Apr 16, 2017
19 Kids and Counting RECAP: Picking Fights With Six Year Olds (S14:E16)
Part 2 of our roadtrip to Chicago begins with Josh and Anna giving us a recap of part 1, as if Happy Nice Time People didn’t already have you covered. I’m almost insulted. Amish country, Gettysburg, the world’s largest coffeepot…yeah, we know, we saw, it wasn’t interesting the first time. They do know the show starts with a “Previously On” segment before the opening credits, right? Do they even watch their own show?
At last, we cross into new territory, pulling into Priscilla and David’s driveway in suburban Chicago. Everybody hops out of the RV, and there’s a handmade poster on the front door welcoming them to town. No time for hellos; it’s the day of the gender reveal party, so everyone immediately grabs their pink and blue clothes to get ready.
Anna and 5-year-old Mackynzie put on pink, indicating they hope Priscilla is carrying a girl, while Josh and the boys get dressed up in blue, indicating they’re not gay.
David wears pink because he’s already got a boy/real child so it’s okay with him if Priscilla’s uterus half-asses it this time—and also because he’s got Marcus Bachmann’s number on speed dial. Priscilla wears blue because this shit’s gonna be on television and pink is brutal on blondes. She dresses her little boy Paul up in blue.
Since David and Priscilla aren’t officially Duggars, I don’t know if they hold to Michelle and Jim Bob’s rule that you have to wait 40 days for sex after delivering a boy and 80 days after delivering a girl (presumably as punishment). I suspect they’re with the program and David is hoping for girl to buy him a little extra time away from the ol’ salt mine, because seriously, Marcus Bachmann, speed dial.
Clear on what color everyone is wearing? Good, because there is not a damn thing else going on. Next, everybody heads out to the backyard to admire the party decorations. It’s very Martha Stewart, with lots of doilies and ribbons and pretty little details. It’s a little more elegant than we’re used to on this show, but then it comes out that David was the one who insisted on a fancy soiree. Ah, it totally makes sense now. I bet he throws a killer Oscars party, too.
There’s a montage flashback of David and Josh playfully competing with each other over the years, including a unicycle-riding competition and—I shit you not—mud wrestling. Josh, I think David might be pulling your pigtails.
Immediately after, we get a montage of Josh and Anna’s three gender reveals for their tykes: cutting into a pink cake on The Today Show with Meredith Viera for Mackynzie, a skywriter over the Duggar compound in Arkansas for Michael, and a pastor shouting it to the heavens during a church service for Marcus.
Did the other party guests not sign their releases? I’m starting to understand why we got the double extended recap at the beginning, because apparently there’s nothing at the party worth airing. And now it’s time for the actual reveal. The suspense has been fucking killing you, I know. In the middle of the backyard is a giant cardboard box filled with balloons and with a creepy cartoon of Priscilla and David. They pull the tape off the box and—
Yeah, because there’s no way anyone could possibly change the channel on that cliffhanger. The first balloons out of the box are multi-color and I have the briefest fraction of a second of hope that it’s a hermaphrodite. But then a bunch of pale pink balloons spring from the box and float off into a nearby tree. Hurray, it’s a babymaker! Hopefully they’ll be able to trade her to the Robertson family for some livestock or hunting supplies when she turns 14.
The next day, both families are headed to the Willis Tower, which, come on, everyone in real life still calls it the Sears Tower, right? Who the hell is this Willis guy anyway? Josh insists that they take the RV so everyone can fit in one car. When David complains about trying to get this whale through downtown traffic, Josh scoffs that he’s driven through Manhattan and Chicago is a tiny piece of shit suburb compared to the Big Apple. Hear that, everyone in Chicago? Josh Duggar says fuck you.
There’s no traffic problems, although they do lose their connection to Google Maps briefly—the drama! And it turns out any jackass willing to drive a 25-foot RV down Michigan Avenue gets rewarded with special curb-side parking at Willis Tower. (I bet the Sears people wouldn’t have put up with that shit.)
As they get in the elevator, Anna informs us she has a fear of heights. If so, she handles it like a champ. Michael, being 3, has no fear running out onto the Willis Tower’s famous glass-floored walkway 103 stories up. Mackynzie, being 5, says hell no. They finally coax her out onto the glass by saying you can see the RV, which you can, almost directly below them. Even Anna spends a few moments on the glass, saying it makes her feel motion sick. Nothing makes better TV than watching people kind of but not really enjoying themselves on vacation. Makes me kind of but not really want to go to Chicago. Ferris Bueller this isn’t.
Next, it’s time for a Chicago deep dish pizza cooking class at “one of David and Priscilla’s favorite restaurants.” Apparently said restaurant didn’t fork over the product placement cash, because the restaurant’s name is never said. Sorry, no hordes of evangelical tourists for you, pizza place. They’ll just have to stick to Chik-fil-a.
A Duggar Fact pops up onto the screen to tell us that if every Duggar ate Chicago deep dish pizza every meal for a year, they’d consume 3,000 lbs. of pizza dough. I’m not nearly so impressed with the size of the dough as I am the size of that “if.” If every Duggar beat a homeless person to death with their bare hands every day for a year, they’d kill 9,125 homeless people, which is equal to the entire population of Montgomery, Texas, but so the fuck what?
We watch all the adults and kids make their two-inch-deep pizzas, but we don’t get to hear any of the teacher’s instructions. Nor do we get to watch the preparation process, except from across the room. Imagine watching an amateur Chopped with the sound off and the entire camera crew replaced with narcoleptic monkeys, and you pretty much get the experience. Here, I’ll fill in the blanks: Uno’s is the best deep dish pizza in Chicago because they mix cornmeal in with the flour, so adjust your dining plans and home recipes accordingly. I have no idea if that’s where they were or what they learned on the show, but who ya gonna trust anyway, me or 19 Religious Zealots With More Political Influence Than You So Ha Ha Eat Shit You Godless Liberals?
“The pizza that I made was so yummy!” declares Michael.
“The pizza that I made was so, so, so yummy!” says Mackynzie.
That bitch always has to one-up you, doesn’t she, Michael?
Next, Anna and Priscilla take a sister’s day out and go thrift store shopping for baby clothes. Poppin’ tags, mofos! “Buy used and save the difference!” they shout at the camera in unison. That’s why I always scrap the gum off the bottom of bus benches.
The guys are also going shopping, with all four children in tow. But they’re going to a hardware store. Josh has this gem for new parents: stick the little ones in the shopping carts “‘cuz that’s, like, a lifesaver.” Thanks for the insight. If that’s the type of advice your audience finds helpful, then maybe it’s best you skipped the cooking tips because clearly they’re not ready to be around sharp objects or hot stoves.
Over at the thrift shop, Anna is worried about Josh and David alone in a hardware store with four kids. Don’t worry, Anna, they’ve got shopping carts! Anna is also dishing out parenting tips, telling her sister that after having a second kid, everything “took twice as long because there’s twice as many kids.” That really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?
Anna’s not the one who should be worried, though. It’s David who can’t keep track of his one kid in the hardware store, despite the fact that they’re wearing matching tennis-ball-green shirts. Little Paul makes a break for the door, with apparently only a camera watching him. He reaches the sidewalk, then comes back in on his own. Eh, the camera guy probably would have stopped him from wandering into traffic.
More advice from Anna, this time on thrift store shopping: shove everything that catches your eye into your bag so no one else can grab it. Then, only after your done looking through the entire store, go back through your bag and decide what you actually want to purchase. Also, throw your velour jumpsuit in the washer before you wear it so you won’t smell R. Kelly’s sheets. Wait, that last one I might have learned from Macklemore.
Both groups pay for their stuff, and Michael brags about his new folding chair with a bear on it. “It’s a monkey,” corrects Mackynzie. It’s a motherfucking bear, insists Michael. But the video evidence proves Mackynzie right. Is anyone else starting to hate her? Smug little twat.
The next day, the two families are going camping together. Anna has only been camping once, as a child, in the backyard. And a raccoon tried to get into her tent, which was HORRIFYING. But she’s a little trooper, so she’s going to try it again.
Priscilla teaches Anna how to make foil packet meals to cook over the campfire, and I freakin’ love foil packet meals over the campfire. Ten points for Priscilla. I bet little miss smartypants Mackynzie wouldn’t have thought to make those.
The foil packets are just a backup in case the guys don’t catch any fish. Josh has actually chartered a boat with two pro fishermen to take David and him out on Lake Michigan, so it should be impossible for them to come home empty-handed. When you pay that kind of money, you better bring home some damn fish.
They load up the RV in haphazard fashion with what looks like a mountain of loose bedding and food items. Then it’s off we go.
“WHOOOOOOMMMMMPHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” says the RV, like it’s farting through a tuba. David and Priscilla look worried, but Josh assures them it’s just water in the brake pads from the rain overnight. They arrive at Indiana Dunes State Park just fine.
Josh and David drop the fam off and immediately head out to catch the boat. Once they’re deep into Lake Michigan, the pros set up 13 fishing lines to trail behind the boat. Josh and David do not seem to be involved in the process other than to playfully tease each other about who’s going to catch the biggest fish. Then everybody sits around and waits, which pretty much describes fishing. As best I can tell, neither Josh or David have touched a fishing rod yet when the first fish bites. Josh lets David be the one to reel it in, although to say either of them actually “caught” the fish is more than an exaggeration. They’re barely more involved than I am sitting on the couch in my living room.
It’s a trout, and it’s huge. Well over two feet and 7.4 lbs.
Duggar fact time: it’d take a trout the size of a car to feed all the Duggars for a year. Is someone on the production crew stoned?? Dude, like, it’s a fish, but, like, the size of car, man. And they’d, like, eat it for year, you know? Or maybe it finally explains the miracle of the fish and loaves. A couple of Toyota-sized trout and seven loaves of bread the size of sleeper sofas would feed a lot of people.
The next fish bites, and it’s Josh’s turn to reel one in. It’s not small, but it’s not 20 inches… And by law, anything less than 20 inches has to be thrown back.
And that’s all the fish they catch all day. With 13 lines and four people—two of them professionals—they catch two fish total. If I had paid for that, I’d be pissed.
The guys arrive back at the RV with their one fish, already gutted and sliced. It’s big enough to feed the family, but they decide to throw the foil packets on the campfire so they can have sides to go with it. Ya think? Was the original plan just to gorge yourself on fish meat by the fistful until you fell into a food coma?
Michael tells us how it was his job to keep Marcus from getting too close to the fire, and he says he helped keep his sister safe, too.
“Michael, I don’t need help because I know all about fire!” she insists. Ugh. That’s it. I’m officially starting a celebrity feud with Mackynzie Duggar. She turned six between the time this episode was shot and when it aired, so don’t tell me she can’t handle it. Is she on Twitter? Bring it, you snot-nosed paste-eater.
And that’s the great camping adventure. Presumably they stayed the night, but I guess the camera crew cut out early and went back to their hotel rooms.
The next we see of Josh and Anna, they’re in the guest bedroom at Priscilla and David’s house preparing to take a pregnancy test. This is the moment they’ve been promo’ing all week.
Anna’s been so excited to see her sister pregnant again that she really wants to be pregnant, too. Couldn’t stand to see Priscilla getting a little attention, huh? Thunder-stealer. I think I see where Mackynzie gets it from.
It’s not that Anna’s been having any symptoms of pregnancy. It’s just wishful thinking and unprotected sex. “My heart is to definitely leave the size of our family in God’s hands,” she says.
The pregnancy test is negative. Again. Apparently, she’s taken a bunch of pregnancy tests since Marcus was born. Why not, it’s the only thing this family ever talks or thinks about. Still, it’d be good to catch the pregnancy early so she can cut out all the heroin and swingers clubs.
That’s right, Mackynzie, I’m calling your mother a druggie whore! Whatcha gonna do about it?!
Bonus Crazy Christian Recap Madness: I’ll be recapping TLC special “Virgin Coaches,” featuring two zany Christian sex coaches preparing four evangelical couples for their first kisses and everything that comes after it on their wedding nights! It’ll be posted soon, so keep an eye out.
Question: Want Happy Nice Times People to recap the new season of Duck Dynasty? Let us know!