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Little People, Big World: Breaking Down the WallsAs the only kid still living at home, Jacob is the center of attention and doesn’t like it. Matt wants help with a farm project but Amy has other plans – seeking a teaching job. Pursuing separate goals presents the Roloffs with some unexpected challenges
Review written by Rap541
Good lord this show is on really late for a family show. I mean, I don’t have to stay up this late to catch Tosh.O. Also the lead in is deadly dull. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Kelly Clarkson is charming and I like her, but an hour of her looking at news clippings in libraries was deadly dull. Although the ending was sweet. (and I am a little sad that Kelly had no idea what Andersonville was) Anyway, now that the infomercial for Ancestry.com is done….
So Amy calls Jake down and complains in a talking head how Jake puzzles her because he’s not like the other kids. Jake has horrible hair. Amy lectures Jake on grades, and Matt wants him to pick a challenge. This is really a rather forced discussion. Matt is all “What about attendance? What about your grades?”
Really? A little snit to the folks whining how Matt can’t be expected to do more. Guess what? A father who lives with his children should know his son’s grades when engaging his son in a discussion of school. Amy at least had some awareness about the mentioned detentions… And I do notice how where Jake was going to school was deftly not mentioned.
“You think your sophomore year is going well?” Oh geez Matt… See above Matt notes how he told Jake to get a 3.0 and he will get Jake a car. So folks, here’s the problem, and we’ve seen this play out before. I seem to recall Matt offering Jeremy a car if he got a 2.0. Jeremy never made it but he got the car anyway. So what do you think Jake learned from that? Let me spell it out – he’ll get a car when his mom and dad are tired of driving him places and his GPA won’t come into it. And to the folks complaining that Matt and Amy have tried everything – how about “If you don’t get a 3.0, you’re not getting a car and you don’t get any videos games? And no cell phone?”
They thow out multiple careers in this weird lecture for the cameras. Jake notes he won’t talk. Amy mentions how she will pray for him. It’s interesting to note they are pushing part time jobs at him. I very much assume that’s for the cameras. I mean, at last check, the only Roloff kid who has worked away from Daddy Matt is Zach.
So after all this Jake talk, then Amy proceeds to haybale about how its Amy time now and she’s focusing on her. She chainsaws wood in an attempt to entice Jacob to play with the chainsaw. Matt derides her and notes how she needs to have his permission to do things. Like use the chainsaw. They bitch at each other. Amy humps the chainsaw at Matt’s back. Jake plays video games inside.
Matt is building a wine cellar. Not a bad idea except that the barn cellar looks pretty crummy. I mean they are standing in water. I mean it would look cool, I agree, but I question permitting it. If you can’t use it commercially – which is what Matt is suggesting but alcohol permits aren’t easy to get – then it’s a nice but expensive thing to add on.
Now Amy is cooking. The kitchen is clean for once. Matt wants to entice Jake out. Amy is as usual considering her empty nest. This also seems very “We’re Matt and Amy talking about our feelings for the cameras”. Amy wants her career back. Matt wants Amy to be his helper monkey and assist him with the projects. Amy notes that Matt simply doesn’t trust her with any of the projects anyway. This proceeds to drop from “we’re happy” to “now we’re having a real argument”. Matt condescends to Amy and Amy gets offended that he blatently considers her not capable of much. I notice btw that Jake and interacting with Jake was VERY quickly and easily dropped from that discussion.
Now Amy walks pensively about the farm and notes that she loves the farm but it’s all Matt’s baby. Now she’s waxing poetic on teaching preschoolers as we have mellow staged scenes at the schoolhouse. Yes, Amy there are many ways to get teaching jobs. If you have a college degree you can substitute teach as much as you want here. I can’t believe it’s much different in Oregon.
Back to Matt and the wine cellar. The brick wall is clearly buckled and warped. Basically he’s handing it off to the contractors. Now he yells for Jake at the house and notes he doesn’t care why Jake is sleeping. Amy haybales how they really should do something. Matt also notes how they basically ignored him in favor of the crown princes. Matt haybales how Jake doesn’t like what he likes and that is a problem. I notice that at the end of this scene Jake never got up.
Despite all this concern, Amy continues looking for teaching work. Now Amy is in Matt’s special office, telling him about her plans. Matt wants her to work on the farm. Matt very much wants Amy under his thumb. Matt continues harping on his lists and how Amy should follow them and how it’s a family business and Amy must not love the family since she won’t be his helper monkey.
Matt notes how Amy is betraying him but he has his wine cellar to make love to. He sits on the track hoe and screws things up and comically stages an “ohnoes” scene. Then we have a scene of Matt digging by himself for the cameras. Then the back wall collapses. Matt then hauls Jacob down to look at the mess. Jake texts. It’s incredibly obvious Jake doesn’t want to be there.
Amy heads off to an alternative school and explains AGAIN how she lost an internship in college. For a show about Jacob and school, this mostly seems to be about Amy’s career plans again. Yup, she’s teaching about diversity. This is deadly dull. I mean, how many episodes of Amy finding herself have we already seen? As usual, Amy’s diversity patter is all about her size.
Meanwhile Matt demands Jake be interrogated. Again. How are your grades, what about getting a car, we’ll get you your driver’s license. Amy and Matt note that if he gets a 4.0…. he gets nothing. They seem to be playing the personal goals game but since they are offering a car with a 3.0 …. Yeah. Amy notes for the camera that he has no interests and goals. He texts and notes he wasn’t listening. In my household, the phone would have been slapped out of his hands. Matt, Amy? He was openly disrespecting you in front of others and you let him. You *let him*.
Now Jake voices over and fake studies for the camera. It was incredibly monotone and staged.
Amy meanwhile is going to teach homeschoolers…
Back to the wine cellar. It’s still a mess. Amy wanders in and complains about it. Matt haybales how he asks for Amy’s input and then does what he wants since he’s got the cock and she doesn’t.
Amy heads to the alternative school to find out about the job. Basically it’s a yes. Kids are Amy’s passion now that she’s over cooking. Now that Amy’s gotten a job can we stop hearing about the internship? From twenty five years ago? Amy tells Matt and he basically comes off annoyed. Amy notes it’s not about the money. Yeah um…. Not sure I am buying that considering the near farce this episode is.
So it’s raining and they’re pouring cement. Matt goes on about how nice a job the contractors did. He then takes credit for it. Jake wanders in and announces a C in physics. It’s good. Jake notes in a monotone how excited he is. Jake smirks as Matt announces he has the world by the tail.
Amy is off to teach. She’s worried because the kids aren’t preschoolers. Will they respect the dwarf woman who has a camera crew with her and has had a tv show for several years? Yeah pretty sure the homeschool crowd isn’t going to jump her. There’s six or seven of them. Ah, nothing like a bunch of white middle class kids in a class about diversity.
Now Amy takes Jake to test at the DMV. This is the driving test. Commercial.
Now back. Amy worries! But it is a pass. Hurrah? Rumor has it this isn’t the entire story.
Now back to the wine cellar, with Zach and Torey? So there’s a giant hole in the wall with a door and bare lightbulbs and the wine cellar doesn’t appear to be heated. I can see Zach’s breath. Matt does a lame toast. The wine cellar btw, looks like it will be nice when it’s actually finished (aka no giant hole in the wall) and actual wine racks. I doubt, however, that this will ever be used by anyone other than the family. Permitting for alcohol service is kinda difficult.
Overall – yeah, Matt and Amy’s stunning plan to do nothing about Jake has worked about as well as I thought it would. Since Matt knows about the content of Jake’s AskFm and has theoretically praised Jake… I wonder how Amy feels about her boy losing his special flower at sixteen and dumping the girl for friends with weed? Oh right – I bet she’ll pray on it.
2nd Guest Review Written By Podge/Rodge groupie
I'm going to go with my initial impressions on what I saw.
When Amy first bgan harping about wanting a new career outside the ohme, I wondered if they got a cleaing person to pick up the terrible mess she leaves her house in. I'm certainly not a person who believes she should go into the kitchen and stay there, unlike some conceited sexist memebers of the family, but why not get your own house in order before making the venture forth? When the discussion (?) turned to the money aspect, and Matt was asking about how much? it struck me that Amy used to be the one to worry about money and finances on hand. When the show was as close to 'real' as it ever got, she was the one harping on Matt about the use and lack of money, as well as the downward spiralling credit load the family was usherred into by Matt. Matt's total disregard for the spending of money as witnessed by all with his childish stubborness to cut his losses on the wine 'cellar', is so contradictory that his earlier pouting was to me purely staged and an outright lie.
Enter Jacob. Everything going wrong for everybody for every reason here. I'm going to try a bit of a chronological approach. As mentioned by other guest reviewers, Amy and Matt have checked out of parenting, and said they're effectively done. Period. Even through the years they showed close to no interest in Jacob. Matt was far too busy vicarioiusly living his dreams in his averaged height son, making a complete mess of his fawning and outright favoritism at the expense of the other children. Any was far too busy trying to be the 'friend' to her children and their playmates at the expense of any responsibility to earn respect (I'll come back to that) by imposing value lessons and building and giving a structure through which to grow into responsible people. Not for any of the children. Jacob effectively had no parents. He learned from his older siblings, and various parts of all their influences are visible in him right now. The best parent Jacob had by far was Mike Detjen. He respected Mike, he loved Mike, and he learned much from Mike, all this being shown on TV. It is very evident he does not respect Matt and Amy at all. I have given evidence of his villification on the show everything from Matt's lack of understand that his son is not him, therefore he doesn't hace to like building forts, his refusal to help Amy with Jacob's up bringing when Amy started to drop the ball, etc. In short, my first impression was that Matt and Amy are soo wrapped up in there own crap that the probably don't even know when Jacob comes and goes. Or, as shown on this episode, who he really is, for that matter. There has been no evidence of any substance for their care or concern in this season or previous seasons.
Here where the problems get confusing to me. Jacob does not respect his parents. What have his parents done to earn his respect? Do they have to do anything to earn his respect? I respected my parents. They did not demand my respect, they acted in a way that I respected them. They taught me, laid out the rules, loved me, pointed out my mistakes, forbid me from doing some things, explained why, tried to instill values, someone which held, some not, and this was the same for all SEVEN of us children. What I saw through the years was Matt and Amy not doing any effective parenting, and not even caring about it, for any reaosn you can discuss, and the results are evident. Oh, I'm sure I will get some haters saying that Amy and Matt have the right to DEMAND respect becasue they are Jacob's parents. Bullshit. No parent has the right to demand respect without earning any of it. The problem is, now they do nothing when Jacob disrespects them. They don't say, "Pleaee stop tecting and look at me when I'm talking to you." They didn't try then, they are not even trying now, which results in more problems. I mean the horse has run out of the barn years ago, and they still don't even get off their butts to get up and close the door. There is a lot of nothing here. Matt and Amy can demand nothing becasue they have done nothing. Jacob can ask for nothing because Jacob has done nothing. I see no evidence that Jacob wants anytning. Jacob has not shown any gratitude, some haters might say. Very ture. Amy and Mayy have not shown any gratitiude, some haters might say. Very true. Why doesn't Jacob just keave? Why don't Matt and Amy throw Jacob out of the house? Why did Matt fawn over Jeremy? Why did Amy fawn over Molly? Any solution that is going to be proposed will be hamrful to one side unjustly, and favor the other side unjustly. "Oh well, I still think........" "What we need here is....."
Alright, Amy is wanting to teach again. My first impression harkened back to her amusing 'coffee chats'. I see those petered out. I was hoping that Amy would have discovered that she really didn't have anything to say or offer. My mother was a teacher her whole life, well she took 16 years off to have children and raise a family, then went bacvk to teacing just in time to have the youngest start Grade 1. And she taught him lol! We still laugh about that. The prep(?) Amy did sure would not cut it in the real world. The lack of diversity in the class and any questions to Amy were absent.
Matt is building a project. Matt gets in over his head. As mentioned previously, how is this any different from a stubborn averaged height who has unlimited funds? This is not an advert for Apple Jacks. "Tell me veiwer, why is Matt so gosh darn more awesome over and averaged height?" "Well, he just IS!" Doens't cut it. He might be interest in his projects, but, along with my comments above, Jacob is not interested in his projects. And Jacob does not have to interested in his projects. Matt still does not understand this. This self-centered thingking, that he HAS to be interested in what I am, does nothing to raise Matt's parenting quotient.
In a way, I'm glad that Jacob came clean about the fake studying, For the simple reason that it makes this into a kind of comedy! It is humorous to some. The lack of 'reality' is becoming more evident all the time, I think. The wine cellar is complete, it looks nice, hopefull we'll get some racks in there to actually store wine. I have had to get a liquor re-sale permit for a small Fraternal Order I used to belong to, and yes, it's not easy, Proof of inventory, at least a double-lock system, regular inspections etc. etc. and of course, with Matt's the structure was probably NOT approved by the County. I just got my development permit for my new shop, and next week I'm off to ge thte construction permit, electrical permit, and double-check on the gas permit and conrete work. I'm sure Matt had to do the same, or get his contractors,who did a nice job by the way, do get the necessary legal papers to host the public. I'm sure.
Anothet happy ending, after numerous probkems. The probelms did not seen to get solved however. This plot line is getting a bit redundant or should I say irrelevant! That's a good word. My overall first impression was "So what?" I was not 'moved' by anything I saw in this episode. I'm afraid if the 'master of spin' does not offer something to keep the viewer's interest, then TLC might not have any choice but to drop the show. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Matt Amy Jacob or the rest of the family.