Fun For The Whole Family

Episode Report Card
Shack: C+ | Grade It Now!
What, No Dowries?

Aaron and Helene arrive at some cookie-cutter, two-story home that belongs to one of Helene's brothers. Helene brings Aaron in and starts introducing him to various family members. Helene's sister-in-law is a big copper mold collector. They're all over the kitchen walls. It's practically a copper mold museum. Helene introduces Aaron to her family; then to her three brothers, Ed, Joe, Henry; and to her sister-in-law, Leona. Then she explains to us that she introduced Aaron to her three brothers and sister-in-law.

They all head out to the backyard for a barbecue. The "inquisition" begins. These guys really aren't much tougher than Gwen's family. I think they just want to make sure Aaron's not a serial killer, and that's about it. They ask whether Aaron has a house. He has a condo. They ask him if he sees himself doing something different in five to ten years. Nope. Aaron's happy riding on the family's coattails. Does he work a lot? He claims that he works about fifty hours a week. Golf with clients doesn't count as "work," Aaron. Leona asks if Aaron thinks he and Helene are compatible. Aaron says that they're both obviously "outgoing" and "adventurous" or else they wouldn't have been on the show together. Those are adjectives that the producers used in the first episode, by the way, so I have doubts that Aaron came up with those diplomatic synonyms for "desperate" and "exhibitionistic" on his own. Aaron insists to us that these questions are putting him on "the hot seat." Oh, if he only knew what was to come. Aaron marvels over the fact that Helene's parents have been together forty years. Helene tells us that she hopes that Aaron sees that those little jabs and jokes she tosses out are a part of the way her family behaves, and that he understands that this means she's comfortable around him.

Aaron offers to refresh Helene's drink so that they can all talk behind his back. After he leaves, she asks the others what they think. Everybody thinks Aaron is okay. Dad says, "He's all right." Try not to gush too much. Aaron must be deadly dull. Joe tells Helene that the most important thing is that she's happy. Helene says she's happy with Aaron, but points out that he's the one who gets to make all the decisions, not her. Yeah, you know, even taking away all the desperation and camera whoring and creepy behavior, the thing that annoys me most about this show -- and other similar dating reality shows -- is that imbalance of power in this alleged romantic situation. Anyway, Aaron returns and they all make jokes about whether or not they were saying bad things about Aaron. Ed then reveals that he hasn't seen Helene this happy in a long time. That's rather sad.

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