further in Cesar Millan's life.
As cute as this whole thing is, I honestly think Cesar Millan is hurting these dogs by almost making them too human.
When I was given Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: The Complete First Season to review, I had no idea what to expect. Then I put on these DVDs and stories of problem dogs like Ava, Churchill, NuNu and a host of others came across the screen. While on the outside it just seems like the dogs are simply acting up, this is broken down when Millan comes into a situation. He seems to be able to cure dogs who are problem children, have phobias and just generally misbehave.
I appreciated his approach as he took time with each animal getting to know them individually. Now, since he is an outside observer he isn't afraid to be harsh or brutally honest about what the dogs problems are, but I wonder just how well behaved these dogs remain once the Dog Whisperer leaves.
Featuring Maya, Suki, Gus and a host of the other dogs on the show, the auditions where so simple they were also surreal. The owners would explain whatever problem their dog had, then they would give an example of it. Some dogs were temperamental, some didn't want to walk on a lease, etc.. This is the kind of footage that has to be seen to be believed.
This segment focuses on Holly, a dog that doesn't like a woman's boyfriend because of the kinds of boots he wears as a fisherman. Yes, you have read that correctly. Cesar Millan enters the picture and things soon get worked out.
Cesar Feeds His Pack
My favorite part of this section was seeing Millan feed all the dogs and prepare their food. First of all, he uses his hands so that his scent will be on the food. His main goal is to not have the dogs be so excited when they eat. He feeds them one group at a time, and the ones that aren't eating literally have to wait their turn. Sure this is interesting, but I can't help but wonder if he is taking away what makes dogs... dogs.
There are over fifteen outtakes available here. They have titles like "Cesar on Humans," "Patience," "Treadmills" and essentially they are life lessons; The World According to Cesar Millan. While I am not sure how much I agree with what he is espousing or his methods, I can't help but be taken in by how much he believes it.
Full Frame - 1.33:1. Shot on video this show, like many Reality shows, is edited in such a way that you can't help but enjoy it. Everything is so bright and pleasing to eye that the best way to describe it is ultra-accessible. Clocking in at 650 minutes, I found that all the content in this four disc set has been compressed quite nicely. There is nothing too special about how these shows look, but they do look nice.
2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. English. Close Captioned. My favorite thing about Reality TV is how it seems like we are getting candid moments when it's apparent that a lot this stuff is staged. How in the world are they going to get such good sound of people whispering? Still, these shows are entertaining and I found the audio to be right where it needed to be in order to get the point of this show across.
Cesar Millan walks with a pack of dogs behind him on this front cover. In the background we see the hills and the clouds as we notice the look of fierce determination on his face. The back of this DVD features different promo shots from the show, a very brief description of what Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: The Complete First Season is about, a "Bonus Materials" listing and some technical specs. All four discs are encased in an outer covering that folds out. Inside, each episode is listed out on the packaging pertaining to whatever discs the episodes happen to be on. I have to give Screen Media Films credit for making this set easy to negotiate.
The main thought that I had as I watched this show was, "If this is how Millan is with his animals, imagine how he'd be with children?" One might accuse me of generalizing, but I think it's a fair assessment given how often Millan seems to relate human maladies to the maladies of the animals he is trying to cure. Aside from that, I can see why a show like this is popular even though it is on something like the National Geographic Channel.
First of all, this show is shot like a reality show. So it's edited to be absorbed and devoured like candy. Secondly, we get to see a boatload of animals having problems but there is also a resolution in which they are "solved." Thirdly, Millan keeps things simply and the fact that he's dealing with cuddly animals also makes Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: The Complete First Season a lot more palatable.
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