Coming up on Kate Plus 8! Kate has so many dreams she should really do a sleep study. Now she wants to undertake a major landscape project. I know you're shocked, but watching someone else landscape is even more boring than doing it yourself.
"This show should be called Kate Plus Kate," Leah says as she makes every hater's day.
I think one of the most obnoxious comments a parent can make to a child is something along the lines of "when you're a parent one day you'll understand." Not that many parents aren't also guilty of it. I'm not sure adults realize how utterly patronizing it is, but it also is a sidestep to get around actually knowing, listening to and understanding your child and where they are coming from. It's a brush-off, and that's lazy parenting and just lazy life-ing. It's really for the child one day to realize it and approach their parent and say you know what, now I understand. That day will come, don't rush it.
Even funerals are conducted with the precision of the Schutzstaffel as they mass bury several dearly departed fish. Quick march! Unless you really dig deep some animal is going to dig that up within 48 hours. Gross. There's a heck of a lot of laughing and messing around from mostly Kate at this burial for a family pet. I find that disrespectful. Not to the fish, but to your children.
The landscape boy has a name, Eddie! Even Eddie seems skeptical about Kate's desire to involve the kids in this project. Kate says she doesn't like the word bribe, she prefers incentive. Makes no difference as long as the kids still film!
I don't know what Kate is doing with whatever unnecessary phallic kitchen gadget, but with that kind of impressive skill I don't know what's taking her so long to snag a man.
Cara lets it out that she usually rolls out of bed around noon. Mady too implies she slept late as well because she missed breakfast. While it's perfectly normal to sleep late at that age, it's also up to the responsible parent to not let them sleep that late and waste half the day. But I suspect with Kate it's just easier not to wake a kid up and have to deal with them, so sleep they can. Incidentally, that really puts the kibosh on any notion that the twins are some strange breed of teenager that don't need almost as much sleep as toddlers, according to science. Mady should not have been up late on a school night helping her mother tweet the creepy fans. She needs her sleep.
Hehe, karma. The boys are eating Kate out of house and home. They're just going to eat more, schmoopy has no idea. In short order Kate has the younger kids outside raking stones and doing other hard manual labor to some landscaping that looks fine the way it is. I don't even know the point of pushing all these stones around, they never explain. The kids get tired of it fast. Why is Hannah allowed to sit on the Gator and watch everyone else do hard labor?
Kate gets a dig in it her family. Why, when she was a kid she had to do hard labor every weekend. So? Doesn't mean your kids should have to do a giant project not suitable for them at all when you really should pay a landscaping company to do it. Don't be so damn cheap. Plus, in Kate's day, back in the day of walking to school uphill both ways, kids weren't nearly as busy as they are now. Kids now do far more work and are far more busy than a child raised in the 80's. Just all the homework the average child gets their age in one year is probably as much as Kate did in all four years of high school combined. Kate had time to help out with projects like this every weekend. A kid in 2016 doesn't.
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with chores within reason, but expecting kids to give up a whole weekend doing back-breaking labor is unfair. What's more, they can afford to pay someone now when I assume Kate's family couldn't. Why shouldn't they? Bottom line, this stinks of an episode idea and but for the cameras I really doubt they'd be out here at all, and that's wrong.
Now Alexis has found a way onto the Gatar and is not working. The boys notice. Poor guys. How come Kate doesn't tell those girls to get off their butts and help out? It can't be that she has a problem giving orders. If they have to do this stupid project at least everyone should have to equally.
Colin is sitting on the couch but not saying anything as usual this season. But the look on his face this time tells me he is engaged and making good eye contact with the producer. He is by no means zoned out. However, he's sitting there, mouth closed, not speaking. And he will talk when the cameras are rolling out and about, he does in this episode, it's just not as often as the other kids. He speaks and explains things just fine, though. I know many have speculated about the various causes of him acting like this, but could there be a very simple explanation? Isn't it possible the child is offering up a silent protest by refusing to be interviewed? For some reason that never occurred to me before.
Coming up, caught in the sudden and precipitous highs and lows of a hormonal set of teenagers, poor TFW has struck out once again. Heh.
After what feels like hours Kate finally explains they're trying to clear all the stone from the front of the house. I still have no idea what's wrong with the stone at the front of the house. Joel worked at raking the best, so Kate puts Joel on the Gatar to drive the stones across the property. Kate makes a point to say she hardly ever lets the kids drive the Gatar out of safety of course. Wait, wasn't this their birthday present one year or something? Well that seems more than slightly dysfunctional, giving a child a present they can't even use. Like giving Grandpa a skateboard.
They dump the rocks on a horse path out back that seems to me already has many stones and gravel on it. The camera crew is using drones now and like a kid with a new Christmas toy the drone shots are probably on the extraneous side. Heh.
The girls seem annoyed the boys got to drive. Well, suck it up buttercups, they actually worked.
Kate's got some guy over showing her how to use a chain saw. Oh good grief. This is just absurd at this point. She has no business manning a chain saw. I have no business manning a chain saw. If Kate and I were supposed to man a chainsaw they would call it womaning. They don't! I don't care if that's sexist, but unless you're Sue Aikins and live on a remote airport outpost in the Alaskan tundra, you need to hire someone for something that involves power tools like this and get back to the kitchen. Even the 11-year-olds have more sense than Kate and instruct her not to embark on this.
By the way, I am a big Sue Aikins fan, and I think young photographer Joey L. took some absolutely stunning portraits of her a couple years back. Trust your photographer!
Oops, forgot to pause my DVR. In the time it took me to answer an emergency text from my girlfriend (boyfriend emergency type thing) guess what? Nothing important or interesting happened.
Here comes Leah's now infamous "Kate Plus Kate" comment, and I think it's important to hear it in context. She explains that Kate gets to do everything on this show, including using a chainsaw which is fun. While her remarks are not entirely true, they're a lot true. There are a lot of things Kate gets to enjoy without the kids. There are always various excuses why the kids can't participate in something she's doing. Leah is a mere two steps away from realizing why Kate embarked on this fame thing in the first place. Not for the kids and their fun and enjoyment and financial health. But for hers. The kids receiving some incidental benefits is just a convenient cover for Kate.
Commercials. We're back and they're off to the garden center. Shoka is a dog who misbehaves. It's not his fault. He barks hysterically at the van as they roll out, and he comes dangerously close to the tires chasing it. Sigh. That's lazy dog ownership, period. If you've really tried everything and your dog still goes into hysterics at your car, the dog needs to be put elsewhere when you pull in and out. Be a responsible dog owner or don't get a dog. Rant over.
Mady and Cara again opt out of the 6 a.m. call time for this nonsense. I guess no bribe, er I mean incentive, worked this time. I wonder what Kate is going to do when she has eight teenagers who aren't about to set their alarm for 6 a.m. to look at plants. Then it might really be Kate Plus Kate. Watch Kate rake stones by herself? Watch Kate pick out plants by herself? Watch Kate order about herself and talk back to herself? That might be fun karma.
Is that Eddie again? He's kind of cute, and has a good job. Why doesn't Kate date him? Oh darn just spotted a wedding ring.
The kids don't want to be here. Hannah says she's tired and Joel is outright scowling. I again feel the kids are justified in this. Picking out landscaping is an adult activity, unless you have a budding botanist--pun intended! Alas, none of these kids could plant their way off Mars or even their own back yard.
Bring him home! Again!
I understand many parents have to take their kids everywhere even amid whining and misery because they can't get a babysitter or their spouse is not home to babysit or maybe they're a single parent. But Kate is not one of those parents who takes her kids everywhere because she has to or they all just enjoy the company. They are often home while she's out and about doing things adults do, the pap photos prove it. Plus she has a nanny named Andrea and has had a nanny since they were babies. I simply don't believe Kate would bother to drag them along on any of this but for the cameras.
At least the kids perk up a little over the little lamb's ears plants, which just looks like a regular old plant to me.
Back at the house stupid Kate didn't check the weather report before planning a cookout. Either that or they had to do this today because production was coming over, which seems more likely. Speaking of Andrea there she is, apparently on egg duty. Might I recommend weather.gov (not weather.com) for an hour by hour very accurate weather report for your cookouts. It will even tell you the level of cloud cover, and it's iPhone browser friendly.
I don't know what Kate needs a deck for. She has all the kids hauling all the food outside, it doesn't have to inconvenience her a bit.
This is not a sprinkle. It's raining buckets and it's thundering. But because Kate is pathologically stubborn she gets the grill out anyway. I haven't the first clue why she has the kids outside on their open lawn shucking corn. Where there's thunder there's lightning. This is incredibly dangerous and no set teacher worth their license would allow it.
I'm not sure Kate realizes that hobo really has become an offensive term to lots of people. While I understand you might still say it around your family, why would you say it on national TV? But then Kate is ignorant.
We spend an inexplicably long time discussing what Kate is going to do about grilling now that it's pouring. My suggestion is to cut to the chase and shit or get off the pot. Either grill or don't grill, but pick one for Christ sake. Nothing interesting is happening except Kate calls Joel a "dumb-dumb." That's awful. Also, not accurate. She's the dumb-dumb.
Kate is suddenly freaking out on Cara, who doesn't understand why Kate is yelling at her. Neither do I, I totally missed it nor do I care.
I shouldn't recap when I'm hungry. This is one of the first meals Kate's fixed up that is something I really want to eat. She's got nice thick steaks on the grill sizzling away, along with a wonderful mix of red and green peppers and onions. Medium rare please. Let it rest. Slice that steak up against the grain and put this all on a baguette with some gooey melted provolone cheese and you've got my death row last meal.
Kate finally admits Andrea is the summer babysitter. I think it's appropriate to insert a "duh" here. She really thinks viewers are dumb-dumbs. Everyone knew Andrea's role already. The first few episodes Kate misleadingly tried to imply Andrea just showed up on this or that day because Kate called her up to see if she was available. Real casual like. As a rule, I don't like dishonest or misleading people. I don't understand why Kate's always been so damn reluctant to admit she takes advantage of and can afford full time in-home childcare i.e. a nanny. And yet, she allows these people to be seen on camera over and over where we can see for ourselves they're over there all the time. I think it's fair to say we see the nanny with the children far more than we don't see her. It seems like such a paradox. It wouldn't be hard at all to omit the nanny from the episodes, yet Kate doesn't. Weird.
Kate gives Shoka a huge pile of people food when they're done. God, she's the worst.
Commercials. Oh by the way, we never saw the little spat between the twins and Kate advertised before the last segment. Which means it must be coming later in the episode. There is something very creepy about the idea that you would hype up a conflict with 14 year old children over several segments. Stay tuned, don't go away! The Dionnes will be back for another viewing at a quarter past the hour! The best is yet to come!
We're back. More drone fun. I think it's funny how hodge podge these episodes have become. Just shuttle the family around to various activities and see if conflict develops. Now, out of the blue, Kate's yoga teacher comes to the house to teach the kids yoga. Yoga poses hurt and I can't imagine it would be made any better doing a private lesson on the lawn next to your mansion. The problems of the 1%. Collin looks really (quietly) proud of himself for doing a handstand. Aw. I don't like how Mady is sitting on a mat but refusing to participate. It's rude.
For gaming fans, the funniest yoga session I've seen was in Grand Theft Auto V. Loll.
Finally the people who should be planting the plants, the landscaping company, come over.
Ha-ha, this is getting so random! Next we're doing a lemonade stand? They want to do one for the landscape workers. Are they going to charge for this, because that's pretty tacky. I hope not.
I noticed the sign also says "and lunch." All due respect to them but I wouldn't go eating some home-cooked lunch a strange family provided to me. It weirds me out.
In an eerie throwback to the Jon days, Kate snaps at Joel that she wants him to say "hey Mommy, can I help you with anything?" Joel looks both confused and very upset, not replying. She then snorts, "One way you can help me is by staying out of my way!" My God, what a f-ing bitch!
When will the kids be allowed to call her "Mom" by the way? This Mommy thing is getting just silly.
For some reason Kate decides now it's time to show off and remove a wasp nest, which should be the landscape workers' job. Does she have any idea how to use wasp spray? It shoots really far, you don't need to get as close as she got. Hehe, she drops her phone and cracks the screen. Karma!!! That will set you back at least a hundred bucks and that's if you're willing to go to a unofficial Apple store. What a doofus.
Eddie brings his wife Lori over. Oh gosh she's adorable, and great with kids! She looks them dead in the eyes and asks them questions. She acts interested, probably because she actually is. They need so many more people like her in their lives. She reminds me of a brunette Laura Dern. She helps the kids plant the lamb's ears. Some of the kids are wearing weird Stevie Wonder sunglasses.
Collin is speaking on the couch, and explains how to plant a plant. While this is very boring, it's nice to see him speaking up finally and he sounds happy.
Kate works up a few tearless tears just like Farrah and says she's happy the kids were so happy to get involved. Is it a prerequisite of a narcissist that you must be an ugly crier?
Coming up, they're still pitching the conflict between Kate and the twins as if it will be in the next segment. Maybe it will finally be in this one.
The kids serve the workers lemonade and lunch, which looks like ordered sub sandwiches. Fair enough. Lori is incredibly good with children. She continues to ask the children good questions like she's interested in them, such as if you had some free time what would you do. That's a great conversation starter with a child. The kids are eager to answer. I have never seen Kate sit down with her children, look them in the eyes, and truly have a conversation with them. Lori helps Collin speak some Spanish to one of the workers, and he's so proud of himself.
We're back the next day and now the kids couldn't be more into this project. I find it interesting although not surprising that with Kate this was all scowls and peace out. But now that someone cool and good with kids like Lori is there, they couldn't be more enthusiastic. Even Collin is talking up a storm, unlike any other episode this season. So in actuality it wasn't the planting itself that they objected to. It was who they were going to do the project with. An adult who knows how to be with children makes all the difference in the world to a child and their willingness and enthusiasm. Kate sucks at it, and she probably always will, and she will continue to have to battle her children on every little thing because she has no idea how to be with kids. Naturally Kate is clueless about why they are suddenly into this but is proud of them. I think she actually takes credit for this sudden blossoming herself. What a fool. I don't know about their indiscriminate affection toward a worker they only just met as they give him big bear hugs, but at least they are enjoying their day.
Coming up! The conflict between Kate and the twins, which was supposed to be in the past four segments. Heh.
Kate is ridiculously proud of herself for ordering each of the kids gardening stones with their names on them and a graphic like a snail. Sometimes I get embarrassed for her. The younger kids actually adore the gift, because they're young enough that this isn't too babyish yet. But even without all the build up I can picture the teens finding this downright stupid.
And here it comes. On Cara's stone Kate had inscribed "It's mine. Stay off of it. I warned you about it." Mady's says "Don't step here! Don't say I didn't warn you about it!"
Kate thinks this was an inside joke among them. Her first mistake was ever thinking she is on the inside of the joke with a teenager. She's one of those adults, and it's obnoxious. It's funny and sad to picture Kate as she spent God knows how many hours ordered these, probably on Home Depot's web site. You know she had this fantasy as she clicked her mouse of the twins opening their stones to giggles and smiles and "thank you, Mommy!" They group hug as the birds tweet and the sunlight warms their heads, and she is the bestest most coolest Mommy of teens ever!
Cue the Price is Right "wa-wa-wa-woo. wooooooo!" sound effect as Schmoopy way underbid on that boat.
The teens are being real brats about how much they hate the gift. They don't even want the stones to be put out. A tiny part of me feels bad for Kate. She looks really bummed that this blew up. She really did make an effort to do something nice for the children, even if she did it just to pat herself on the back. This is something they could each have of their own in the new landscaping. Mady and Cara could grow up and just suck this up and say thank you. They don't have to play with it for pity sake or even ever look at it again. Hate to break it to them but chances are like many mothers she's going to give them a lot of bad gifts over their lifetime they don't like or get. But as you get older you start to understand that it's the old cliche it's the thought that counts, and that it's cruel to make Mom feel bad just because she sucks at being clairvoyant. They are old enough now to start developing that.
On the flip side, I think Kate could have saved a lot of bridges by involving the twins in this secret gift. Have them help her design stones for the younger children and as a reward they can each design their own stone. It would make the twins feel special and worthy of more privilege because they are older, and then they couldn't complain about their stones. But she doesn't have foresight.
And here's where my allegiance shifts back to the twins. Kate's still arguing with them about this, trying to reason with them. Let it go. They don't like the stones, they're being ungrateful and bratty, but give them their space to sulk about it and ignore them. I promise they'll be over this within hours. And here's her stupid comment about how Mady will understand one day when Mady is a parent. That couldn't be a more infuriating thing to say. She antagonizes them and I think she knows it and what's more, likes to. Cara spits that they're never having kids because they don't like each other. Sigh.
Sure enough on the couch Mady and Cara are now saying, presumably days or even weeks later, that they're over it. Lol. I mean, it's still dumb, they explain, and never very funny, but they've moved on. Of course they have. They're teenagers.
Kate also got stakes for the kids with their names on they can stick next to their plants. I like that.
The younger kids at least seem proud of what they accomplished. They were lucky they had nice employees engaging with them.
They show this weird outtake of the twins on the couch fighting about how they should stop saying stupid things or go faster. It's neither funny nor interesting. It's just awkward. I continue to worry that if these episodes keep showing the children saying such dumb and uninteresting things, they might actually think those very same things were important to say. And that's bad.
On the next episode. Kate, who doesn't work and hasn't worked in a decade now, and has an army of paid help to do everything for her, has trouble carving out special time for the children. Heh.