Monday, September 3, 2012

Little People, Big World / Roloff Family Episode Review "Down Under" Sept 3rd, 2012

Reviews to follow.
If you wish to review the episode, you can submit it by email to
Thank you to all that took the time to submit reviews.

First review is from Podge/Rodge Groupie

Written by Podge/Rodge Groupie


Review of LPBW “Down Under”

By Podge/Rodge groupie.

TLC preambled the new episode with three hours of previously aired, hashed through and opined shows of LPBW. I’m guessing the execs at TLC believed this is a good move. I’ll let others labour the point.

The announcement and the scripting therein is getting a bit obvious. I wonder if Zach’s asking about Tori coming along was acceptable to TLC or who was paying the bill?

Matt’s acting is, really people, just plain stupid. I have no idea why Beethoven is up on the wall in Zach’s room but extra points there. What’s stripped off Zach’s door? Zach and Jacob’s rooms are in their usual state, but hey, so is mine. EEK! A flash of Molly’s room! We’ve seen more of the interior of The Tomb on the Harvard campus. 

The reunion at the airport wasn’t too bad. I can’t really agree with Jeremy’s observations of the family making it to the show description highlights in the guide. I guess when you haven’t got much to take up some ink….

Jacob seemed a little more cooperative than before. Perhaps he was informed that if he perhaps feels the creeper fans are paying for his college he best start justify the earning it. I loved the way he looked at his dad when Matt claimed the 15 hours went by quickly. Can you combine reserve and contempt? Well done. 

Did we see clues that this is very clearly a working vacation? Jeremy’s “In and out of the suitcase” remarks of the brief stay in Sydney. Amy’s hay bale questions about how to take in so much in so little time, which were valid, certainly?

I’m happy to see some tidbits about Matt having difficulties in traveling, Zach working on the Harbour Bridge stairs, things like that bring back the original premise of the show from 7 years ago. The supper with the mixed couple was an opportunity for everyone to think about how we are all conditioned by pre-programming.

Molly’s remarks about not seeing Jeremy seemed scripted to me. I giggled after Jeremy’s comment that this trip he’s hanging with Molly and Jacob more. Why? Hmmmmm, no Mueller? Pity. 

Leaving for Ayers Rock. Matt’s bad acting sigh. A good travel show segment. I wonder if Matt’s going to build a miniature version of Ayers Rock. The camel ride looked a tiny bit hard on the family. Obvious that Jacob is NOT a morning person. Matt’s acting – please don’t besmirch the memory of Fred Gwynne, he worked very hard creating Herman Munster. I’m surprised nobody compared Vegemite to mom’s cooking lol?

The Zoo – Doe anyone know TLC’s itinerary, thank you. Zach’ comments on the local attitudes or lack thereof on LPs are a nice return to the show’s premise, see notes above. Note to Amy – Koala’s are marsupials, not bears. 

Molly worked on her comments about taking time for granted. The rest seemed genuine enough to me.

Great Barrier Reef trip – although it seemed to me to be more scripted voiceovers, it’s getting harder to tell if that was Jacob or Jeremy right off the bat. 

Zach’s remarks of Jacob’s research were good on Jacob’s part I felt. If he’d done that before the trip to Florence, he would have insisted on a trip to the Da Vinci Museum. He was younger, live and learn. Amy would only have given him 5 minutes anyway. Jeremy still influences Jacob, and why not? I don’t read too much into what was portrayed in this show. Again, Jacob does not seem to be fighting the camera. Jeremy was gracious in his remarks about his brother’s relationship. I would prefer to have someone ‘complete’ me instead of ‘compliment’ me, but hey, it works!

The helicopter trip was a nice time to remember the early days. Jacob got to hang with the girls – whoopee.

Overall, this was a good travel show. If was not all about Matt, this must have taken a bit of restraint on his part, but he came through with only some bad acting. I’m not sure of they or TLC read the reviews or blogs but this was a departure from the previous offerings. Eventful, not very in my view, yours will differ I’m sure. What’s next for a follow up? Unlike a good murder mystery, “The plot thinnnnnnsssss…..”


kp said...

Does anybody know when this was filmed? Just curious. I was pleasantly surprised to see Zach is still dating Tori, but this might have been filmed awhile ago, so I don't know.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy watching the Rolodfs and learning about their adventures!

Zee to the Z said...

kp, It was the first week of May 2012.

Randy said...

There will be a number of comments posted after this episode, so I'll just save everyone the time of reading through all of them by listing all the points sure to be made:

--Jeremy hates gays.

--Jacob is a brat.

--Zach is lazy.

--Molly puts on a front as the good girl but is just as bad as the rest of them.

--Matt and Amy are liars, hypocrites, greedy, and terrible parents.

--The Roloffs just mooch off TLC and hate their fans.

--This episode was boring...why do they keep making new ones?

There ya go. All the comments in a nutshell :)

Chris L said...

I didn't see a Koala bear hugging Jeremy. Koala's know what is up! They don't want to be tossed!

Porcupine Pie said...

Blech.......not watching! I'll wait for Rap's review.......

Brandon said...

Well Randy that is an accurate assessment of their character.

I can predict the comments on Matt's Facebook?

Matt you're so inspirational! Jeremy is hot! Thank you Matt for going on a free vacation and getting paid all for me Matt! You're my hero Matt! You and Amy are the best parents ever! Zach and Tori are cute! Molly is smart! Jacob is so big! Jeremy is hot!

Comments in a nutshell :)

Jocelynn said...

Anyone else notice that there's not actually any "updates" in these "Update specials"?

Zach and Tori are still together. What else? Nothing.

It was just watching the Roloffs on a freebie vacation of Australia with the typical contrived "I miss it when the kids were babies" scripted voice overs and old pictures.

Rap541 said...

Porcupine pie, yer sweet. My review will be up sometime tomorrow evening as I am still in Atlanta on the tail end of Dragoncon and everyone mocked me when I tried to change the channel to tlc.

Porcupine Pie said...

Ha ha, no worries, Rap! I look forward to it. LPBW will not take up space on my DVR any longer!

sassenach said...

I didn't see the "first" Australia freebie. Was this another trip or just surplus footage from the first trip cobbled together?

Kylie said...

Podge, I found the same thing about the voice over back from the commercial. I wasn't sure who it was at first, but it was Jacob.

kp said...

Jocelyn, yeah that's really annohying. I'd LOVE an actual update on them.

How's Jeremy doing in school?

How's Zach doing in school? Does he still work at Indoor Goals? Has he done anything else with the Portland Timbers?

How is Molly doing? How's Jacob doing? He's the only one left in high school. Has he had better luck at this school unlike the one he got kicked out of?

Do Jer and Zach still talk to all of their friends?


Lisa said...

Loved the bit Podge about Jacob and the creeper fans paying for his college. Seriously he didn't seem to evoke the obvious disdain for the camera as he usually does.

M said...

The voiceovers are so bad.

Matt, it's oregon not ore-gone. :sigh:

Alley said...

They showed Jeremy drinking a beer. I wonder if Jeremy's pastor is disappointed?

Katie said...

Kind of boring all in all.

Watch the Roloffs go to a zoo. Been there, done that.

Watch the Roloffs go scuba diving. Been there, done that.

Watch Matt say he's not participating. Watch Matt reconsider and heroically participates.

Listen to scripted voice overs.

Watch Matt and Amy reminisce about when the kids were very young.

I agree with Podge Rodge Groupie, the only difference was Jacob didn't have his usual "I would rather be having a root canal" expression during the filming.

Mike P. said...

Factually challenged as usual, Amy got it wrong about Uluru (OO-lu-ROO): aborigines did not live there, in the caves and crevices, as she claimed to know. It's a sacred site to them, to which they came and went, performed ceremonies, left paintings and such. But they didn't live there. They aren't the Pueblos.

Nice try, though.

Natalie said...

I gotta give Matt credit. At least he finally admitted that they've been selling the bogus "last family vacation" for 5 years and said there will be more.

The only thing he didn't say is as long as they can keep getting TLC to give them a freebies.

Carol said...

Podge, personally, I had the impression from what Amy said about Tori thanking her, that she was "allowed" to go, I think that meant they had TLC include her.

M said...

Natalie, I thought the same thing! It's the last one the last one oh look another "family" + guest trip! At least he admited it... Bet he knew we were all thinking again?!

BeckyM said...

So how had the family changed?

Podge/Rodge groupie said...

I think the best way I can sum up my review was, it wasn't much of a review, but it wasn't much of a show. There wasn't much there. Katie, Jacob's previous disdain, to me, was along the "I'd rather shove pencils in my eyeballs" line as well. Mike P. Jeremy also insisted on calling it Uluru Rock, not Ayers Rock. I wonder if this indicates a lack of attention to TLC's scripted factual blurbs the family members messed up? (Ok Jer, in this voiceover, mention something about the landmark you've just visited for the show, 'K?) Or, is it simple inattention to a free holiday, as in "don't know, don't care"? Could it be related to the amount of out-of-pocket money the family had in this vacation? By that I mean I'm going to Cambridge next year, and I've saved and am paying with my own money. I already know the colleges and sites I want to see, and it means a lot to me to go to the other side of the world as it's all on my dime. Thoughts, anyone?

Becauseyourdumb said...

I just think its really sad you guys hate on people you do not personally know.

You call Jeremy a bigot (REALLY? Did you ask him how he felt or are you going to ASSUME what he believes because of a comment he made when he was 15? Why do you guys take the time
To sit and watch a show y'all hate the openly bash on it? Looks like the roloffs are getting the last laugh. They get the viewers regardless if you like it or not you are supporting them. I really hope you guys realize what cowards you look like sitting behind a computer screen hating on people YOU DO NOT KNOW. This is an incredible family. So stop with all the bull crap that you know what each one of the kids is like. TLC can depict them in whatever way they desire. Hope for the best for that family they have overcome to much. And show a little compassion good these kids who have had a tv camera following them around for years. They make mistakes WE ALL DO. Now go outside and thank the Lord for another day.

Dave said...

Oops...another one got by me..maybe I'll catch the rerun.

Jocelynn said...

BeckyM, I'll try to answer your question about whether the family had changed.

First, remember a few seasons ago there was always arguing between Matt and Amy? I think that was TLC deciding that they better start trying to portray some realism of what was actually happening considering the Gosselin disaster.

It's clear in these "specials" they've abandoned that completely. Everything is light and fluffy. It's feeding Kangaroos and commenting on the gorgeous landmarks. Toss in a few scripted voice-overs about remembering when the kids were younger and that's the show.

Nothing of substance. How can anything has changed when the show is so distant. For a "reality show" there is almost nothing personal about the participants in these specials.

I would answer your question by saying no. Not much has changed. Zach has a girlfriend. He is portrayed as more relaxed and comfortable than before now that he has a girlfriend.

Jacob is older and voice deeper. Like others have commented, his hatred for filming wasn't as blatantly obvious as it was in past episodes.

Besides that? No, everything was the same. Jeremy talked about how he's a totally different person now that he's at college and he can't wait for Molly to go away to college because she will be a totally new Molly after college, but they were no changes in either of them in this episode.

But again, the show didn't divulge anything about their real lives. Hmmmm.. I wonder why? It was cuddling with Koalas and few scripted moments meant to pull the heartstrings of parents with kids who are getting older.

Greg said...

BYD, no one could ask Jeremy what he believes because Jeremy is apparently still a lil child that isn't trusted or doesn't have the courage to speak for himself and own his actions, words and beliefs.

Please save the sympathy for Jeremy having the burden of cameras. He's 22. For the last 4 years he's making the choice to make TLC his job in life and get paid for it.

Randy said...

A couple thoughts on the episode

--You can definitely tell what parts of the show are acted out. From last night, everything filmed in the Roloff household was completely staged and scripted. From Matt telling the family they're going to Australia and them trying to act all surprised, to Zach asking if Tori can go on the trip. Their acting is so bad I am embarrassed for them while watching it.

Same goes for the hay-bale chats, such as when Zach talks about the determination he had to finish that bridge climb.

--Speaking of the bridge climb, that did look pretty awesome.

--Jeremy has really adopted the California/hippie persona. Everything is "awesome", "super-fun", and "amazing". Not that there's anything wrong with it but it's just something I've noticed since he's gone off to college.

--I've always found it weird that Matt is really afraid of heights but doesn't seem to have an issue with flying. In last nights episode (and in other vacations they've taken), they went on a helicopter tour of the surrounding area. For someone who was nervous being up on top of a camel, I would think being in a helicopter would be much worse. And of course he's flying all the time for speaking engagements. But I guess flying and heights may not fall in the same category.

Brandon said...

Randy, agreed on all points.

Too bad on the bridge climb they tie the rope to the rail.

In my opinion, the fear of falling would be a real thrill!

Carol said...

Randy, in complete fairness to Jeremy, he has been describing everything as "Awesome" and "Amazing" since the beginning of the show.
Nothing has changed with that. I don't think it's the California influence.

Jocelynn said...

Randy, I've always thought that 'Matt is afraid of heights' was always simply a plot line to give them a cliffhanger to go to commercial with. Will Matt overcome his fear?? I've never got that sense it was a real fear. Just a plot to fill some time and show Matt in a heroic height overcoming a fear.

Jenny said...

Of course they didn't like Vegemite. You don't scoop up a giant clump like a greedy American who's discovered Nutella. Vegemite is best enjoyed sparingly.

Mike P. said...

One thing unremarked is that Jacob did some actual research about Australia before the trip. Even though it might have been confined to bugs and snakes, good for him; it was more than the family did. Their ignorance of the sanctity of Uluru to the aborigines was appalling.

And speaking of Jacob (who was stung by jellyfish in Hawaii): the skepticism in his face just before the Barrier Reef dive was among the few unscripted parts of the show. I give him credit for going ahead with the dive.

It's my understanding that Australia has more deadly poisonous creepy-crawly things than anywhere else on Earth, including Africa. (I might be wrong.) I'd love to see it, but only if I could travel in a bubble.

BeckyM said...

BTW TLC must market their used up shows over to the Aussies a LOT. It's why they took Khate Gosselin over there for her last big hurrah. They wanted that Australian angle to sell to the locals.

So I wasn't surprised at all that the Roloffs wrangled a freebie trip to Australia. After all Khate got one! Why Not Moocher Matt and Co.!?

BeckyM said...

Oh and compare the copycat of the eps.... Koalas, check. Matt/Khate fake fear of heights, check.

I'm sure there are more comparisons but since I didn't watch either crapfest I don't have the time to go through and compare.

Greg said...

I love the irony of Matt posting on Facebook (but not actually saying anything as usual) hinting that people will soon hear information about future updates that's been 2 years in the, isn't updates what these "special update" episodes were supposed to be?

Btw, I noticed he said "future updates". Guess? Continuing on with 4 specials a year.

The interesting thing is wouldn't their original contract have expired by now or the early part of next year? I think that's what Matt originally said when the series got cancelled.

I guess they couldn't get anything else and needed to settle with just a few "updates"?

Jan said...

I kept thinking was their trip to Australia so boring that they needed to fill time by showing Jeremy and Molly making a scrapbook in the middle of the trip?

Austin said...

Kirk Cameron was on TLC and he wasn't on with the Roloffs?

Oh that's right, because the Roloffs need to hide so they can make suckers out of people that think acceptance of people different from them is something they represent.

"Meeting Kirk Cameron
Jim Bob and Michelle head to Washington, DC and have dinner with Kirk Cameron! Tonight on 19 Kids and Counting!"

cake said...

The only thing about the "special" that I really liked was Zach & Tori, it was sweet seeing them together, Zach getting used to it all and them just cuddling. It was the only real update and even that wasn't much of one, it was just seeing them continuing to interact together.

The voiceovers were more painful than usual...and that is really saying something.

As far as Jake's lack of disdain towards the cameras, Jake has always been on and off, sometimes he looks like he wants to jump off a cliff, sometimes he seems like 'well, there's really nothing I can do, this is my life so I may as well just suck it up and enjoy what I can of it'.

Kelly said...

If you guys despise the Roloffs so much then why watch the show and read a blog about them ? Lol

I thought the episode was alright. A cute little travel episode but not as personal as I would've liked in an "update" special. They seemed happy at least.

McK said...

Kelly -- Why do you feel the need to LOL at your own comment about fellow viewers who frequent a fansite that's existed for years and that's known for honest criticism and revealing the truth behind a supposed "reality" show? ....what are *you* doing here?

Anonymous said...

I tried to watch this Down Under episode---but i kept on channel surfing...A Great Big YAWN actually it was Yawn after Yawn after YAWN. TLC---find a new show ...Nuttin' left for LPBW...everything has been done and redone and redone. Good Grief...ITS OVER ....!!!

Cade said...

I think it's fun to catch up on their lives every so often, especially since they've been on TV for so long - it's nice to see how they are doing.

Amy has mentioned her Amy Roloff Foundation a few times, and I've looked into it. Sounds like a great thing she is doing - raising money for local children's charities. If she can use some of her "celebrity" to help the kids, I wish her and her family luck.

Hopefully we can all be a little less judgmental about them.

Kelly said...

McK -- Why do you feel the need to overanalyze and attempt to sound witty? I am here because I like the Roloffs and LPBW and I wanted to see what others thought of the episode. Not read folks putting them down and making fun of thier every move. Your "honest criticism" is more like biased bashing.

Christine said...

Cade, what did you learn about them? The only thing was that Tori and Zach are still together.

These update episodes are a sham. The Roloffs want the benefits of a reality tv show without being at all personal.

Rap541 said...

Kelly, do you really feel your own comments directed at people posting here aren't judgemental and holier than thou?

If you don't like what's being said, why are you making it clear with your "lol" that you enjoy laughing at those you think are making lesser entertainment choices?

If you don't like the opinions here, why do you come here at all? To lol? To tell people you're laughing at them? I mean, are we supposed to respect you for that? Or change our own opinions because of your public scorn?

McK said...

Kelly -- Sorry, I wrongly called this a "fansite" that might imply that it might be an ardent-fans' club fanzine published on the internet. (Apologies to the owner.) It appears to be welcoming to viewers who might have some insight (and/or insider info) into the show, beyond what is edited for broadcast.
Welcome to the Internet. Where everyone's opinions can be heard (read).

Anonymous said...

Can you do a update on Mueller??

Podge/Rodge groupie said...

Rap, what are your views? Please don't leave me all alone as the only one who took the time to write something, anything, about the latest snore-fest.

Rap541 said...

Hey guys, bad news. I didn't dvr the show and its not showing up on Itunes, Amazon, or Hulu. Unless someone knows where I can see it (send spirit a message if you do) my review will have to wait until TLC reruns this. Sorry about that. :(

Anonymous said...

Dum Dum dum...another one bites da dust!!! I liked this show in the first year..after that was all about Matt and his New Found Toy collection *ie* cars..trucks ECT romping around on the farm was a fun watching time. Trips here and there ...all done when TLC has nothing left to show..always goes this way. Nothing new to show..these r not kids any longer ..grow up and get real. Calling fans *people that made you get all these big buckaroos---you call them names ie..creepers etc ...SHAME ON YOU! Not a fan no more!

Dave said...

"Hey guys, bad news. I didn't dvr the show and its not showing up on Itunes, Amazon, or Hulu. Unless someone knows where I can see it (send spirit a message if you do) my review will have to wait until TLC reruns this. Sorry about that. :("

Based on the posts, Rap, seems like, if you've seen a few of the regular episodes, you've basically already seen this most recent one....

M said...

It's airing right now. It'll air again at 11 eastern time

Podge/Rodge groupie said...

Rap! It's on right now and at 9:00 PM MDT tonight. Woo Hoo! You don't know how much (little) you're missing.

Nate said...

It may not have been much of an update, but I enjoyed seeing how much they've grown as a family. Like em or not, I'm glad they're all doing well.

rap541 said...

podge, review sent to spirit :)

Jack "N" Orry said...

Sorry but I have to say this.

If I wanted to watch a travelogue about Australia I would go to the Tourism Australia website and watch one of their promotional videos.