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S14.E01/E02: Wait, They're Cutting You Open?/Let's Have a Bravo to Dad!

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The family is headed to New York City for Jen's hip replacement surgery.  They try to make the best of the trip by enjoying the chilly Christmas season, but it ends in uncertainty as Jen is wheeled into the OR.

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Jen's quickly recovering from surgery and the family is able to head back home in time for Christmas.  Back home, Bill juggles taking care of the kids and helping Jen.  Jen thinks she's ready to return to work, but Bill's concerned she's pushing her luck.

Original air date 2019.08.06

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Through everything Jen has gone through, I have never seen her looking so worried.  I just feel sad for her.  I have a shoulder replacement, which ended up taking 5 surgeries in a six month period to get it right.  I hate the thought that it will eventually wear out and need to be replaced.  Still, that’s nothing compared to what Jen’s been though.  The show is always an inspiration.

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8 minutes ago, Emmeline said:

Through everything Jen has gone through, I have never seen her looking so worried.  I just feel sad for her.  I have a shoulder replacement, which ended up taking 5 surgeries in a six month period to get it right.  I hate the thought that it will eventually wear out and need to be replaced.  Still, that’s nothing compared to what Jen’s been though.  The show is always an inspiration.

Omg. That sounds painful. I agree about the fear. 

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Oh my Lord, this poor hamster! 

Also, they are clearly not even attempting to teach them to stop licking their fingers and the utensils when they’re helping with cooking, especially for others.  What happened to licking the beaters and mixing spoon after you’re finished cooking?

Edited by Suzy Rhapsody
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I'm happy the family is back, but why all the doom and gloom? I felt like I watched two hours of everyone hoping Jen didn't die. I understand surgery comes with risk, but you don't want to speak negative things into existence.

I'm not sure if Nanny Kate has a bad case of RBF or what, but she never looks very enthused about her job. 

I was happy to see Barbara and Chuck. They're a lovely couple. 

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1 hour ago, BitterApple said:

I'm happy the family is back, but why all the doom and gloom? I felt like I watched two hours of everyone hoping Jen didn't die.

That's exactly right! Why did we need two hours of that? They couldn't do it in one hour? They kept repeating the same things over and over in their talking heads.

Having said that, I couldn't help but notice Jen was not herself at all. Poor thing must have been in so much pain. Before the surgery she was serious, quiet and looked so stressed. She didn't have that usual annoying laughter going on. She is a real trooper, though. I have such admiration for that woman. 

It looks like both Bill and Jen have settled in to being parents now and are much more comfortable with the kids. It's amazing to see how much Will has changed. He is much more tolerable and composed than he was last season. It's good to know he is doing well in school and enjoys cub scouts. Zoey, on the other hand, is a little firecracker! Girl loves to talk! She also loves taking the attention away from Will and he doesn't seem to mind taking a back seat to her. He's a sweet big brother. 

One other thing I noticed was that the house was not as pristine perfect as the Houston house. Not a bad thing, just different. It looks more lived in and laid back. Surely they have a housekeeper but it looks like Jen has eased up on her control of everything having to be perfect all the time. 

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At first I didn't understand Jen's level of anxiety, but when she talked about the difficulty of establishing an airway, and that for her last hip surgery it took an hour and she woke up during the process, it made more sense.  And I feel so bad for her mom.  It doesn't matter how old our kids are, they're still our kids.  35 surgeries is A LOT.

Will is taller than his mom, and Zoey isn't far behind.  He still acts a little young for his age, but they seem to be pretty normal happy kids.

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Oh geez poor Jen, poor hubby and mom. Nothing worse than watching a loved one go through torture.  I wanted them to give everyone in the waiting room a Xanax.  It was sweet  that Zoey wished her mom to feel better for her Christmas wish list.  Jen is such an accomplished women. 

I did not know that you played with a hamster like that,  I thought they stayed in a cage till they died. 

Even though I watered up watching the waiting room anguish. this is a reality show I don’t have to take a shower after watching.  No screaming ,swearing , conniving or disfunction.  

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5 hours ago, camom said:

At first I didn't understand Jen's level of anxiety, but when she talked about the difficulty of establishing an airway, and that for her last hip surgery it took an hour and she woke up during the process, it made more sense.  And I feel so bad for her mom.  It doesn't matter how old our kids are, they're still our kids.  35 surgeries is A LOT.

Will is taller than his mom, and Zoey isn't far behind.  He still acts a little young for his age, but they seem to be pretty normal happy kids.

I just had surgery and I can't even imagine having so many by this age. My surgery was much different but some things were the same, getting up the next day, the catheter, recovery. I could really sympathize.

The kids seem better behaved as a whole. They still have moments but overall, I saw more calm time then in the past.

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6 hours ago, camom said:

At first I didn't understand Jen's level of anxiety, but when she talked about the difficulty of establishing an airway, and that for her last hip surgery it took an hour and she woke up during the process, it made more sense.  And I feel so bad for her mom.  It doesn't matter how old our kids are, they're still our kids.  35 surgeries is A LOT.

Will is taller than his mom, and Zoey isn't far behind.  He still acts a little young for his age, but they seem to be pretty normal happy kids.

I really had all the feels when her mom was talking.  While this episode was not especially pleasant, it definitely felt more “real” than many of TLC’s reality shows and had a depth to it.  Can you imagine Adam and Danielle dealing with the same situation and how that would be presented?  I was left rooting for all of them even more than ever before.  Like Bill’s mom said, they were raised with and live by a “can do, will do” ethic that makes their lives look, at first glance, easier than they actually have been.  

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Will does seem more settled and less frenetic. What a difference a year makes! I did notice that he has developed what I would call a nervous tic where he’ll suddenly squint. Might be something his parents should check into.  I had several tics as a young child and my parents took me to a child psychologist.  Turns out I was just a highly anxious child and eventually the tics disappeared.  

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I agree, even during the cancer battle we've never seen the same level of anxiety.  When she explained her fears about the intubation I really felt for her -- I can't even begin to imagine.

The kids have really grown and matured, and are obviously keenly aware of the cameras.  

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What I want to know, is why in the world these people are on a reality show? They live in a mansion, travel all over the world, want for nothing, and hire everything done for themselves. The kids say I want and they seem to get, no matter what it looks like. Is the show merely a platform for Bill to brag about how much they have? All of those riches, etc, and what do we get? A two hour show talking about Jen's surgery. I found that totally boring myself.

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The fear over the intubation is scary. I have similar issues regarding an IV. No matter how expertly they put one in, it always works it way out sooner than they want it too. Therefore, I am scared of having it work out during surgery and waking up. I have had that happen during dental procedures. 

My mother had lung cancer and during her surgery they messed up her breathing tube, puncturing her lung in the area they weren't taking out. The surgeon was finishing up the surgery when the rest of her lung collapsed and then the other one did too. Her heart stopped and they finally got her back. But it was quite scary. 

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1 hour ago, Tikichick said:

I agree, even during the cancer battle we've never seen the same level of anxiety.  When she explained her fears about the intubation I really felt for her -- I can't even begin to imagine.

The kids have really grown and matured, and are obviously keenly aware of the cameras.  

I had a nasal tube and it was awful. I can't even imagine having a tube down my throat. 

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I have never seen a child talk so much and say so little as Zoe does. I think maybe they need to stifle her some?  She is almost manic with her talking. I wonder how she manages to be quiet in school, or is she just preforming for the cameras?

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2 minutes ago, winsomeone said:

I have never seen a child talk so much and say so little as Zoe does. I think maybe they need to stifle her some?  She is almost manic with her talking. I wonder how she manages to be quiet in school, or is she just preforming for the cameras?

And last season people said Will was an incorrigible brat, but like many kids, he’s learning, growing, and maturing.   I’m confident Zoey will, too. 

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3 minutes ago, readheaded said:

And last season people said Will was an incorrigible brat, but like many kids, he’s learning, growing, and maturing.   I’m confident Zoey will, too. 

I agree. He has his moments but I saw a much calmer Will last night. 

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26 minutes ago, MMEButterfly said:

I had forgotten how pleasant it is to spend two hours with this family.

Such a change from so many of these "reality" shows. No fighting or name calling, just lots of courage and love. 

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12 hours ago, SunnyBeBe said:

From what others tell me, hip replacement is very tolerable. But, still. It would freak me out. 

I've heard the same but there are all kinds of complications due to being a little person. Especially with all the problems with inserting a breaking tube. Most people don't have that issue. 

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8 hours ago, athousandclowns said:

I did not know that you played with a hamster like that,  I thought they stayed in a cage till they died.  

I'm dying!  My childhood hamster suffered a similar fate.  A whirlwind of playing and vicious finger-biting for a week after Christmas, followed by approximately 9.5 months in his cage, then the sweet release of death.  I'm so sorry, Whiskers.  I was seven-years-old, but still.  At least the Klein hamster is getting out there and enjoying life a little bit.

Edited by Suzy Rhapsody
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I did notice that he has developed what I would call a nervous tic where he’ll suddenly squint.

I noticed that, too, and wondered if it was an emotional or physical thing.  I'm sure Bill and Jen are aware and are taking whatever measures are necessary.

While watching Zoey, I thought she would do well in a kids theater program.  She is obviously outgoing and likes the attention.  Being in such a program would allow her to "show off" but would also teach her to listen, be patient, and let others have the spotlight, too.

I was glad to see that Bill was right off camera during the kids' interviews.  With all the TLC shows that feature kids, I've wondered where the parents are during those talking heads.  

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2 minutes ago, camom said:

I noticed that, too, and wondered if it was an emotional or physical thing.  I'm sure Bill and Jen are aware and are taking whatever measures are necessary.

While watching Zoey, I thought she would do well in a kids theater program.  She is obviously outgoing and likes the attention.  Being in such a program would allow her to "show off" but would also teach her to listen, be patient, and let others have the spotlight, too.

I was glad to see that Bill was right off camera during the kids' interviews.  With all the TLC shows that feature kids, I've wondered where the parents are during those talking heads.  

I was glad to see that too. Even if these kids are used to the cameras, they need to have a parent on hand. 

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7 minutes ago, camom said:

I noticed that, too, and wondered if it was an emotional or physical thing.  I'm sure Bill and Jen are aware and are taking whatever measures are necessary.

While watching Zoey, I thought she would do well in a kids theater program.  She is obviously outgoing and likes the attention.  Being in such a program would allow her to "show off" but would also teach her to listen, be patient, and let others have the spotlight, too.

I was glad to see that Bill was right off camera during the kids' interviews.  With all the TLC shows that feature kids, I've wondered where the parents are during those talking heads.  

I am sure they are too. I noticed he didn't seem to do that when he was at home. 

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Wow, glad I was not the only one getting the doom and gloom feel from the new episode!  I wanted to play a drinking game every time the word “surgery” was said!  

Both Will and Zoey have progressed in their speech.  Kudos to their speech therapist in Houston and assuming they have a new one now.  Maybe it is just me but both kids like to sprawl and lay down a lot instead of sitting properly in a chair. My mother would have said “please sit straight!”  I really noticed it in the restaurant line up sprawled with their feet on the couches....they are so at ease they don’t seem to know what is appropriate nor do Jen or Bill correct them.  

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I thought that it was fine when Will and Zoey got one toy each on the before surgery fun day. However, I thought that it was disgraceful when Will asked for another toy when Bill was giving the children an update on Jen's health. I was shocked that Bill said yes. First,  it was a week before Christmas, and second, they each got a toy the day before. Will seemed to be using Jen's surgery as an opportunity to get gifts.

On another note, I love Jen's new hair style. It's a little longer than she's been wearing it the past few years. I thought she really looked sharp with the new hairdo.

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6 minutes ago, Libby said:

I thought that it was fine when Will and Zoey got one toy each on the before surgery fun day. However, I thought that it was disgraceful when Will asked for another toy when Bill was giving the children an update on Jen's health. I was shocked that Bill said yes. First,  it was a week before Christmas, and second, they each got a toy the day before. Will seemed to be using Jen's surgery as an opportunity to get gifts.

On another note, I love Jen's new hair style. It's a little longer than she's been wearing it the past few years. I thought she really looked sharp with the new hairdo.

I wasn't thrilled with the second toy part either. One was enough. 

Her hair looked fabulous! So much better than the short hair she had. It makes her look softer, younger and prettier. 

7 minutes ago, ellenr33 said:

I would personally be very okay with Jen releasing a brand of clothes because her style is amazing! 

Her clothes are gorgeous. I loved the black dress she wore. 

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During the carriage ride I could tell Jenn was thinking about surgery...I had total hip replacement last September...I envy her that she had a husband that was there for her....I had mine and my husband didnt come back after I went into the operating room for my surgery for two days...he stayed home.....Glad the kids are growing and healthy nice to see them doing well...

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It is nice to have this family back, but two hours was an hour too long. I am glad though that all went well with Jenn's surgery. I wonder why Jenn's Dad wasn't in New York with them too?

The editing monkeys were at work in this episode. In one of the scenes Jenn and Bill were in the house talking. They showed Bill near the patio doors, and Maggie outside on the deck by the door. Next shot when Jenn answers Bill's question, Maggie is on the back of the couch with Rocky, sleeping. 

While I think there should be less THs with Will and Zoey, I am still enjoying Zoey in particular as much as I have other years. She is so funny, what a quick wit she has. 

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47 minutes ago, UsernameFatigue said:

It is nice to have this family back, but two hours was an hour too long. I am glad though that all went well with Jenn's surgery. I wonder why Jenn's Dad wasn't in New York with them too?

I recall that last season they had a 2 hr opener too.  I also recall they had the trip to China as the final episode and I believe that was 2 hrs too???  

This year they will have the trip to India.

There seem to be few shows in between so maybe that's how they plan the season. 

The kids seem to love the camera and the production staff.  Both seem well adjusted and despite the continued use of subtitles to make their speech understandable, both kids have really improved in their language ability.

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40 minutes ago, Absolom said:

Ratings are in:  1.524 M and a .23 rating.

Can you please interpret what that means???  Is that good or MEH???

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15 minutes ago, pdlinda said:

Can you please interpret what that means???  Is that good or MEH???

For a TLC show, that's good. The popular shows like Little People Big World and The Duggars get over a million. 

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They didn't play any holiday music this episode so it didn't have the Christmas feel that I expected. It seemed almost exclusively about Jen's surgery and recovery. I love Jen & Zoey's longer hair styles. Bows and braids suit Zoey and Jen's 'You've Got Mail' style is very complimentary. Now if they'd only let Will's bangs grow out. He looks so much cuter with longer bangs. Unimportant stuff but I always notice the little things. Its always wonderful to see the support and love surrounding this family when they most need it. And its obvious that Will and Zoey are thriving. 

Screenshot 2019-08-07 at 7.55.27 AM.png

Screenshot 2019-08-07 at 7.47.22 AM.png

Screenshot 2019-08-07 at 7.46.54 AM.png

Edited by CaliCannoli
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21 minutes ago, babyhouseman said:

For a TLC show, that's good. The popular shows like Little People Big World and The Duggars get over a million. 

What about the 90 day fiance shows???  What about 600 lb life???  Are they top-rated too???

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7 minutes ago, pdlinda said:

What about the 90 day fiance shows???  What about 600 lb life???  Are they top-rated too???

The fiancé shows are over a million. I'm not sure about 600 lb life. 

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7 minutes ago, babyhouseman said:

The fiancé shows are over a million. I'm not sure about 600 lb life. 

Just so I understand, from your experience and understanding, the benchmark number is 1 million viewers to ensure a show will be renewed? 

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3 minutes ago, pdlinda said:

Just so I understand, from your experience and understanding, the benchmark number is 1 million viewers to ensure a show will be renewed? 

Yes, it seems that reading the message boards on here, the million plus TLC shows keep getting renewed. 

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11 hours ago, winsomeone said:

What I want to know, is why in the world these people are on a reality show? They live in a mansion, travel all over the world, want for nothing, and hire everything done for themselves. The kids say I want and they seem to get, no matter what it looks like. Is the show merely a platform for Bill to brag about how much they have? All of those riches, etc, and what do we get? A two hour show talking about Jen's surgery. I found that totally boring myself.

I know that Jen's a doctor and Bill does whatever it is he does, but let's face it, the reality show is exactly what has allowed them to have the mansion, the travel, and all the stuff.  Their show, the books, the public appearances... it all adds up to some nice material wealth (not that I begrudge them for it.)

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4 hours ago, pdlinda said:

Can you please interpret what that means???  Is that good or MEH???

Good enough to keep the show going.  Not great, but they're in the pack of similar shows like Sister Wives.

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On 8/6/2019 at 9:45 PM, bichonblitz said:

That's exactly right! Why did we need two hours of that? They couldn't do it in one hour? They kept repeating the same things over and over in their talking heads.

Having said that, I couldn't help but notice Jen was not herself at all. Poor thing must have been in so much pain. Before the surgery she was serious, quiet and looked so stressed. She didn't have that usual annoying laughter going on. She is a real trooper, though. I have such admiration for that woman. 

It looks like both Bill and Jen have settled in to being parents now and are much more comfortable with the kids. It's amazing to see how much Will has changed. He is much more tolerable and composed than he was last season. It's good to know he is doing well in school and enjoys cub scouts. Zoey, on the other hand, is a little firecracker! Girl loves to talk! She also loves taking the attention away from Will and he doesn't seem to mind taking a back seat to her. He's a sweet big brother. 

One other thing I noticed was that the house was not as pristine perfect as the Houston house. Not a bad thing, just different. It looks more lived in and laid back. Surely they have a housekeeper but it looks like Jen has eased up on her control of everything having to be perfect all the time. 

You summed up everything so well.😊

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