So back on June 5th, Dwight Howard was the guest star in an episode of Animal Planet's Tanked, as you may have heard. It's a show about two guys from New York who make aquariums in Las Vegas. They get high-profile clientele (probably because they're on TV), and they do it big because Vegas. You get it.
The two guys are named Wayde and Brett. That's Brett on the right. You can probably guess what they're like. They're exactly like what you're thinking right now. So they get a Skype call, and you get the first taste of the Tanked reality, which is to say that incredibly mundane events in these people's lives are played out with infomercial-esque overacting. Well now, who could that be? Why, I say, it's Dwight Howard!
And in the two minutes of this Skype call, it all clicks into place. The Tanked universe is perfectly suited to Dwight Howard. He wishes everybody on Earth acted like the people on Tanked act. He was home.
In the early parts of the show, there are some fun moments when Brett has to spout what essentially amounts to the first two paragraphs of Dwight's Wikipedia page to the 98 percent of Animal Planet viewers who do not watch basketball. Brett has to do this while looking at Dwight, which seemed painfully awkward. Just imagine someone looking right at you and reciting the cliffs notes of your life as if they're explaining it to you. It sounds uncomfortable, right?
So Wayde and Brett fly to Dwight's insane house:
And Dwight tells the guys that there's a snake on the loose. The little scamp! As he's giving the clowns the grand tour, [SPOILERS AHEAD] whoa, hey there Mr. Snake! Only, it's not a snake at all! It's a stuffed animal and a hilarious prank on Brett, who is afraid of snakes. [END SPOILERS]
Listen, I assume this show has writers, and that they're goddamned awful, because no people could possibly talk how these people do in real life. They make aquariums for their business, and they've ostensibly been doing it for a while. There's no possible way that they can be this excited about their job. The life drains out of everyone slowly, over time. They don't accept any part of this job as routine, and it's baffling. It almost makes me want to watch another episode of the show to see if they're like this all the time, but... nah. I'm good.
And of course, Dwight is so ready for that energy level. That snake prank could be one he does all the time! I bet that I would laugh half-sincerely, half-nervously all the time around Dwight; it seems to be the reaction he's going for. I'd probably just accidentally encourage him.
When the New Yorkers -- whose New York accents are thicker than Wayde's neck -- suggest going to the Houston Zoo to find ideas for snake tanks, Dwight explodes with joy -- an unbelievable amount of joy. He exclaimed "Man, the zoo!" multiple times. Of course, that's just Dwight. He actually said, "Do y'all know I'm, like, an eight-year-old kid trapped in a 40-year-old body?"
*sigh* Yes, Dwight. We do know that. That helps to explain why Dwight Howard's favorite movie of all time is Finding Nemo. I didn't know that, but it could be common knowledge. It's very Dwight, and legitimately adorable. Dwight at the Zoo is pretty much exactly like you'd expect as well. We even get to hear facts about snakes!
After the guys get an idea of what to build (a big-ass tank for Dwight's red-tailed boa constrictors), they head back to Vegas to build the tank. And that's when you remember that building tanks for snakes and fishes is super boring. You will not hear more inappropriately dramatic music for gluing panels of plexiglass together anywhere, except for similar shows about building things with plexiglass.
In Vegas -- and this show must have hours and hours of B-roll shots of Vegas -- we meet the lovable supporting characters/probable employees. Wayde and Brett make sales rep Agnes hold a snake so they can weigh it, and also broadcast her weight. She says to the camera, "Why do I even work here?" Poor Agnes.
They have a redneck who they call Redneck who stands near them while they build stuff, and a plexiglass fabricator named Chuy, who is clearly the backbone of the entire operation. They make him watch glue dry overnight.
When Wayde and Brett head back to Houston to deliver the tank, Dwight invites them to a Rockets practice. Hey, look at everyone (like half the team probably), I missed these guys already. One of the clowns from the show said "Dwight was busy in the trainer's room when we got there" -- *sigh* -- so we get a little footage of James Harden working on his crossover, and one shot of Joey Dorsey looking confused.
There's some more manufactured tension with stock music, with a wonderful cliffhanger that's geniusly undercut by the "when we return to Tanked" bump -- "What's gonna happen? I don't know!" *smash cut* "We did it!" -- and some facts about fish. Glad to see Animal Planet blocking out those two-minute spots for the things that their network was named for. They are truly the MTV of animal television channels.
In the morning as the tanks are finished, we get to meet Dwight's snake handler, Brian. Brian, to continue a theme, looks exactly how you'd expect (or at least how I expected):
So it all works out, and Brett even got Dwight back for his snake prank, thus achieving balance in the prank force. Look at the temporary misery they inflict on Dwight:
I'm not a big fan of pranks, and it's mainly because I hate that feeling, and don't want to give it to others, even if it's all okay later. But Dwight's all right, and he better be able to take a joke with all the farts he's bombed on people. See?
And the tank was gorgeous.
Dwight's got a sick tank for his snakes now, The End. You've read this, so go watch something good. Like Storage Wars!