Monday, December 14, 2009

Guest Episode Roloff Review by Rap541: Little People, Big World Dec 14, 2009

Our next guest episode reviewer is Rap541. All opinions and statements made belong solely to the person making them (Rap541).


Written by Rap541

8pm episode: "Little Americans"

Matt is packing and Amy is reminding him of what to pack. Matt talks about heading off to the Middle East. They show a whole “shots fired” in the plane sequence that I really don’t recall from the previous episodes but who knows? How exciting and dangerous!

Matt voices over about the Iraqi family and how the kids need more surgeries. Basically this is a lot of voiceovers and a huge information dump. Ali has problems because the Iraq doctors took the pins out too soon. There’s lots of the boy crying. I mean its obvious the poor kid in in pain. I feel for him. Russell Hayes, the soldier from the first episode is basically letting this family move into their home in Idaho. Yay! That’s pretty awesome and Amy hay bales how she wasn’t keen on Matt going to the Middle East again but Matt wants to do it, needs to, etc. Matt flies off.

To Kuwait and the kids aren’t in Kuwait. This seems like a typical mess up but this is all on commercial airlines this time. Matt notes he has no vest, no helmet, no idea where they are… I dunno, I kinda suspect they had SOME idea where the family was. The guy at the airport wasn’t “They’re MISSING” but was more “they aren’t here yet”. It seems like some of the chaos and unknown status might be a little exaggerated. As in, I bet they know where the family is, but there was a mess up in the travel, not a family missing and no one with no idea. I mean, they overplayed this a bit.

Its night, in Baghdad. So scary, except that this is a commercial flight and there doesn’t appear to be any gunfire. Matt is greeted at the airport by the entire Solimen family, who seem to be waiting there and ready to go. Without a desperate search all across war torn Bagdad! I am SHOCKED at how easily this resolves! They seem to get on the plane just like that and they are off to Idaho! Its very sweet and there is hugging especially from the dad Abdul and its very touching how exciting and happy the family is. Good for them! Iraq may have been the birthplace of civilization but it’s a pest hole now.

Back at the Roloff McMansion. Amy is prepping a spare bedroom. She goes on about how she has no idea what they want. Really Amy, you could make them sleep in Western Town and they would probably be delighted.

There’s a storm! Ohnoes! Maybe the plane will crash! But no, of course not, its just a stopover in Washington DC. The kids are very cute, especially how they can say Obama. I also like how Matt refers to Lincoln as “one of the good presidents”. There’s a hay bale about how awesome America is. Then the kids are singing America the Beautiful. Its adorable. Ironically even the slummy areas of the greater DC area would look like paradise. Compared to Bagdad.

Russell Hayes is there to pick them up and haul them to the farm. Amy hugs the little kids. She thinks they didn’t seem timid. Apparently the twins were away on a school trip and Molly and Jake are in bed. Its quite the contrast. Especially since I suspect that room they are in is as big as their entire house in Iraq. I’m kind of surprised at how none of the Roloff kids were visible in this episode. You’re having an Iraqi family that your dad has a heavy connection to come and visit and you’re on a school trip? You can’t stay up to welcome them into the home? I mean its not like dozing off on the couch isn’t standard practice in that home when you’re tired. Kinda weird. Hope we get some explanation.

So its day and Matt tries to tell Ali to come look at the farm. Ali notes “dog?” and Matt assures him the dog is away. The kids don’t really get the concept of an Old West play town. Matt makes shooting noises. Yeah um…. Maybe not such a great choice for the kids from the war torn place there, Matt. The old west down looks as nice as their old house.

The Iraqi mom cooks food. She seems to speak English very well. She and Amy talk about the kids and how tall they are and Iraqi mom seems pleased for Amy. Amy hay bales how hard it must be for Iraqi Mom especially since things suck hard in Iraq even for the average height. Everyone eats in a circle on the floor. They seem to pray in Arabic and I think they are Moslem. My Arabic isn’t that good, any more. Amy hay bales how great the commonalities are and how the Iraqi family just wants good things for their family. A nice point but still, who doesn’t want their family to have decent medical care and not to be shot at or suicide bombed?

A soldier who was close to the family calls. Ali is very touching on the phone and the family is a little teary eyed. There is hugs and crying and lots of I love yous. Its all so adorable.

Now the kids are leaving and Ali is adorable and they are off to Idaho. In a van. Kind of a long trip but also fun I am sure. Matt hay bales again about how awesome America is and how blessed the Iraqi kids are.

Yeah, as I finish this up, we’re onto the next episode and the Roloff’s *garage* is nicer than the Iraqi family’s house.


Peter said...

Haha, I had the same comment about Matt's "Doh!" Homer Simpson moment.

"Matt makes shooting noises. Yeah um…. Maybe not such a great choice for the kids from the war torn place there, Matt."

Greg said...

Nice review Rap. As usual. The "missing family" in Iraq was ridiculous. If I remember right Matt said they'll need to search all over Iraq for them. Then what do you know? They're waiting there as Matt's plane ends.

Point on about the Roloff kids. What is a more educational experience and perhaps life changing or at least an eye opening experience than having these spoiled priviledged Roloff kids meet this adorable family from Iraq?

A great opportunity missed. I'm with NJC. I don't believe ANY of the excuses. My guess is the kids thought it would be too awkward and didn't want to be there.

Anonymous said...

How did Matt arrange to get them into the country? Was this all coordinated through his charity? Also, I didn't get Amy's comment about Matt's passport, "Make sure you have the right one." So, Matt has more than one passport? When I heard that I originally thought he was on some sort of humanitarian gov't sanctioned mission and had been granted a special passport. But the episode did not make mention of any dignitary credentials.

Dana said...

I shouldn't be at this point, but I was disappointed in Jacob and Molly. Their father put his life on the line for this mission. He went all the way to Iraq. Three times. This was a once in a lifetime event to meet this family as they arrive at an American home. As far as I'm concerned, there is no excuse for Jacob and Molly. She should know better. I have been disappointed in Molly this season. First there was her slap in the face to Jeremy when she said she is glad to have Zach for an older brother. Next was her rejecting Matt and siding with a sulking Matt. Third, she didn't even realize the importance in being there to welcome this family to their home.

Sadly, I expect nothing more from Jacob. He is always a disappointment. He has no manners and never does the right thing. Maybe Matt didn't trust Jacob not to be rude to the Iraq kids? If so, I'll have to trust Matt's judgement. Sleeping is not an excuse. Jacob can sleep any old time. Matt should have called Amy when they were on their way from the airport. She could have woke up Jacob and Molly. That way they would have been there to greet the family as they should have.

For once I actually agree with you, Rap. Jacob in particular has a habit of passing out on the couch. It's not unsual. Amy should have woke him up for this event. She has not been making good decisions involving the kids in the last year.

Rap541 said...

Dana, my only comment to you is that Jacob followed the example of his older brothers. Seems like welcoming dad home from Iraq and greeting and being with the guests that dad had worked so hard to bring into the country would have been more gratifying and respectful and yes, fun, than a "school trip" but the adult twins didn't want to make the sacrifice....

Rap541 said...

Greg - Yeah, the "missing" family was a bit overblown considering the search all over Iraq was um... clearly not actually what was happening.

I found the excuses for all the Roloff kids to magically be away a bit off. Before I assume it was completely intentional, I do want to see if any lost scenes are included.

I do think, if Matt was taking a red eye flight out o Portland and if Molly and Jake needed to be at school the next day... I can see not keeping them up until three in the morning to greet guests. Amy looked punchy, like it was late for her. It's just kind of odd that none of the kids were there (Not ready, unlike some people, to assign blame to any of the kids yet - I also get the impression this stop over was purely a film moment and the Salman family was not there for all that much time)

Anon - I wondered if Matt simply had an expired passport somewhere.

NJC said...

Seriously? Blaming Molly & Jacob for not meeting the Iraqi family? I don't know about you but when I was a kid if we had guests, my parents made sure we met them. And that's both parents, not just the one you might want to portray as the crappy one. As we've seen in previous posts here, the kids are used to meeting and entertaining strangers. It doesn't seem credible that they would choose this instance to start hiding.

The whole thing seems pretty fishy. If TLC is portraying the situation accurately and the kids never met them, something has to be up. I know their house is large, but how would it even be possible to have a family living in your house and not bump into them once or twice? They had to get up for school, they had to come home and eat. Something must have been going on behind the scenes. It's just too big of a coincidence that none of the four kids were available to meet their guests.

Mike404 said...

Oh, please. You don't know anything about the situation. But that never stops you.

But let me offer this: Maybe Molly and Jake found themselves gagging at the strutting, grandstanding and manipulation of this whole repulsive episode (and the earlier ones), and refused to participate.

In the unlikely event that that is true, I'd give them a heck of a lot of credit.

Charity should be done quietly and with dignity. Parading this needy and unsophisticated family across American television, for the sake of ratings and "what-a-good-guy-I-am" posturing appalls beyond words.

No reason exists to use this family in this way; whatever was accomplished could have been done as well off-camera, without the smarm and insistent manipulation.

I finally shut it off as the Iraqis were circled on the living room floor, tears coursing down their cheeks--and the camera zooming in for close-ups of it all. What a disgusting thing to do to those people.

Kit said...

How did Matt arrange to get them into the country?

He didn't. Russell Hayes did. Through Russell's efforts, they were granted special refugee status, and I assume Russell's family and other LDS church members helped sponsor them into the US.

Dana said...

"is that Jacob followed the example of his older brothers."

Stop blaming Jeremy for everything that Jacob does wrong.

Zach and Jeremy were away on a trip. They were not even home. As Expressed said, it could have been their senior trip. The article said they came in June. I assume Jeremy's senior trip was in June, graduation month. Don't tell me you're going to fault Jeremy (and Zach) for going on their senior graduation trip?

Jacob and Molly were in a completely different circumstance. They did not greet this family because they were too lazy to get out of bed. That is not an excuse.

NJC, what are you suggesting?

Mike404, stop hating. It was emotional. They were not exploiting the Salmon family. They were allowing people to have empathy for them by educating Americans. How many people thought that all Iraqis hated Americans?

Tay said...

Rap you always make excuses for Jake. You've been doing the entire season in your reviews!
I agree with Dana. Molly has been getting worse too.

NJC said...

I'm suggesting that there is no way that Molly and Jacob could have avoided a family living in their house for two days unless there was something more to the story. I'm suggesting that no matter how "rude" they were they just couldn't have pulled it off by themselves. Given that, I'm suggesting that it's ridiculous to make judgements about their charactor based on this incident. Whatever the reason, adults had to have made the decision to keep them away not the kids.

Rap541 said...

Tay - when you make an accusation you have to back it. I am pretty clearly disappointed in all four Roloff kids for skipping out. Where am I giving Jake an excuse? When I wonder if the flight was a red eye? Because really if the flight wasn't a red eye then Jake *and Molly, who you ignored that I also had a probelm with since you apparently don't dislike Molly enough to play the 'slam for everything' game* are still on the hook. So put up or shut up.

Where was I making an excuse for Jake? Or are you just trying to deflect how all four - including precious Jeremy James the most respectful boy man who always stands right at Matt's shoulder- except when he doesn't - weren't there?

Tay said...

Rap I don't need to go over every review you've done. You do it all the time. You always gloss over Jake acting badly. If it was Jeremy, you'd go on and on. It's not fair.

You shouldn't be blaming Jeremy for this. What don't you understand? Read Dana's post. Jeremy was away on a school trip. Jake was in bed.

Molly was as bad as Jake here. I agree. I said she's getting bad too. It's not just about this. You have a history with Jake. You always ignorer the bad stuff Jake does or you blame someone else for it but you go ape crazy if it's Jeremy. Jake is way worse than Jeremy. Jake is never doing the right thing.

Tay said...

NJC, with the way Matt and Amy are if Jake and Molly said they didn't want to meet them they probably let them. They shouldn't let them but Jake and Molly are still to blame.

Mike404 said...

Hating? Really?

Typical exaggeration, and typically nowhere near the facts.

But whatever . . . .

I'll stick with what I said. Charity should be done quietly and with dignity.

Everything in this episode could have been accomplished off-camera. To parade this desperate and unsophisticated family across American TV for the sake of another treacly, grandstanding episode is beyond appalling.

(And I say "another" because I include the adoption episodes, the Katrina/Habitat episodes and the orphanage visits.)

The last thing these people need is to play an unaware role in Matt Roloff's ego burnishing. Just get them help, and do it with respect and dignity, not with an eye to the camera.

Tashapork said...

Tay, you may be right because the Roloffs are pretty indulgent with their kids, but I really think that if Matt or especially Amy wanted them there, they would have darn well been there and they probably would have centered an episode around them not wanting to bee there, but their parents know whats good for them and so on. There was a lot of talk about Jeremy not wanting to be in California for Zach's surgery, but he was sure there. There was an entire episode about Molly wanting to be with her volleyball friends and not helping at Pumpkin season and Amy had to go find her, but sure enough, she was at pumpkin season, there were episodes about the boys wanting to skip soccer practice and Amy saw to it that they were there for their team. The only reason that Zach and Molly weren't in the Virgin Islands is that it was a marital conflict between Matt and Amy and I really think they wanted to teach them the consequences of their choices.

Rap541 said...

Tay, Dana - go check out Faith Bible's website. There's a calender of student events. There was no senior graduation trip in June. SO poor long suffering Jeremy and Zach didn't have to choose between spending more time with their buddies since kindergarter vs a once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with the people their father helped assist thru his charity foundation. Make more memories over a bonfire with the pals we're going to play with next week? Or meet the Iraqi family who are experiencing their first moments in America? If Jeremy and Zach made this choice, it doesn't say a whole lot about their priorities, does it?

Tay - Believe it or not, I think Molly and Jake - if they weren't arranged by the parents to be away - should have been there. Unforteately we do reach the point where you have to make a call on something. Is Jake at 12 completey responsible for all of his decisons as an adult? He made the choice to sleep and his mom and dad can't discipline him because he can simply leave the house if he doesn't like it?

Or are you giving Matt and Amy a free pass concerning discipline? NJC has an excellent point. If Matt and Amy as parents wanted their children *there* and participating, they darn well would have seen to it. Heck if it was so important - why not ask the school for Jake and Molly to stay home for the day for a really unique learning experience? And Jeremy and Zach for that matter? How many opportunities does the average family have to welcome war refugees to America? I honestly find it shocking that Matt and Amy had NONE of their children there. But - and you may not like having to acknowledge this- Amy is still physically capable of forcing Jake and Molly out of bed. Matt and Amy, if they *tried* are capable of disciplining their children (all of them).

I could take a cheap shot on Jeremy and point out how someone who doesn't like school sure seems to find reasons to go on school trips when the alternative is activies he finds boring... but I won't. I do think he missed out on a really heartwarming activity where he and Zach could have learned something other than how easy life is for upper class rich boys.

Brokenwing said...

Rap, you are wrong. They did go on a Senior Grad trip in June. That calendar is for the 09/10 school year. Also not every thing is listed on the website.

Tay, there is no use in hoping Rap will be fair. I've seen Rap's posts for a long time and she doesn't care about what is fair. Rap has made it her duty to bash Jeremy for everything. My take on it is like this. The worst part is Rap doesn't even defend the other Roloffs because she likes them. It is classic make someone look good to make the one you have a grudge with look bad.

Rap said she didn't like Zach until she found that defending Zach gave her reason to bash Jeremy more. I think she knows Jake's behavior is far worse than Jeremy's, but she wants the focus to be on Jeremy, so she excuses Jake. Or she deflects everything he does by blaming Jeremy for being a poor example or blaming Matt for having the television show.

You'll be waiting a long time if you're waiting for Rap to be objective about Jake vs Jeremy.

It was very strange that they said Molly and Jake were sleeping, but they never appeared.

Rap541 said...

Actually Brokenwing - you'll note I included Zach in my irritation - but of course no one runs to defend Zach... Just Jeremy. I'm always been pretty blunt about Zach... but you don't think he's hot so you don't care.

I've been very clear in finding fault with all four Roloff children in this. Jeremy's actions are justified by a mysterious senior graduation trip that may or may not have happened... You could be right broke, but really, seems like something that required would have made the scedule the way senor evening did. :)

Jeremy didn't show up to see the Iraqi family versus Jake not showing up. What's different? One is twelve and could *easily* have been forced by the parents if it mattered to them. One (two actually but no one, including Brokenwing, cares that I am chiding Zach) is eighteen and can legally make his own choices.

Of course its the 12 year old who is the responsible adult making a bad choice and of course its the 18 year old who really couldn't be expected to give anything up for the sake of te family.

Of course we'll just ignore the missing 16 year old and the less popular 18year old who would be getting slapped with Jake and Molly if he hadn't been with Jer. :)

And we'll also ignore how weirdly convinent it was that all of the kids were out of the houe, and we'l ignore NJC's comment on it, even tho he makes valid points.

Tashapork said...

Mike404, I understand your concern about filming certain things as being exploitive of people in unfortunate circumstances, but from an economic standpoint TLC's involvement is a means to an end and an important end. Everything comes at a cost and individuals have to detemine if that cost is worth it to them. Seeing Matt going to Iraq really made me understand that situation far better than the news or documentaries have. Also to cut the Roloffs some slack, and I am sure all parents would agree with me, that parenting is the hardest job ever and you make a lot of mistakes. Parenthood is a constant, I wish I would have pushed more on that, or been more understanding about this, or caught that teachable moment. There could be other opportunities for the kids to meet this family.

Kit said...

Whatever. I think you're all getting a little hysterically overwrought about very little. To what end? Should we all march en masse to the gates of Roloff Farms and demand to know why none of the children met the family? It could very well be that Molly and Jake *did* meet them at some point, but TLC deemed it not camera-worthy. Maybe they both had H1N1 flu. Maybe they were hiding in the piles of clothes in the hallway and no one noticed them. Maybe they decided it would be un-American to talk to Muslims. Maybe they were having bad hair days.

WHO. CARES. ??? Not me. The rest of you can enjoy your throat-ripping, chest-beating, insult-flinging battles, but it's a snooze-fest. Well, I take that back. It's kinda amusing, like watching cats when they go crazy for no apparent reason and start running full-tilt through the house and hissing and slapping at each other.

Carol said...

Kit, I understand your point on the arguing that occurs, but I do think wondering why the kids weren't there is a fairly reasonable reaction to viewing this episode. Particularly given the questionable excuse about the kids being in bed, yet not being seen by the Salmon family the next day either.

The Roloff kids would have benefited by meeting this family.

Rap541 said...

Kit, honestly, I think it went something like this.

Molly and Jake had school, and when they aren't allowed to have a ton of friends over, go to bed at a reasonable hour. The Salman family arrived pretty late - late enough that everyone pretty immediately bedded down. Molly and Jake have school fairly early....left before the Iraqi family was up. And the Iraqi family did *not* stay more than a day, and may have left within hours of waking up. Time for some photo ops on the farm and then off to Idaho.

Jeremy and Zach? Probably prefered to hang with their friend versus hanging around some very young non english speakers. I can make a really good arguement about the whole mentality of "the two young boys need to make memores over every second of senior year" is a bit of a farce unless they really do plan to peak in high school, but instead I will just say this. I hope they don't regret choosing spending time with their friends over spending time with the family their parents were assisting.

Expressed said...

All I can say is what I know it would have been like in my house. If my dad went to Iraq to visit this family and helped bring them to our country, I would not have missed their entire visit because I was in bed or left early for school. I think you have to be naive to believe that's what really happened.

On the other hand, I can believe that Jeremy and Zach were actually on their senior graduation trip. I don't think that's anything to laugh off. You know how close Jeremy is with his friends from school. It was their last school trip together. Jeremy got a little nostolgic over the last school dance and that was in January, lol. I don't blame him for not missing senior trip. Jake AND Molly don't have that excuse.

Rap541 said...

Expressed - I ask this because I really would like to know.

What evidence do you have that this Jeremy and Zach were on a senior graduation trip during this time?

My evidence against it is this - Faith Bible makes no mention of such a school sanctioned activity on their website at all. And why wouldn't Amy have called it "their senior graduation trip" instead of a school trip? The first certainly sounds less "we made it up".

To me this is sort of like Jeremy's modeling career.... No one has any sort of proof it occured but "Jeremy, bless him, gave up a promising career as a model to do the show" gets trotted around as fact.

David said...

I thought this episode put an "!" on how disgusting Jacob's $2800 cell phone bill was a few episodes earlier.

Lorraine Swanson said...

The story of the Salman family really moved me and I was tearing up at the end of Monday's show. The Roloff kids aside, it was nice to get a glimpse of the old Matt and Amy. I find this season's episodes so gut-wrenching watching this rough patch in their marriage. Both Matt and Amy are really good people with good hearts. It's good to see Matt lend his celebrity to help this family. I think Matt and Amy make a great team and I hope they are able to work out whatever issues they are facing in their marriage right now. I don't want to see another Jon and Kate. Matt and Amy are a power couple and that came out in this week's ep about the Iraqi family.

So what if Jeremy and Zach were on a school trip during the family's visit. Matt's trip to Bhagdad to bring the family to the U.S. impressed me as something that suddenly came up. There were no windows for planning. Everyone had to act in the moment.

My question is whether Matt and Amy kept the kids' bedroom doors closed so the Iraqis wouldn't have to see the pig stys that the kids live in (I don't recall ever seeing Molly's bedroom, but she impresses me as a kid who keeps a tidy room). The Roloffs' house looked amazingly clean. Maybe Molly and Jacob were sent to stay with friends during the family's visit so that Amy wouldn't have to clean as much.

BTW, I think the Roloffs can afford to have someone come in to clean once or twice a week. Maybe Sven does it?