Ok, so I’m like a week behind. So I’m putting last weeks all in one post and before the weekend, when I’m superbusy, I will recap— “Jill says Yes to the Dress.” Spoiler alert: She shows elbow. ELBOW. And Derick is so excited and the subsequent hand-holding is so intense, that he sprains a finger. Michelle laughs and talks about new seasons of her life and Jana, blessed and tragic Jana, stares off into the middle distance.
Well anyway, in Duggar news, Jessa is planning to be married to boring old Ben on November 1, giving her a typically short Duggar engagement as they pretend that Jessa is dying to screw Ben. Or rather, commit a sin. God, I can’t imagine a conversation in their marriage.
Ben: Jessa—I would pick all the flowers in all the worlds just to make a Godly crown around your lovely head. *awkward laugh* *sweat* *lurch*
Jessa: Yeah, well. Great.
*50 years pass*
Ben: Jessa, these 50 years have been a glorious testament to our Godly love and every day I pray to Jesus that he sent this gift to bless my life on earth. *awkward laugh* *sweat* *lurch*
Jessa: *clutches rolling pin* *swallows rage* Yeah, well. Great.
END SCENE. As for the picture above, what’s going on with that leaf? I mean, I guess they have to be excited about something.
The first episode is DUGGAR DIRTY JOBS: And that’s not a reference to Anna’s wifely duties but rather all the ways that Jim Bob uses hard labor to break Ben’s spirit. Jokes on Jim-Bob. Ben’s spirit was broken a long time ago. Praise Jesus!
*awkward laugh* *sweat* *lurch*
Now let’s open up to some sassy Duggar guitar playing and Jill explains that HEY, SHE’S ENGAGED TO DERICK DILLIARD! Didn’t you hear? They are engaged. And they now hold hands but they still have a chaperone because of Jesus. And they are going wedding band shopping.
Today they are shopping for wedding bands along with Michelle. They are going to the exact store where Jim-Bob and Michelle bought their bands 30 years ago, when Michelle was a teen cheerleader who liked to wear pants and make out with her husband.
Michelle gets all wide-eyed and said that when she bought her rings, she would NEVER imagine having 19 children. Michelle’s uterus is like “You and me both, sister.” And she WOULD NEVER IMAGINE Jill shopping at the same store for wedding rings all these years later. And she’d never imagine that she’d be so controlling that she’d ensure that both of her sons in law be thoroughly in their sphere of influence to keep the Duggar-Industrial Complex chugging forward. TRADITION.
Jim Bob is all like, “We didn’t plan anything. Just a few folding chairs in a small area and got married.” Ha. Shotgun wedding. Well, not really. I’m from the country and the majority of wedding receptions that I attended as a kid had the Ladies Auxiliary providing ambrosia salad and fruit punch in the way of libation. So, Jim-Bob’s wedding was probably pretty typical. But no Jill. It’s a TLC WEDDING SPECIAL!
Anyway, Derick wanted a simple band that she could wear by itself for Jill because she was a midwife, which is thoughtful and maybe an indication that she might work a little after marriage. Maybe. Perhaps. It’s hard to tell because of her whole pregnancy but it’d be nice for her not to give up all of her dreams. Anyways, get Derick one made of tungsten and shit because it’s a good metal for manly Gothard men. And then the music starts getting poignant and Michelle talks about how Jim-Bob is crying all the time and “it must be much harder than the dads when their little girls get married.” Ha. Shade. Michelle probably hasn’t cried once—well, maybe imagining having to raise her kids by herself. God. Like an animal. The buddy system has failed. FAILED.
Then they show Jim-Bob being all sad about Jill leaving. I wish they had him cry. Jill was the only kid that really understood him. Not like jerky old Jinger or Jessa or boring John-David. He’s like “My kids suck. *cry*”
Anyway, burgers and fries. I hope a Duggar buys and wears the shit out of that shirt.
So now we’re back and old potato head Jim-Bob is being all fatherly to his also-ran daughter, Jesus’s favorite Breck Girl, Jessa. He’s all like “Do you think that it’s the real deal?” Ass if they’d move him into their attic shed if marriage wasn’t inevitable. But then again, they make Jessa say, “I’m going to marry the guy,” probably to try to erase months of bad memories and rumors about her general dislike of Ben. I mean, sure she spent most of last season rolling her eyes and just looking embarrassed. But hey, I GUESS IT’S ALL ERASED WITH HER WAN ENDORSEMENTS OF LOVE. Sinning is a lie, Jessa, even when for the greater good.
I like how they call Ben’s room a “guest room” when it is a hot little alcove above some weird metal structure on their property, festooned with deer-heads and a tiny,sad, metal bed.
Jim-Bob was all like, “It was easier for Dad when Ben lived further away,” trying to deny that he likes control. I mean, that’s Jim-Bob’s whole schtick. He’s just a big, funny affable old guy, who likes a joke and is kind of controlled by others. And he doesn’t like to admit that he controls every aspect of his kids’ lives, all of their communication and it’s likely that he keeps a close eye on even approved potential spouses to make sure they pass muster. ANYWAYS, Jim-Bob is like they don’t go to each other’s rooms USUALLY and they aren’t in a room together.
But if they get engaged they can have passionate hand-holding sessions instead of just lusty side hugs. And then Ben comes down and sees Jessa and we cut to Michelle.
Michelle has the eyes of a Duggar POSSESSED as she chirpily explains that it’s “not like they don’t have those hormones RAGING inside” because they “definitely love each other,” but Ben knows his responsibility before God. And Jim-Bob who is God’s tater tot emissary earth.
And so Ben looks awkward and laughs and sweats. Jessa knows what side of HER bread is buttered and is like the hardest thing about having Ben around all the time, “I have to look my best EVERY SINGLE DAY.” And Ben is like “it just comes naturally.” *lurch lurch* And Jessa laughs and thinks, “No, Ben, you just need to recognize my eyeliner game.” And the fact that she’d probably spend all day making the perfect natural wave in her hair so she wouldn’t be stuck in the kitchen, burning pies and other weird Duggar food.
Now Jim-Bob has decided that he needed a personal assistant to do his Jim-Bob activities, which is good because we really have no good idea what Jim Bob really does. And John-David is stuck going with him, acting like he is all invested in Ben, because he has no other storyline this season.
Does Ben have what it takes to be in the Duggar workforce?
Ben is all nervous and shit which for old sweaty palms probably means he’s just disassociating. In an homage to Huckleberry Finn, likely (clean Gothardy version of course. No swears and shit), they are fixing a fence. Now John David is all like “You don’t have a hammer in your truck do you?” And of course, Ben doesn’t. He has his cool 90s guys sunglasses on but no hammer.
John-David hates production.
But you know, while Ben is the worst, most people just don’t carry around a hammer on the first day of work. And saying that a good carpenter has one is advice that you’d give while you were at home, near all the tools. But anyway, it’s time for a wacky Duggar situation. Ben smiles and says, “We could use a rock” and there is potential for banter but it’s John-David, who has the charisma of a potato. Perhaps it’s his curse, being Jana’s twin and both having their soul crushed by their parents’ extreme right wing religious ideology. But never mind, they leave, the work site and decide to focus on what’s really important.
No, it’s not side-hugging and Jesus porn, but donuts. Delicious, delicious, donuts. They go to this place called “Shipley Do-nuts” and you know it’s old-timey by the hyphen, as if donuts are like a totally new concept and not that is the basis of America’s best franchise. Yes, Dunkins. And screw you, I spent most of my adult life in Boston. It’s a religion. But anyway, they go to this do-nut place and have a raspberry filled and a few bear claws and they just eat their feelings. Jim-Bob calls and asks them about their progress and John David is all like “We got donuts” because being obsessed with food is what passes for personality on this show.
Jim-Bob is all like feigning disappointment and then some wacky Duggar music and cut to a home scene with Grandma and Josie and Jennifer. Grandma has a big plan around taking the little ones to a party shop so they can make wedding gifts for Jill. And Josie smiles and imagine capturing a muskrat and using its blood for decoupage. Or perhaps a mural depicting all her kills this year. “Yes, yes, that will show the glory of the Duggar name for all the world to see and then all the other families will tremble in our wake.”
Anyway, Michelle is brushing Jennifer’s hair and saying “What a special day” and Jennifer doesn’t even crack a smile because she knows it’s all bullshit. Anyway, Michelle, Grandma, Joy Anna go into the Duggar van with the ones that I assume are the little ones—namely Jordyn, Josie, Jackson, Johannah and Jennifer. They go and paint pottery for Jill and Derick.
Now, the charm squad of Johannah and Jackson are all like “We’re excited about Jill and Derick getting married because they’ve never gotten married before.” They show the kids choosing pottery and Michelle’s all like “They aren’t thinking that it’s for Jill’s wedding gift because they think it’s fun” or something, like you know, they aren’t small children who are not always super-practical. L Johannah chooses a horse. Jennifer chooses a horse, cracking a rare smile at the substandard wedding gift that may in some way puncture a tiny hole into the wedding happiness. Michelle is all like to Josie, “Why don’t you get a serving tray that you can use for veggies?” And Josie is like “Yes, I will depict the death of our enemies on this plate.”
They don’t show what the other kids bought. I assume they got three other horses as well.
Now there are more carpentry work with Ben and John David, where we have Ben, who doesn’t know how to do any of this stuff, being ordered around by John David. Ben is like “measuring tapes and Ben...well, we aren’t the best of friends.” As a montage of Ben failing to effectively measure anything is shown. The music is jaunty. They show Jessa saying that it is “Good to have a husband that is good at working with his hands.” And Ben is like “If this were a normal show, this would be a double entendre” and then goes on to say it’s not a necessity. Oh, Ben and Jessa. That’s your storyline. You are the incompetent couple! She can’t cook. He can’t measure things. But together, they take are uplifted by Jessa’s preternatural grooming abilities. I wonder what Ben does for a living. Anyway, he said he has “strengths in other areas,” and smiles and lurches and it seems that creating language is a herculean effort for poor Ben.
God, this is the worst storyline.
Anyway, John-David is all like “he’s got some learning to do.” Jessa calls and she’s all like “You want lunch” and then they work and stuff. So Jessa goes to Ben’s room in a lovely ensemble of like a black tee-shirt with a headband and a jean shirt. She made chicken, green beans and some roles, which she burned. Then they have her talk about the engagement speeding up, then cutting to an excited montage of Michelle reiterating what Jessa just said. They are always fighting the unbearable lightness of being by endlessly reiterating every single plot point.
Anyway, back to the gifts. Joy Anna is like painting her plate and she is talking about how sad she is to see her sister go. They were very close and Joy Anna was her buddy and they’d sleep in the same bed for years. They pan to Josie, smiling maniacally and then Grandma is all Jill and Derick are “a very good match.” Blah blah blah. Well, ok, the rest of the kids aren’t painting horses. Jackson is painting a brown and yellow teapot. Jordyn is giving them a lavender heart plate with yellow hearts (nice color comb, btw) and Michelle Duggar is like painting a yellow square serving plate and then thinking about “Grandbaby” and she laughs and thinks about stealing the golden child for her own and then she can return to her haze of infant care and the other children will just fade into the luminous filter that is much like the one that enhanced Cybill Shepard’s beauty on Moonlighting. Michelle is thinking that maybe Jill will have 19 OR MORE children.
When they were finished painting, as Josie recalled, they had to wash their hands and then put the pottery a kiln and they will go pick it all up in a week. They want to keep it far away too so the kids don’t break them. And you know, they are talking to you, Josie.
Now, back to Ben. Ugh. He has to clean a bathroom. John David is probably all like “You can’t measure tape. Go clean like a woman.” Ben goes and cleans and looks all grossed out. He is trying to narrates things but it’s hard because he’s Ben and language isn’t really his thing. He’s all like telling us how he used to be a germophobe and he used to clean bathrooms and he was totally freaked out, asking for a hazmat suit.
Of course, John David is all like “Jim-Bob is trying to instill all these skills that Ben is going to need” in order to take care of Jessa. I think the bathroom cleaning will be the most relevant. Notice they aren’t the least bit concerned with Derick. Just old dumb measuring tape Ben and burnt roll Jessa. John David gives him his begrudging support.
And Jim-Bob comes by and relieves him from his job and invites him to the house for supper. He laughs at Ben’s failure and says, “If you want to marry a Duggar girl, you can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.”
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Does he get to front hug?
Ok, now to the next episode. Joshua Duggar is back on the food train apparently, which I can’t entirely judge since I called last winter “My season in cheese.” Oh and the soap box derby cars. GREAT.
Now Michelle is reupholstering some bar stools with Jessa and Joy Anna, saying that she last did them in 2003. Oh, it’s time for nostalgia and thriftiness, favorite Duggar talking points. Jessa gets very intense in a way I rarely see her, when she’s like “these are the stools that the boys use when they get their hair cut, these are the stools that they use in the school room, these are the stools that the piano teachers sits on when she’s giving lessons. These stools are put to good use.” And as the picture shows, these are the stools that John David uses to win at Galaga.
I mean, these are some motherfucking important stools.
Anyway, Michelle wants to instill cost-saving skills to her daughters and lists others, like hair-cutting, sewing, cooking, etc etc.
And now, UGHGH. just in case you missed the other 10,000 times they told you, Jill and Derick are in an engagement relationship right now. And Jessa and Ben are in a courtship. And they all need to learn to be frugal. Blah. Buy used and save the difference.
Michelle is excited to do this project with her daughters, as Jennifer looks on. Michelle is all like “Normally my nursing schedule would be in the middle of that” but not anymore, Michelle. You are 48. Time to pay attention to the kids you have. Like old hand me down shoes, right? Even little Josie is getting tiresome. But Jennifer gets you. That’s why she never smiles.
Joy Anna admits that she knows that her mom misses having babies and shit and how quiet it is, now that Josie is four and now can go off on her own to kill rodents and pheasants and whatever else the family needs. Now Michelle begins to talk about the new season of her life—We need a drinking game. DRINK—If Michelle mentions the seasons of her life. DRINK—if they Duggars remind you of courtship and re-explain that there is no hand-holding until marriage. DRINK— if Jim Bob is all like “Buy used and save the difference.
Michelle is giving Jessa to give her “Hint, hint, hint, have a Duggar grandbaby” and Jessa is all like “I could have a kid in a couple of years!”
BWAH, a couple of years? Honey, you probably will give birth by next autumn if past Duggar experiences bear themselves out.
(that’s Jinger from a recent Ben and Jessa trip to the Creation Museum)
Anyway, Michelle is all once again talking about how unlikely it is that her kids will have more than 19. BUT YOU NEVER KNOW. Michelle’s eyes sparkle and she dreams of hegemonic Duggar power. And as her eyes shine, she captures a glimpse of Josie, who nods knowingly and runs into the meadow.
More Grandbabies, Michelle!
Now to old potato Josh Duggar and his wife. Josh is all like “We’re getting more adjusted to the craziness of the city life BUT....” they’ve been eating like crap. Anna is all joking about how the preservatives in the Pillsburys biscuits will “keep us around for a long time.”
Anna’s so much more animated than the Duggars. Maybe living across the country has given her enough to have a bit of a spark that the rest tend to lack except when Michelle is talking about “grandbabies” or Josie is thinking of killing or Jennifer of the meaninglessness of existence.
And they admit to having a lot of “southern meals” on the weekends as Anna outlines a huge pan with bacon and sausage and then makes eggs and cheese. Now they remember a couple of seasons ago when they did a weight loss challenge and now they slacked off. And then there is a knock at the door.
And who shows up? Steve Conley! Josh’s former trainer. Josh is like “Hide the food!” He’s all smiling and is like “Surprise and surprised” and then they cut to Michael who is like “They were so surprised.” Anna looks a little guilty. Now he’s disapproving of their dinner. Anna and Josh feel a little guilty, like kind of how they might feel if they get adventurous in the bedroom. Jesus doesn’t approve of any advance moves. Steve says that their meal wasn’t so bad if it weren’t for all the extras, like extra cheese and gravy and the fact that their portions were very large. Cut to Michael again, “Mr. Conley was scaring Daddy.”
So, now he has to go through their house.
Steve is disgusted with the amount of sugar, even in the organic food. Too much cheese and ranch dressing. And apparently a lot of expired foods. They have no vegetables—nothing green and alive in their house, except, as Anna says, “maybe some mold on our food.” Steve has a surprise and he’s taking them to the farmer’s market.
AND YOU KNOW WHO REALLY LIKES FARMER’S MARKETS? DEMOCRATS. Have fun guys. Pray for their organic souls.
Now more discussions about the fact that Jill and Derick are engaged.
In case you missed it.
Just in case.
They are on “full on wedding planning mode.”
Now, they are taking engagement pictures and who else would do it but Jinger! The resident photog. Jessa is the sidekick and the director.
She calls herself the wardrobe assistant but let’s be real. She’s the stylist for the whole family, bringing them kicking and screaming into some version of the 21st century.
Jessa is all like directing them in their poses. Jill smirks and says that Jessa is “good at directing people and “comes by it naturally.” And Jessa is all like “turn and pose and turn and pose” and like Jill is happy because she makes sure that the Duggars look good. Now the location might not have been great because it’s by a busy highway and they keep showing all these beeping cars. The sun was in her eyes. And power lines were in her pictures. There were bugs. It was a disaster like those stupid go-karts that they will revisit later in the episode.
Now they are in the car and getting ready to go to the farmer’s market. Steve is all like “If you want something you never had, you better do something you’ve never done” and with Josh, he means vegetables. Steve condemns him for what looks like Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup King Size and then the whole family turns on each other, blaming the other for the candy purchase, while the kids look helplessly on, feeling the hungry futility that has enveloped the family. Now they are at the farmer’s market and are all like excited.
They look around at various foods. The kids are given tasks, like Michael needs to find something red and round like a tomato. McKenzyie is asked to look for something purple and leafy. She first looks for an onion but like, an onion is not leafy. But there is no follow up. NO FOLLOW UP. Marcus is all like “Why are you asking me? I’m a fucking baby.” And they buy carrots and shit. Josh sees cookies but Steve is like “No.” And then end of this particular segment with the hope that Josh exercises and Anna reduces the amount of mold on her food and such things.
Not that I can judge. I love cheese.
Now the soapbox derby car plotline. As you might remember from previous episodes, they bought these soapbox derby cars that they raced to finish. Of course, they had no wheels so there really was no fucking point. But hey, why not make this a multi-episode arc.
THIS IS THE DUGGARS!
So they don’t have the wheels but apparently they are going to design each soapbox derby car. They have a shot of Johannah walking towards the blue car with a stencil of a cross. Great. The kids thought it was fun. The red one was called the “Electrobolt” and Jason was all like “it looks really professional.” The blue one was like “All Star Team” and had numbers and shit. And maybe crosses. I don’t know. They edit these things out sometimes. The white one had handprints and crap from Jordyn and Josie and such.
And then it cuts away to Jim Bob talking about how Jill has grown into being a young woman and is ready to get married. Jim Bob is all like “you need to spend time with the little ones too because they’ll get married someday.” And then he’s like “let the best car win.” It’d be a great strategy if like they had wheels.
Now back to the meadow for the Jill and Derick’s engagement pictures. And how it’s getting all better that they are in a better place. Jessa says that usually engagement photos are people “hugging and kissing and stuff but we can only hold hands” BECAUSE COURTSHIP RULES. LIKE WE DIDN’T KNOW. Derick says that they’ll have a short engagement basically because they don’t want to wait to have naked front hugs.
I know they cookie coat it with this thing but they want to screw now. All these courtship rules are so diabolical. Of course you have to get married. You don’t get to do ANYTHING beforehand, even by yourself because there is no privacy.
And Jim-Bob sounds regretful that he and Michelle kissed before marriage and wanted his kids to “not make the same mistake” and have “accountability” and such.
Anyway, they talk about everyone’s help, especially Jessa’s fashion contributions, which truly is the greatest gift that the Duggars have bestowed on the world. Jinger talks about all the great engagements that she gets to take the picture for in the future. And Jana. Jana says nothing.