Aug 17, 2021
19 KIDS & COUNTING RECAP: Jill takes off all her clothes repeatedly (S19:E5)
You know when you’re fast forwarding through the commercials and you go bit too far so you have to rewind to make sure you didn’t miss anything and then you realize you’re watching the Duggars so of course you didn’t miss anything because NOTHING EVER HAPPENS?
No, of course, you don’t. Because you don’t watch the Duggars, you just come here and read the snarky recaps, you lucky bastards. Since the regime change here at Happy Nice Time People, FIVE OF THE TOP TEN most read stories have been Duggar-related. So here we go again, giving our loyal readers what they want…
This week, the Duggar women are going on a girls’ trip to Washington, DC, so Jill can shop for wedding dresses. It’s an hour-long special episode because clearly you can’t cram that much excitement into a mere 22-minutes. Jessa is only packing one outfit per day because she’s gotten so mature lately! We watch her pack because she’s one of the two stars of this season (along with Jill) and otherwise we’d barely see her at all this episode and that would give us a sad.
While the girls are away, the boys will play. Daddy Duggar is taking second son John-David, Jill’s fiancé Derick, and Jenna’s courter Ben camping. All the other boy Duggars can eat a dick apparently. The car ride to the campground is filled with the type of stilted conversation you usually have with your dental hygienist while she’s making your gums bleed, and almost as mumbly-mouthed.
We get to the campground and Daddy Duggar checks into the deluxe cabin where the boys are staying (camping, my ass). Then it’s campfire time, and Daddy gives John-David some shit about being 24 years old and unmarried like a homosexual or a Methodist or some such shit. Come on, John-David—you’re on television! Gotta parlay that fame into some sweet groupie side-hugs, dude.
Off in DC, Momma Duggar talks the importance of picking clothes that draws attention to the face and not the boobies. She’s confident Jill is going to pick a dress with shoulders and a high neck line, and (SPOILER ALERT) of course she’s right. Momma Duggar also thinks the perfect wedding should be “poofy with lots of sparkles,” but she suspects Jill isn’t as redneck as she is. Fortunately, she’s right about that one as well.
In all seriousness, my take on Michelle Duggar having watched this show closely with notepad in hand for the past few weeks is that she’s in a state of arrested development at about eight years old. She lives a life stripped off all complexities and nuance and treats her steady stream of new babies like living dolls. She talks to the camera like a second grader giving a book report on Stuart Little. Plus, that squeaky, childlike voice… It creeps me out.
Anyway, the Duggar women (at least, the 16-and-up ones) are having brunch at sister-in-law Anna’s house. Jill asks them all to be bridesmaids because a) as best I can tell she doesn’t know anyone else and b) if they want the show and its sponsors to pay for all this shit, they’re gonna have to keep it all within the family. And now for the big moment when Jill picks her maid of honor… It’s Jana!!!
A quick trip to Wikipedia tells me Jana is the oldest daughter and John-David’s twin. I don’t think we’ve seen Jill and Jana together this season or even seen Jana at all, but apparently they’re just two peas in a pod, those two. Jessa’s probably pissed the producers didn’t step in and demand she get the maid-of-honor gig. She’s the star here, dammit.
Meanwhile, Anna’s toddlers start demanding that Jill start popping out babies right away. The indoctrination starts young.
At the campground, the boys go rock climbing. Derick is rooting for Daddy Duggar to fall and seriously injure himself, but not for the same reason you are (because you’re a mean-spirited liberal asshole and/or you just want something, ANYTHING, interesting to happen). No, Derick wants the chance to prove he can take care of his family, even if Daddy Duggar has to get maimed in the process. And it’s gotta be Daddy, not John-David, because all four men are in complete agreement that John-David is completely expendable because he doesn’t have a woman in his life. It’s almost kind of nice to see a little gender equality going on—it’s not just women who are worthless if they don’t have a romantic attachment, see? My little bleeding heart is feeling all warm and fuzzy.
A little Duggar Fact pops on the screen to tell us that it would take 11 miles of rope to get all the Duggars to the top of Mt. Magazine, Arkansas’s highest peak. This assumes every Duggar uses a separate rope and each rope reaches from the mountain’s peak to sea level WHICH IS NOT HOW MOUNTAIN CLIMBING WORKS!!! Quit just multiplying shit by 21 and calling it a Duggar Fact.
Anyway, the four guys hug the face of a very tall cliff as they scale to the top. It’s actually pretty fucking tall and scary.
Jessa gets the full “Princess Treatment” at the Washington, DC, wedding dress shop, which includes a tiara, hair, and makeup. Then everybody gathers around to read a special message they wrote to Jill to tell her how much she means to them.
Jessa: I’ve always been jealous of you for being so perfect, but you’re a wonderful role model and I love you.
Joy-Anna: (bursts into tears and can’t read her note. Jill reads it silently, which makes for some great fucking television.)
Anna: Thanks for being my midwife for my three babies.
Some Other Duggar: You’ve always been there for us.
Yet Another Duggar: What she said.
Michelle: (Actual words) “May you do good and not evil.” (Argue with that!)
Up on the cliff, it’s time to jump right off and fall I’m guessing about six stories to the ground. John-David says hell no and takes the stairs, which I’ll admit is exactly what I’d do. But Ben’s gotta prove himself to his would-be father-in-law, especially after turning out to be completely worthless as a handyman last week, so off he goes. He does it without hesitation, so good for him. Next is Derick, who doesn’t bat an eye. So now it’s Jim-Bob’s turn…
He looks down…
He ain’t havin’ it.
Come on, Daddy Duggar, the camera’s on you! You can’t wuss out now! You’re the one who’s been saying this what it takes to be a Duggar head-of-household!
This is probably the best handled scene of the year in terms of suspense. In the end, he jumps. The ropes hold, he survives. Sorry, Derick, I know you were so hopeful.
“He says it’s the scariest thing he’s done in his life,” says John-David. “He says that about a lot of things, though.” Well look at you, John-David—who knew you had a personality?
In DC, Jill tries on dresses. They’re very pretty and tasteful, to Momma Duggar’s disappointment. (And mine, too. Give me something to work with, people!)
Back in Arkansas, the end of the rock-climbing adventure is a zip line. John-David’s on board for this part so he’s not a total wuss. Duggar Fact: If all the Duggars went on this particular zip line, their combined speed would break the sound barrier. SPEED DOES NOT COMBINE THAT WAY!!!
Jill has found her dress, which is just a touch off-white, I guess to account for all those front frontal hugs she’s been giving Derick lately. It’s a vintage style and Jill loves it because of “the lace and all the bling.” The bling—a bunch of shiny crap off-center on the waistline—looks like shit to me, but I’m the last person women in general and Jill in particular should be asking for advice on wedding dresses, so I’ll give myself a nice middle finger on Jill’s behalf over that one. The rest of the dress is, in fact, gorgeous.
Next week: picking out bridesmaid dresses. Fuck me.