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TV review: 'Strange Days With Bob Saget'

The funny guy's latest isn't so funny — an A&E reality series that plops Saget into such subcultures as bikers and Bigfoot searchers. Either way, it's a waste of your time and his.

November 30, 2010|By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic

Bob Saget has had one strange career.

He morphed from R-rated stand-up to limpid-eyed single dad in the long-running family sitcom "Full House" and host of "America's Funniest Home Videos." (He did the two shows simultaneously for six years.) Since then, he has appeared in a variety of TV shows, was featured telling the world's dirtiest joke in 2005's indie film "The Aristocrats" and, last year, took a shot at another sitcom called "Surviving Suburbia," which didn't last a season.

Say this for Saget, he is not a man to turn down a job. Which is too bad because his new venture into reality TV, A&E's "Strange Days With Bob Saget," is just a waste of everyone's time because it, like its star, can't decide what it is really.

The pitch is simple: Saget, as some sort of mildly profane Everyman, spends each episode hanging out with members of a particular subculture. In the first episode, it's bikers; in the second, a society dedicated to the search for Bigfoot. This is, of course, the kind of idea that has fueled the publishing industry, features sections and television documentaries since Marco Polo started dictating his thoughts on the Chinese court in an Italian prison — enter a group that appears to be Other and discover the commonalties that connect us all, while delivering some really colorful anecdotes.

"Strange Days" is a half-hour show, much of it spent on Saget's toned-down wisecracks, so a sincere exploration about what motivates these folks or how they conduct their lives is clearly not the point. Nor is Saget on some sort of personal journey or even, it would appear, remotely curious.

He holds his subjects at arm's length, vacillating between smug respect (for the bikers) and smug skepticism (for the Bigfoot believers). "What am I doing here?" he seems to be perpetually asking the camera, a question that has no pretty answer.

Meanwhile, there's a biker wedding and a biker funeral — the funeral is very touching, which makes Saget's attempts to comfort a grieving boy seem unfortunately intrusive. There are also fart jokes and crazy jokes and "I have no idea what I'm doing" jokes that aren't really jokes at all.

As a result, the show is neither funny nor illuminating. Indeed, if you aren't a bordering-on-psychotically-obsessive Saget fan, there's not much to see except some very nice scenery — the bikers take road trips throughout the South, and Bigfoot apparently hangs out on Washington state's Olympic Peninsula.

There are entire channels devoted to the wonders of nature, and I'd suggest you switch to one of those.

mary.mcnamara@latimes.com


'Strange Days With Bob Saget'

Where: A&E

When: 10 and 10:30 p.m. Tuesday

Rating: TV-PG (may be unsuitable for young children)

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