Two obnoxious teenagers, Georgie and Callum, swap their downtrodden single mums to live with the strict Chinese-American Li family in North Carolina for a week.
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'Around the world, many parents raise their kids on a diet of strict discipline...'
As I am the head of the house, I expect them to obey the rules, whether we are right or not.
-Say sorry. You will not do again.
My father controls my life. Everything.
-Are we going to see some progress in five minutes?
-'..and immediate consequences.'
HE BANGS PAN
'But can traditional parenting
'change the lives of rebellious British teenagers?'
Come and get me! I'm drinking underage!
I took LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, weed,
When you're 17, you definitely need to go out and party because before you know it, that's it, game over.
I'm not coming back today, by the way. See you in 20 years!
She's so incredibly rude. She's just a cow, really.
-So disrespectful, telling me to eff off.
-Dad, just be quiet!
-I don't care what people think about me. Rules are made for breaking.
'To find out, two teens who've never met before
'will leave their fraught families behind...'
-Come on, give us a hug. Come on!
-Behave yourself. I'm not joking.
'..and head off to the far corners of the world
'where they will live according to strict rules imposed by new parents.'
LAUGHING / BELCHING
Do you want a punch? Do you want a punch?
-Get off me.
Do me a favour and for once put some effort into your life.
-Go out! Just go out!
-The world does not revolve around you!
-I'm trying to walk away
and she's following me! They can't programme me.
If all British teenagers were like that, no good.
You're cleaning the bloody chairs!
'17-year-old stroppy Essex girl Georgie Weir
-'always gets her own way.'
-That's just a waste of energy.
My mum doesn't tell me what to do anymore. If she does, I will purposely try not to do it.
Just leave! I'm serious, just leave, please.
She's so incredibly rude. She's just a cow, really.
Sorry, I don't mean to say that, and I love her dearly, but she's a cow.
And I'm just hoping she's going to grow up.
Guys, it's all about me! It's going to be about me anyway.
'But single mum Julie still gives in to her every demand.'
She pays my phone bill, my gym membership,
my driving lessons, my car insurance. Everyone having a good time?
My tax, my MOT. I need money, so she should give it to me.
-'And any attempt at challenging Georgie's behaviour isn't worth the angry outburst.'
Have you washed your hands? It's Georgie's way or no way.
What? Don't stare at me.
She smashes things. Her language is atrocious.
I can't get any peace if Georgie's on the warpath.
'Georgie's parents had a acrimonious divorce,
'which was tough on her as the youngest of three kids.'
Dad left when I was, like, three, and he lives quite far away.
I don't really see him or hear from him at all.
With my mum, I don't have a relationship with my mother.
It's just a person you pass, like, somebody you say hi and bye to.
I get angry with myself because I think, "What if I'd done this?" or "What if I'd done that?"
or "What if my husband and I had stayed together? Would it have made any difference?
"Could I have stopped her being so angry?"
-You look very smart.
-You look very horrible.
-Big day, isn't it?
-It is a bitch!
I've built up a character of having to be bolshy and loud and stand my ground,
a kid that didn't give a shit, and now it's hard to get out of.
Once you're so far down a road, you can't turn around.
-Oh, let me have a go.
-'17-year-old Callum Watson
-'is the life and soul of the party.'
-I'll have some of that, you have some of that.
On a good night out, we go in a bar. Just have a ball. That's what you go out for.
Suck it dry! Suck it dry!
Oh, and get drunk.
'But it's not just the drinking that's a problem.'
I have took LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, weed,
MDMA, ketamine. All fun, though, really.
He'll go out till two, three in the morning. He won't know his own name.
The worst thing for me is policemen knocking on my door saying they've dragged a body out of the canal.
'With parties and socialising taking priority,
'Callum's been struggling with college for the past year.'
Callum was pulling As and Bs and now he's pulling Ds.
He's already had a warning saying that he might have to resit the year.
I'm not getting out of bed, I don't want to yet.
Obviously, things are going downhill and the reason why is I can't be arsed.
I can't be arsed with much. I'm just a lazy person.
'His lazy attitude spills over into his home life,
'where he expects his mum Athene to do everything around the house.'
-I'm not having quiche.
-Well, just have the salad, then.
I don't want it. I'll have the cucumber.
I do think Callum takes me for granted. I think he takes this whole situation for granted.
'His mum had Callum as a teenager
'and his dad left before he was born.'
My dad's called Dave and that's all I want to know about him, really.
-Mum, can I have that tenner?
-What's it for?
I can't discipline Callum. No should mean no,
-but it doesn't in Callum's world. No means, "Let's just bully Mum and I'll get it."
I have human rights, as well, so why should I do something that other people don't have to do?
'To teach the teens respect for their parents and themselves,
'their mums are sending them to live with a strict family halfway across the world.'
I don't know why I'm doing this. Be good, behave yourself.
Listen. Come on, give us a hug. Come on!
-Be good, all right?
-Yep. Can we just go?
I want her to just look at things a bit differently and not be so confrontational and angry.
That's what I'm really hoping for.
-See you later.
-Be good. No swearing.
What I'm hoping for Callum when he comes back is that
he realises that he cannot be totally disrespectful like he is at times.
Fingers crossed he comes back a different person.
-How are you?
-I'm fine, thanks.
-Nice to meet you. What's your name?
-Where do you live?
-Manchester. What about you?
-Oh, Essex girl!
-Is your tongue pierced?
-High five! That's so cool!
-Have you got piercings?
-Nose and I have my lip done.
-I've got my chest.
'They're heading to the affluent city of Charlotte, North Carolina.
'The gateway to the American South in the country's humid sub-tropical belt.
'They will be staying in Providence Downs,
'a private gated community and home to
'Chinese-American family the Lis.
'Father Benjamin, mother Shasha
'and kids Alex and ReeRee.
'In keeping with their Chinese culture,
'Benjamin and Shasha have high expectations of their kids.'
For me, American culture is too soft.
We're thinking that that's not a good way to raise kids.
My children look at me as a very stern father.
There must be rules. There must be a standard for them to meet
in order that they become successful in their life.
'Benjamin emigrated to America when he was just 24.'
I came here on a scholarship,
but when I boarded the airplane from China,
I only had 35 on me.
'Supported by wife Shasha, he worked his way through university to become a lawyer.'
I always believed in hard work. The harder you work, the better you become.
'22-year-old Alex is a high-flying business graduate
'who owes his ambitious drive to his father.'
Dad grew up with nothing and he relied on absolutely nobody
and it's that independence and that realisation that if I work hard, I know I'll succeed.
My dad's a resounding example of that.
-Thank you for the lovely food!
'Both kids are expected to adhere to their parents' traditional beliefs.'
In my family, if you're older, you immediately have to be respected
because it's part of our culture.
ReeRee, do you know, who was the president during World War II?
-'In the Li household, education is key.'
-Franklin D Roosevelt.
We're a traditional Chinese family, we are all thinking that education is the most important thing.
He was elected for four terms?
'Anything less than an A is unacceptable.'
Recently my grades, I got 90 in history
and an 89 in English and the rest were all As.
My dad was very upset with me.
He actually said, "I never want to see that grade again".
My children understand, if they don't do well,
they will bring shame to the family. They will face the consequences.
'After a nine-hour flight, the teens land in Charlotte.'
-Are you excited?
-I'm not. I'm scared!
'They're heading 40 minutes outside of the city centre
'to the exclusive millionaire suburb of Providence Downs.'
Oh, fucking hell!
-Look at the size of that house!
THEY GASP Look at the fucking size of it!
Oh, my God!
# Sweet Jesus
Ah, they're here.
-Oh, no! Oh, no!
-Here we go.
-How are you?
-Hi, Georgie. How are you?
'For the next week, Callum and Georgie will be living
'as members of this strict Chinese-American family.'
-Hi, I'm Georgie.
-Hi. I'm Georgie. Nice to meet you.
-Oh, my God!
-I really need the toilet!
I really, really need the toilet. We need it really bad.
'Nature calls, but the Lis are still a bit surprised by the teens' manners.'
THEY LAUGH That's the best pee I've ever had in my life.
Oh, your house is amazing!
Georgie, your room is this way.
Wow. This is quite a size.
The bathroom is here. You can enter from here or from outside.
Look at the size of the shower!
Oh, my God, that is so nice!
Callum, that's your bed.
That is not what I expected at all.
They're Asian. That's what you call them, isn't it?
No, they're American, aren't they? Are they American?
'Anticipating a smoking ban,
-'Callum hides his cigarettes in the room.'
-The kids were very, very...
SHE GASPS I just broke the fucking tap!
This is what I expected. Some decent British teenagers.
They're really nice. At least, they appear to be. Well, we'll see.
'In Chinese families, children have to obey their parents' wishes,
'so the Lis want the British teens to understand what their expectations are.'
Welcome to the Lis'. We're happy you're here.
But there are some house rules we need to run by you.
-I'll give you a copy of this.
-God, a copy.
They may be strict, but they are fair. Right, rule number one,
you need to respect parents and adults at all times.
Yeah, that's all right. If we give you respect, we get respect back.
No swearing or inappropriate language.
-That's going to be a hard one.
Well, you'll get used to it.
We believe education always comes first in our culture.
-Getting Bs is not honourable.
-I didn't even get Bs.
-I just get Bs throughout my life. That's all I get.
-I didn't even get that. I got Cs.
-I got one A.
-Not in this family.
-Smoking and drinking are off-limits.
Absolutely no drugs.
Right, we don't smoke, anyway.
Be honest and take complete responsibility for one's own actions.
-So do you have any questions?
Do you have any contrabands that we should be aware of?
-Just like, er, smoke or anything?
-No, I haven't.
-You sure? No?
In our home, honour is above all,
-so we just have your word now?
-Welcome to this family. You're part of our family now.
-This is unreal.
I think that the children responded to the rules very positively.
-They're a load of shit.
-Yeah, I know.
-I will have cigarettes.
-And I will do them without people noticing.
-And we've hidden them, so...
Hopefully, together we'll share Chinese values
and they'll get something positive before they go home.
'Worried about the hidden cigarettes,
'the British teens need to work out where they stand with Alex and ReeRee.'
-Have you ever been to England?
-No. My parents have.
-It's a lot different.
-Culture's a lot different.
-American culture is different, but we're a Chinese household.
-Our culture's a lot different.
-Are you grasses?
-Are we grasses?
-If we did something, would you run to your mum and dad?
-Depends what it is.
Oh, don't do it. You're one of us, yeah? You're like children. We're not children, but you know what I mean.
-If you do something pretty serious.
-What would you class as serious?
-Especially if they've already laid out the rules.
-'Realising his new siblings aren't on side,
-'Callum changes tack.'
-Do you think I could do a deal with them?
-Say, like, "If I give you my fags, could I have three a day?"
I think you should. Let's do that.
-'The plan is to pretend to be honest...'
-'..whilst telling a big, fat lie.'
-I have three cigarettes on me
and that's all I have and I was just wondering,
-could I have one a day just to set me off and then that'll be it?
-Can I have one now?
-No. Absolutely not.
-Can he please have one?
-This is the last one that I'll have for the whole time I'm here.
-Why? There is no why.
-Let me have this last one. I'll give you the rest of them.
-No. No. Absolutely no.
I don't care.
'It's only been a couple of hours since the teens landed in Charlotte...'
'..and already the quiet streets of Providence Downs are seeing some unusual action.'
-What are you doing now?
-We're just going to go for a walk.
I have no idea what's going on.
I just heard them talking about smoking and asking permission
and then they started running out.
-Would you like to hand over your smokes?
-How many do you have?
I have three and a half. There's three and a half there.
-And that's all you have?
-That's all I have.
-Are you sure?
-100 percent sure that's all I have.
-Take a fag and just give them...
-They're the only ones.
-If I can just have that one and then that's it.
-Come on, come on, come on.
-He's going for a fag and I'm going with him. We'll be back.
Where are you going? Callum. Put your smoke out, please.
Why can't I just finish this last one?
-Can I have these two?
-Yeah, you can have them.
-And can I have that one, please?
-Let him just finish it.
-Let me have two more on it.
Can I have it? Can I have your lighter, please?
-Can I have your lighter, please?
-Right, you can have the fag, but you're not having the lighter.
-There. Have it.
-Thank you. Thank you very much.
He is a good boy, but we cannot let him smoke.
If we let him smoke today, you know what will happen the next seven days.
-You'll be OK.
-I love you, you'll be OK. I'm so proud of you, giving the three cigarettes.
-Yeah, I'm fine now.
-Sorry for lying to you.
-It's OK. It's fine. Yeah.
'But with cigarettes still hidden all over his room, Callum's still lying.'
I thought, "Fuck it, have it!"
But he didn't get them all.
-Let's welcome the new members of our family.
'It's lunchtime, and in the Li household,
-'16-year-old ReeRee is expected to serve her elders.'
-I want the fish.
'And that includes the teens.'
-I don't like you serving. I don't like it.
I don't really want you to do it. I don't feel comfortable.
-I just don't feel right.
-I'll just give you a little.
This way, you appreciate others doing work for you, so I think it is a good way.
-OK, shall we start?
-We'll try the chopsticks.
-It's really hard to pick up rice.
-Do you know people say using chopsticks helps your brains, too?
-You can't give up, you've got to stick with it. You have the whole week to master it.
-Georgie, where do you come from, what part of England?
-Oh, near London?
-Really near London.
-I come from Manchester.
-You know Manchester but you don't know Essex?
-I've heard of it.
'The culture shock is proving difficult for Callum.'
It's a bit weird, really. A bit too full-on.
The girl has to, like, serve the dinner.
The adults should look after the children, not the young person looking after their parents,
serving their food out for them. That's just strange.
I know I'm going to get stressed because I can't have cigarettes.
Absolutely dying for one. I really, really, really need one.
I've got this bloody thing.
It tastes foul!
'Not happy with the nicotine replacements,
'Callum and Georgie are trying another plan to sneak in a cigarette.'
-Is that OK, Dad?
-Shall we go for a walk on our own?
-'But after this morning, the Lis aren't letting them out of their sight.'
-We want to walk on our own.
Yeah, you go.
But we're not. You're following us. It's getting on my nerves.
No-one can leave us alone for two minutes.
You're still following us!
-Watch your language.
-I didn't swear!
-You are not using...
-What did I say?
-You're not very polite.
-You're not our parents! You're not our parents!
-But we're the eldest. At least we are your elders.
-It's not fair.
I'm so aggravated!
'Benjamin and Shasha aren't used to kids questioning their authority.'
If we say it's time to go home, they just go home.
That's not acceptable. They will apologise.
-We need to talk.
Can you sit up, please?
Benjamin and I were not happy with your action.
You have bad attitude, you show no respect when addressing elders.
You're staying in our house and you promised you would observe the rules.
At the end of the day, I went to you and went, "Can we go for a walk?" You said, "Yeah, sure".
Don't say to us that we can if you're going to follow us.
I did say yes, you can walk, but we tag along.
Our responsibility is to take good care of you,
-make sure nothing happens to you.
-You don't let your 16-year-old daughter walk up the road?
We do not allow ReeRee to go on her own.
-You're not out with her every single day.
-No, stop it. You cannot treat adults that way.
Rule number one, respect.
-OK? That's above all.
-You give me respect, then.
We are past the discussion. OK?
-So if you do not apologise for what happened...
-OK, I'm sorry.
-I accept your apology.
'The teens are realising it's not got to be as easy as they thought to get around the Lis.'
I just want my space! I don't ever have anyone telling me what to do.
I don't have rules, I don't have boundaries.
I do what I want to do when I want to do it.
And this is just... They're telling me I can't do this and I've got to do this. I don't like it.
The first day was not uneventful,
but I think we handled it well.
I like it. I like the kids.
They have some issues, some problems
we'll have to work out with them.
-KNOCK AT DOOR
-Time to wake up.
'It's an unusually early start for Callum and Georgie.'
It's too early! SHE GROANS
-Oh, go away!
'As a first-generation immigrant,
'Benjamin has had to work his way up from nothing.'
Children need to know nothing comes easy.
If you want to do something, do it right. They start work, they finish, and finish to the standard we set
and make it good.
'To help the kids understand the value of hard work,
'Benjamin's taking them to volunteer at a local charity that he supports.'
-What do you rescue?
'The Charlotte Rescue Mission is a residential centre that helps recovering drug addicts.'
-Good morning, sir.
'The kitchen manager Rico will be in charge of the kids while at the mission.'
Let me give you an idea of what's going on right here.
This is the Charlotte Rescue Mission
which administers a drug and alcohol rehab programme.
We have over 100 guys here that come here, they live here, they go to class here.
It's a life-saving programme. Got any questions? If not, let's go.
'As major donors to the mission,
'the family expect the kids to be on their best behaviour.'
Remember, be respectful, just follow instructions, please.
-Follow the rules.
-Yes. All right?
-Thanks. See you later.
How long have you worked here?
I've been an employee of the mission since 2007.
-Are you, like, in charge of everyone? Are you the top dog?
-I'm in charge of the kitchen.
But I'm not really in charge. God's in charge.
'All of the kitchen staff are recovering addicts
'and after a quick tour, Rico puts the kids to work with the chef.'
So what we're going to do is we're going to do some prep on some food.
We're chopping up some vegetables.
-This hurts my arms.
-Oh, my goodness. She's fired.
I'm fired. I can't do it. My arms hurt!
-Oh, my arms really hurt.
-Oh, God! You've not even started yet!
-I'm not complaining, I'm just saying my arms hurt.
-She's being a baby.
-Will you do mine?
-Could I do yours? No.
'Georgie is trying to palm her work off
'and Rico is not impressed.'
-She's going to finish her loaf.
-She's got about three more slices.
-Oh, you do it.
-You want me to do it?
-I said do you want to do it?
No, I would like to see you continue to do it and finish your job.
'Georgie and Callum have taken a break, leaving Alex alone to finish the clean-up.'
It's kind of frustrating me right now.
Because they act like this is for them. This is for someone else.
This is the whole point of them being here, to help other people.
'Alex isn't the only one noticing Callum and Georgie's work-shy attitude.'
They are typical kids. Strong-willed and self-centred.
-You guys want to help?
-Yeah, you guys, come on.
Y'all can't bail out on me now.
I have to show them that this is how it works,
because unless we show them, teach them and guide them, they won't know.
'Rico's being patient, but Alex has had enough of picking up Georgie's slack.'
Yours is really clean compared to ours.
Can we swap? Cos you've got a really easy one
and you're a good child, so... Thanks!
-I'm not switching with you because it's easier for you, I'm doing this because I'll do a better job.
CALLUM LAUGHS You're not better than me!
-I'll do a better job on this than you.
-And how do you know that?
Because you just asked to switch.
-Cos I didn't want the harder work. Doesn't mean you'll do a better job.
-Then prove it.
If I did the full job, I would do it to its full capability. Doesn't mean...
So is it worse that you are capable but choose not to out of laziness
-or that you're incapable of doing it?
-I'm here, aren't I?
-Am I here doing it? Yes.
-You're here because you're being forced to.
-No, if I didn't want to do this, I wouldn't do it.
I'd be sunbathing. But I am doing it. You're making me not want to do it with your attitude.
-Stop talking to me like that! End of.
-You have the worst attitude of anyone I know.
-I don't care.
-Pour a little bit of this. Not much. Not a lot. Yeah, that's enough.
I thought they'd take it more seriously, and they really didn't.
Georgie was trying to hand off every task. Callum was a little better, but they just thought it was fun.
They talk a good game at times, but then when it comes down to it, they don't ever deliver.
'The busy schedule is routine for the Lis.
'But upstairs, Callum and Georgie are reeling.'
It is a big shock to our system and they're not realising that.
This holiday's just becoming boring and robotronic
and it's just become an effort and days are just going by so slowly.
'At dinner, the kids present a rose-tinted view of their day.'
There was points where we wanted to stop but part of us thought, "No, cos this is helping everybody else".
-It's really strange.
-Made such a difference...
-..to our understanding.
Yeah, the main thing is to take more responsibility
and maybe learn something from their mistakes.
I'm really understanding what I have now.
I had everything handed to me on a plate back at home.
I had my car, I had my money, I had everything.
And to understand that it is hard for some people
and you have to work for your stuff.
'Georgie is putting on a fine performance.
'But Alex wants his parents to know the truth about her behaviour.'
-They really were not doing that good of a job today.
-So they were not quite honest with us. They did not tell us everything.
I think that they're perfectly OK with this cos this is how they behave normally.
As representatives of the Li family, I wanted to do an extra-good job to make up for their really poor jobs.
Like, it really upset me.
This is not a problem, because kids make mistakes.
But you need to learn. That's the whole purpose. You cannot lie.
'Shasha's determined to get the truth out of Georgie.'
-Can I talk to you?
-Can we do this tomorrow? I'm really tired.
-No, we need to finish talk today.
Georgie, could you tell me what happened today, what you did today?
Why are we talking about it now? I want to sleep.
Because I don't think you did a good job today.
-You don't think I did a good job?
-No, because Alex talked to me.
-Yeah, I ain't doing this.
-OK? Come on.
What are you doing?
-No, I'm really, really angry now. Really, really angry.
-I tried today.
-You need to tell me the truth.
-You believe what your son said? Me, your son and him had a disagreement for five minutes.
So don't say I didn't try, cos you were not there, you have no right to put a judgement there.
I trust Alex because he did most of the job.
-Were you there?
-Were you there?
-I'm not there.
-Were you there, yes or no?
So you did not see if he did most of the job. No. We all did our equal share. You were not there!
That is the end of it! Cos I'm getting very frustrated right now!
-Doesn't matter if you're frustrated or not! OK?
-If you don't think I tried, then I will not go back there.
Do you want me to bring Alex now to talk to you?
No, not when you're like this! I'll talk to him in my own time.
-Alex, why did you tell your mum I didn't try today?
-You didn't try. You're not serious.
If you're going to yell... Do not yell at my mom. All right?
Listen to how she's talking to me and saying I didn't fucking try!
-I am pissed off!
-The world does not revolve around you!
I'm trying to fucking walk away and she's following me!
I'm going to ask you nicely once.
-You cannot say bad word in this family! OK?
-You do not talk to my mom like that.
-Listen to how she's talking to me!
-No, I don't care! You do not talk to my mom like that!
-I'm going to keep walking away and you'll eventually give up.
-No, we won't.
We're not like you. We're not going to give up!
-It's not that easy!
-Oh, you're putting it on for the cameras.
I'm not! If you want to talk about putting it on for the cameras, you're the only one that does that.
-You're like a three-year-old!
-The reason I'm upset, Alex,
is because your mum has just walked into the room I'm staying in and said, "I don't think you tried".
Most of the time, you really were not that into it. That's my honest opinion.
Well, your opinion that you have to share with everyone to make a situation.
-You are disrespectful to my mom!
-She's disrespectful to me!
-How? You are just a liar!
I'm getting angry now cos you are calling me a liar about how I felt.
Don't film me with that fucking thing like this!
-Georgie, you're just acting like a very bad kid!
No, Mom, let her walk. It's fine.
-She's never had anyone stand up to her, OK?
-You all right?
She's not used to it. She said, "I'll walk away and you'll leave me alone, that's what everyone does".
It's a cry for attention.
I think... If she thinks everyone can follow her, just let her go.
It's just not fair, at the end of it.
They started this whole problem.
What do they expect, for me to go, "Oh, you are right, I should've tried harder"?
What? They're really going to expect me to say that?
What did she expect when she walked in my room and said that to me? Stupid bitch.
-Don't listen to her.
You were doing the right thing. You did it because you care about her.
-You're the world's best parent, OK?
They knock you down so they can build their perfect person, like they've done with their kids.
They are programmed to do this, this and that. They can't fucking programme me!
Oh, it's difficult.
It is hard for me to see kids lying.
-I'm not going to have her talk to you like that. Either she's going to change or she's gone.
-Let's go and get something to drink.
-Maybe a coffee.
'Georgie's been missing for nearly an hour
'so Benjamin goes to search the neighbourhood.
-Oh, are you kidding me?
Have some respect when I say that!
-I'm not talking at all!
No, listen to me. I'm not going back to the house tonight.
-So where you want to spend the night?
-I'll stay here.
Please, get up. The police will take you into custody.
-That's fine. I'd rather stay there than your house.
-Be respectful. Be respectful.
'After a two-hour stand-off,
'Benjamin's softly-softly approach coaxes Georgie back to the house.
'The next morning, everyone's feeling the aftermath of the argument.'
I feel exhausted. I do not have that experience before, so it is very hard for me.
I think she's supposed to say sorry
because I think that that's the... that's the first step.
The situation last night, I think the family will put it behind them, but Georgie will hold a grudge.
She's just leaving herself on her own then, basically.
No, I'm not eating down there. I'm not.
-'Benjamin is trying everything to keep the peace.'
-Just say good morning, OK? We're family.
-No, we're not.
-No, I'm not, so there's no point wasting your breath.
-Alex, say good morning.
-Good morning, Georgie.
-Good morning, Georgie.
-Good morning. At least show respect.
Look at him! Look at him!
Dad, can I talk to you for a second?
Can you pass me a drink, please?
We don't have to put up with it. We don't need this, Dad.
No, I'm trying to teach her
how to learn to be respectful.
I know. Dad, I know. But she's disrespecting you to your face.
Lead with patience.
-You know, maybe she will turn around.
Try to show respect, to show how respectful you are.
We've been more than respectful. Now we're just bending our back over a barrel.
Give it a last try. I just want to say... No, I don't ask, I'm insisting.
'Respecting his elders, Alex bows to his father's greater experience.'
My dad has always had a never-give-up attitude.
I'd like to think that's why he refuses to give up on Georgie.
And he's literally trying everything he knows to understand her.
-Yeah, I was wondering what the things were.
I'm not a very patient man,
but when I encounter challenging situations,
raising your voice, shouting, do not help.
What else can you do? Try something different.
Drink your juice. We are really late. We need to go.
'Determined not to give up, Benjamin is bringing the teens back to the rescue mission.
'It's a chance to show they can improve their attitude.'
-You ready for some muscle-building work today?
-Yeah, let's do it.
-'Callum is staying on the men's side with Alex.'
-Give 100 percent today, OK? I'm proud of you.
'While Georgie is going down the road to the Dove's Nest,
'a separate part of the mission exclusively for women in rehab for drug and alcohol problems.'
-This is Georgie.
-Hi, Georgie. Glad you're here. Welcome.
Georgie, you know, er, I'm sure you will enjoy your stay here, and, er,
-Yes, that's it.
I want you and Alex to kind of arrange this little area right here.
I want to be able to see what's over here.
'At the men's mission, Callum and Alex are helping Rico clean up the warehouse.
'Away from Georgie, Callum seems to be getting stuck in.'
-Yeah, in between.
-'His improved work ethic hasn't gone unnoticed.'
He's doing the work, he's not complaining, he's not slacking on his responsibilities.
And I've noticed that, that's a great improvement from yesterday.
-Yeah! We've done this bit and now we just have that bit to do.
-That's really nice, guys.
'Back at the Dove's Nest...'
So now I have to put boxes in a bin? How is that helping in any way? I don't want to do it.
'Georgie has been asked to help with some simple volunteer jobs.'
-You need to do this.
-I don't need to do this.
And it's not unreasonable. It's just willingness. It's just what we do.
It's not unreasonable. It's a good thing.
'For once, Georgie gives in.'
I am doing it!
Have you got a trolley?
So we're done. Thank you.
'Four days in and Shasha is still no closer to understanding Georgie's behaviour.'
If I have a chance to talk to her mother, maybe she can talk to me,
what happened, you know, past.
-Oh, hi. My name is Shasha I am ReeRee and Alex's mum.
Hello! Is Georgie behaving herself?
She's a little bit different from my children,
-because she yell and she's sometimes difficult to deal with, yeah.
-I know, she can be very difficult.
She's very changeable. Sometimes you can get the sweet Georgina,
and then the other side of Georgina is this surly, rude child.
You know, she was argumentative, even as a little one.
She is 17 years old, but she is so angry.
Have you tried a lot of ways?
Oh, my goodness, yes, I have. I've almost exhausted every angle.
I mean, I almost think this is the last chance for her
to see how a functional family succeeds
if they respect other people, more importantly respect themselves.
Yeah. Yeah. That's what we're trying to do.
-Shall we sit down?
-Sit right here.
'At the Dove's Nest, Georgie is getting to know the residents,
'and seems to be letting her defences down.'
-You guys are all so friendly.
-We love you.
-Well, I'm from Alabama, that's a Southern thing.
-I'm from Jersey, that's the northern hospitality.
-I'm from Essex.
-Are you here for the 90 days? Is that the guide?
-I will be here for five months. It's 120 days.
And it's actually an awesome programme.
You'll have a much more... A better appreciation of life.
You know, it's not all that. You know, being in the fast lane. I was 17 and in the fast lane.
And what I've learnt is that sometimes you have to motivate yourself
in spite of circumstances around you. It's like, what do you want from your life?
-I don't know.
-You're 17, you got your whole life ahead of you.
Take it easy on yourself. Do it for you.
Now look at that. You picked it up so quickly.
-Oh, that's pretty!
-I made an earring!
'On the men's side, having spent the morning working hard, Callum and Alex are having a well-earned rest.'
It's a lot better today, actually. Cos you haven't got Georgie moaning and all that.
Cos then we just hit off each other.
Plus, I've had time to get to know you more, and it's just nicer.
-It's good today. I've enjoyed it. Have you?
-Yeah, it's not bad to work hard.
You know what I mean, though? Knowing that you're working hard, it's a signal you've been working hard.
It's nice knowing you're cleaning their place up to give them something.
It's inspiring to see these people but the lesson I'm learning is that I don't want to end up here.
No, I don't, either. Cos I have took drugs. Seeing where it gets people, I don't really want to do it now.
-But it's all about you believing that, you know?
-They really did a great job today.
-Yeah. I think so. You did a good job, we're so proud of you.
Thank you, man. All right.
'It's over halfway through the teens' time in North Carolina,
'and although there is still a tense atmosphere after the argument,
'the Lis are noticing small changes.'
The attitude, you know, they say, "Thanks" and "Good night". Especially Callum.
I think he's willing to change. But Georgie, I think I still have some strange feelings.
Georgie, she has calmed down.
But she still wants to do things her own way.
But I still see a glimpse of hope.
-'As education is a top priority for the Lis...'
-This is Georgie.
'..even when daughter ReeRee meets up with friends, they all have to study.'
Did anyone do the question where it's like the culture and experience, erm...
-Can you ever have objective knowledge?
-What are you doing? Are you doing assignments?
We're all doing a theory of knowledge class.
You are 16 years old. We should be outside having fun.
-Have you guys never drank?
-Has anyone tried a cigarette?
'Like ReeRee, her friends are on track to get into top university Yale.'
-What do you want to be when you grow up?
-What about you?
-Something with languages.
-What about you?
-Probably an editor of a magazine.
I can see your parents are saying, "Do this, you're not doing that,"
that is why you are excelling so well in everything that you are doing
-because you all have that prod in the back pointing you in the right direction.
-Yeah, we have.
I mean, it's not like we enjoy sitting doing homework all the time, but our school's really competitive.
SHE SPEAKS FRENCH
'Even after the study group, there's still more homework for ReeRee.
'But Georgie is starting to realise that there are benefits to the Lis' strict parenting.'
They might be pushy, they might say "do this, do that," but it's not to make her miserable,
it's to give her the better life they have. It's an amazing house,
and she now is probably going to go to Yale and have an amazing future ahead of her.
Your life is determined on the first 20 years.
-And that is...
-And we've only got three left.
And that's what life is, it's trying to get the best out of yourself that you can get,
and I don't think we have. I don't think we've tried.
'It's Georgie's last day at the Dove's Nest.'
All right, pumpkin. We're doing yard work today.
We're just going to do the front. It's very small and it doesn't take that long,
but it's the real world, baby.
'All of the girls in recovery help with the upkeep of the house.'
-OK. We're going to do the front.
'And today, Georgie is helping Cindy, a long-term resident, with her chores.'
Oh! That is so hard!
Oh! I can't do it!
I can't do that. That is so hard.
-MOTOR STARTS Agh! I've lost a wheel! I don't want it to fall off.
-You got it.
OK. It's too hard. I can't move it! I'm weak!
-There you go.
-I feel like an American gal.
-Oh, come on!
-SHE SQUEALS I did it!
-IN AMERICAN ACCENT: I'm mowing the yard!
She did not want to do it in the beginning, but look, now she volunteered to do this other half.
Yay! Look at that! See, you can see your work.
I can see through her somewhat, because I'm older and she reminds me of my children,
but you can see in her eyes, she's mad at the world, you know, seems like,
and it's very sad to see people that age that angry.
'Callum and Alex are also spending the day at the mission.
'With Callum admitting to his own drug use,
'Rico is showing him the reality of life in the rehab centre.'
-This is where I live.
-'Rico himself is a resident, having had a drug problem in the past.'
-If you are in the halfway house and you are a staff member, you have no real restrictions.
The only difference being that they have curfews. And we have guys sometimes that break the rules.
And there are consequences. There's always consequences to bad behaviour.
And I'm here to tell you, I got a lot of experience with bad behaviour and consequences.
So today I try to do the right thing. But that's basically it.
'Having battled with his own addictions, Rico doesn't want to see Callum make the same mistakes.'
One of the things that I wish that I could go back and change was the drugs and the alcohol.
For so many years I got high,
the drugs made me happy, made me have... You know, I liked getting high.
-But I never knew that eventually it would almost kill me.
-I probably was trying to cover up some feelings.
What do you think is the reason you started getting high?
I don't know. It's basically to fit in with friends and that.
But it's also a way of getting out of reality, and you don't have to worry about what's out there.
Take it from me, and don't have to go through what I went through.
But it starts right now. The choices that you make right now will determine how you live later on,
-and what happens to you.
-Yeah, I get you.
'Hearing about Rico's past has made Callum take a look at his own drug use.'
He's gone through the programme, so he has more understanding than most.
So he helped me open my eyes to it. I don't want to end up in a place like that.
My heart goes out to everyone here, but I don't want to end up in the same situation.
I think the earlier I stop, the more early I concentrate on everything else, the easier it will be.
Rather than just carrying on with it all and end up somewhere like here.
-Thank you very much.
-OK. All right.
-All right. Take care, man.
'Cindy has been in rehab for the last five months.
'She has two kids of her own and wants to chat with Georgie before she leaves.'
I've been a teenager and now I'm a mom, so I get to see both.
And really, everything that aggravates the stew out of you,
I promise you're going to one day go, "Wow, I wish I'd listened to my mom."
It's not even... We don't have that thing, we don't talk at all.
She's out to lunch and she's doing this and this and I'm doing my thing, and we're just so separated.
Do you miss her? Do you want more time with her?
I've tried and just been rejected. So I've given up, I guess.
Keep trying until you do because she's going to hear you one day.
Sometimes parents, we don't know how to sit down like I'm trying to get you to do.
It's like, "Don't you do what your sister... You're going to end up pregnant.
"You'll end up a drug addict," instead of, "I love you, I don't want you to go down that road."
As hard as it is for you to talk to her, I'm sure it is for her. I didn't know how to talk to my kids.
I do understand, I have quite an attitude problem and I can get quite snappy.
Just understand, if nothing else, that she loves you.
She may not know how to show it, she may be busy, busy, or...
But, you know, she really wants the best for you.
I realise now that I should just take my time and not be so "ughhh" with her.
-I mean, if nothing else, you don't want to end up like us.
-I love you, baby.
-I love you, too. You taught me a lot.
'Georgie's time at the Dove's Nest has come to an end.'
I'm going to need more than this trip to build that relationship with mum,
but I think I will try and I want to try.
-I love you.
I need to stop being so snappy and aggressive, and I'll be more willing to listen to her opinions,
and realise, even if we argue, I will think and remember I am lucky to have what I have.
-'The Dove's Nest has made an impression,
'but back at the house, there's still an uneasy truce between Shasha and Georgie.' Dinner's ready!
After she and my mom got into the fight,
I feel like it just went downhill from there.
-I've never had shrimp, but I'm going to try it.
In our family, even if you're wrong, you're right because you're the parent,
-and your children can never speak to you like that, no matter what they're saying.
-You like soy sauce.
'It's been a tough week for Georgie and Callum.'
I found living with the Lis challenging at times, but I've learnt a lot, as well.
I've learnt to be less selfish.
And also about my mum, I noticed she has done a lot for me and that she is a mum rather than a friend,
by looking at Shasha and Ben and how they work.
We've got to get to a 50/50 way, I've got to help her and she's got to help me.
Hopefully become a better relationship and a better mother and son.
'And even Georgie is looking towards her future.'
Before, it was just have fun, you only live once, but that's the point, you only live once, don't waste it.
So I need to take responsibility now and just try and do it. Get on with it.
-I will miss you.
-I will miss you, too.
-You be good, OK? Love you so much.
-Love you, too.
Have a good trip home. Bye.
-See you later.
At the beginning. I thought I could straighten them out, whatever their problems.
As time went by, I almost wanted to give up.
-But because I saw progress in Callum,
it made me believe that my method of teaching them, or helping them, may have worked.
Maybe we had some impact. Georgie, maybe at the bottom of her heart,
there is something good from this trip.
For Georgie, I pray that the Dove's Nest has been good for her.
I think when she looks back and reflects, whether she wants to admit it or not,
she'll realise that what we were doing was for her best, and I do hope the best for her.
But at the same time, I'm glad she's gone.
Homework time! No distractions!
-It's really quiet now.
Hopefully, living with a different family and her comfort zones taken away,
she can appreciate what I tried to do for George.
-I really do hope she's had a good time. I've missed her.
You all right?
-How are you?
-How was it?
-Let's have a look at you.
-You all right?
-Did you have a good time?
For me to be able to hug her was wonderful. Of course, you can't change anybody in a week,
it would be unrealistic to think that, but I think, perhaps, she will realise how lucky she actually is.
-So come on, tell me all about it.
-I ate a lot of Chinese food.
'It was good to see her cos she was happy and stuff.'
Hopefully, it will get better with time, we'll get into a system of it becoming natural
that we talk to each other normally instead of always arguing.
Oh, I don't care anymore.
-I'm so sorry.
-It's all right.
-Nice being home.
-What have you been doing?
-We went to a charity thing, where people who are on drugs, like addiction, really...
-I don't want to be held back by drugs.
-That's so good to hear.
I could see you going down that road.
Another thing, I've seen Shasha and Ben,
they're parents who have done so much for their kids,
-it's put it into perspective, all what you've done.
-It's made me appreciate it a lot more.
The only way this little unit can work is if we go together, mate, we pull together.
-I can help you every step of the way. I love you, buddy.
Callum's come back willing to try, compromise. I think we'll make it. I think he's going to make it.
I feel like if I just do baby steps at a time, I will get there one day.
I feel quite optimistic about my future now.
I think the Lis are amazing. And I want to say thank you.
I've got my son back now.
'Next time on World's Strictest Parents,
-'vodka vixen Hannah Button...'
-I've been called home again.
-OK. My bad.
-'..and rebellious Richie Ready...'
-Come on! Up you get!
-Leave me alone!
-I hate it. I hate living with my dad.
-'..get new parents in Turkey.'
-You go through my pockets? I swear...
-Get off me.
-Are you going to a party?
-I wear this whatever.
I just worked, like, in the heat, like, sweating my balls off for nothing.
Nah, it's fucking ridiculous. Nah.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Two obnoxious teenagers swap their downtrodden single mums to live with the uber-strict Chinese-American Li family in North Carolina, USA.
17-year-old Georgie Weare is rude, aggressive and selfish. She bullies her mum and always gets her own way. She is joined by 17-year-old Manchester party boy Callum Watson, who will fail his A levels if he doesn't stop his endless boozing and drug taking.
For a week they will live under the firm discipline of the Li family. Dad Benjamin is a lawyer and Tiger Mum, Shasha, stays at home to raise their children.
The teens visit a rescue mission for former drug addicts, but Georgie doesn't want to work. At dinner that evening she presents a rosy picture of how hard she tried, but son Alex tells his parents a different story, leading to a stormy confrontation between Shasha and Georgie. Georgie refuses to apologise and relations with Tiger Mum are never repaired, but Benjamin doesn't give up and takes Georgie back to the homeless mission. There she meets Cindy, who helps Georgie realise the importance of her family.
Callum learns that recreational drug taking can lead to addiction and that he needs to concentrate on his education.