Friday, September 1, 2017

Recap: Kate Plus 8 "8 Movie Makers": Onlooker #2 films some orphanage kids

Still catching up on a few outstanding recaps, enjoy! 

8 Movie Makers is another cop-out bottle episode, where it all takes place at the house, which is dirt cheap to film, and it's mostly filler. Thankfully it's only 21 minutes, so this recap should be much more brief and a relief for me!

I have a new toy. Amazon fire stick. It's amazing. It has a gazillion apps to access all the T.V. and movies you could ever want, and music, and it's only a one-time purchase of $39.99. Much of the content on the apps is free or at least partially free, if you're a cable cutter, and if you're not you should know you can now pretty much watch all or almost all of your shows this way for much cheaper than a cable box would run you. Even if you like a traditional "guide" and DVR options as you channel surf, you can still have that: you have the much cheaper options now of Playstation Vue or DirectTV streaming on your fire stick, both of which operate more like a cable box for a third of the price and no holes to drill in your floor. If you haven't cut the cord by now, why? They even have sports available now. Best of all my T.V. is mounted over my fireplace, and with the fire stick I don't need any wires coming down from it because it's just a little piece of plastic that plugs into the back. I'm in heaven! Fire stick is not paying me to say this nor do I make any dough if you buy one through the link I posted, I just like sharing things that make life enjoyable.

TLCgo has their own app for Amazon fire, and for once, TLC has an app that is smooth, organized and easy to use. You just browse or search for your series, and when it pops up it shows you all the seasons they have and all the episodes. Scroll on over to what you want and hit play and you're off and running. For the longest time I wasn't able to catch up on old recaps because I simply couldn't find the episodes anywhere, not for free anyway. I like that TLC has now put up all the episodes of all their series on TLCgo now. TLCgo is free, by the way, as long as it's part of your regular cable subscription (it should work just fine if you have Vue or DirectTV streaming, too).

This first aired in August 2011, a whopping six years ago. It's always interesting to look back and see what's different and what's the same. Things are frankly, mostly the same. As per the usual, Kate is taking credit for an episode idea in that she thought of it to have the kids make their own movie. The movie they are forced to live all the time for the cameras isn't enough? Geez.

A company called "Movie Makers" comes to the house, headed by Melissa and Sam. I googled the company to see if they're still around and yes, here they are, still running their camps and private lessons. Their 10 week classes are only $375, which frankly is very reasonable.  They're also still bragging that they are "as seen on Kate Plus 8". Seven years later maybe it's time to drop that association. What's also funny is I found an interview with a very polite Melissa about her experience on Kate Plus 8, where she explains that the idea to hire her was dreamed up by one of the producers brainstorming episode ideas, whose daughter had participated in Movie Makers and enjoyed it. Baw! Busted, Kate. Wait a second, why would you need to sit around a table brainstorming episode ideas for a reality show? I love when people inadvertently out this charade for exactly what it is.

Melissa is an "actor," by the way, and has a decent-sized IMDB page of mostly bit parts in mostly D-list shows and movies. But she did make an appearance or two on reputable shows like Army Wives and as "Onlooker #2" on One Tree Hill. Follow your dreams and all that. Onlooker #2, lol. I prefer ogler myself, and I'd like to be #1 please!

Well this is nice, Kate takes a hike because she wants the movie to be a surprise. More than likely this is not a trip so she's not interested, but it's fine by me. Imagine collecting a huge paycheck, likely in the high five figures, just by saying, "Here kids go make a movie with Melissa" and then going upstairs and cutting yourself up an avocado to put on your salad. Kind of crazy.

The younger kids seem awfully young for the things Melissa is explaining to them: rolling, speed, slate? The kids look like they don't care and more just want to play with the clapboard. I'm going to call this right away that this activity is way too old for them, teens would get way more out of this. With little kids, it just turns more into a chaotic play time. What is with this show and their struggle to find these kids activities that are age appropriate? Usually the activities are way too babyish, but it goes both ways, and this time the activity is way too mature for them to get much out of it.

Collin is yawning away on the couch. The kids pull out a crap ton of costumes from God knows where and start trying them on. What is this movie about? Are they just randomly picking customes? Do the kids understand what they're doing and why? Because I'm confused myself.

Well armchair psychologist this, Mady has decided the movie will be about an orphanage. Melissa instructs one of the sextuplets that she will play an "orphanage girl". Um, does she mean "orphan"? Oh well, actors are not known for being bright.

They cut to a shot of Sam folding up all the mountains of unused costumes and putting them back. Why aren't the kids doing that? They created this cyclone. What tends to happen to celebrity kids, wealthy kids or kids on T.V., I've seen first hand, is that when people come over like this, they don't treat them the same as they would other kids. Happens all the time. They get special treatment, including cleaning up all their crap for them. It's not good, Sam. Not good at all. When I nannied, I used to have to ask the housekeeper to please stop making the children's beds in the morning and cleaning up after them all the time, as I wanted them to make their own beds themselves and clean up after things themselves, and to get in trouble when they didn't. It didn't matter to me things weren't made up as perfect as the way Ophelia would do it, I wanted the children to have to do it. It's important. There is a long line of people in these children's lives who have done them no favors.

Melissa explains that they're going to start filming, but they will film out of order. That's typical of most films. Mady remarks that their reality show is filmed in order, so this is a change. That's not true, we have caught them multiple times filming out of order, and Jon was once ordered to keep his beard for the sake of "continuity." Now why would you need to worry about continuity if you were always filming in order? Heh.

It's fascinating to watch how much time they waste showing us absolutely nothing. There's a whole lot of the younger kids rambling, which is even more meandering because they're so young, and a lot of walking around, and nothing is happening.

Even at this age, it seems to me doing the camp, or having friends over to help make the movie, would be so much more fun than Mady and Cara having to direct all their younger siblings. Kind of a drag.

Collin and Joel are manning the cameras, and they're just way too young for this. They're chopping people's heads off gyrating them up and down so much I'm getting nauseous. Collin is wearing an adorable oversized pirate hat. Hehe.

Great, perfect! Melissa is constantly saying to everything these kids do. I can't stand when all adults do is over-praise kids.

Melissa's introducing herself again. I thought we already did the meet and greet portion earlier. Well, hello, again. Why do I get the feeling Melissa is the type of gal who tends to do stuff like mix up the salt for the sugar?

Melissa says at the moment the movie doesn't make any sense, but she'll figure it out. Um.

The TLC interns are getting cutesy, putting a little of the script up on the screen "Ext. Magical World."

Melissa thinks it's just so wonderful that the kids don't have a problem with looking at the cameras, which is the problem for other kids she teaches. Melissa, that is because since birth they have been filming a virtual Truman Show, you understand that, right? Don't you find their heightened abilities to work so smoothly with a camera crew at such a young age creepy, like, at all? She's getting dumber by the moment. I'm surprised she didn't use the cool industry lingo she's been invoking all along, it's called spiking the camera, and it's such a common mistake even from adult professionals that is should really weird her out these kids never do it.

The kids are starting to lose it with all this filming, and some are hitting each other and getting annoyed. Kate and Melissa are excusing all this atrocious behavior, especially with guests over, as just simply sibling rivalry.

Day three of filming? This doesn't sound fun. It sounds exhausting. That's over half the time it takes to film a real drama episode, like Law and Order, and it's well documented how exhausting those five days usually are. Why does everything have to be a 10 out of 10 here? Why couldn't they just make a short film for half a day or something, maybe a day? Melissa has given up even putting make-up on at this point, heh, and she looks tired.

At this point Melissa says she has no clue how the movie will turn out and it's all over the place. Um, isn't she supposed to be in charge here? How much is she getting paid to be this confused? And in conclusion, may I please remind you that it does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty!

So, was Kate really totally MIA all these three days? That's kind of odd, though I really enjoyed the break from recapping her histrionics. But, I have to admit, it makes the episodes even more boring than they usually are when no one is having a mental health episode for me to discuss. Kate said earlier she cleaned her room during all this time. Good, I'm sure it needed it.

Kate looks so tan she looks like she's a totally different race, she looks like people who aren't white but who like to dye their hair blond. She looks ridiculous, and you can really see the difference here in how much less she tans these days. They finished filming and now it's time for the movie premiere. They don't explain how they get from filming to a movie premiere. I'm guessing Melissa goes back to the office and splices it all together in between bit parts as Onlooker #2?

The kids are so young, I'm not sure they really know what a movie premiere looks like to get a kick out of this. But production did a good job nonetheless, making a real mini-red carpet at the house, and Melissa and Sam standing in as reporters asking questions. I like Melissa's movie poster, it looks like a poster from when Lifetime used to make halfway decent Sunday night movies about things like kidnappings. Not bad at all.

Melissa interviews Kate on the red carpet. Shmoopy is in her element. Talk about myself? Yes please!

They all line up on the couches and floor of course with popcorn, and watch the movie, The Orphans' Adventure. Good punctuation, Melissa.

So far this is kind of the plot of Annie, in which the hard knock orphans have to clean all day. Also, it sounds like their real life. Remember Kendra crying because the children had so many chores to do every day? It takes kind of a Stephen King-like twist when some of the orphans get sucked down into a vortex and end up..... in Kate's back yard, far as the eye can see!

I'm losing the plot here, suddenly there are other kids popping up in various costumes, and Mady and Leah find a pirate chest and take something out of it. Oh, Melissa.

For once I think Kate's expression is justified. She's trying to be proud of all this, but can't follow the plot either.

Leah and Mady aren't the worst actors in the world, I'm mildly impressed with their ability to trip and fall realistically, and make scared faces. But the best actor in this whole thing is wearing a unicorn costume so I can't tell who it is.

The hard to follow plot ends with some of the kids in costume inviting the orphans to stay with them. But why? It's extra mouths to feed, and they barely know them. Wouldn't it make more sense to call CPS if children are being worked to death at an orphanage? Or even the cops? Yeah this is me, during every movie. I'm that film-goer.

Melissa is getting quite lovey dovey with these kids after only knowing them three days, affectionately holding Leah's hands and swinging them back and forth and giving her a very warm hug. Does she honestly think that's a good idea for their sake? She's just going to be ripped from their lives at the end of the filming never to be seen again. This is a big reason these kids have the problems that they do now, the revolving door of people doling out love to them, then being taken away, including their own father.

This episode had a huge redeeming factor in that Kate was barely in it. She only swooped in at the end to obnoxiously make this all about Mady and her growth, when all the other kids, especially Leah, were chipping in their fair share and I'm sure grew too! And that's a wrap!