Last week, Dogs in the City faced the Olympic Trials. Ratings-wise, the Trials blasted everyone out of the water, sticking the landing after a tape-breaking dismount over the finish line — no splash. Still, with 4.6 million viewers to last week’s 4.9 million, Dogs in the City medaled, in third. But third place is just second-loser, in my world. (My world is a dreary place.)
Here are the best five things about the episode.
1. The Fat Puggle
When we first meet the owners of the fat Puggle, they’re holding the dog down and shoving second-breakfast into its mouth. Well, no. But what a fat dog. At 40 pounds he’s at least 15 pounds overweight.
Justin settles into the couch and imagines he’s on CBS daytime opposite The Chew (Justin thinks he can take The Chew). In eight seconds, the woman who fattened up her Puggle like a prize pig is in tears, sobbing over her own battles with weight as Justin admits to being fat as an adolescent.
In Burbank, a CBS network executive picks up a red phone and whispers one word: “Daytime.”
Seriously, this is a good segment. The woman used to be obese and is using emotional transference to fatten up her dog. Justin knows all about this stuff; he uses the term “emotional transference” several times, with authority. Dr. Phil is freaking the hell out. No, he’s not.
Best of all, the segment gives Justin the opportunity to do an exercise montage, in which he bounces around a park barefoot and happy — and we finally get witness, we finally get to behold, the full breadth and glory of Justin Silver’s upper-arm tattoos.
2. Don’t. Stop. Now.
I won’t. Perhaps several months ago, possibly in a production meeting in the 85th-floor executive washroom of the CBS building in New York, Justin Silver might have rolled up his sleeve and exposed his shoulder to the director of plots, ideas, and episode arcs, Mr. Brian Robe.
“Hey, Brian, have you seen my — BAM!“
“Justin! You have a tattoo of a GIANT elephant on your shoulder!”
“A COLOSSAL elephant!”
“A MASSIVE elephant!”
“A GIGANTIC elephant!”
“America needs to see this elephant, Justin, which is truly MAMMOTH!”
“Hey, Brain, take a look over here, have you seen my other — BAM!”
“Justin! That’s a GIANT BUDDHA HEAD on your other arm, on the inside of the biceps!”
“That’s exactly WHAT and WHERE where it is!”
“But it’s not as big as the elephant.”
“No, the elephant is truly ginormous. The elephant is all-encompassing and everything. It is mountainous. It is Yahweh.”
“Both go on the schedule now.”
3. The Dog Who Hates Men
In this segment, two gay men own a dog, and the dog hates men. There’s a great joke in there but if I wade into it I’m pretty sure I’m going to screw something up and offend everyone on the Internet, so let’s leave it at this: A dog who hates men is living with two gay men. Nope, it’s not a sitcom — yet. It’s just a dog who hates men living with two gay men.
The sitcom is not called My Furever Home-o-Sexuals.
So, Justin’s plan for the dog who hates men is to introduce the dog to more men. Men come at all hours, ringing doorbells and edging nervously around the dog and slyly pointing at Justin and mouthing “Who’s your friend?!” to the two guys who own the dog. Oh, the dog: The dog is fine. But My Furever Home-o-Sexuals segment is a perfect opportunity for the producers to clarify a few points about Justin by introducing …
4. Justin’s Ex-Girlfriend!
Who is a very nice woman who fosters dog and flirts with Justin on the sidewalk for about 10 minutes. Every so often on DITC, amid the noise and the clangor and the leaky pipes, you realize that this show has an undercurrent of people who really love and rescue dogs, like the heroes you read about on Dogster. Justin and his ex are some of those people.
5. And These Next People Aren’t
Next we meet a couple with dog who eats the walls of the home — literally eats the walls of the home — because it gets no exercise and is left at home all day. The dog is bored — heartbreakingly, eating-the-walls bored — and Justin is forced to half-heartedly crate-train the dog and tell the owner to get outside and throw a ball to the dog every once in a while damn it.
The dog also wants to have a threesome. That’s not what the owners say BUT THAT IS WHAT I SAW.
Read Michael Leaverton’s 5 Best Things About Dogs in the City, including the Premiere, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4.