Mike Rowe’s DIRTY JOBS Reboot Shows Audiences That All Work is Essential
By Cooper Dowd, Contributing Writer
Mike Rowe, the face of the popular Discovery Channel show DIRTY JOBS, is getting “the band back together” as he and his old camera crew jump into an RV and plan to reconnect with the many friends they made during their eight-year exploration of the world’s most dangerous and dirty jobs.
The reboot series is called DIRTY JOBS: ROWE’D TRIP. Supplemented by footage from the original DIRTY JOBS series, the show will also highlight the original crew’s travels in the RV.
“There’s all sorts of footage. Our cameras never stopped rolling on DIRTY JOBS and we never did a second take. So we just have vaults and vaults of footage that hasn’t been seen before,” Rowe said.
Although DIRTY JOBS stopped filming back in 2012, Rowe said the show became a part of something more than merely highlighting dirty jobs, which is why it has been aired thousands of times since then.
“This is a really important part of the show. You know, a lot of people figure DIRTY JOBS as a show about jobs that are dirty, but it’s really a show about the people who do those jobs and as the show progressed and gained in popularity, it shifted and it really became a rumination on work and a reflection on what a good job was,” Rowe said.
The reboot is looking to revisit the relationships formed between Rowe and the “jobbers” and the relationships of the crew as a whole.
“I think viewers might also be surprised to see what five dudes look like eight years later after spending 15 years together shooting a show like this,” Rowe said.
He did not deny that the show took its toll on the group, but their friendship persevered.
“We also have our senses of humor and we’re all still alive and kicking and we’re all still good friends,” Rowe added.
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Initially, they planned the reboot as a zoom show, a popular technique to create content during the pandemic. However, Rowe talked with his production team and thought that this was counterintuitive to the show’s central ideals.
Moreover, Rowe says that this reboot series, as well as DIRTY JOBS, should affect the outlook that fans of the show have towards essential and non-essential work in the age of COVID-19 related shutdowns.
“I think the word essential worker is a little tricky,” Rowe said. “On the one hand, it’s what we’re celebrating with DIRTY JOBS and it’s what I’m known for. On the other hand, in the age of coronavirus, there is no such thing as a non-essential job and when you have 40 million people suddenly out of work, you start to realize that all of these jobs, skilled, unskilled… there’s dignity in all work and when you start to separate those jobs and put them into different categories, then you start to create some problems for society overall.”
Rowe knows that people would rather hear encouraging and unifying news about every area of life, not just job security.
“They’re tired [of] being shown over and over what makes us different, and desperate to be reminded of that which unites us,” Rowe said in response to the backlash he received after switching his SOMEBODY’S GOTTA DO IT from CNN to a Christian network called the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Rowe has been outspoken about the importance of skilled trades in the past, stating that the idea that some job opportunities are subordinate to college degrees is “crazy.”
He is a firm believer that there are plenty of opportunities for successful work. He wants to help make that happen for young students and children.
“Of all the divides in the country right now, the biggest one is the group of people who are convinced opportunity is dead and those who are not,” Rowe said. “I think the opportunities are still there.”
Rowe notes that the work he has done on television has pushed him to make a difference in real life with the MikeRoweWorks Foundation, which awards scholarships to those looking to learn a skill or master a trade.
“It has turned into something more than I would have hoped for, and it’s not just because of DIRTY JOBS,” Rowe said. “I mean, I know I’ve been awfully lucky and blessed to work on shows that people love but the thing that evolved out of DIRTY JOBS that consumes most of my time today is MikeRowe Works.”
Certainly, Rowe’s original show DIRTY JOBS planted the seed for his foundation. However, he hopes that this reboot will continue that legacy.
“That foundation evolved out of ‘Dirty Jobs’ and it’s a privilege to have that kind of a legacy in my life,” Rowe said. “And part of relaunching the show, honestly, is going to be an opportunity to double down on that.”
DIRTY JOBS: ROWE’D TRIP debuted July 7 on the Discovery Channel’s app, Discovery Go.
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On the Rowe’d Again… As some of you know, I reunited last month with the original Dirty Jobs crew. We got tested for the plague, rented an RV, and ventured out into the world to see if the great outdoors was where we left it. Happily, it is. Every Tuesday in July, starting on the 7th, we’ll be on the road, looking back at our favorite filthy moments, checking in with our favorite dirty jobbers, and marveling at the speed with which filming this show made us old before our time. Fundamentally, it’s a reunion show – a road trip at a time we could all use one. If you’re a fan of Dirty Jobs, you’re gonna love it. If you’re new to the program, you won’t believe what we got away with, once upon a time when five children trapped in men’s bodies were allowed to roam the countryside, looking for people who aren’t afraid to get dirty. Join us, Tuesday at 9pm, on Discovery. It’ll be a kick. Mike PS Coincidentally, (or maybe not,) my foundation is awarding $1 million dollars in work ethic scholarships later this month. That could have never happened without Dirty Jobs. The mikeroweWORKS Foundation evolved directly out of this show, and that’s led to over $5 million in scholarships for people who aren’t afraid to get dirty. Not bad, for a TV show about exploding toilets and misadventures in animal husbandry. So thanks to Discovery, and to all of you who watched in the past, and stayed along for the ride. PPS As the pictures indicate, this trip was not without its own detours. Barsky made a hell of a mess in the kitchen with ostrich eggs, and I came face to face with a giant cock. Seriously. How can you not watch?
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