Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Good, Bad and Ugly Of The Roloff Family On LPBW - Guest Column: Rap's Roundtable

In Rap541's second guest column, Rap tackles the claims made by Matt and Amy Roloff over the years that they showed the "Good, bad and ugly" of their lives on Little People, Big World or that the show was "Real and raw". Matt and Amy have often said they showed their exposed their lives on the show "warts and all".

Rap muses about that topic and opens it up for discussion. Feel free to contribute your opinion on the subject in the comments. If you're visiting our site for the first time, you might even not be aware of some of these issues.


Written By Rap541

The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly" - and The Things That Happened That Never Made It On The Show

I always chuckle whenever Matt or Amy Roloff go on about how open and honest they are, wanting the world to see their family, just as it is, warts and all, because it is so obviously not true. The Roloffs are all about maintaining an image... an image that doesn't allow for actual warts, or even actual events or opinions different than "WE ARE THE ROLOFFS AND WE ARE HAPPY". I'm not going to hit on *everything* that was avoided, nor will all of these things be some sort of awful indictment. It's just a montage of things that actually occurred that were either never mentioned, or mentioned in such a way as to make it amusing when the actual truth came out. So lets take a look.

1. The Death of Adam Garland. Now before anyone gets all "OMIGOD LEAVE THE KID ALONE!!" - please keep in mind I am not suggesting that the all the potentially sordid details of what may or may not have caused Adam's death be brought up. It obviously was a tragedy to the Garland family and my heart goes out to the Garland family for their loss. My point here is that the show always presented the twins as being very close with their crowd. Adam was actually on the show in the early seasons, the apple war episode, and Adam clearly was in their circle and hung out with them and *Adam died* and he died during a time when filming was occurring.

We didn't see any grieving, any reference at all that a good friend of the boys had died. Death is a part of life and this probably was considered too personal or too sad. It is in some ways a little thing, but it goes to the idea that real life and actual events were sanitized. I don't know about anyone else, but I went to a small school, as small as Faith Bible, and when a class mate died, it was a huge deal even if they weren't in my circle... and Adam *was* in the twins circle.

2. The National Enquirer incident and Jeremy's nasty mouth on Myspace. I'll be honest, this is one of those incidents where I was genuinely disappointed all around in how the Roloffs chose to handle it (especially now that Matt and Amy have proven that trotting out Jake's failures for attention is clearly on the menu) because frankly, by NOT responding to it on the show, Matt and Amy allowed it to turn into a much larger issue than perhaps it needed to be. It happened during filming, and there wasn't a *word* of this breathed on the show. I think it was the moment where I genuinely lost faith in the idea that the Roloffs were going to be better parents than say, the Gosselins. They had the opportunity to really say something about how words hurt...but it was more important to circle around Jeremy and make sure the family was covered. That's what I walked away from this with.... the unpleasant suspicion, later born out in so many ways, that what was really important to the Roloffs was keeping the image intact

Not the message of inclusion. Bless us no, when the teachable moment is pointing out how wrong other people are, there are the Roloffs, when it is their kid, then it needs to be kept hidden. When it is your kid pointing and laughing at the midgets? That's open season for a timely Roloff lecture on not judging people. When its their son? That's a little too much ugly and bless us, our privacy is so important!

Made all the more laughable, again, by how the non favored Roloff children have their language punishments being sold on DVD.

3. The stalker/the burglar. The stalker talk started pretty early. Matt in particular way back liked to let slip their concerns about being stalked, about some woman getting a hotel room locally to be near them, needing the new gate, how the family would just toss you out if you trespassed but would honor patient fans who respected their privacy etc etc etc. The way Matt makes it sound now, there are *multiple* psychotics being hunted by the FBI. Apparently the house was robbed (There is a reference on line to burglars actually getting into the house). What, are the crimes being committed a little too real?

4. The sign shooting that actually made the news. Again, a situation where the show was actually filming at that time and yet an incident that clearly was newsworthy didn't make the show? We saw the blood splashed on the trebuchet, complete with Matt commenting on the blood. It just seemed like an odd omission, all things considered.

5. The marital problems. Again, yes the marital problems were displayed but never discussed beyond "we're going thru some changes". An interesting thing I noticed is that for all the bits of discord, with rare exception, we never saw Amy and Matt get real and raw in an actual argument. We'd get snippets and then there would be a cut and then we'd get the later, separate haybales where Amy cried but never actually said anything and where Matt passive aggressively blames Amy for not endorsing his every whim. You know, I can't recall ever seeing them sit together in the hay bale. They certainly never answered questions on the marriage while together. To my point though, if you are going to show the start of the fight (thinking of the BVI trip fight) and then grimly sorta discuss the aftermath - and you're claiming the show is real and raw and blah blah blah, why the hesitance? I mean, Amy did everything but out right say Matt had been drinking and verbally abusive to Zach. Now sure, a lot of people are going to start whining about privacy etc. Here's what I have to say to that.

I'm not the one calling the show real and raw. I am not the one saying that the show is real and that it shows the good the bad and the ugly. The reality, folks, is that while Matt snotting off in a confessional on a weekly basis how he didn't have faith in a family member to achieve a weekly goal wasn't too private of a moment for a father and husband to share with the public, any time the situation even hints of being critical of Matt and to a lesser extent Amy, the situation is too private. And there are a lot of fight situations that started on camera and stopped cold. Remember the riverboat fight?

6. The DBU (Jeremy and friends name for their little gang) being into body building and taking muscle supplements. You'll notice I don't say "illegal muscle supplements" because I don't know that they use illegals... Here's my point. It is an innocent enough hobby if you aren't using the illegal stuff. Nothing wrong with it. Why didn't we ever see it?

7. Speaking of hobbies, why wasn't Jeremy and buddy Mueller ever shown hunting or talking about hunting? It sure seems like that's something that happens quite a lot and yet no mention of it.

I am sure, utterly sure, that I am missing things because there were so many things that were real but apparently not real enough. What did I miss?


Brandon said...

Rap, good list, but I think you missed the NUMBER ONE THING and cover up (although Jeremy's slurs are arguably tops).

Jeremy and Jesus.

I'm serious. Sure, myself and I think most people that know what he does scoffs at how he THINKS he is living for Jesus, but it's crystal clear that if a person hung around with Jeremy that him talking about how he loves Jesus is a huge part of his life. What will the weather be like on Thursday, Jeremy? Praise Jesus! Bible this, Bible that. I love Jesus. Bible quote. Church on the weekend. Get drunk and praise Jesus! Tell people he's inspired by John Mark's sermons about the Bible.

My point is Jeremy is obviously vocal about Jesus to people around him, trying to get them to listen to John Mark Comer with him and stuff.

If a real and raw reality show centered around Jeremy for 6 years, shouldn't that aspect of Jeremy come through? But it doesn't. Has Jeremy even once said "I love Jesus" on the show? The Solid Rock church is obviously a big part of Jeremy's life. Why hasn't the show ever shown Jeremy even talking about the church? Or the beliefs that he loves there, like the "cure the gays of their disease" or 'A woman's purpose in life is to serve her man'?

Is it too real and raw for the Roloffs and TLC? They don't want Jeremy to be seen as a Bible thumper?

Jeremy's friends say he's living for God. How come a tv only viewer wouldn't know anything about this side of Jeremy?

But if a person spent a day with Jeremy, you would hear a lot about he loves Jesus, right?
Then why hasn't a real and raw reality show about his life ever even hinted that he's about God as much as he apparently says he is?

*Clarification. Jeremy THINKS he's living for God but obviously isn't by his 'activities' or by the way he treats people. Usually 'living for God' involves some selflessness.. I don't want to disrespect the Christians that actually do live as they believe, but Jeremy's actions and his words are obviously two different things.

Jocelynn said...

Hi Rap, I agree with you about the National Enquirer. That was a big sign that the show was not documenting their lives. Their kid makes the tabloids and not a word about the issue at all. That's not showing the ugly or warts and all so Matt and Amy shouldn't say they did.

I have wondered if that's why Amy loves this Producer Chris that Spirits has alluded to at times. Was his job to protect the Roloffs by keeping the "warts" off the show.

I can forgive them about Adam's death because I think that becomes more of an issue with the Garland family than the Roloffs. Maybe the Garlands didn't want that kind of attention.

Christine said...

@Rap the real answers to those things is because TLC knows that the half the audience wouldn't like the Roloffs if they knew the truth about the Roloffs.

You can tell from the questions and comments from fans that a lot of the fan base are animal lovers. I would honestly bet that 60% of the fan base would be DISGUSTED if they knew the truth about what Jeremy and Mueller do to animals. The cat throwing, bird mutilation, the celebrating with dead carcasses. There is no doubt in my mind that more than half of the audience would be disgusted by what Jeremy does with his friends.

Timothy said...

The things I would put at the top of the list are Jeremy's language scandal and like Brandon said, all the Roloffs, but particularly Jeremy's devotion to an un-diverse church.

Why didn't they ever portray Jeremy that way on the show?

Kayla said...

The Roloffs weren't real at all. Matt and Amy are liars that say thing because they want the credit for the things they aren't.

I think you missed things people are getting, Rap. Just how conservative right wing religious they are, how they don't care a flying fig about differences except for their own and their treatment of animals, like the cats being thrown around by the jerks (Jeremy and Mueller)

David said...

Interesting subject Rap. The Roloffs were not "real and raw" on the show. That's the answer.

You're right about what you said when discussing the Myspace incidents with Jeremy's nasty language. The show isn't real about their lives. It's about protecting a fake image by portraying the Roloffs as something they are not. This way, Amy can still get those "social justice" speaking gigs, put on (in part) by the Gay and Lesbian alliance committee at some University in Texas and Amy can laugh all the way to the bank.

Chris Linton said...

Jer bear's drinking and puffing...

Nancy said...

The lawsuits are never mentioned. I think it's because they know that most people have disdain for people in society that sue everybody.

Vic Rattlehead said...

Just throwing out a question in general to everyone.

Why is it that people who shout the loudest about how christian they are (especially extremist fundies like the Roloffs) are always the most ungodly hateful selfish and arrogant people always railing against "immorality" "sin" and proudly condemning anyone who isn't "saved" like them?

Could it be that their minds are so corrupted by the venomous "faith" they follow that they don't realize how ugly they actually are inside?


Is it because they use their "faith" as a way to hide from taking responsibility for the things they say and do because it's convenient for them to claim to be "standing up for christian morals and Ideals"?

Personally I think it's because they use their "faith" as a band aid to try and cover up and revel in their own inadequacies weaknesses and ignorance so they can sit proudly in their ivory towers looking down on everyone else who is an individual capable of intelligent thought and genuine self expression.

Sandie said...

Matt's health "scares". How each daring thing he did (skiing, etc) might be the last time, or maybe, just maybe, it's endangering his life, but hey, he's not going to let that stop him! His "fainting" spell.

Rap541 said...

Brandon - I wanted to leave a few things for people to catch ;)

I could almost do a separate roundtable on the religious issue. Let me just say that I find the idea that TLC told the Roloffs that they had to hide how conservatively religious they are to be laughable. More on that soon.

The big one *I* forgot about was Jeremy's dramatic and painful, needing surgery "foot injury" that apparently was an issue for years....

Jocelynn - I actually fine the National Enquierer silence even more offensive now since Matt and Amy can no longer argue that that they were trying to keep Jeremy's personal failures private as he was a kid. These would be the same two people who brayed to the world *after their show was months off the air* that their fourteen year old son got expelled. I repeat something I've said before, Matt and Amy must not think much of Jeremy's ability to cope since he's cossetted and protected like a weak over emotional hot house flower that will wilt under criticism. Apparently Jake is much stronger as a person.

My issue with Adam's death is mostly that its a very real event and it didn't rate a mention that a close friend had passed on. I don't think it needed to be excessive... but it was a rather real event missed.

Nancy - I am no lawyer but most of the time you're warned not to discuss lawsuts so I can understand that one.

Diane said...

The nastiness of Jeremy, Zach and Mueller and their friends. From slurs to animal abuse to insults and mocking of fans. They are nasty people.

Podge/Rodge groupie said...

Rap, I've a couple, but I'm not sure they fit into this discussion. Oh well.

The absence (or non-existence) of Jacob's friends on camera. With the exception the the brief appearance of his 16 year old female "special friend" when Jake was 12 (???) the only one we saw at all was Levi Pinyerd. Hmmm. Does Jake not have any friends? Did his friends' parents not want to sign the release forms? Do Jake's friends not want to appear on camera? Do Jake's acquaintances simply think he's a spoiled little rich brat that is empty of soul and not worth hanging with anyway?

The disappearance of Ron and Peggy Roloff (Pop and Honey) from regular filming. Hmmm. I've mentioned before Pop's disgust at his son's micro-managing him and everybody else that helps Matt, and Honey's dismissal by Becky during pumpkin season. Only a cameo non-speaking appearance for Molly's 16th B-day. Remember bloggers, the first mention of Pop logging the trucks in and out of the dirt project was on Pop and Honey's FB page. Who's fed up? Matt, or them? They dearly love and totally spoil their grandchildren, which is their right, I believe. So why the write-out of these most important people to Matt and Amy's life?

And a freebie. Why are we not allowed to hear from Camerino or the rest of the farm staff? With the way Matt instructed Jeremy how to screw his friends over pay while helping him, there can't be much of a loss for Camerino to consider over speaking his mind about his boss.

Ashley said...

Podge, Jacob's "Special friend" (Taylor) was his age, not 16 :)

I think Jacob has friends, but they aren't featured the same way as Jeremy's friends.

Although I think one of the problems with Jacob that could have led to his expulsion is that he spends too much time hanging out with Jeremy, Zach, Mueller and their friends.

If a kid is always allowed to hang around people 6 and 7 years older than he is, is it a surprise when the kid starts to act like it with attitude?

Bob said...

Everything you said is true.

You left out Jake stuff though. Lots of covering up for him since he seems to be the "troubled child". I guess growing up with TV cameras in your face 24/7 (even in your bedroom) can do that to you.

Anyway, when Matt and Amy said with straight faces "We were having issues with the school so we chose to withdraw Jacob from that school"


Unbelievable the lies this family tells and still call themselves "Christians".

Darlene said...

I totally agree Bob. Anybody with a lick of common sense can figure out that there's a ton of covering up for Jacob.

When Matt and Amy let their guard down, like when Amy gets talking in a coffee chat when she's not being asked a hostile question, you can tell there is a lot going on with Jacob that people aren't aware of. It's totally unlike Matt and Amy and their "we have the greatest kids ever" to make their kid sound like he has troubles and they subconsciously do that sometimes.

Mike P said...

About Jacob: There were at least a couple early episodes that included a flock of Jake's friends at the farm for a sleepover, if I'm not mistaken. I remember them on a long waterslide and in the western town. And friends other than Levi have appeared incidentally; Jake's 12th birthday and shots at the pool are examples.

Jake's own disgust with the show may have been enough to dissuade his friends from much participation.

About bedrooms: I'd guess that the family could opt out of cameras in their bedrooms. Only Jeremy and Zach were routinely filmed in theirs, ad nauseum. I believe the Roloff couple were never shown in theirs, nor was Molly. Jake's bedroom itself was shown when it was being painted with stars, but Jake wasn't shown in it. Later glimpses into his new bedroom were from the doorway.

ashleigh said...

I don'tagree that there is covering up for Jake, I think Matt & Amy have their heads too far up their own asses to notice that he has any kind of issues. He's just suffering from "fourth child syndrome" and has an attitude - which they seem to have forgotten their other kids had...I don't know if they were as bad as whatever Jake is doing, but Amy has commented that none of her other kids sassed her or anything like that and didn't prepare her for having a *teenager* BULL! And guesss who grew up watching that happen and either be ignored or rewarded??

BTW, I'm not necessarily suggesting that Jacob has some kind of *severe* issues as others have at times, just that he could really benefit from being left out of the public eye in all forms - tv, coffee chats, facebook updates, etc. Amy has made it clear that both he and Molly were not happy about doing the show. when the show was on, she mentioned how they tended to stay away from the camera and when the show was ending they were both relieved. Yet here they go again, forcing two kids (one of whom is allowed to go in her room and be left alone or get in her car and drive away) to do it once again. Lovely.

As for friends, as has been mentioned, other friends have appeared, the only friends of Jake's i could name or pick out would be Levi and 2 different Jasons (one of them was there in thge last season, cooking the burgers with Jake). At the same time, other than Paige and Sarah, I can't name or pick out any of Molly's other friends even though I've seen others. Don't forget, there are entire episodes where you literally see Jake in the background for *maybe* 2 whol seconds, so I don't think it's odd that we don't know all of his friends names/faces.

DegrassiFan said...

I think Mike's death played a role. IMO he was the only real person on that show. Sure his "role" on the show was largely related to soccer with the odd project around the farm thrown in but I think he was the best out of everyone.

Alana said...

I never thought the Roloffs were that bad or understood why everyone says they are so fake and all that....until I became friends with someone that was a mutual friend of theirs.

WOW! What a crock! I totally get what everybody has been saying about Jeremy.

All the lies about him being good and wholesome with his eyes focused on God! LOL!

He's all about drinking, partying and doing 'that other stuff, then they wink about how bad they are.

I never thought about all the deceit that goes into it before and how disrespectful it is to all the people they are lie to with their fake image.

Brandon said...

Hey DegressiFan, nice to see you on here again.

I think Mike was a nice person, a nice person that was used the Roloffs, but I think it's become fashionable for people that see the Roloffs as they really are to connect them being jerks to Mike's death and I don't think that's the way it is.

Remember, during the years that Mike was living and really involved with the Roloffs, Jeremy (Mike was supposedly a 2nd dad to Jeremy...) and the DBU were mean spirited insulting buffoons that weren't displaying any morals or kindness. Jeremy was a selfish, mouthy immature egotistical jerk that thought he was cool for insulting people with his friends. Six years later and he's exactly the same.

Mike's influence didn't bring out the best in Jeremy during the years that Mike was so close to him, if you think about it, did he?

I find it hard to believe that they would be decent people if Mike was still living. I don't think he made any difference in their moral fabric.

I think Mike was a nice guy, but would he ever stand up to them and tell them when they're acting like jerks? I seriously doubt it. The Roloffs surround themselves with suck ups and yes men.

Myndi said...

Jeremy's claims that he is a follower of God and has his eyes firmly set on pleasing God, offends me so much.

He gives Jesus a black eye by presenting this illusion that he is an example of a follower of Christ.

samanthastarns said...

Shows how much they let out into the public, because I didn't even KNOW about Adam until I read this (and I consider myself pretty well informed when it comes to the Roloffs), thanks Rap!

Greg said...

Samantha, if you haven't already, search on here and read Spirits first article about Adam's death. Some of them are from Adam's friends.

I think that's why TLC and the Roloffs publicly ignored this young man's death.

I don't mean any disrespect to his family (his mother and brother posted).I can't even imagine what their lives have been like since his death and don't intend on causing them any pain with my comments.

But like a lot of teens and 20 year olds, his friends made it clear he was into drinking and drugs and if you read the comments, his friends tell stories of how he used to get drunk with Jeremy.

That's not the wholesome Christian sweet image TLC and the Roloffs like to portray is it? It doesn't fit with Jeremy's lies about how he and his friends don't drink, do drugs or any of that bad stuff other kids his age were doing because he's all about God?

I think it's obvious why they ignored Adam's death...because it connects Jeremy to his blatant lies and the phoniness of the Roloffs wholesome image.

Cathelitou said...

Maybe they ignore Adam's death because his family didn't want to be feature on Tv? It can be true!

Anonymous said...

Just so you know not all of this is their fault. TLC is who is editing everything they film so they cut out what they want to cut out.

Rap541 said...

Just bumping this up to note - Matt under oath says he has complete control over how the family is depicted, so "TLC is editing it out" no longer works.

Rosemary B. said...

Followers of Christ are just people, like everyone else. Broken, sinful, imperfect. Why are we held to a higher standard than everyone else?

Rap541 said...

Rosemary B - because any number of people here who claim to be Christian insist every act of the Roloffs, good or bad, is always Christian. If a Roloff is rude, it's always the other person's fault, because the Roloffs are Christian and although they aren't perfect, they are never at fault.