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'Kart Life' fan recap: Hey, kid! Be a professional!

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “Step Up” | Aired Feb 11, 2015

Last week on Kart Life, Henry and David Malukas thought David’s engine sucked and demanded tuner Wes replace it before a race. Wes thought David’s driving sucked, but his opinion didn’t count because Henry pays Wes’ salary. The engine was swapped, Wes made passive-aggressive comments to the camera, and David set off. This week, we see David win the race. There’s a cursory shot of the Malukas celebrating, followed by a shot of Wes not celebrating. But Wes and David do their secret handshake and everything goes back to normal.

At the Welage paddock, Meghan Welage is grilling, using a putty scraper to flip burgers. “Nothing says redneck like using a putty scraper to grill,” her friend says. “Yeah,” she laughs, and pokes a burger with the implement. She tells us some families go to fancy hotels and have nice dinners, but most grill. We now transition from the have-nots to the haves: the Bromantes and the Malukas.

John “Bosstastic” Bromante lets us know that “Henry Malukas is my kind of people. We enjoy the finer things in life.” While the two clans dine in what is probably the finest restaurant in South Bend, Indiana, John toasts: “Cheers to the families, the safety of our children, and our businesses, to pay for all this mess.” Hear, hear! Bully for kart racing and capitalism.

John admits to spoiling his kids because he didn’t have much growing up: “They have no idea what it’s like to suffer.” The Malukas matriarch pipes up: “David understands.” Cut to David ordering a filet mignon. Gio Bromante orders a sparkling water, condescendingly asking the waitress if she “got that,” and he and David share a laugh like they are two tycoons of industry who can’t seem to find good help.

The next race is in Wampum, Pennsylvania. Derek Fitzgerald gives daughter Savannah a pep talk: “Don’t be a girl at the start.” “Would you like me to be a boy?” Savannah fires back. “Naw, I want you to be a serial killer. Kill ’em all and let God sort them out,” he replies. Derek should be a motivational speaker.

Practice sessions start, although the kids treat it like a race. More overzealous than the children are the fathers. Phil Tavella, watching son Dylan run second, yells out, “Be smart, knucklehead.” John Bromante calls Gio’s driving “pitiful,” before chewing him out in the pits. Gio blames the motor (noticing a trend here?) and walks away, pissed. Maybe some sparkling water would cool Gio down.

Savannah runs through her podium of “hot race drivers” as her friends giggle. She ranks David Malukas as fourth, Dylan Tavella as second, and a boy we’ve not seen before takes the top prize. Of this mystery lad, Savannah says, “We’re married in my heart. Not his, but mine.” Derek hears this and announces, “I hate boys. Savannah don’t need no boyfriends.”

Speaking of raging hormones, Sasha Brun-Wibaux has spent her short airtime thus far flirting with boys, but we finally see her race Savannah and David. She doesn’t finish well. Neither does Savannah, who gets knocked off by her top crush (!), who now has a name: Evan Fritts. Derek explains that Savannah gets bullied often, and outlines her two recourses. “Go back to the pits and say something, or take it out on the track and gain that respect. I like a bit of both.” Savannah opts for the former, and has a lackluster confrontation with her imaginary husband in which he denies everything.

The cadets race and Dylan Tavella finishes fourth, Gio Bromante 10th, and Jason Welage 11th. John Bromante chews into Gio again: “Your job is to drive the go kart as a professional, and that’s not what I see.” Nothing like watching a grown man tell his child to act like a professional.

Jason Welage was cut off and is heated. Marching into the other racer’s paddock, populated by people with blurry faces who didn’t sign release forms, Jason warns, “Don’t make stupid passes or I’m going to punt you off the track.” The blur belonging to the other racer’s mother says, “It wasn’t a stupid pass. You punted him. Leave our area now or I will get your dad and you’ll get punished.” Strong words, blur.

Greg Welage rushes over as his wife cautions, “Remember last year!” Here, we learn that Greg had an “issue with a child” last year at this track and the Welages were kicked out. Sadly, there’s no further explanation of this issue. Thankfully, Greg looks like he’s about to have another issue when he gets in Blurry Dad’s face. “We’ve been racing a lot longer than you,” Greg huffs. “What have you ever won? A club race? That means nothing.” This is a harsh karting diss, judging by how Blurry Dad reacts, and Blurry Mom diffuses the situation by stepping between them.

Meanwhile, Sasha Brun-Wibaux calls a boy she likes “princess” and looks longingly at him. He ignores her and looks longingly at his tire. Francois tells us he’s hoping his daughter will be focused this weekend. The only thing she’s focused on is flirting, and we see her in the middle of four boys, laying it on thick. She finishes her next race in 11th (driving like an idiot, per Francois) and Savannah apologizes to her heart’s love, Evan. They hug it out, and Savannah holds on for longer than he does.

The last race is the cadet class, featuring Jason, Dylan, and Gio. Dylan is in second on the last lap when he makes terrifying contact with another kart and ends up finishing last. Phil Tavella is so angry, his face goes purple. Dylan storms into his tent, flipping over a chair. “Act like a champ, dude,” Phil reminds him as this fight heads into their mobile home, while the cameras stay outside.

“Screw him!” we hear Dylan yell. “It’s a fucking RACE, CALM DOWN!” Phil calmly bellows at the top of his lungs. We see mom Shirley enter. “C’mon Dylan, be a professional,” she says to her 10-year-old son. “Professional,” he mocks before adding “SHUT UP!” Little Ryan Tavella has been left alone outside the RV, pointing at the door. Poor little Ryan Tavella.

The drama ends with a quip from Meghan Welage: “This shit doesn’t happen when your kids play soccer.”

Kart Life airs Wednesdays at 10/9C on TruTV.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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