TLC Week: "The Family Chantal" is a Rare Trashy Miss for the Network


Continuing with my week long quest to write about TLC reality shows, last night they premiered "The Family Chantel", a "90 Day Fiance" spinoff show. I have to admit, I was excited to watch. I tried to play it all cool with my wife, like I wasn't stoked to watch the show, but I was. And after seeing the "Tell All", and how they interacted all season long on "Happily Ever After?", I assumed this was going to be one of the wildest, dumbest and most bizarre things on TV. Even the commercials made it seem this way.

Unfortunately, it wasn't wild at all. Actually, it was kind of boring, and seemed pointless. "The Family Chantel" kind of feels like TLC decided to take a shot, since they are owning trashy reality TV right now, but this was a total misfire. By the halfway point of the premier, I was already looking at stuff to buy on Amazon on my phone. I have been making a conscious effort to stay off my phone while watching shows because I want to really focus on what I am seeing. But, "The Family Chantel" was far too boring, and it just couldn't keep my attention. The same thing can be said for my wife. She was laying on our love seat watching, and she would get up to brush her teeth during the show, she got up to take her vitamins, she just kept getting up and down, and to me, that is a sign that she too is bored.

We both said, near the end, that the show was not what we were hoping, and expecting. Instead of drama and stupidity, it was literally watching a married couple struggle due to family issues. It was, at times, kind of sad. I felt bad for Chantel and Pedro because their families hate one another, and that has to be really hard when you are married. Now, these families go to the extreme, suggesting divorce, bringing tasers to their daughter's home, taking twerking classes, deflecting their problems onto siblings, pretty much cliché reality TV stuff. But, even that cliché stuff was boring. The whole taser scene should have been great, but it wasn't. The fact that Chantel's mom brought a taser, then threatened to use it, should have been great. But, it fell flat.

I think part of the problem is Chantel's mom is expecting to become a famous TV personality. The reality though, she is a horrible actress, and this "character" she is portraying on the show is very dull. She is the prototypical overbearing mom, but I have seen better on shows like "Flavor of Love" or "The Real World". She is not that good. Pedro's sister is the same. She is the villain, but again, she is predictable and not a good actress and played out. I've seen her do all the stuff on "The Family Chantel" that she does on "Happily Ever After?". It is lame. Chantel's brother River seems like he doesn't want to be there. And the same for her sister Winter, who is the only good thing about this show. She is the only real person on it. Even when the episode ended, and they showed the coming up this season stuff, nothing really grabbed me. This is where the show is supposed to get the viewer back, make them want to watch more, but it was more of the same.

Look, I know that the two families don't like each other, I know that Chantel's family does not like visiting the Dominican Republic, I know that Pedro and Chantel fight all the time, I know that Lydia, Pedro's mom, blames Chantel's family for her son's attitude. I have seen it all already on "Happily Ever After?" and "Before the 90 Days".

I commend TLC for going for it, but this just doesn't work. We took the show off our DVR after the premiere was over, and said the only way we'd watch it again is on a lazy Sunday if TLC is running a marathon, and nothing else is on. This was an unexpected dud, and it bums me out that it wasn't as wild and ridiculous as I hoped. Oh well, at least I still have all the other iterations, of which I will touch on this week, of "90 Day Fiance". But, "The Family Chantel", for fans of this, is a miss in my opinion.