Sunday, December 21, 2008

Amy Roloff Interview - interesting thoughts about Zach and his friends

Amy Roloff did another interview, this one is available in a podcast (for the computer illiterate - it's not that complicated - if you have speakers you should be able to hear it :)

The interviewer had nothing but great things to say about Amy's demeanor and personality during and after the interview. Amy does come across very well in these conversations/interviews. She's very down to earth. That was my original impression of Amy.

The interview, for now, is in 3 brief sections. In the second part, she says:

"Look around you at other people whose outside package you may not feel comfortable with or necessarily think 'Oh geez, can't get too close to that, there's a lot more going on in someone beside the outside package that you may see. Why don't we take time, the outside package is just the package, why don't you take time to unwrap it and get to know what is inside and that's the person's thoughts and feelings and personality, and you know what? That's a pretty cool person to know."

I so desperately want to like Amy. That of course is very true. However, personally, I can't escape the elephant in the room when you realize that Amy's son and their friends that she appears to be very fond of (ie. Jacob Mueller) use slurs and make jokes that demean those whose outside packages are different than theirs. I wish I could read a statement like that from Amy and not think about that, but I can't. Once you know that, and Amy's lack of response or the fact that her son and those friends that she has given her approval to, did not even apologize to those people with the different outside package who were hurt by those words and the mocking - it makes Amy's words empty.

Moving on, in the third section of the interview, she talks about Zach's personal struggles. I must say, I absolutely love Amy's honestly and how open she is talking about herself and her family. The show would not be the same if it wasn't for Amy's and Zach's honesty. Anyhow, in the third clip of the interview, Amy talks about how Zach sometimes feels frustrated with his friends, because at times, he feels like he is not listened to or respected as much as he would have been if he was of average size.

"He sometimes gets frustrated with Jeremy, who is average height and has that personality, all the friends come up and talk to him and all that, sometimes Zach feels his friends don't purposely ignore him, don't purposely not include him or like him. I think he sometimes feels that they just forget about him or just don't think. That kind of makes him feel bad or get frustrated."

I highlighted that part of the interview because that's one of the parts of this series that I enjoy. I think it's neat that in the little we see of their entire lives, if you pay close enough attention, you can pick up on certain things. Although, the show has been on for 3 complete years, 4 seasons, so I hope in that time we would be able to get a better understanding of the dynamics. As a long time viewer, you can observe and form your own opinions separate from whatever the particular storyline of an episode happens to be.

I think Zach is dead on with how he feels. I've always observed that "the friends" were more Jeremy's friends than Zach's. Even though it's not featured, watch the next time all the friends are over. Very often Jeremy leads the way. If Jeremy walks out of a room unannounced, the pack follows Jeremy. When they're shopping and Jeremy stops to look at something, all the friends stop with him. I recall one of the shopping scenes when Zach and Jeremy were shopping with 4 or 5 friends preparing for an overnight trip. Zach was attempting to say something to the friends, but not one of them were paying attention, they were all hovered around Jeremy. I understand Zach's frustration.

I will say, around the time of Zach's leg surgery in December 2006, one of their friends, Daniel, did (at least on the show) start to consider Zach more and actually seemed like he was truly Zach's friend instead of being a friend by default due to being the brother of Jeremy.

I think it's interesting to ponder how Zach's life would have been different if Jeremy wasn't his brother. In one way, I think having Jeremy as his brother automatically put him on the popular track that he wouldn't have encountered on his own. Being the brother of a person like Jeremy automatically puts Zach in the inner circle of the popular kids - and it always makes growing up easier for a kid when they have an in with the popular kids.

However, in other ways, I think it would have benefited Zach because the people he made friends with would have been his friends first and foremost. I actually think it will benefit Zach if he and Jeremy were to go to separate colleges and he got away from the life-long friends who weren't more enamored with Jeremy.

You can listen to the interview here:


Scooter said...

Some of what Amy says Zach feels is true, but I don't think Zach (or Amy) should attribute it all to discrimination against Zach for being a dwarf.

I think Jeremy is simply a more likable personality for his friends to be around.

Anonymous said...

i think if amy hadn't concentrated so much on zach's being a dwarf and catering to his "outer box" so much, zach would be much better off.
regardless of his height, he's still a person who is important in his own right.
she has babied him all along and convinced him that he is different on the outside. that has worked against zach and always will.