When this site first entertained the idea of having guest reviews, Rap541 generously submitted an example of the style. In the sample review, Rap tackled the episode from Season 2 "A Twin Experience", when Zach visited the Manuel twins and Mike Detjen took Jeremy and friends to a soccer game in Seattle.
So take a trip down memory lane with Rap541 as your guide :-)
All opinions expressed and statements made Rap541.
Hmmm the four foot tall speech to start. I’d forgotten how the show used to be about making a life on the 34 acre farm…. Three average height, one dwarf kid…. Twins who don’t look alike… Ah, the Roloffs.
The kids prance around the credits.
Ooooh clouds. And Zach whacking stuff with a stick, kicking a ball in a decidedly depressed manner. Jeremy joins him out doors. Jeremy wants to go to Scott‘s. Zach would rather feast on goldfish crackers.
This leads to a somewhat stilted off camera speech from Jeremy about how they just returned from the LPA conference and how Jeremy wants to include him but Zach is not interested. Considering how forced this speech is, I perhaps understand Zach’s antipathy. Somber sad music plays.
Matt at the counter. Matt and Amy voiceover how awful real life is after the LPA conference and how real life with the tall people kinda sucks socially. Zach is of course pouting as he realizes even Mom and Dad agree with how crappy things are. Mom and Dad Roloff decide the way to solve Zach’s problem is to send him off on a plane trip to Pasedena so he can play with other little people. Since god knows, being around us norms is a frigging nightmare.
Quick raise of hands. How many of us as teens, had parents who could afford to indulge our transitory sad moments by…. Flying us to different states for playdates? Come on people.
Insert some lengthy discussion about how the Manuel twins are twins. Because we can’t figure it out otherwise.
Amy and Matt lecture Zach on not to be a baby in the airport. Zach stares blankly. Then he is told to go bathe. I know I mock poor Zach, but really, at sixteen, I could usually tell when I needed a shower without Dad telling me. He looks visibly dirty and uncombed. We then get a voice over of how nervous he is about the flight as he picks through the pile of trash on the floor. Oh, I mean “packs his suitcase”. Amy yells at him to move. He wears that damn Army kepi.
Amy gets a hay bale moment. She goes on about how she worries about him in the airport and how people will look. Again, because we norms are monsters always.
Amy takes Zach to the gate and hay bales about traveling and seeing friends. She felt Zach *needed* to see his friends. Again, the subtext is because his life is awful.
Cut to Pasedena. Where we learn dwarf teens basically stand around like regular teens having the same sort of vapid talks the kids in the apartment downstairs have. “Wassup” etc. The Manuel twins go on about how they met Zach. It’s a bit dull since hey, we know they met through the LPA. The twins also discuss how cool sports are. Wow. This is amazingly deep talk. I mean… sports. Woo!
Now we get the episode lecture on dwarfs. The Manuel twins are dwarf twins etc etc etc. Back problems, leg problems, concerned parents talking about loving their kids. In fairness the Manuel parents seem like very nice people.
Scenes of the kids playing with Zach. The parents go on about how the Breakers make life worth living. Dad Manuel notes how the twins only really feel comfortable when they are with the Breakers. With other little people…. I never realized how much anti-height-ism this show had… Hmmm…
The boys play soccer. Zach hay bales about how he gets intense when he plays soccer and how he can compete for a change because of course, normal people are always scum who won’t let him play. Then the Manuel Twins go on about the same thing, how awful the norms are.
Humorously, the Manuel twins specifically cite Jeremy as being a complete clod who can not understand their pain despite having it explained many times how hard it is to be little. Ha.
Soccer… high fiving. Zach hay bales how having an average height brother sucks. . .
Meanwhile Jeremy in Portland prances with a ball to an audience of his friends. He hay bales about he loves soccer and how he is trying out for ODP.
His hair in the hay bale is significantly shorter than his ragged ‘fro he has while showing off his mad skillz. Jeremy? Shorter hair is better for you, it really is.
Mike D. has decided to take “Jeremy’s friends” to the soccer game in Seattle. Because people do casually take their business partner’s kids and friends on train trips to different states in middle class Americana. Jeremy stares vapidly out a window. One wonders if he is sleeping with his eyes open or if he is struggling to find something to say other than “I like soccer”.
Jeremy is excited to see Freddy Adu and David Beckham. There’s much excited running about. Sadly this seems to get a better crowd than my beloved Phoenix Coyotes. Jeremy says its really amazing several times. Faith Bible? He might need more vocabulary words. He’s not articulate. Also, just to note - his voice overs during this have his voice significantly deeper and its very clear that his hay bale session was some months after. Just in case anyone thinks we can’t tell.
Jeremy voice overs how he wants to get a soccer ball signed for Zach. Again, this sounds like he is reading it. Its very noticeable in this episode that his live chatter at the game is no where near as articulate, and his later words are monotone. I think he’s been coached what to say. He has the ball being signed by lots of players. He calls it a precious ball. He chats up Freddie Adu. Freddie seems nice, gives good tips. Jeremy totally fan girls over talking to Freddie.
Interesting note - there’s a great shot of Jeremy being the only one at the metal rail waiting for the players. I find myself wondering where Mike D and the pack of DBU Boys were while Jeremy was doing his film thing.
Back in Pasadena, Zach is taught how to suit up for a really expensive hobby, go kart racing, Make no mistake about it - the Manuels are well off because this is not a cheap sport at all. Manuel Dad makes a fun joke about how the boys don’t need leg room. Interestingly, they do seem to embrace wearing safety gear. Insert a lot of talk about how driving a go-cart is somehow a physical sport, interspaced with racing shots. The Manuel twins talk about how the norms always talk smack and how they kick norm butt.
More racing scenes. Meh, this is why I don’t watch NASCAR. Of course there’s a lengthy amount of praise how Zach just takes to driving a race kart like a maniac. Really, not to put too fine a point on it, but I have seen six year olds racing these things. I’d be shocked if Zach couldn’t figure it out.
Back in Portland….Oh, Jeremy is trying out for ODP. He’s rocking the ‘fro.
Amy and Matt show up for it. Jeremy misses shots and Amy looks worried. Amy hay bales how his eyes were opened. He looked beat. Didn’t make any shots.
Mike and Amy spend a lot of time bucking up Jeremy afterward. He voices over how he gave it his all. I believe that. But I also believe the kids who were rocking by him were chosen for the team because they played better, not because Jer was robbed. He wasn’t the best looking filly out there.
Oh geez. Jeremy hay bales how Zach just got back from Pasadena. Zach sits in the bedroom, and Jeremy walks in with a MUCH SHORTER haircut, holding the ball. The two boys pretend that this is live. It’s like watching the monotone reading of lines in a high school drama class.
Zach: (deadpan) “Its sweet”
Jeremy: (slightly less dead pan) “Do you know how sweet it is?”
Jeremy does show some life when he describes his fan girl moment with Freddie. Otherwise they both seem totally bored in this touching moment.
Zach hay bales a description of the scene they just recreated. The boys then put the autographed ball on one of the piles of crap in their bedroom.
Next week! Jeremy! With the longer ‘froed out hair magically regrown! Catching bees with Mueller! Will they catch bees? Find out next Monday!