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'Kart Life' fan recap: 'If you're doing it right, they all hate you'

Season 1 | Episode 9 | “David and Goliaths” | Aired Apr 1, 2015

The penultimate Kart Life episode opens in South Haven, Michigan, where David Malukas is about to drive a Formula One car as a reward for making the podium last week. Henry Malukas tells us “people think I’m crazy” to let his child drive a Formula car at 160 miles per hour, but he thinks David is ready. Henry is right, David doesn’t bin it, and viewers with a speed addiction instantly became jealous of a 12-year-old.

On to business in New Castle, Indiana. This week’s race—sponsored by a robotic Ping-Pong machine company, because that’s a thing—is the only race where money is on the line and there’s no second place. Before the kids hit the track, pro drivers revisit their racing roots with a celebrity Pro Am challenge. David is the only non-pro invited to race against Indy, Formula One, and Nascar drivers, some of whom give him a razzing in the pits. “These guys can talk smack, but the truth is, I’ve been in a kart more than they have recently,” David counters.

Right out of the gate, David passes six karts to run in fourth. Tuner Wes (who has been unusually kind, helpful, and informative this episode; what the hell, Wes?) tells us that because David is so young, he’s going to be the target of some aggressive racing by the other drivers: “The last thing a pro wants to do is get beaten by a 12-year-old.” Sure enough, we see these grown men colluding to successfully ram a child. David slips into first, which causes the pros to get even dirtier and smack David around like a Ping-Pong ball (maybe that sponsor does make sense). David finishes fourth, eliciting some unique praise from his mother: “Sick, man.”

Since Gio Bromante can’t win a single race in his current kart and class, John “Boss-a Nova” Bromante got special permission to move Gio up a class and give him a bigger kart and a bigger motor. WHY, JOHN? WHY? JP Southern Jr. is racing in both classes this weekend, leading me to wonder if there are any real rules in karting. Jason Welage, Dylan Tavella, and JP Southern Jr. all set off for a Cadet practice race. JP and Jason collide, with Jason hanging on and JP being knocked out of the race. Greg Welage displays remarkable sportsmanship when he shouts, “Perfect! It’s about time. That asshole.” JP Southern Sr. also shares his thoughts: “Motherf—er! I’m so mad, man. They don’t wanna f— with us.” Pulling his namesake aside, Sr. imparts some vulgar wisdom. “F— ’em. Get the money.”

Stacey Bromante is here, and we see she has dyed both her dog and her son’s hair blue … because her son’s team’s color is blue! Duh! The Juniors—David Malukas, JP Jr., and Gio—race. Cradling the poor blue pooch, Stacey cheers like the teenager she wishes she was: “O.M.G. Here we go! Battle, battle, battle!” Her booster efforts fail and Gio finishes sixth, Jr. comes in ninth, and David wins.

JP Sr. tells Jr. to cover his kart in their paddock. His rationale is extreme and rife with paranoia. “These suckers will take this shit apart. So many people who don’t want you to win. We’re enemies on this race track. If you’re doing it right, they all hate you. You leave your kart out, anyone can subvert you or tinker with it.” Thankfully, a cloth cover will thwart any nefarious evildoers—right, Sr.?

Waiting to grid for the next Cadet race, Jr. is still exhibiting signs of his father’s psychopathic tendencies, which his tuner picks up on. The tuner tells Jr. not to wreck Jason or anyone else. Jr.’s reply: “Why not?” Greg Welage approaches to extend a laughable olive branch. “I’m sorry Jason did that, JP, but you know you’ve had a few coming from us,” Greg begins while Jr. stares daggers at him. Greg brings up a time when Jr. bumped Jason and says Jason “finally grew some balls and did something about it, but we’re still friends and we have no problem working with you.” Greg Welage would not make a good diplomat. JP Sr. advises his son not to “let that piece of garbage get in your head.”

The Cadets run, but something’s wrong with Jr.’s kart. This causes Sr. to get hopping mad. Literally: The man hops around, channeling Christian Bale from American Psycho/the set of Terminator Salvation, yelling obscenities and bearing his teeth like an angry dog. Jr. comes in dead last, while Jason takes first. Dylan finishes sixth.

Sr. doesn’t “want to hear about food or nothing” because he needs to know what happened to Jr.’s kart. Turns out the carburetor screw was overtightened. Ever the fledgeling detective, Sr. immediately deduces this was sabotage. “Some f—ing asshole turned it! F—!” he fumes. This will not stand and Sherlock Sr. is on the case. “They better pray I don’t find out who did this,” he warns us. Next, he grabs the scrawniest kid he can find and tells him to watch the kart. “Get a good hammer, a steel one, and if you see anyone near the kart, you break their hands,” Sr. tells this frightened child, who is unsure if Sr. is serious. Well, that escalated quickly.

The Juniors race again. JP Jr. is doing well, which means Sr. is going apeshit at the fence. Jason Welage misses first by 3/1000 of a second. Jr. finishes eighth, while Dylan comes in fourth. However, Phil has had enough of Dylan’s ADD and orders him to stare at a wall and turn around a few times, to poorly demonstrate the point that you don’t turn around while racing. Then Phil yells some more while Dylan hangs his head and trudges away like a sad Charlie Brown. Don’t blame ya, kid. When he talks, Phil does kind of sound like a muted trumpet.

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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