Why I Can’t Stop Watching Parental Controlby Lauren Passell on February 23, 2020
I cannot stop watching Parental Control, a dumb MTV dating show that’s only on at, like, 3 in the morning. Which is probably why I watch it so much. It’s pretty much the only thing on. But if I turn on the TV in the middle of the night and it’s on, I get so excited because it’s never just one episode. It’s a whole marathon. Probably because the TV guys were like, “Oh, nobody is watching at 4 AM anyway, let’s just throw in a bunch of stupid Parental Control episodes, who cares?” And to that I say, “I care.” And “thank you.”
The premise is this: some teenager has a gross boyfriend or girlfriend who their parents hate, and their parents pick out a new boyfriend or girlfriend for them. Then the bad boyfriend or girlfriend and the parents watch TV footage as the new couple does things does monster truck competitions or almost burns down a building making pizza. There are tons of episodes, but they are all exactly the same. Here is what happens, in case you haven’t seen:
The good girlfriend (let’s call her Pamela) is introduced. She has an amazing smile and pretty hair. Her boyfriend (let’s call him Travis) is seen picking his nose and eating his boogers, making fart noises, asleep with his pants off in the middle of a busy road, not having a car, not having money, and saying something like “DUDE BRO YEAH.” The parents are like, “We can’t stand him! He puts his stinky feet on the counter top! He is too cool for school! He’s a hooligan!” And then they say something empowering that doesn’t really make a lot of sense, like, “YOUR TIME IS UP, TRAVIS! WE CAN’T WAIT TO KISS YOUR STUPID BUTT GOODBYE, COWBOY PARTNER!” But Pamela is like “I love Travis because he’s like really hot.” And that’s pretty much all she has to say about that.
The parents browse single boys to choose to replace Travis. There are usually about 30 people competing for the two spots, and usually 28 of these guys are certifiably psychotic. They say things like “I’ll love her forever if she gives me daily BJs” (pan to the parents who are like “wah-wahhhhhh”), or “Dude, ma’am, you’re hot. Can I go out with you?” (Pan to the mom pretending to roll her eyes but she is actually flattered. The dad has to pretend he is embarrassed but he is really thinking, “This young studly gentleman wants to do my wife! Still got it!”)
Sometimes the parents test the boys by asking them to write a short poem or showing off their favorite dance move, and this is so embarrassing I have to look away. But there are always two guys who have nice smiles like Pamela, and they wore sweater vests. So they get picked.
Back at home, Travis is shirtless on the couch, spilling Hawaiian Punch all over the place, saying things to Pamela’s mom like “YOU ARE A LARD-O ASS-FACED WHALE!” And Pamela’s mom is like, “That’s kind of rude.” And Pamela says nothing. The dad will be like “GET READY TO SAY SAYONARA, SUCKER!”
The first date shows up. He’s taking her for a gymnastics lesson because he wants to see if she’s flexible and how she looks in a spandex onesie. When he shows up Travis is all like, “WHO LET A DOG IN THE HOUSE? BECAUSE YOU LOOK LIKE A DOG.” And Date #1 takes her out and they do all these sexy gymnastic moves that are so intense they’re practically making babies on the camera. And Date #1, who seemed so sweet when being interviewed by the ‘rents, will say something like, “Can I grab a handful of your ass because it looks so fine.”
Back on the homefront, the parents are like “AWWW YEAH! DON’T YOU WISH YOU COULD GET SOME OF THAT ACTION?” to Travis, which I always think is gross. I don’t want my dad to watch me get my ass groped. Dad and mom are psyched things are going so well. They are like “WELCOME TO DUMPED-VILLE, TRAVIS. POPULATION ONE: YOU.” Or “”I KNOW MY SON DARREN IS GONNA GIVE HIS GIRLFRIEND AMBRIANA THE BOOT, BECAUSE THAT HO HAS TO GO!” Zachary will call mom fat again and say “I would never screw you, you fat tub of lard.” Thank goodness.
Date #1 and Pamela have a snack but nobody really eats the snack, they talk about how Travis picks his nose and how gross that is, and then Date #1 says, “I’m sorry to say this but I think I have to take you home now.”
They go home and Date #2 is the exact same, except Date #2’s idea is to go bungee jumping in bathing suits because Date #2 wants to see if Pamela has a hot bod.
After both dates, everyone gathers around and Pamela has to vote someone off the island right away. This is the best part. The good girlfriend or boyfriend will say something like:
“Zachary.” Pause. “You’ve got a rockin’ bod, and a great smile, but I’m just not sure if you’re ready for a relationship.”
“Chadd.” Pause. “I had a great time on the hot air balloon with you today, but I’m just not sure you can keep up with me.”
“Brittanie. You’re a great kisser, but I think you’d be a better bro than ho.”
“Sheyna. You looked slammin’ when you were catching those piglets (this was an actual date on Parental Control), but I’m just not sure that I’d wanna make heavy petting with you.”
So Pamela sends Zachary or whoever packing. She never votes off Travis right away. Then there are two. And she will either keep Travis or pick the new guy. If she sticks with Travis, mom and dad act like their lives are over. If she picks the new boyfriend they start fist-pumping and are like “DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT, PANSY-PANTS-MAN,” which really makes no sense. Then they make some inappropriate reference to how they are about to go give each other hand jobs, because you know, watching their daughter go out with all these guys really gets them in the mood.