Review: Dirty Jobs Rowe’d Trip

Rob’s Review of Dirty Jobs Rowe’d Trip: 

Nearly 10 years since “Dirty Jobs,” stopped shooting new episodes, host Mike Rowe is back with a pandemic inspired look back at the iconic show that taught us all that (as the intro script said in the series), there are hard-working men and women who earn an honest living doing the kinds of jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us.

If you were ever a fan of the original series, this is must see TV. If you are merely aware of the series but a fan of Rowe’s, this is a must see. Other than that, it may not be your cup of tea. As usual, Rowe is not just the star of the show, but his hosting and narration skills, in addition to his still child-like wonderment and sense of humor, are the reason to watch. Mike would no doubt argue that the jobs and the people that do them are actually the stars, but absent Rowe, neither the original series, nor most definitely this mini-series, would have worked.

In this new four-part series, Rowe & company drive around in an RV — reminiscing about the series, revisiting classic episodes and reconnecting with memorable “Dirty Jobs” participants. For fans of the original series, Mike brings back the behind-the-scenes guys we all got to know and love; producer David Barsky, cameramen Douglas Gover and Troy Paff and audio technician Chris Jones, all of whom worked on the original series, and all of whom Mike has maintained a close working relationship with ever since.

To be completely candid, I have never been a big fan of “clip shows,” where all we do is re-watch things we’ve already seen, with some stupid tidbits thrown in by the host that are supposed to be interesting, but obviously weren’t important enough to show originally. Rowe, like usual, rises above that formula and gives us a fun, brilliant, poignant look both back and at the present; you see, this was all filmed in late May and early June as the lockdowns were barely being lifted, and pretty much all forms of entertainment and production were slim to none. For fans of the original series, the looks back are just the right amount of time and still as cringe worthy as they were the first time, particularly the entire second episode which makes anyone remotely claustrophobic get the heebie-jeebies.

When they aren’t looking at old clips (which is seemingly only about 30% of the content of this new series), Mike and the guys are offering up genuinely fun and interesting tidbits and conversations, including a brilliant 20 minute bit on wearing masks, which in the end, doesn’t take a position on the issue. It’s so smart, you have to see it to appreciate it…much like the series itself, which gives hope that some sort of reboot is on our future!


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