Saturday, October 8, 2011

Misleading Or Neglected Facts From The Little People, Big World/ Roloff Family Update Special

The television episodes of Little People, Big World often makes the viewers curious for more information. As a result they take to the internet to search for more information on what was presented in the TV episode.

So for the benefit of those people -- we have compiled a list of certain things shown or presented on the Little People, Big World update special that aired Oct 2nd, 2011.

Since in our time covering the Roloffs, we have sort of developed a reputation for "Keeping them Honest" regarding the Roloffs and letting followers of the Roloffs know the untruths people are told and/or what the story really is -- here is our list.

Matt and Amy Roloff have often promoted the show as being "real and raw" and "warts and all" That's not true of course.

So for people who might not follow the Roloffs closely and were out of the loop -- the "update" special did not contain many real events in the lives of the Roloffs since they were last on TLC and several things were not the way they really happened.

In no particular order, here is a list of things that were shown in the episode that were misleading or things that were neglected completely. Many fans often thank the Roloffs for sharing their lives and seem to think of themselves as friends or distance relatives and viewed the "Update special" in the same way that an old friend that you see again might tell you what has been happening with the family. That's the way some fans think, but not reality - as many things were not mentioned.

Keep in mind, that the special was actually mostly filmed during the summer of 2011, granted it was a day or two here and there.

*Jeremy receiving his acceptance letter to Brooks Photography -- That of course was a staged scene. First viewers should know that Brooks is a for profit school - so the reputation is that if you pay, you are in. However, to the point, Jeremy was actually accepted to Brooks in November of 2010. And the truth might surprise you. Friends report that Jeremy was originally luke warm on the idea originally. Jeremy took a long time to commit. But he was indeed accepted in Nov 2010 after the show had been cancelled and filming had wrapped up for Season 6. Obviously the scene of Jeremy going down to the mailbox, breaking the news to Amy and the subsequent "breaking the news to the family" at dinner was all staged for the benefit of the cameras.

*The final "emotional" scenes of Jeremy driving off the farm with the rest of the Roloffs standing on the driveway waving goodbye and Jeremy shown unpacking by himself in Santa Barbara.

Once again that was staged and misleading,As many others have noted, Amy documented the real sequence of events on her public Facebook page as it occurred. Matt is sticking to a story that says "Jeremy did drive off by himself, Amy joined him later that evening" -- you can decide for yourself how plausible the logistics of that notion is (that Jeremy drove off for Santa Barbara on his own...only to somehow stop and wait for Amy to join him in the VW bus for the rest of the trip...) but the point is Amy's Facebook on the actual day tells a different story from the misleading episode. A viewer watching the episode thinks Jeremy drove from Roloff Farm to Santa Barbara by himself. He did not. Amy was with him. She Facebook posted about their trip. About stopping in a Super 8. About riding in Jeremy's VW bus. Amy said she was there to help get Jeremy settled and cooked him his first meal in his new place. None of this was alluded to in the episode. Viewers were left with the impression that Jeremy did it all on his own.

The following were some of Amy's public Facebook Fan Page posts while it was happening.

Aug 25
Road tripping with Jer down to Santa Barbara for college. He's going to do great!

Aug 27
Leaving Redding CA. After long drive, VW van stalled over heated, got over the mountains late, arrived 2:30am. One hotel full, another full ... Really? Fun fun road trip.

Aug 27
Yes, at 2:30am who cares, it's a bed! :). On the road again .... To Santa Barbara

Aug 28
Jers first dinner in his apt! I love to cook. Love that boy!

Aug 29
Just got back to Hillsboro or. I had a great time with Jeremy and hoping I started him off to a good start in his apt. Will miss him! Now it's time to see how my other kids - including Matt :) - are doing.


So as you can see, the TV audience that believe what the Roloffs portrayed on the show to be the truth were indeed fooled. Jeremy did not make the trek from Hillsboro to Santa Barbara on his own as a reasonable person watching the episode would conclude when they watched the family -- including Amy - wave good bye to Jeremy. He did not arrive and unpack alone in Santa Barbara. As per Amy - she was with him the whole time, helping getting him settled and cooking him his first meal in his apartment.

Whether this is significant or not is up for debate, but the fact is what was depicted was not reality and there were several different times in the episode where the Roloffs were indeed flat out acting for the camera.

*Neglected -- Some television viewers believe that the episode did as it promised -- caught them up to date on what has been happening in the lives of the Roloffs since the show went off TLC airways in December of 2010. If you are one of those people that haven't kept up with what has really been happening (and in fairness, there hasn't been very many significant changes -- any big changes didn't happen until the last few months). But here are some significant happenings in the Roloffs lives that they neglected to share with the TV audience.

*Jacob Roloff being expelled or in Amy's own words on a coffee chat -- "If you want to say he was kicked out, fine, yes he was kicked out" of Faith Bible Christian school. The trusting television viewers that don't research online would assume that nothing major happened with Jacob since about the only time in the episode he was discussed or featured was in the discussion about names. By the way, this is something that both Matt and Amy discussed themselves on their Facebook pages and Amy in her live coffee chats that she did on Fridays during the spring.

However, we can tell you that since the airing of the episode, more and more people have heard the news as "Jacob Roloff Expelled" has been a hot keyword topic for many months. Jacob was expelled in April 2011. It left Matt and Amy scrambling. First, they both expressed anger towards Faith Bible for actually following through and "kicking" Jacob out of school so close to the end of grade 8. Matt then vented on Facebook that he has always hated "that school" (Faith Bible -- Molly currently attends). After originally saying they were going to home school Jacob, they had Jacob take a state test that determined it was alright for him to begin in 9th grade in September if he improved slightly in some areas. He went briefly to a local tutoring facility for a few hours a day for a month or so. And now he attends a large public school in the area. Some students at the school (keep in mind that now that he goes to a public school, some of the students were viewers of the show) have said the sentiment seems to be more that people think it's cool to have a famous person going to the school than kids tormenting him about the show.

*The lack of Jacob Mueller -- Except for a brief shot of Mueller at the party and swinging with Jeremy on the tire -- the lack of emphasis on Mueller's involvement with Jeremy and the Roloffs in general was notable. As others have pointed out, Mueller went with the Roloffs in the RV from Roloff Farm to Anaheim, California as this picture depicts.

Television viewers were left to believe it was a Roloff family trip only -- and from Roloff Farm to Brooks. It was not. The majority of the trip was spent with the Roloffs partying at the LPA National Conference in Anaheim (feel free to search our archives for reports from the LPA conference re: the Roloffs behavior). At the end of the week, Mueller went off to visit family in California and the Roloffs zipped down to Santa Barbara to film them visiting Brooks Photography Institute. Amy and Jeremy had already visited Brooks previously, and readers of Matt's Facebook page might recall Matt posting about his trip with Jeremy to California quite a while ago. So the filmed visit to Brooks was not the first time the Roloffs had been to Brooks.

It is true that Mueller and Jeremy spent most summer days with each other. The lack of Mueller in the special does not depict reality. Even viewers of Amy's coffee chats in the summer are aware of that, since Mueller was either seen or referenced as being at the Roloffs or with Jeremy several times. Television viewers aren't left with any clue about just how involved Mueller is with Jeremy and the Roloff family.

*Neglecting to mention that Zach and Jeremy each have a girlfriend. Tori and Audrey respectively. Fans are always interested in stuff like that. However, real life personal relationships is an area that the Roloffs clamped down on several seasons ago. Both girls were at the "Going away party" for Jeremy that was filmed for the episode, but they were far in the background and there was no mention on the show of them being girlfriends. If you want to get to know Jeremy's girlfriend and an idea of what she's like -- she has her own public blog where she's doing one of the 'Get to know me' Challenges.

*Jeremy's enthusiasm for the Solid rock Church and their lead Pastor John Mark Comer. Jeremy's (and to a a slightly lesser degree - Molly) affection for the rather controversial, very "traditional" and conservative church in Portland -- which among other controversial stances - teaches that gay people are sinners going to Hell unless they pray to Jesus to be cured of their "perversion". This church has been a major part of Jeremy's life (and the entire Roloff family has attended, although Jeremy was the driving force) -- over the past couple of years but has never been alluded to on the television show at all. Cynics conclude it's because the beliefs they support are in direct contrast to the overall message of acceptance for people with differences which often are the organizations and group that pay money to Matt and Amy Roloff in their roles as paid Diversity Speakers and the "equality" message is what TLC has used to promote LPBW in the past.

*The Roloffs lawsuit against Washington County -- The Roloffs are suing Washington County for $200,000 in damages for alleged "severe emotional stress" suffered by Amy Roloff regarding the "inspector/ark incident that was filmed and aired in a Season 6 episode of LPBW. The Roloffs have been very quiet publicly about the lawsuit and it was never mentioned on the update special.


Connie said...

Spirits, thanks for doing what you do! The Roloffs are bunch of phonies.

Lacey said...

I can understand them not devulging info about Jacob being expelled from school because that is really embarrassing.

They might not be able to talk about the lawsuit.

But I agree they do try to hide how conservative and bigoted the Roloffs are towards other minority groups because they don't want everybody to know and lose some of the audience.

Justin said...

There is no reality. Everything is staged and acted out. They are actors.

The Roloffs don't know the meaning of the words authentic or honest.

Lacey said...

I also wanted to say I think TLC doesn't show that Jeremy and Mueller are tied at the hip because the audience would think it's weird and wonder if they're gay.

Timothy said...

Re: Jeremy's girlfriend

"13. I'm dating this boy whose kinda cute..."

Glad to see she looks for character....I guess there's not much else to say about Jeremy ;)

Abby said...

I don't get why they think they need to lie about everything. If Amy drove down with Jeremy, why not show that. Why fake having Jeremy travel alone?

TLC and the Roloffs should figure out that people like to know the truth, not fake stuff being acted out by bad actors.

Carolynn said...

I can't believe I ever used to think the Roloffs were real.

Sandie said...

Great post, Spirits.... thanks!!

Bob said...

"13. I'm dating this boy whose kinda cute..."

You think by her age she would know the difference between "whose" and "who's".

samanthastarns said...

Carolynn, I couldn't have said it better myself. And Timothy, I noticed that too!

Dana said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I am I really impressed with Jeremy's choice in a girlfriend. I like her a lot.

The first fact about herself is that she loves and lives for Jesus.

Timothy and Samantha, a girl commenting that they think the guy they are dating is attractive, does not in any way imply that is the sole reason they are dating the guy or that they she does not value character. She clearly does. They share the same values and Jesus is both of the priorities. A relationship is off to a great start when Jesus is the foundation like it is for Jeremy and Audrey.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy already has a girl on the downlow down at Brooks... No surprise, he's a stud

BeckyM said...

Anyone who still thinks "reality" television is real, is your grandma - the one in the nursing home who doesn't even know the year is 2011 and not 1968. The general audience, even those who don't use the Internet to research a show they are mildly interested in, know that 99.9 percent of reality television filming is phoney-baloney.

David said...

Samantha, Timothy, her comment doesn't surprise. Their brand of Christianity and their understanding of it, especially for the girls, is a way to date "cute boys".

Jesus is kind of like a dating service. 'Thank you Jesus for making a cute boy notice me'. 'Jesus, please let me date a cute boy soon'

That's how these 20 something girls see Jesus and God.

It's a very different lesson than my understanding of God. Things like physical cuteness aren't supposed to be the number one thing you look for in a person.

Physical attraction is natural, but it's the complete disconnect they have. A "cute boy" talks to them and they are thanking Jesus for sending him into their life. An "ugly" boy talks to them and they're a creepy loser!

It's almost hilarious, but sad actually. It reminds me of the movie "Saved!" and how they poke fun at how some people interpret being a person of God.

Dave R said...

Jacob Mueller was hiding behind Jacob while they where on their way to California. I could clearly see some movement behind Jacob Roloff as he was sitting on a stool io the side of the passenger seat and molly was sitting across from him behind Jeremy as he was driving.

That would have put Jacob Mueller right behind the RV door. I viewed that part of the show several times cause it seem to me that some one was sitting down on the floor of the Rv moving around. With that said it was clearly plan and stage at some point while driving to Ca that they would be filming and they the Roloff's and TLC ask Jacob Mueller to hide as if he did not go with the the Roloff and TLC crew to Ca.

Christine said...

Dave R, maybe and maybe not. Maybe it was a crew person.

Spirits is right obviously. They deceived and made it look like they did the entire trip with only Roloffs. Mueller was actually with them MOST of the trip.

But from what I understand, they did actually do a short trip from Anaheim to Santa Barbara just Roloffs and the crew filming.

Brandon said...

Becky, I disagree. Look at the comments on Matt and Amy's Facebooks. There are plenty of people that think the show is real.

Anne said...

Anon, that's really bold and disgusting and cowardly of you to spread lies and unsubstantiated rumors that Jeremy is cheating on his girlfriend.

BeckyM said...

@ Brandon, "plenty of people"? Are we talking 20, 100, 1000 or 2 million, 10 million? I doubt the majority of the population asked on the street, "do you think reality television is real?" would answer, heck yes!

:) We live in a cynical society; people know to doubt what they even see due to photo and video manipulation. My kids (13 and 17) watch television and sneer at commericals trying to sell them things based upon their "claims". Instead I hear them asking "whats' the agenda?"

Neither can stand reality television and turn that junk off thankfully.

With the news coming out daily about other reality stars - Bethenny Frankel finally got busted on her myriad of lies (may impact her sponsorship by Ellen as the new talk show host of the century) - only the dumbest can "believe."

Not saying they isn't plenty of dumb out there and TLC banks on it, but I do not think they are the majority and definitely not people who buy expensive cars, luxury vacations, homeowners with a nice joint income etc...

So what commericials are selling on LPBW nowadays? aybe LPBW can influence someone on their Only ON TV! products or LOSE WEIGHT WITH MIRACLE DRUG! crap.

Rap541 said...

Becky - the thing with Betheny Frankel kills me because Forbes actually ran with the story without checking the sources.

It intrigues me that Matt, who usually enjoys snotting how people don't understand how filming is done, is in the very same breath insisting Jeremy left home all by himself.

The things Matt won't comment on, how Amy took Jeremy to his new apartment, settled him in and cooked him a meal, *despite the show showed Jeremy doing it all by his lonesome*.... when viewers notice that difference... Matt doesn't comment at all.

Because he can't spin that to say the show *did* show the truth. Matt strikes me as the sort who thinks its not a lie if he can vaguely make it true. Technically, Jeremy "left home on his own like a man!" - its true because Jeremy left without Amy in the van. That Jeremy picked up Mom a mile or two down the road and spent the entire trip with his mommy, complete with Mom making his dinner at the other end? Nope. Jeremy left home by himself is technically true and Matt's sticking to that! But he's not going to address Jeremy arriving at his new apartment with Mom in tow because there's no way to handwave that as the truth.

BeckyM said...

@ Rap - which just goes to show how shoddy Journalism has become and why people doubt what they see and hear now more then ever. We don't live in the naive 1950's anymore.

Forbes should have asked for 3rd party confirmation on what she said she earned. If you go by the Forbes interview method I can dress up like a skinny, skeleton fame-ho and say I made 120 million and be on the cover of a magazine.

But WTH, Khate Gosselin made plenty of People magazine covers with her own lies and the "realist reality show" (her words).

Con man Matt relies on people swallowing it all down. He could never believe anyone would ever not believe him, because he is, at heart, a huckster. And the huckster always outsmarts the marks (and that is how he views his "fans").

krisa said...

Great post, Spirit!
The roloff update was staged in every aspect. The first season was more real, even though there were staged events. Watching reality shows, for me, is a sporting event.

Justin said...

The hilarious part is that Matt insisted in his round of interviews (avoiding Spirits' interview!) that the Roloffs are NOT actors. Then the special airs and they are seen in scene after scene clearly acting in obvious staged scenes.

Nancy V said...

I don't understand how Matt can defend the phoniness and lies by using the defense that people don't understand tv.

People are right when they say the Roloffs and the show are not real and lie.

I get what Matt is trying to say but he is still wrong.

He thinks because in real life, at one time, Jeremy did receive a letter from Brooks saying he was accepted that it is real. And people don't understand that in tv they need to fake a family dinner where Jeremy announces it to the family on camera.

What Matt doesn't get is that is FAKE and that's why people call them fake and actors. They were lies about Jeremy driving without Amy and hiding Mueller on the RV trip.

Len said...

The Roloffs need to lie because they just aren't that interesting or likable as is.

jenna said...

When are the other specials airing?

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