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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality series promotes the rescuing and adoption of pit bulls. Star/dedicated rescuer Shorty Rossi is passionate about the dogs but sometimes resorts to violence and/or illegal tactics to save them. There are some conversations about criminal behavior, and cast members sometimes argue, yell, and fight (although some of these conflicts appear staged). Expect plenty of strong vocab (words like “piss,” “hell,” and “ass" are audible, while stronger choices are bleeped) and occasional scenes of things like suggestive dancing, cigar smoking, and beer drinking. Rossi takes many risks when approaching stray pit bulls; remind kids never to attempt similar tactics when coming into contact with unfamiliar, potentially aggressive animals.
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What's the story?
PIT BOSS follows the efforts of Shorty’s Rescue, a dog rescue effort run by actor Shorty Rossi. Rossi, who is also the owner of a talent agency for little people called Shortywood Productions, combines his streetwise smarts and connections in the entertainment industry to rescue abandoned pit bulls and help find them good homes. With the help of his team -- which includes receptionist Ashley Brooks, booking assistant Ronald Lee Clark, and entertainment coordinator Sebastian Saraceno -- he divides his time between managing actors' Hollywood careers, rescuing strays, going on patrol with Animal Control officers, and raising awareness about the plight of pit bulls.
Is it any good?
Pit Boss ultimately offers a fairly convoluted blend of information about the little people community, the world of entertainment management, and pit bull rescue. Rossi consistently parallels his life with the dogs', claiming that they -- like him -- are members of a community that is stereotyped and misunderstood. But while he seeks to highlight and empower his community, his employees (all of whom are also little people) often come off as comical or silly when they're thrown into dog rescue missions thanks to their lack of knowledge and/or passion about the animals.
Rossi's heart is in the right place, but his tendency to resort to shouting matches and staged-feeling physical fights over dogs doesn’t send the best messages. And some of his rescue tactics -- like breaking locks to enter people’s private property -- aren’t very ethical, either. In the end, while the show means well, some of the antics featured here just aren’t very constructive.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how pit bulls are typically seen by the public. Do you think the breed's reputation has a connection to the way the media has chosen to portray the dogs?
Should you ever approach a stray animal? What if the animal looks aggressive? When should animal control be called? Where is your community’s local animal shelter?
Do you think any stereotypes about the little people community are perpetuated by the media? Do some shows counter these stereotypes?