Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Little People, Big World Roloff Episode Review: "Down Under" by Rap541

Guest Reviewer, Rap541, was able to catch a rerun of the "Down Under" episode of Little People, Big World on TLC. Due to popular demand (Rap541 has reviewed every episode of LPBW since the Blog began with guest reviewers), Rap541 submitted the following recap:

Written By Rap541

Wow, it’s so hard to believe that this special isn’t on Itunes. Sorry about that, folks. I did try to catch this at Dragoncon, but everyone freaked out and insisted that we continue watching Firefly. I have few regrets. I also have a sword cane!

Anyway, really, what has happened to TLC? Matt, I’m sorry but you and the wife going on again about your one last family vacation just does not top the two headed girls, or the family of rednecks who, unlike your now prissy family, are willing to completely debase themselves for money. Real and raw, Matt? Real and raw is a pet pig crapping on the kitchen table. Or you know, everyone getting in the RV to head down to where your 14 year old daughter is shacking up with her 18 year old boyfriend and laying down a “Rumney” beat down. I can say, before even seeing the show, that you’re going to need to spice it up a bit because “Jeremy is perfect, Molly is perfect, Zach is Zach, Jake is perfect, and Amy and I are happily married!” just can’t compete.

Anyway this Breaking Amish show that came on before? Had outhouses and people wearing suspenders and fighting with their parents. Mind you, I am pretty certain these Amish kids are well past rumspringa. And who knew that the Amish adopt Latino kids? And had single moms? Also it seems a bit of a cheat to have a special phone room on a corner of the property, just saying. There’s also something incongruous about someone dressed Amish style with a fancy roller carryon.

So, LPBW. We see the McMansion and Mat has dressed himself as Crocodile Dundee. Because of course, that is how normal people who are living their normal lives act. They dress up in a costume to announce a family trip. He announces it to mostly bored looking Roloffs. Really, for a bunch of people getting a free trip, and theoretically hearing about it for the first time… everyone looked bored and irritated. Matt then shouts like he’s completely aware that he’s putting on a show. Roll credits.

More scenic shots. Matt is taking the younger kids, Amy is flying in separately… apparently there’s a short window where it works. Zach wants to bring his lady and Matt and Amy seem shocked he’s still dating. Amy hay bales how weird it was to think about. Matt notes how difficult it is to travel with women. Ironic that we will soon see Matt doing the lionshare of the complaining on this trip.

Zach horribly pronounces aborigines. Jake with his new manly voice is worried about all the creepy crawlies. The kids’s rooms are still pigpens and there’s still laundry all over the house. It’s still clear in other words that the housekeeper doesn’t leave the first floor. Tory notes how cool it is to get a free trip. Now we’re in the airport - pretty certain they’re in an airport lounge in LAX.

Suddenly Jeremy is there and Amy waxes nostalgic about the family being together and how sad she is that this is the last family trip. Because really, we haven’t heard this enough. The flight looked and sounds horrific. 

Now they’re in Australia . There’s car chat. They drive by the bridge and of course this is a wickedly scheduled trip so HOW WILL THEY MANAGE? They go on the bridge climb. Amy and Matt head out on the shark infested waters in a water taxi. Matt duly notes his status as a physical martyr to everyone’s good time. He also makes sure to get his fear of heights in. The bridge is cool btw and so is the opera house. There’s drama as Zach is beaten down with exhaustion… and cue commercial. And we’re back to the bridge! Zach hay bales how he didn’t think he’d make but he monotones how determined he was to get to the top. Jeremy waxes how crazy it is to travel. Meanwhile Matt attention whores himself by waving a crutch shouting there’s the kids!

The family hooks up with some lp friends and Matt of course has to note how the friends are a “mixed” couple just like Tory and Zach. Matt seems displeased. Zach notes how confident Vic the man seems. Matt makes a lengthy toast.

Jeremy plays with his scrap booking tools. You know, putting stickers and such with your pictures. Kind of girly, really. I mean, wasn’t scrap booking a big thing like ten years ago? For women? He notes how crazy it is that he’s not the center of attention.

On next day, Matt again fake shouts they’re going to the outback. Zach and Tory get caught kissing. That was actually cute. They fly to Uluru or Ayers Rock. Its actually a really fascinating geological feature. Molly reads some non Christian stuff about Uluru. There’s lots of pointing and “oh that’s cool.” Amy seems to think the natives lived at Uluru. Jeremy says for the millionth time how “crazy “ it is. More sightseeing, Matt makes the obligatory “lets build one on the farm” and Amy gives the obligatory “its so hard to get the family together for one last trip,” comment.

What? Moving Up is finally ending it’s rein of terror? Moving Up wasn’t canceled three years ago? I guess TLC never lets anyone go.

Back to scenic Uluru and the sunrise and… riding camels. Matt again notes how he’s a medical martyr and notes how there’s no way he‘s getting on a camel. Jeremy meanwhile has no worries and no concerns about anything but his own fun and notes how crazy it is. Matt does some weird hee haw laugh. He gets lifted on and notes how high it is. Matt continues to make wise men jokes. Jeremy notes AGAIN how crazy it is. Matt notes how it was awesome. Amy hay bales how nice it is to share the moment as a family. There’s a lot of hay bales
Now they have breakfast with vegemite. They make faces and it seems like a universal ick face. Tory notes that it’s disgusting. I’ve had vegemite a few times. It’s not *that* bad but there are better ways to introduce people to it. Matt goes out to the camels and stages another scene where he pets the camel and shouts “I salute you!”. We’re halfway thru this and there’s been a lot of Matt fake shouting for the cameras and a LOT of hay bales where Matt and Amy say the same exact thing.

So now they are flying to the great barrier reef. Zach seems really cheery about Tory having a good time. Now they head to the Cairns zoo and Zach seems surprised that there’s Australian animals there. They seem to like the zoo. Matt is VERY on for the cameras. Zach and Tory seem cute together but are pleased the Aussies don’t seem to care about their mixed status. Now they have their pictures taken with koalas. My roommate Jodie from Australia hated koala bears. She said most of the natives there can’t stand them. She also was amazed that when we went swimming in the pool, we didn’t first have to skim the water to remove all the deadly snakes and insects. Yeah, Australia is bitey. Matt fake shouts to Amy that they are getting into the zoo business.

Molly monotones how she misses her time with Jeremy. They scrap book more. Jeremy notes how amazing it is when you become an adult and leave home. I find it hard to believe that they haven’t spent any time together in months, and when they are finally together, they hunch over a scrap book. Makes you wonder what it would be like if the camera wasn’t there.

Matt plays to the camera again. I think Jake does a voiceover here about dangerous animals. They get a lecture on how everything in Australia bites and poisons. Jake is becoming a man in this. Jeremy notes how great and crazy the spray of the water was. And there’s dolphins and more hay bales about the dolphins.

Matt is again the medical martyr. We get more fake playing to the camera.

Oh hey, two headed girls goes to Europe! That’s TLC, always raising the bar!

There’s a big fish. Matt hay bales how he’s not swimming There’s shots of people swimming. Matt continues to basically complain passive aggressively how he’s not going in. As we see fishies, Amy hay bales how awesome it was, followed by Molly. They find Nemo, the stingray that killed Steve Irwin. Zach and Jake both seem to like it. Jeremy notes how gorgeous it is. Matt hay bales how everyone is having fun and ignoring him so now he has to “Geronimo!” and just do it and be a man!.

On a brief aside, after watching Matt need to be cajoled into doing stuff repeatedly, and we’ve seen this behavior before, maybe, just maybe, it’s *Matt* that Zach gets the whiney hesitance on doing anything from? Just a thought.

Jeremy manfully poses with the Aussie flag. And they get Tory a cake which is nice. Lots of hay baling about Zach and Tory. They do seem cute together. Most of the genuine moments of this episode are coming from them. Zach seems a bit more mature. They had a cute dinner. Tory seems awkward with the cameras. I think someone *might* have scored that night!

So now we’re at a helicopter. Matt notes how he HAD to see the reef from above. Isn’t he supposed to be afraid of heights? A fun moment in that it was nice to hear Jeremy say something spontaneous when he discussed mudding. Matt ruined it with a camera moment - noting how he was seeing a shrimp on the barbie.

Amy meanwhile seems to like Tory and would allow Zach to court her. Then they have a barbeque on the beach that involves a personal chef cooking for them. Amy hay bales again how utterly fantastic is to be with the family. Matt again notes how fantastic they are, rallying to go on expensive fancy vacations together. I note again how scripted and fake most of this seemed and how completely “on camera” Matt and Amy were.


Podge/Rodge groupie said...

Rap, thank you for taking the time out of your much more productive time at Dragoncom to see, as I read it, as little as I did. There are much better looking celebrities (not saying the Roloff ARE celebrities) that could sell an hour long travel show for higher ratings. I'm pleased that the regular viewers posted "So, where are any real 'family' updates? How are all the kids doing in their respective schools? How's Matt's legal life? Any plans to get permits for new attractions for punkin season?" Valid questions, all. Valid answers, none. Sigh.

Brandon said...

Rap, as mentioned, Matt did at least finally acknowledge the ridiculousness of "the last family" trip nonsense. Obviously someone with the show had the good sense to notice that this was the 14th time they've used the "last family trip" story line.

Pam said...

Yeah, there were no "update".

Why put them back on TV but not do any "updating"? Just to give them another free vacation?

The Roloffs have something in common with people that drift by on the welfare system.

Jenny said...

Tory looks a lot like Molly. As in, I had to do a double take a couple of times. Things that make you go hmmm.

Johnnie said...

As far as I could see, they were in the United lounge @ LAX. When they got on the plane , Matt and Amy sat in business class. The rest not only sat in coach, but it looked like the last row in coach aka-no reclining seats...Zak even slept on the floor............