Thursday, October 4, 2018

Why do I keep watching the Duggars?

In some circles, there is a term called "Hoovering".  It refers to the vacuum cleaner brand called Hoover.  We all know that a vacuum cleaner's job is to suck.  I think that's kind of what the Duggars' job is, too.  And yet, I keep getting Hoovered back into watching them on TV.

I've kind of been following the Duggar family since they first showed up in the public's consciousness back in 2004 or so.  I have always found large families interesting.  My dad was one of nine and he enjoyed a close relationship with his brothers and sisters.  I have three sisters, but they've always felt more like aunts to me because they're a lot older.  I mean, they don't seem so much older now that I'm in my 40s, but when I was a child, it was a huge age difference.  The next one up is eight years older than I am.  I pretty much grew up like an only child, even though we all have the same parents.

I used to think large families were really interesting.  I also think fringe/fundie religions are interesting.  I started watching the Duggars' specials and then then the various incarnations of their "and counting" series.  Even though the eldest son, Josh, was discovered to be a "sex pest" (love that Britishism), they are still on TV.  Now they have a show called Counting On.  It used to be based on Jill and Jessa and their husbands, Derick and Ben.  But then Derick alienated a bunch of people by making transphobic and homophobic comments.  He got fired from the show.  Then a bunch of the other Duggar adult kids started getting married off and they became castmembers.  I read that Boob takes all of the money made and doles it out to them, which probably pisses off a lot of the husbands.

I was watching the latest episode-- the season finale, I'm told.  I spent the whole hour or so rolling my eyes because it's so lame.  The Duggars are constantly in the news, so all of the stuff on their show is old news.  Like, for instance, there were all these cutesy little hints about who was going to be the next Duggar to marry.  We all know it's going to be John David, because he and his girlfriend, Abbie, have been in the news.  But all of the kids were making these cute comments about who was going to be courting next.  Duh... you'd have to be brain dead and illiterate not to know.

Then, they showed Josiah and Lauren getting married.  I had already seen footage of their nuptials because there was a video of their ceremony put out a couple of weeks after their wedding.  Yesterday, I watched the same thing again, only they cut off the show just before Josiah and Lauren were going to kiss.  There were no credits or anything, so I was wondering if maybe the Internet crapped out.  It was no big loss.  I don't really care to watch people kiss-- don't even really like doing it myself, especially in public.  But given that Josiah told everyone he had practiced kissing on the back of his hand, it was kind of stupid that they cut the kiss out, even though one could see the kiss on the video that came out right after their wedding.

Boob got the wedding planner to make a big "D", like the "V" she made for Jinger's and Jeremy's wedding.  I couldn't help but wonder why Boob's opinion matters in how the church is decorated.  It's not his wedding.  Of course, he's probably paying for at least some of it and he's the family patriarch. I remember hearing one young man quip that no one says "no" to Boob.  I think it's especially true for Michelle.  Whenever Boob was in the mood for loving, she was joyfully available.

There was also a lot of talk about pranking Josiah and Lauren.  They always do the same stupid pranks.  They mess up someone's car by wrapping it up and putting something stinky in there.  Frankly, if someone had done that to me at my wedding, I would have been really pissed off.  It's not easy to get smells out of things.  But those Duggars and their sophisticated senses of humor... they think it's funny to foul up a perfectly good vehicle with the smell of Limburger cheese.  Gross.  I think it would be funnier if someone put signs all over the inside of the car of cuss words... words you'd never hear a Duggar say.  That would be funny... and possibly traumatizing.

The one part of the show I did find interesting was when Jinger and Jeremy visited with the midwife and she acted, very realistically, I thought, how a woman might behave when she's in labor.  She crawled on the floor, pretending to be in deep pain.  And Jeremy, bless his heart, looked horrified.  But I will also give him credit for realizing that labor is a time for him to focus on helping his wife with whatever she needs.  If that means he needs to sit there and shut up, so be it.  Jeremy seems to be among the more evolved of the men who have married Duggar women.

I also thought the exercise the midwife did, having everyone hold ice for several minutes, despite the discomfort, was an interesting way of describing labor.  Kudos to Jessa for setting the record straight and saying that holding some ice in the hand is NOT anything like labor.  I haven't been in labor myself, but I have had some killer menstrual cramps.  I have read that labor is like the worst cramps you've ever had.  But I don't know that for sure and would never claim to know.

I guess I keep watching because I follow Pickles' Duggar Family News Facebook group and if I didn't keep up with the Duggars' show, I wouldn't know what people are talking about.  However, that group is also interesting because some of the members are pretty intelligent and share books and articles about Duggar related stuff.  Also, sometimes there are interesting arguments that happen in there.  On the other hand, lately I'm finding that I have less interest in watching people fight and argue online, particularly if the argument mainly consists of name calling and ad hominem attacks.  Unfortunately, not all social media users are created equal.  Comments can be very interesting, inspiring, and enlightening or they can be intellectual wastelands.

Word is that this might have been the last season of Counting On.  I wouldn't miss it if it went off the air.  I remember I quit following the Duggars a few years ago because their show was so dull.  I started watching again when Jessa started courting Ben.  But now, they're all being married off and popping out babies and the show airs after the stories have already been told on the Internet.  There's nothing fresh or spontaneous about that show.  It's just rehashed shit that happened months ago and it's not interesting.  I need to turn off the Hoover and find another way to suck away my time.


  1. one of my cousins is married to a woman from New Zealand. The people there refer to all vacuum cleaners as "Hoovers" regardless of what brand they actually are, sort of as we refer to all cotton swabs as :Q-tips" amd all plastic bandages as "Band-Aids."

    if I were one of the older Duggar offspring, i would mutiny on Boob in a major way. It's hard to believe that his adlt children would let him take the money for a show for which he has essentially no connection (the concept may have been his) and decide how to disperse it. If the money truly goes to him, I'm willing to be that he gives part of it to josh.

    1. They are slowly turning the show into what it used to be. Boob and Michelle have been making more appearances lately.


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