Review: 131st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

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131st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
USA Network

Street 05.15

Dog shows are an awesome commentary on modern society. They showcase the extreme end of spending too much time and money on animals. Still, dog shows are cool as hell to watch, and the Westminster Kennel Club show is maybe the top event of its kind in the world. This DVD presents both full nights of group judging, as it originally aired on the USA Network. Highlights include watching tiny, extremely-coiffed dogs led around the ring by 400 pound handlers in ill-fitting clothes. Monster, rough-looking dogs are handled by borderline anorexic ladies. Judges lift, prod and make the various dogs run around in circles. The crowd seems to cheer at nothing and the two hosts struggle to fill four hours of air time without sounding like complete douches. They rarely succeed. This edition includes a feature on breed judging, interviews with winners (err, their handlers) and a piece on dog grooming. It is hard to watch in its entirety, but those that brave both discs will be treated to nuggets of wisdom available nowhere else. I now know that the secret to fluffy poodle hair is cheap human shampoo (Suave). And I also know that the proper way for a dog show announcer to end a moment of silence for a departed breeder is by raising the lights and yelling, “bring out those terriers!” -James Bennett