You would think that in a family of 21 people, there would be more variety, but nothing new happens each week on 19 Kids and Counting! The revelation I reached in last week’s recap holds true here: When there isn’t a miscarriage dominating the season, the Duggars are downright mundane. And now I’ve realized something even worse: They’re really self-involved!
Take, for instance, “Smile and Say, Duggars!” Michelle takes several of the girls to a Mother’s Day fundraiser in Joplin, MO, to raise money to help victims of the 2011 tornado. OK, that sounds charitable enough… But why set the fundraiser on Mother’s Day? It seems so orchestrated, because next thing we know Michelle is being honored for rising above and beyond the call of duty for a mother. Look, unless she carried Joplin residents out of their houses when the tornado struck, I don’t know why she’s getting some special recognition.
It’s not even as if the other female attendees who also gave birth are getting special attention. Instead, everyone holds court around Michelle, talking about what an inspiration she is. I’m sorry, but this is the woman who pops out kid after kid to please the Lord/her husband rather than because she actually wants to mother them. More often than not, you see her daughters carrying or holding the hands of the younger ones while Michelle is talking to the camera or orchestrating the latest contrived Duggar outing.
I wish these episodes were online, because I could just embed a video and you could watch the ridiculousness for yourself. Thank God for the Free Jinger forums; looking through the discussion on last night’s episode, I remembered that Michelle at one point legitimately says that the fundraiser is a blessed event because people get to be near the Duggars. Like the poster on this thread says, the Duggars aren’t even pretending like they don’t think they’re celebrities anymore. Remember how not surprised they were a few episodes ago when that random woman wanted to get a photo with them? I couldn’t quite put my finger on their reaction when the woman asked Kirk Cameron to take the photo without realizing who he was… Now I realize that the look on Jim Bob‘s face was smugness. Careful, Jim Bob, the Bible doesn’t like pride.
Worst of all, the kids don’t seem to recognize how much attention their family is hogging, and how bad this is. At the Joplin fundraiser, Jill tells the camera, “It’s not really about us, but how can we bless the lives of people whose lives have been drastically changed.” Except that they made the entire fundraiser about them! The Duggars must legitimately think they’re God’s gift to the world.
And then we end the episode with the Duggars wrangling their huge clan to take a family portrait and individual shots. The only cute moment was when the crew member got his own photo, because he’s more a part of the family than some of the younguns.