Saturday, March 19, 2016

Recap: Kate Plus 8 'Deck Party': The 'majic' show flops, 10 people show up to the party of the century, and Kate re-plants some cornrows.

Coming up on Kate Plus 8, the writers don't even try anymore to make subplot B somehow relate at least mildly to main plot A. It's special time with the individuals kids, sort of, which in Kate's mind just means divide them up stereotypically by gender.

"I'm going to make you disappear!" Colin proclaims as he waves a magic wand. Who, Kate?

Plot A, or subplot B, I'm not sure which, involves building a deck and throwing a party for their dozens of friends. Hehe just kidding nobody non-Gosselin is at this big party but like three people.

Kate says this is the first "major exterior project" she's undertaken. I guess she's not counting the boob job.

The problems of the 1% require them to go over the river and through the woods past the gym, the conservatory, the library and the parlor if they just want to have a picnic outside. As she says this Leah dutifully follows the script carrying a bowl of food across the basement. What does Kate care about all this as long as the kids are the ones doing the hauling? The problem here seems two-fold. First, the layout of the house sounds terrible. Your kitchen does you no good if it's not near the other parts of the house you regularly bring food to and from. Two, the house, or mansion, sounds way too big to be practical. But then, these are things you should have thought about when you bought the house. It's perfectly reasonable to pass on a nice house because the layout sucks, or even, it's really just too big.

What is Kate wearing here? It's a thin cotton pastel purple frock that hangs on her like a potato sack. She looks like a homeless Easter Egg.

It's really amazing how the kids can't do anything without her nagging in their ears like a pesky little over-baked gnat. I cannot imagine their blood pressures. What a childhood. This time she's harping on them about how they're playing on their scooters in their school sneakers. Who cares? They're going to outgrow their shoes in six months anyway. And if they ruin their school sneakers then they'll just have to walk around school in dirty sneakers for a few months. That's their problem. Next she's rubbing her eyes over how the kids are piling up some apples they're picking. I give up.

Kate harkens us back to past episodes where the kids had their special days with her. As I remember this, Kate skipped out on each of the boy's days, which notably we only see a few clips of. The kids have never forgotten when they did this, she proclaims (the kids look about three, tops, in the clips). Wait a sec, is she suggesting the last time she did something one-on-one or even in small groups with the kids was eight years ago?

Her special day with the boys will be a magic lesson, to which Colin immediately explains that actually Aaden doesn't like magic at all. Heh, classic Kate. I hope the magician teaches them that old cutting up the lady trick with Kate as the volunteer, and it would be really great if he "forgets" to teach them how to put her back together. That's something our good Kiwi friend Brad would do!

There goes Shoka again right up against the car tires chasing them. This behavior is completely unacceptable and I have no idea why it's tolerated. This is going to end in tragedy one day, and all because someone was lazy and either doesn't train their dog properly or if he is truly not-trainable, refuses to stop being so lazy and put him inside when you are pulling out of the driveway.

This is rather odd, they meet up with some strange man wearing a striped polo shirt in the middle of an empty park somewhere. Isn't that how most murders start? Who is this? What is the context for this?

Eddie, the serial killer or magician, not sure which, takes Kate's phone and puts it inside a balloon. The boys don't seem all that impressed with this "trick", and all Kate can do is act constipated. Does this guy have any Yelp reviews? Now he's doing some lame card tricks. Joel keeps saying I know how you did that, and the guy mostly ignores him. Heh.

Ah the old handkerchief trick. This is not magic, it's a gag. I had one of those sets of handkerchiefs, and there is a ring inside that you hold and then pull the handkerchief through, revealing a different color. Lame. Predictably Kate is being nosey and trying to tell them how to do this, like she has any idea how this all works. Kate goes into a long explanation about how she wasn't trying to meddle she was trying to look out for their best interest so that when they put on their magic show for their sisters (how about they put it on for their friends?) they won't be made fools of.

And that's where Kate's parenting style is so off the mark. The boys need room to breathe and figure out these tricks among themselves. She should really just go shopping or something and come back later. On second thought, don't leave them alone with that strange man, but she could bring a book to read and sit far away and leave them be and STFU. And if the magic show fails then the boys will learn they didn't practice long enough or try hard enough, or ask enough questions, or had a lame magician teaching them and they should have read the Yelp reviews first. But the boys learn nothing by having their mother micro-manage the event. Instead their creativity and independent reasoning is completely stunted so they are nothing more than trained monkeys doing Kate's bidding.

The only thing the boys have to offer on the couch after all this is it was fun. They're not exactly poetic. Sometimes I get quite a big laugh out of all the build up and effort Kate puts into organizing things like this, only to be met with shrugged shoulders and, yeah sure it was fun, Mom. That's called raising pre-teens, and she doesn't get it and won't accept it. Lol. Indifferent children must be awful for someone who routinely requires massive ego stroking as part of their daily narcissistic supply.

Color me surprised Kate's taking the boys out to lunch too, at Aussie and the Fox. I thought for sure after the magic lesson she'd be over this. The boys love it. Aw. They plan out their magic show, and the boys don't really seem that into it. I think they might have more of a stake in this if they didn't have to do this for their sisters. What 11 year old boy cares what his sister thinks? Fake it 'til you make it, Kate advises. I imagine that's exactly how she snagged the son of a dentist.

I zoned out for a bit only to come back and they're talking about 3G magic. I'm scratching my head for a minute trying to figure out what the heck crappy cell phone service has to do with anything, until I realize, oh three "G" as in Gosselin. Duh. Even though this is really all about Kate being able to dicker around and film her little episode and collect her paycheck, you can tell how much the boys thrive when Kate listens to them and engages with them and spends time just with them, the girls not being a factor. What a difference. Well, she tied in the girls by making the boys do their show for the girls, but at least it's a start. She's their mother and they obviously adore her as boys this age tend to do with their mothers. It's a shame she can't give them more of what they need.

They go to the party store and pick up some junk. The only thing interesting that happens at the store was doofus here spelled magic with a J, then blamed it on the long day. Isn't it only just past lunch time? She sure loves her rest, doesn't she? Well, Einstein slept ten hours a day plus naps, so who am I to argue.

Next up mercifully for Kate it's the girls' day now. Well Sleepy here has certainly perked up as she takes them to none other than a completely gender stereotypical spa day to get their nails done. The next three minutes are a chance for Kate to step up on that platform and try to mitigate another sad incident in Gosselin history, when she had the girls get cornrows in their hair and it hurt so bad they were bawling. Kate now claims the new laid back Kate (lol!) would never have made them do that. Eh, yes she would.

Okay, a teeny tiny part of me is like, but they were so cute in those little cornrows so maybe it was worth the tears. Sorry, girls.

Well geez this only took 27 minutes for Kate to knock her childhood again. They are so lucky, I never went to a nail salon as a kid, she laments. Until I had to pay for it with my children's money myself.

Well, heck, I didn't frequent nail salons as a kid either. Where I'm from parents spend money on things that are going to enrich their children mentally, physically, and emotionally, not make them feel spoiled and pampered. If you can afford the luxury great it looks fun for a girl, and maybe it would be a nice treat for prom or something, but we couldn't justify that nor could most people. And nobody is worse off for it. We bought nail polish for 3.99 at Walmart and had fun painting our own nails at home. If you want things like manny-peddies when you grow up, you're going to have to figure out how you're going to work the kind of job that can afford such luxuries. Or marry a rich guy. But it's not a necessity of childhood nor is tasting lobster or any number of things Kate implies she was deprived of as a young person. While no one seems to know exactly what happened between her and her parents to cause such resentment, the more she opens her mouth the less I'm inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt.

One of the girls actually says a baffled "Why??" when Kate says she didn't go to salons as a kid. Um, because the vast majority of parents, most of them good parents, can't afford it? Are they really this sheltered? What a mess.

I really cannot believe Kate is saying this but now she's tying in Jon to this saying that she wants her children to see that she hopes the children choose better and are happier and are more successful in marriage and in life. WTH? Because she can afford to use the money they mostly made for her to give them a spa day, they will have better lives and marriages? She still doesn't accept her role in the breakdown of her marriage either or understand the concept that just because you divorce someone doesn't mean they are a bad father or won't make a very good husband for someone else. This woman is certifiable.

And if you really want to get into it, Kate, I think there's a real good argument here that pampering kids at such a young age is just going to set them up for failure. There are many good men out there who would make good husbands who aren't going to be able to afford to send their wives every week to the spa, especially not when you're in your 20's and just starting out in the working world. If the girls grow up with the expectation a spa day should be a regular thing in life, how difficult is it going to be for them to have successful relationships and marriages when they have such unattainable, and shallow, standards?

On another note, does Kate think she is not successful in life? Huh? She has the house, the cars, the dog, eight beautiful healthy children, a beautiful part of the country to raise them up in, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars in paychecks steadily coming in.  She had a divorce but so do lots of people. On paper she sure looks pretty successful to me.

And this is the thing with exhausting bottomless pits like Kate. It doesn't matter if she marries a Saudi Arabian prince, it won't be enough. It's the reason her marriage failed, she has no boyfriend almost no family and almost no friends. It's as simple as that. Because most people cannot be a good partner, family member or friend to a bottomless pit for long before losing their ever loving mind.  Eventually, she won't have all her kids either, or I daresay any of them, because they all seem mostly normal and as such will eventually realize they're going to lose their ever loving minds too trying to be a son or daughter to that. Times like this, I almost, almost feel sorry for her. And I do feel sorry for the kids. It's not like they picked her as their mother.

Oh Kate also makes this comment that if the kids have better lives she'll probably say it was worth it. What was worth it? Filming? Dumping Jon? Spending money at the spa? As Ellen would say, stop talking in code!

Next they go and get their hair braided. Kate admits it's pathetic she can't braid. I like that she admits that, because we've seen the children's hair braided lots of times, so that must have been the nanny. Heh.

Wait, Kate means she can't even do a basic braid?? I thought she meant French braid or whatever, which can be hard for lots of people. It's one of those things you either can do or you can't. She's over by the mirror tooling around looking like she's trying to pat her head and rub her belly at the same time just doing a basic braid of her extensions. Most of the time I think in general she's pretty dumb, street dumb anyway, and this is one of those moments.

We're back, just in time for the twins to show up and make some snide remarks about their brothers' upcoming magic show. I hate the way these siblings treat each other. It's just wrong.

Fake it until you make it, Kate reminds the boys. Can you imagine her giving her kids "the talk" the day before they get married? 

I don't know what the girls are doing, something with coins and gift bags. They're only somewhat into this. 

Kate says "I really wanted the girls to get into" the magic show, and it just struck me what the bottom line is with Kate, and that is that she lives out little fantasies in her head of how things are going to be. The boys are going to learn these wonderful amazing magic tricks and present them flawlessly:

And their wonderful and loving audience of sisters will fall down with joy and appreciation at what a wonderful amazing magic show they just witnessed.

And the world will pause on its axis in reverence. It's like she wants the real people in her lives to live out her own fan fiction in her head. She never accounts for people being their own people and having their own independent thoughts, ideas and opinions. Why not just give the boys an opportunity to learn the tricks and then let them decide what happens next? Maybe they will decide they want to put on a show, or maybe call up some friends and show them informally, or maybe they will do nothing with what they just learned. But this is all so forced and manufactured it's virtually doomed to fail, the twins called it.

Woo-hoo, at least my fan fiction is being played out. Kate's the assistant! Joy! Cut her up.

Nothing much happens for the next several minutes but rolling film. The editors are so lazy. The boys put on a few lame tricks. Cara's playing on her phone. The girls are acting bored. Eventually the girls start laughing at the boys and sarcastically telling them how good the tricks are. Kate says her heart was hurt over it. Well, it should be, no matter it's two sizes two small. She has raised very rude and nasty young women who have no problem ganging up on and being cruel and cutting to their own flesh and blood.  I can't imagine this is the first time Kate has noticed how nasty they are to their brothers. Is it because she was part of the show too she noticed? There's sibling rivalry, which is normal, and then there's sibling cruelty, which is not normal and completely unacceptable. Kate has no one to blame but herself for allowing this behavior. Kate has to tell the girls to clap, and they refuse to, which is just mean. The only thing the girls admit was a good trick was the coloring book trick where it's colored in on one pass through and blank on a second pass through. I can't believe they couldn't figure that one out. That one's easier to get than the handkerchief trick.

Afterward Kate disingenuously tells each of the boys how incredible they did. I hate when adults try to make a kid who just sucked feel better by lying to them. It does them no favors. There's no reason to be negative to them, but kids are smart enough to know when you're just trying to help them feel better, and it makes it worse. You can tell of course they don't believe her. Sad. 

Commercials. Little people getting haircuts and painting their nails! Yea!

They're prepping for a deck party to pop their new deck's cherry. Wait, did I miss the episode where they actually built their deck or was that just a blog post? It seems like that would be far more of an (mildly) interesting episode than a bunch of dumb magic tricks. You know while all this boring stuff is going on I'm thinking about the boys and how in other families I know that have boys and girls, the girls know they can't give shit to their brothers or they'll get a knuckle sandwich. Unfortunately for the Gosselin boys all three of them are very quiet and passive, much like their father. When the girls are nasty to them, they always just stand there and take it and then make sad faces afterward. It's so pathetic. I wish I could light a fire under their bellies and get them to fight back a bit. One or two twisted ears and some noogies and those girls would shut up right quick.

Kate's making a big drama about putting together a deck chair. Mady calls her out as just putting on a show, she knows she can build things. Well the kids' lip is awful when they give it to their siblings, but amazing when they use it to call out Kate on her fake crap. Carry on.

There's a lot of yelling and screaming from Kate during this segment over mostly stupid stuff like what chairs get what pillows. At least Kate admits this is just how she is and she's trying to reign it in. I believe this is who she is, but I see absolutely no evidence she is trying to do better.

Their outdoor grill is AWESOME but are they sure it's not a really big fire hazard on that wooden deck and right up against the wooden house? I don't know about that. One unruly flame and it's over. Nothing else interesting happens except Kate claims this is going to be a big party, lol sure, and Mady telling Kate she has bad breath. Lol!

Kate is throwing a party as more of a science experiment just to see how many people she can fit on the deck. Shouldn't you ask the construction company that first?

I like that most of the guests so far consist mostly of former or current nannies, hehe. Trickling in there are a couple of the kids' friends including Marley and what looks like their moms, and that's about it.

The food looks good, with burgers and lots of grilled seafood. Kate counted 30 people there. I counted ten. 

As extras they brought in a nice Asian family with cute little kids they show when Kate talks about family, but I don't believe for a second those people are family. Very sneaky, Kate!

One of the boys does a backflip off the diving board. Why is it whenever I see diving boards now I hear Norma Bates from Bates Motel saying "no one builds pools with diving boards anymore. Too much liability." Heh, Vera Farmiga is so brilliantly chilling on that show, and what a perfect representation of a sociopath by the fine writers. Next up is Little Couple, which on principle I don't like because they exploit their kids too. However, I will say that they at least seem like nice people and certainly devoted parents. I appreciate the way the dad on that show talks about parenthood and how it's changed him. He is obsessed with his children, in a good way, it's sincere and not put on for the cameras like what Kate does, and they are lucky to have him.