Well folks, it's that time again.
Another season of Counting On is upon us, which means for the next 10-12 weeks, you won't have to go channel-surfing at 4 am to catch a full hour of televised evangelical propaganda.
Instead, you can be brainwashed smack in the middle of primetime, just like the good lord intended!
Now, you might be saying to yourself, "Hey, the Duggars don't do any proselytizing! They never ask for donations!"
To which we offer the following two-pronged reply:
1. Read up on the Quiverfull movement (of which the Duggars are devout adherents), and you'll realize that Counting On is basically an infomercial for the lifestyle encouraged by Jim Bob's disgraced mentor, Bill Gothard.
2. The Duggars ask for money all the time. They may not do so explicitly during their TV show, but that's only because it might negatively affect their future earning potential (and TLC probably wouldn't allow it).
Jim Bob has said repeatedly that he sees television as a way for the Duggars to "advance their ministry."
As surely as any televangelist preaching to his congregants on a Sunday morning, the Duggars offer their fans a clear message and a whole lot of promises every Monday night.
But instead of all that life everlasting life talk, they mostly focus on the promise of earthly rewards.
"Praise Jesus, crank out a whole lot of babies, and keep your women in their place, and you, too, can experience all this wealth and familial happiness," the Duggars tell their fans.
We're sure the "making a whole bunch of money without having to do any real work" part is attractive to a lot of people.
But as Monday night's Counting On season premiere reminded us, the Duggars are painfully awkward, and they don't actually have any sense of what most people want from their personal lives.
We're not sure who dreams up ideas like a contest to plan the best date night -- it could be Jim Bob and Michelle; it could be the show's producers -- but whatever the case, exercises like these serve to remind us that the "married kids" in the Duggar clan are bizarrely sheltered and out of touch.
If you thought you were alone in finding the premiere even more awkward than the typical episode of Counting On episode, fear not.
The fine folks at the r/DuggarSnark sub-Reddit offered a running commentary that highlighted every nauseating moment.
"It sounds like a barf fest torture chamber," one redditor said of the weird date contest.
"What’s more romantic than aimlessly driving through rural Arkansas in the rain until you find a gazebo, where you eat a cold sandwich dinner?" another said of Josiah and Kendra's date -- which somehow won the contest.
The weirdness of competitive dating aside, the episode called attention so some strange couple dynamics within the family.
"John and Abbie said they have a 'no pecks' rule about kissing in their house, and that all kisses between them have to last at least 2 seconds," one viewer remarked.
"They then demonstrated this, repeatedly."
"Stop making out in front of your parents and siblings," another stated simply. Good advice.
Yes, the Duggar fixation on PDA was a recurring theme throughout the discussion.
And many were in agreement on an observation that seems counter-intuitive at first, but becomes distressingly evident with even the most cursory reflection -- namely, the Duggars are obsessed with sex.
Once someone points it to you, it becomes fairly obvious, right?
For starters, you would have to be obsessed with sex to come up with so many rules about sex.
On top of that, once the Duggars get hitched and are finally allowed to regard their urges with anything other than guilt and frustration, doin' it is pretty much all they talk about.
As many viewers pointed out, Monday's episode was loaded with double entendres and thinly-veiled sex jokes.
The lowlight might have been John-David using coded language to describe his ever-growing desire for his wife, but Jim Bob likening Michelle to a [gag] "creamy" bon-bon was pretty nauseating, too
"Is it just me or were there sexual innuendos all over this episode? Like JimBoob calling Meech [Michelle] 'creamy' or that really weird line from JD about needing more once you’ve had something,"
"There were so many, it had me wondering if it was scripted to be that way."
We wondered that, too -- we also wondered why we continue watching this show.