Oct 14, 2020
19 KIDS & COUNTING: Worthless Relatives Are Worthless
We’re in the thrilling final days before Jessa and Ben’s wedding on 19 Kids & Counting. Join us for all the excitement of: picking up family at the airport! Picking up the wedding dress! Picking up other stuff! And baking!
Part 1 is right here! Part 2 starts now!
Sierra the Wedding Planner is coming over to bake brownies. She’s using the Duggars’ kitchen, presumably because there’s a minimum amount of screen time required in her contract. No doubt she’ll be the must-have wedding planner in the greater Tontitown area by the end of the season, a feat that could only otherwise be accomplished with a quarter-page ad in the yellow pages.
Sierra’s got lots of little helpers, and a few big ones too. Ten-year-old Jackson, 9-year-old Hanny, 7-year-old Jenny, 6-year-old Jordyn, and 5-year-old Josie are pitching in, along with 25-year-old spinster Jana and 17-year-old spinster-to-be Joy Anna, all crammed into the kitchen to help crack eggs and stir batter. Together, they’re baking precisely one (1) ordinary size pan of brownies, and they don’t even have any pot in them. Probably.
This is a test run to see how many pans of brownies they’ll need to bake for the ice cream sundae bar at Jessa and Ben’s wedding. Why they can’t just get whoever’s in charge of the “Duggar Fact” popups to do the math for them, I have no idea. Ingredients are poured, mixed, and baked. Sierra’s career choice is reassessed. Maybe she never should have given up stripping. Jim Bob was always such a good tipper.
The pan is cut into 45 small brownies, a number that could just as easily have been calculated had the pan been empty. Sierra figures she’ll need to make 34 pans by the wedding day. That’s just over 1,500, ensuring at least one brownie per person at the maximum estimated headcount.
Over at the Little Rock Airport, sister-in-law Anna arrives with her two precious children, plus the other one. Jessa and Ben are there to meet her, suspiciously unchaperoned. We can only assume they’ve spent the last hour feeling each other up under the baggage carousel. Everyone gets hugs, and Jessa and Ben politely pretend they’re even excited about seeing Mackynzie.
With Anna’s hubby Josh wisely staying in D.C. for a few extra days of hookers and blow work, it’s up to Ben to haul all the bags to the car, where Jinger is waiting. Anna tells the camera that Ben is very good at carrying luggage and installing car seats, and given how low Josh has set the bar, that’s all the proof she needs that Ben will be a good dad someday.
Arriving home at the Duggar Compound, 5-year-old Mackynzie immediately runs off to play with her aunts Josie and Jordyn, which makes me question Ma Duggar’s parenting skills all the more. She’ll be teaching them to smoke crack and wear sleeveless shirts before the week is out, mark my words.
Next, we follow Jessa and Ben to the jewelry store, where Ben gets to see the custom wedding band he’s designed for Jessa but we don’t because this show is a bigger cocktease than Jana. Fortunately, HNTP always puts out, so we’ve found photos of a) the engagement ring alone and b) the engagement ring with wedding band.
Looks like the band actually fits under and around the engagement ring, which is why the sketch looked like a thick mobster pinkie ring. So there you go. And, just like Jana will inevitably be, that was a pretty disappointing waste of time and effort.
Chaperoning the jewelry store trip is Jessa’s friend Anna (not the sister-in-law), and if Anna is any sort of friend, she’ll at least look the other way for some heavy petting, unless they’re both still exhausted from the baggage carousel.
Jessa is here to pick up Ben’s wedding band, which is a standard off-the-rack affair, although it is engraved with “J loves B,” demonstrating the uppermost limits of Jessa’s creativity. Jessa also finally gets back her engagement ring, which the jeweler has held onto for 1.5 months (!) while he customized the wedding band. No wonder the jeweler didn’t demand his name thrown about 12 times this episode.
Next, Jessa is picking up her wedding dress, which Ben can’t accompany her for. She tries it on and loves it, although the train is somewhere the neighborhood of three city blocks long. The nice ladies at the dress shop add three buttons to the butt to gather the train up into an “American bustle,” which makes the back of the dress look like Jessa sat in a bucket of chewing gum and then the train got all caught up in it. Jessa loves it, or at least isn’t going to make a fuss, which is pretty much how she feels about Ben as well.
Michelle tells the camera that she wore Jim Bob’s mom’s wedding dress when she married Jim Bob, which she was thrilled to do, and tolerated him saying, “take thee, mom,” at the altar, but drew the line at him screaming out “That’s the hole I came out of, mommy!” on their wedding night. (Too far?)
Back at the Duggar Compound, the place is bustling with lesser relatives unworthy of a spoken line. Sierra is also there, listing off her to-do list: bring the music to the church, bring the floral arrangements to the church, go grocery shopping for all the sundae ingredients and toppings. Can’t she get any of the worthless non-Amy cousins to lend a hand?
“I know at this point with the wedding so close I should probably be a lot more stressed out than I am,” says Jessa. Gosh, Jessa-Blessa, we know it’s all you can do to stay conscious from minute to minute, so we’re really not expecting you to start worrying about anything going on in your life at this point. Just let Sierra take care of all that wedding stuff, and Ben’ll handle everything thereafter. Just as long as you always tell him what to do.
Yeah, there’s a 70% chance you’re both going to stare at the ceiling until you starve to death.
Anna and the kids have been shunted off to stay at Jill and Derick’s, so maybe Ma Duggar has slightly more parenting skills than I give her credit for.
Jessa tells the camera, “I hope everything goes off smoothly.” And before I can thank her for that startling insight, Ma Duggar chimes in, “I hope that we’re going to be able to pull this off.”
What, really? You mean you’re not praying the wedding turns out to be a disaster? Not even for the ratings? Well, hell, I guess we’ll just have to settle for watching a bunch of white people eat ice cream sundaes.