Sunday, February 26, 2017

Recap: Kate Plus 8 "Beach Time!": Shoulda let her strings go, Ike

Coming up on Kate Plus 8, another baller vacation, this time in Alabama, where they pretty must do every expensive excursion you could possibly do at the ocean.  This is their "yearly" trip to the ocean, says Kate, and by yearly she means if they are filming she will finagle a trip to the ocean. They also finally train their almost six-month-old puppies, who should have been trained four months ago. Don't try to figure it out, one has absolutely nothing to do with the other. You know, why does one get puppies over the summer anyway if you know you're going to be out of town so much? Part of the reason they're so poorly behaved is because their owners are not providing them any consistency.

Kate again emphasizes they came in late last night. We were all shaking our heads to realize they filmed the space camp footage and traveled a six hour drive to the beach house all in the same day. What reason would she have to lie about that? Wouldn't she lie and say the opposite, that they filmed it over several days, so as not to give the appearance of over-working the kids? We had a discussion on the blog about this show's budget, and all signs are suggesting it's been slashed dramatically. From having to film everything in just a day or two, to hauling in their own food from grocery stores instead of eating out, to now, vacationing in the deep South in the dead of summer, when prices tend to hit rock bottom because it's so hot and muggy. God bless Alabama, but it's not so comfortable in August.

There's an aerial shot of the beach house, and it's huge. It's a mansion, with a big dock right along a beautiful inlet. In the background, you can see the city just a hop, skip and a jump away. And this after Kate claimed the house was in the middle of nowhere so they had to bring all their own food in. No they're not.

They're about to go parasailing, and Kate demands they all finish up lunch quickly or she "might ask the man to let the strings go." I'm all for having a sense of humor with your kids, but why is Kate constantly teasing about things that could either kill or cause great bodily harm to her children? It's truly creepy, no joke.

Those "girls" of Kate's, oy! Put them away, especially in the kitchen. Is this a brothel or summer vacation?

The parasailing instructor Ike introduces his crew but gets bored when Kate tries to introduce herself and instead he just keeps giving directions, cutting her off. Heh, I have a funny feeling he really doesn't care who she is or what this filming is all about, this is just another customer to keep safe and provide a good experience to and on to the next one. He will soon go the way to the river raft man, I feel this one coming.

Oddly, there is no discussion of seasickness this time. We have to have the conversation on every other boat ride, what gives? The three youngest girls whoosh up first, and love it. Everyone is shocked how high they go up when parasailing, including me. 450 feet?! Yowser. Okay, I'll give Kate a pass here on not liking this. This is way too much like skydiving, only even worse, there's no instructor with you and the harnesses look really flimsy. The boys and the twins take a crack at it, too. You guessed it, this was fun.

A long discussion from Kate about how she didn't want to be pressured into doing this. What dramatics. I didn't see anyone pressuring her. It's no skin off Ike's back whether she goes or not and the kids don't care. In fact most kids wouldn't care what mom does or doesn't do. It's all about them at this age. The kids were enjoying their own fun on this ride, and telling her all about it, and if she wants to do it fine, if she doesn't, it's not their problem. This actually is part of her narcissism, that she thinks anyone gives a damn what she wants to do with herself. Nobody does. Heh, I like the flashback to the New Zealand bungie jumping, where Brad pushes her off the ledge. One of the few flashbacks they should just keep playing over and over. Ike is finally like well are you going or not, decide now. That's right, it's really freaking annoying when someone is holding up the group with their indecisiveness. Oh good Lord, she's crying now. Ike is like, okay, nope abort. Seriously! I love that he's not putting up with her shenanigans. Either jump in the deep end or not, but if not, get off the damn diving board so everyone else can carry on with their fun.

Of course Kate refuses to abort because at the end of the day she knows good and damn well she will do this, that this is all for maximum show and attention and making sure this is all about her. She demands Ike only send her up a few feet.  Once again in an effort to make herself feel better, she's made the ride more precarious. Common sense suggests that's terribly unsafe. You wouldn't get as much wind in the sail that way, and if anything goes wrong, there's absolutely no room to correct it before you slam face first into the back of the boat. Idiot. Nope, that's not how it works, is essentially Ike's response.

Kate eventually gets on the ride, with the obligatory screaming and screeching and parentified Aaden and Cara going up with her to comfort her. Kate remarks once again that it was not being able to swim that was one of the things bothering her. Good God, then get some swimming lessons for the love of holy heck and then that fear will be solved. Holy moly. And by the way, from that height, not being able to swim is not going to be the problem if anything does malfunction. I mean, you're dead from 450 feet if it failed. Is she dumb, or just stupid? By the way, in some brief googling about parasailing accidents, I found that the Federal Aviation Administration has regulated parasailing to 400 feet maximum. So, was Ike exaggerating when he said they would go up 450, or breaking the law? Hm.

Let me be clear here, there's nothing wrong with not liking parasailing. I'll admit it, I would never do this and do not feel unfulfilled for not doing so. About on average one death every 1-2 years doing this is enough for me to say no thanks. But to cause all this drama is uncalled for.

You know, the kids were having fun. A blast. They loved seeing the sites from up high and no one was fighting or bickering, or feeling sick to their stomach, or upset. Doofus ruined a rare pleasant outing. And I think a huge part of her disturbing psychology is that she can't help but ruin it. One, because she's petrified it won't be good footage because calmness in her mind is boring to viewers. And two, she can't help but want the attention all on her. Quite the opposite, I enjoyed seeing the kids relaxed like this, it was good to see them have a moment where everything was working out. It only got obnoxious when the plot turned to her freak out.

Kate does a weird nervous slithering snake thing with her tongue on the ride. The twins make fun of it. It's almost like a tick, which may be just a tiny clue into the chemistry of her brain. That's something a six-year-old would do when they are stressed, not a mature adult woman who has control of herself. If you don't believe something is very wrong with her upstairs, I don't know what to tell you.

Heh, they do a private interview with Ike once back on shore, who calls Kate a basket case. He should have let her strings go, eh?! I expect about five years from now Kate will be trashing him just like she did the rafting instructor from five years ago, because that's how this woman rolls.

The next "day" (I'm keeping track of the days now, it's got my attention), they go on a segway tour.  Joel's segway won't go fast, to which Cara calls him "stupid." Um, no, he's not stupid. His segway wouldn't go fast because it was on "beginner" mode. It had nothing to do with Joel. These kids always jump to the most cutting, nasty remarks about each other, and often it's completely unjustified. One of the instructors fixes it for him and he starts going at normal speeds, no big deal and no cause for cutting him down, Cara.

They were "naturing along" on the segways and it started to rain. Naturing??

It's a little hard to tell what's going on next amid all the whining, but it certainly appears that Mady and Kate are ready to make the whole group call it quits because of the sprinkle that's messing up their hair. Many of the other kids are very distraught at the idea of cutting this short, as they should be. What the hell? It's not pouring nor do I see any lightning which would make this unsafe, and once again, it's hella rude to quit a group activity when so many other people would like to continue, not to mention the instructors who made great efforts to set this up nice for you. And probably, are doing so with the understanding built into this that filming will include some free promotion. Therefore, quitting early is even more not cool in this scenario. Same as what they did on the horseback ride in the Poconos! Just quit!

I'm well aware Mady is just a child, but she is extremely selfish and spoiled, and I have never once heard Kate tell her she is being selfish and spoiled, to knock it off, get back on her segway, and suck it the F up, as she should as the parent. In fact in this case, Kate backed her up! What?! The instructor wants to know if these kids always complain this much. I'll answer: yes. Kate doesn't seem at all embarrassed a perfect stranger has within minutes pegged her kids as massive bellyachers. She should be mortified they are behaving this way in public, or at all.

Kate gets mad when Lex stops in the middle of the path, and blames Lex for almost making her crash. No, Doofus, you need to pay attention to what's in front of you and be ready to stop if you need to. I wonder how many cars she's rear-ended in her lifetime. I'm guessing a lot. And it was their fault too they stopped you told the cops, right?

Kate refuses to turn the speed up on her machine, yet is complaining (after that guy just told them they complain too much) that kids are darting in front of her on the road. Cara explains that the reason everyone is darting in front of her is indeed because she's going too darn slow. Well, that makes sense.

"I'm so tired of getting picked on about everything I do, just leave me be!" says 12-year-old doofus here.

Sigh. You weren't being "picked on," Kate. You were being called out, correctly so, for being obnoxious on a fun activity. Same with the parasailing; if you can't keep up, sit it out. But don't insist on doing something you really aren't mentally prepared for, and then spoil everyone else's fun. It's refreshing to see the kids call her out now that they're older, yet at the same time, I'm really sorry that their lives have to involve calling out their raging lunatic of a mother so much. It looks stressful.

It's their last day. So, I clocked the beach portion of the trip at three full days, plus their one full day at space camp, for a grand total of four full days on the trip to make two episodes, not counting flying days. Wow. What is the point to travel this far for less than a week?! These kids must be absolutely beat.

Kate makes half full coffee cups of oatmeal with a few drops of liquid brown sugar, and a third of a small cup of orange juice, which is not nearly enough food for kids this age, period, especially those about to do a very physical activity. We watch her pour the oatmeal into the pot and can see how little she puts in for eight people. Thankfully there are a few big croissants floating around, but it's unclear how much they each got to eat of each of them. An airy croissant is not going to fill a kid up either unless they eat a lot of them. I never hear the kids complain they're hungry, I wonder if they've just accepted the dainty portion sizes. So many of them seem irritable all the time, one really has to wonder if it's because they're getting hungry within a few hours of eating. Once conditioned to under eat for so long, they might not recognize and connect their irritability to their hunger. I think I was one of the bloggers here in the past to ere on the side of concerns about their food intake are probably overblown, but I've been rethinking it lately. The undersized portions are much more noticeable now and much more concerning now that they are older and need to eat more. Almost all the kids are thin, and I daresay a lot of them have a dull look to their skin (or bad skin in general) and hair which can be a strong indication they're not filling up on all those yummy calories a 12-year-old craves or drinking enough. Another thing to note is that everyone got the same exact portions. With eight kids, there's going to be some kids who are eating more than others. It's unlikely they all need exactly the same amount. For instance, at this age the boys and the twins should be starting to have appetites that pull away from the younger sisters. In some cases, a 12-year-old boy will want to eat nearly double what the girls are eating. In any case, nothing starts a day off terribly than not getting enough to eat and drink.

The kids take over this big floating trampoline thing in the middle of the water. Huh, is that theirs to use? And who is lifeguarding this when Kate can't swim? Incredibly dangerous. Oh, and by the way, once again she won't let them dish up the amount of oatmeal and brown sugar they would like. She has to portion it out for them like they're in a nursing home. It would have been nice to just stay at a hotel with a breakfast buffet and let them fill up their own trays, full of as much waffles, yogurt, eggs and biscuits 'n' sausage gravy they want. And a tall glass of juice.

This is getting tedious. Next they go kayaking, where this instructor has to tell the group to relax and calm down, and that they're here to have fun. Again, isn't it embarrassing that a perfect stranger has to tell your family to relax and calm down? Is anyone in this family feeling chagrinned at all, or are they so used to making a scene it doesn't phase them anymore? Ha, I'm liking Alabamians. This instructor, Chris, flat out tells them, eh, I'm not gonna remember any of your names but whatever, sure, you're Kate. Lol. She must just hate this blasé attitude by the locals. No one seems at all impressed by them or seems to know who they even are.

At some point Mady loses phone privileges because she pushed Kate's kayak away. Huh, what? Kate has an absolute meltdown over who even knows what. Kate is convinced this was an intermediate kayaking trip. Not in the slightest! It was a flat little inlet. Baby to beginner at best. What is she even talking about? Not really relaxing though, right under a freeway overpass. Heh, drowns Kate out though.

The instructor finally gives up and tethers his kayak to Kate, towing her back. What a dolt.

Heh, the instructor jokes that they have four miles left. Well, he'll go the way of Brad and river man in short order.

The way Kate angrily grits her teeth and says "Hannah, stop paddling!" was flipping scary. It's the tone of voice nasty parents use right before they yank their child's ear two feet up. In all seriousness, there are a lot of red flags present that this woman still harbors a very, very serious anger management problem. If she can't even keep it together while on camera, it is frightening to imagine what her limits are off camera. (Here are some of the tell-tale signs of an anger issue and Kate pretty much displays all of them just in this one episode: Criticizing, belittling, putting down, lack of patience, irritability and short temper, blaming everyone and everything else, people avoid you, people feel like they're walking on eggshells around you, and so on.)

Well this is sad. The instructor in his private interview said he had intended to take the group out to collect some trash and do a mini environmental clean-up, but he had to scratch that plan. Good job ruining everything, Kate. Again.

The vacation comes to an abrupt end and now we start the completely unrelated storyline of training the puppies. Naturally they get private one-on-one training with professional dog trainers, which is exorbitantly expensive. Kate spends a long time explaining how much of a crazy dog lady Kate is, with little to no clips to really back that up. I mostly get the impression the dogs to her are, depending on the day, a mild inconvenience to up to a total nuisance. Meanwhile when the dog trainer lady comes in, I know instantly she's a sincere dog lover without her just talking about it, as she greets the dogs down at their level in that baby voice true dog lovers use to speak to their dogs: "Who's a booo-tiful girl, yes yoo are!"

Kate? That's a crazy dog lady. Not you.

The dog lady is using clicker training? That's going to be way too complicated for this family. You guessed it, right out of the gate Kate is arguing with the trainers. What a pest she is.

Cara's picking lint again as Mady is explaining what is at the end of the day pretty boring.

I do like the trainer's firm emphasis on positive training. She believes in never punishing the dog at all, which is what I believe, too, mostly because I believe it is the most humane, but also because it just works better. Kate desperately needs this kind of training in parenting teens, I'm serious. She would really benefit from some one-on-one parenting training, I really think it would make everyone all around happier if she used some other technique, any other technique, other than being such an obnoxious nag yelling at them all the time. Click, Kate. Click click!

Kate says she has to say "come" 500 times. That's what she said.

The kids are having fun during all this, wrestling a bit, and there's Kate yelling and hollering at them again and making snide, unfunny remarks. She doesn't see the irony in all this emphasis on positive reinforcement, as she's being nothing but negative to the kids.

She thinks her joke about how the kids need children training is so funny she says it twice to the trainer and yet another time on the couch. I get a kick out of it when she gets so proud of herself for coming up with the most minimally clever dumb lines. Heh. In any case, no, Kate. The children are fine. They are children. You are the one who needs intensive, one-on-one parenting instruction. It's you. 

Oh stop the presses, at age six months, someone is actually teaching these dogs how to walk on a leash. My God. Hint, put your dog on a leash and get them used to it the moment you bring them home and you won't have such an issue with a dog who looks nearly full grown looking at a leash like a confused child stumped by a math problem. That's pretty damning evidence these dogs have never been walked before in their lives. Another huge reason they are poorly behaved. It is not enough to just let a dog run around a big yard, they must be actually walked by an owner, on a leash. There are numerous articles all over the internet explaining why if you're interested in knowing more about that.

Next up, Sweet 16 for the twins. I kind of question whether a kid who picks lint on the couch the whole time during these episodes really wants her birthday party filmed. Sixteen, whew. Digest that for a second, the twins are sixteen and still being filmed. For the record, we first met them when they looked like this. That's them in between their parents:

Sixteen candles, Kate remarks. Heh, a poor man's Molly Ringwald.

See you next time.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Recap: Kate Plus 8 "Gosselins in Space": Super fun!

Coming up on Kate Plus 8! They're heading off "own" a summer vacation. "A" summer vacation is actually a fair way to say it, since they just got back from two other baller summer vacations, New Orleans and the Poconos. It's definitely not their only one this summer like most families.

Hey, did they go here straight from New Orleans? Wouldn't that have made more sense? Or did they come down here separately? How wasteful, if so.

This space camp in Alabama actually looks deliriously fun, with lots of simulators and enthusiastic instructors, but wouldn't the kids enjoy it a lot more going off to overnight space camp, or any camp, without their mother?

Not surprisingly, the extent of Kate's "training" of the dogs is to yell at them to "stop!" By the way, they weren't doing anything wrong. Just wrestling with each other. Totally normal puppy behavior, and actually, important to their development, as they learn their own strength, begin to understand the concept of play fun versus going too far, and have good exercise and bonding time with each other.

Mady describes them as pretty terrible puppies, who jump up on them all the time, scratch them, and don't listen. Well, that's because they aren't trained. Footage shows they won't even let themselves be leashed up and walk with the kids. They are five months old, this is absurd. We'll do puppy school when Kate gets the chance, Kate remarks. She's hopeless. There are no bad dogs, just bad owners.

If I sound like I'm in a bad mood, I am. I have to watch this drivel on TLCgo again because apparently, Playstation Vue won't keep episodes in my DVR more than a couple weeks. Curses. See my last recap for all the problems with this stupid app. Namely, the app does not allow you to pause and resume the program without starting over from the beginning, the commercials are five minutes long, and you're forced to watch endless promos of fat people and the Dugggars.

The kids, who aren't doing anything wrong, are being hollered at by Kate that the house is trashed and they're not going to come back from vacation to dirty floors and a dishwasher full of dirty dishes. The kids obediently clean up, not giving her any lip. Why couldn't Kate just ask them in a normal tone to please tidy up the house and help her with do her to-do list? Does she think kids will only obey if you scream and snap at them? Good God, she's just awful lately.

Some packing footage, which is boring and almost exactly like the packing footage for New Orleans.

Cara takes a break from picking at a hangnail to admit that she had actually always wanted to go to space camp. That's good. I'm glad the twins are enthusiastic about this. Cara even spoke.

Space camp is an immersive program that lets kids get a taste of what it's like to be an astronaut, Kate reads from her script. Kids, Kate. Lets kids experience space. Drop them off and go the F away. Jesus.

Rocket things, says Kate. I punch her in the face, virtually.

Well this is impressive. The actual CEO of the joint, Dr. Deborah Barnhart, is their host. If you're interested in her resume, it's pretty stacked. She was one of the first women captains in the Navy and post-military worked on classified satellite technology. I'm sure she'll be reduced to "Ms. Space Lady Cadet" soon.

They zip up in rather cute flight suits. First up, a simulator that imitates tumbling. Aaden and Joel have proven to be game for trying new things. They are usually positive and cheerful, first in line, and set a good example for their siblings. While the other siblings were worried about losing their breakfast, they were having a blast in the simulator. Somehow, Kate hasn't projected all her fears and freak outs onto the boys.

Oh, yeah, Collin's totally MIA on this wildly fun journey, which is sad, and once again no one explains this. If you missed the initial episode where Kate talked about him, or the People article, you'd be lost, that is if you even noticed he's gone. They keep the editing disjointed enough you might not.

Kate's going to try the simulator, and the kids practically beg her not to scream and make a scene. Really! There's other people here besides them, it's not 2009 and they didn't manage to buy out the whole place this time, and the kids are clearly at an age where she's starting to really embarrass them. I'm with them, could she please just hold it together for once, and if she can't, then don't particulate.

Kate remarks that it looks like the electric chair. Heh, one only wishes.

"Pretend you're in your bed at home!" one of the kids suggests. What? What's happening in that bed? And I never thought Steve was the type.

Kate doesn't like the simulator of course, but at least she seems to somewhat be trying not to have a total meltdown. A few screams get out, but she does try. The kids laugh at her, heh.

Yea! Five minutes of fat people commercials!

Next up, moon walking, where the simulator imitates what it's like to bounce around on the moon. One of the walks is called the bunny hop. Kate is either imitating a bunny, or making fun of a disabled reporter. I cannot tell which.

Fun, funny, and super fun are this family's go-to adjectives lately. And that's about it.

Next up, the lunar mission, which is very similar to something I did as a 6th grader at some kind of museum on a field trip. They simulate check-lists, problems, and other things like that similar to what you would encounter on a real mission. Nobody's mother was there. It was way cool. It's starting to just get humiliating to see Kate front and center everywhere for activities that are clearly geared toward camp kids, not their mothers. She is Rosalind Russell, always there, always in the center, always along for what should be the children's ride.

I'm afraid, Alexis, you would be playing the role of the cow. Don't feel bad, Natalie Wood had to do it too.

A lot of the instructors here look more like minimum wage high school and college hires, not professional scientists. I could be wrong, but that makes it seem much less legit to me and more just summer-camp like. In my brief google of this place apparently it did almost go bankrupt recently.

They're fighting over who is going to be on the "ground" in mission control and who is going to go to space. It sounds petty as most of their arguments usually are, but I actually remember it being a really big deal on my middle school field trip who would be mission control and who would be in the space ship. Naturally mission control sounded boring and stupid to most of us. As I recall some saintly teacher talked up how important and fun mission control was such that we fancied ourselves Ed Harris saving humanity and that smoothed it all over quickly, because that's what adults who are good with kids do.

Why is Kate even chiming in here about what she wants to do (Go to space, of course. Doofus.)? This is the kids' thing. You take the leftovers like a normal mother or better yet go run some errands and pick them up when it's over.

Well, Mady's called this exactly right so I'll just quote it: "I think she has this problem where, like, she doesn't realize that like, we are children, and, like usually, like the fun, like children like enriching experiences are for the children? So like, she always has to do like the best part?" I'll forgive the likes and everything-is-a-question talk this time because she's nailed it. Heh, it was only a matter of time before the kids woke up. The question is what happens next? Will they continue to let her get away with it, or will they pull a Missy Francis (resident patron saint of screwed over child stars), funnel all their own money back into their secret accounts then cut ties with their mother once and for all the second they become adults? Time will tell.

Kate thinks it's cute she is insisting on being at the forefront of all this. She wants to be the flight director, who is the one in charge. It's not cute. It's freaking annoying and it's annoying the kids. Oh my god, Joel wants to be the flight director, as he should want that, and even Mady tells Kate to back the F off and let Joel be flight director. Good lord. Again, not cute, not funny.

What's even more fascinating is that Kate makes a comment that she knows she should just sit back in mission control and not be in the spaceship. So, then why can't she control herself and do what she knows is the right thing to do for the sake of her kids? Fascinating.

It took four hours to figure out how to have some teamwork and accomplish this mission? Please tell me Doofus here is exaggerating.

Kate and Mady disparage Joel for awhile, and then they launch a ship and go for a space walk. An extremely long conversation about how the space suits don't fit just right. Wouldn't this make just a wonderful couple of days for eight Make a Wish kids? Sigh.

As per her usual, Kate is shouting at the kids and barking orders when they're not 100% Johnny-on-the-spot. But that's the whole point of activities like this, you get faced with sometimes pretty challenging problems and you pool your kid brains together and work through it. Nope, it won't be as fast as most adults could do this, but this isn't a race, this is a learning opportunity.  Having Mom yelling in your headset what to do defeats the whole purpose.

Does anyone else find it weird and detached when Kate refers to her own children as "people"? As in, people were very disorganized on this mission. Heh, what?

Three of the kids appear to be doing the most allegedly exciting part of this mission, space walking to repair something. It's not all that. They kind of bounce up some cheap scaffolding. Big whoop. Nonetheless Alexis begins to have a meltdown worthy of the most tenacious five-year-old, lamenting over and over how unfair this all is that she doesn't get to "space walk" i.e. bounce up some cheap scaffolding. She even balls her hands up in fists and pounds them on the table. Geez! Kate's response is to agree it's not fair because she, Kate, would like to do the space walk too.  First, this looks like yet another activity that would make Doofus here yell and scream, so I don't really believe this is up her alley. Second, what an absolute child. Instead of, as my teacher did for us when we felt the same, helping this distraught child learn how to cope with that "unfair" feeling she will experience throughout her life, she essentially validates her. Terrible parenting. How about remind her how this kid and her family is taking the place of eight sick children who would appreciate this whole thing in whatever role they are assigned a hell of a lot more than she does, and wouldn't worry about what's "unfair."

They finish the mission, and Alexis is still pouting. The adjectives are getting way more sophisticated now. That wasn't just fun. It was super fun. As we were discussing on the blog, this family doesn't exactly engage with their audience like the Irwins do.  Plus, it didn't look fun for many of them. Many of them seemed really disenchanted by the roles they were assigned to, so bad they just couldn't get over it. It's very irritating to repeatedly watch someone describe something on a reality show that bears no resemblance to the truth.

Next they basically play a video game involving fighter jets where the goal is to shoot the other people down. I can hang with the best of them playing first person shooter games like Grand Theft Auto or Uncharted, but even this seems rather morbid. It's not like you're shooting a computer fighter jet. That's supposed to be the other person in your path. This was also super fun, by the way.

The twins are suddenly referring to Kate as "Mother," which I totally dig and is so much better than the childish "Mommy." Very Norman Bates.

Commercials. Whitney after all this time is still freaking out over maybe being pregnant. So take the dang test already, good Lord. I feel like I've been watching her having a pregnancy scare for a month.

Next, the Centrifuge, which is basically an amusement park ride that spins you around. Oh, this is rich. Kate is going to sit this one out because she fears she'll vomit. How come just last episode in the Poconos Alexis wasn't allowed to sit out the boat ride when she felt like she might vomit? Does Doofus even care how hypocritical she is? She has to know she does it. Ohhh, that was "very fun."

I see TLC is quietly rolling out a scripted series, and have a handful of other new reality shows ready to go that look okay. Who knows where the Gosselins will fit in with all these changes.

Next up, simulating a helicopter crash into the water. It's painful to watch Mady try to carry this show, try to be funny, cute, the Ruthie Camden of the cast, when she's just not.

When Mady says certain things it's painfully obvious, like when she smugly remarks that she didn't want to do this simulator because the helmets weren't fashionable and they didn't want to get their makeup wet. The simulator dumps them into the water and they get soaked. This feels morbid again. Everyone is laughing at the pure hilarity of a helicopter "crash." They then play a game where they can only squawk like a chicken when they crash. Um. Weird. The kids want to do this like a dozen times. Aren't there other kids at the camp would are waiting to do this? Does anyone ask, can we do it again, if no one else is waiting to use it? Good grief. Kate won't participate in this one either, which means we are spared her screaming and carrying on yet again.

Finally they graduate, and get a scout-like patch to commemorate it. A drone shot of nothing. Drone guy is being lazy. I wasn't as impressed with this space camp as I thought I would be. I've heard it's really expensive, and for that kind of money you would expect more than camp counselors who will be undeclared majors and freshman at the local community college next year. I expected more things like meet and greets with a real astronaut, million dollar telescopes, and funky science experiments you just couldn't do at home.

Is Kate getting in a dig at production? She remarks quite firmly that she really wishes they had spent several days at Space Camp. Heh, production whizzed them in and out in one day. There was a budget for that one!

They head to City of Orange Beach in Alabama and a huge house rental that's gorgeous. They have a mountain of grocery bags and coolers in the van and it's very late. What the heck? When did they get all this food?! It must have taken hours. I bet production got it. Why don't they just go out to eat and spare the aggregation? If they can afford a house like this they can afford to just go out to eat or at the very least get take-out and bring it back. Kate claims there is nothing around so that's why they have to haul in their own food. Um, this is City of Orange Beach:

And this is their restaurant Yelp page, with no less than twenty-two different places you can go eat.

Who is she kidding? Why does she do this anyway, haul in all this food when they could just go out to eat? She loves all the other luxuries of an upper middle class life, I would think eating out on the company credit card would be high on her list. If I had to guess, I think maybe she likes the martyrdom of preparing all their own meals? So strange.

Her spoiled children just must have a beach vacation at least once a year. Are these little princes and princesses aware that much of Pennsylvania's children will never see an ocean's shore in their lifetimes, let alone every year? There is a lot of poverty in the rural areas. What's more, there are so many beautiful lakes and rivers right in their own backyard what a shame that is not good enough for them. And this is after they just went to one of the most beautiful areas in the whole country, the Poconos, just a hop skip and a jump away and far less cheaper than renting a mansion in Alabama. Open your eyes.

Kate says it's 11 o'clock at night. Geez. I wonder if this was all the same day, the space camp, grocery shopping, and settling into the beach house. They sure make it seem like it is. What are Alabama's child labor laws and are they allowed to film children, even during the summer, from the early morning hours to almost the next morning? Doubt it, but as they state hop to film with no one watching and holding them accountable, no one will ever be caught.

Next time, yet another vacation, at the beach in Alabama.