Not content with just watching one episode of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn, the sitcom about the trials and tribulations of preteen quadruplets, I am back for another dose to make sure the unpleasantness of the first one wasn’t just a fluke. I was expecting overacting, selfishness and an overall lack of dignity (myself included), and I was not disappointed.
In this episode the quads’ parents abandon them, leaving them in the care of movie star JT Steele. Admittedly he is a friend of their parents, so this isn’t as negligent as it first appears. The kids are thrilled as they are huge fans or Mr Steele’s oeuvre but there’s only one problem – they have to keep it a secret. This is a crushing blow because, after all, what’s the point of something good happening to you unless you can brag to your friends about it? That’s pretty much a verbatim quote from the show. What message does this send to the doe-eyed impressionable tykes in the audience?
If the audience have doe eyes then JT Steele definitely has crazy eyes. More professional wrestler than actor I’m scared he might snap and roundhouse kick a quadruplet in their shiny teeth. The reason for this unpredictable behaviour is that he’s usually the action-hero star of the ‘Mission Not Doable’ (ha!) movies. But this time he’s looking after the kids for a while to get into character for a role as a suburban dad.
Surprisingly, Ricky (or is it Nicky? One of them at least…) shows genuine remorse when the quads come home from school late causing JT to worry. Of course this glimmer of humanity is short-lived as approximately two seconds later it is revealed that JT is just acting like a concerned parent to get into character for his role.
After JT burns the children’s laundry and gives them a bag of soup for lunch they criticise his parenting skills so severely he has a mental breakdown. In this heart-wrenching scene a grown man lies in the foetal position on the kitchen table. His life is unravelling as he rocks back and forward groaning softly. He is a broken shell. But the children’s primary concern is whether he’ll still be able to host the BBQ they’ve tricked him into having so they can impress their friends with his celebrity.
They then advise him to act like his own dad, inadvertently triggering his PTSD arising from his father’s abandonment. He swigs from a bottle of milk to drown his sorrows and falls into a catatonic stupor. Not content with physically and mentally destroying this man, the kids then manipulate his lifeless corpse like a puppet so the BBQ can go ahead after all. During this event he throws raw meat into children’s faces. What am I watching? The quads use JT Steele as a marionette, but they’re also controlling me as well. I cannot look away.
JT is eventually somehow roused from his slumber and is hoisted into the sky by a helicopter, out of our lives forever. Good riddance I say.
Oh yeah, in a completely unrelated subplot, the quads’ dad breaks JT Steele’s acting award when he’s at his house. This action has absolutely no consequences whatsoever and serves no purpose.
As before this episode was pretty terrible. JT Steele seems unhinged, the quads are manipulative and selfish, and the message to the viewer is awful. Still, one more episode can’t hurt…