Netflix’s latest docuseries Dogs is about the affirmations of unconditional love, and the ties that are made without the declaration of promise. It’s an all-too-sweet concept that managed to work, throughout its six-hour-long episodes that lean more into optimism than negativity.
In each episode, we explore a different facet of the relationship between man and his best friend. In The Kid with a Dog, we are introduced to a young girl with epilepsy and the dog they hired to spot oncoming seizures. Bravo, Zeus follows the escape mission of a dog in Syria. Ice on the Water narrates the story of a dog in a fisherman’s family. Scissors Down follows an American dog-grooming contest, and Territorio De Zaguates shines the spotlight on a dog-sanctuary’s caretakers as they struggle to fit more than a thousand dogs into their limited space. Lastly, Second Chances is all about the fostering operations of dogs who need their forever home.
The episodes are structured to highlight our dependence on the presence of dogs, and to show how dogs feel the same way about us. Dogs provide a specific type of comfort no human body can give: compassion that asks for nothing in return. This show excels by taking such a specific theme, and transcending it into a different type of conflict.
However, Dogs isn’t purely sugar-coated. It dives into the dangers of having dogs, as well. Animals need more than protection–they need the love and warmth of an owner. The narrative stumbles at times, focusing on too many subjects at once, but when it does hit you, it hits hard.
Overall, Dogs is a heartwarming examination of dogs, without coming across as cheesy or cliché. It’s a binge-worthy docuseries that is both effective and affecting.