TLC’s Extreme Cheapskates Guide to Love with Jenny and Rufus Triplett – Behind the Scenes
Never in our wildest dreams would we think we would be partaking in a show titled “Extreme Cheapskates.” Yes, although the name may be somewhat revealing, and the reputation of the show proceeding itself as being crazy, off the chain, psycho people doing dumb things that nobody else would think of doing…we still gave it a chance.
Sooo…how did this all come about? Very simply, with an email. We were contacted by the show for a “love” special. They were looking for couples to show their money saving tips while also tying it in with romance. They saw our work on our website and also a video that we posted a few years back about shopping. I always say, you never know who’s watching. Welp…sounded like fun and a great opportunity but hubby’s initial response was…no. Yep, he said no. He wanted no parts of the show, or any reality television for that matter. We have done talk shows in the past, including a few morning shows and Dr. Phil, but this was foreign to him. I heard his views as to why not and then he had to hear mine as to why, why we should participate with the show. In any good marriage, spouses should be able to express themselves and their view points with openness and understanding.
After our eye opening conversation as to how we could break barriers, change the way Muslims are portrayed on TV and do ratchetless reality, hubby’s no turned into a yes. Also, not just for the reasons I expressed to him as to why we should do the show, I gently sent hints as to how I would use this as a brand builder and social media connecter. He was like “huh?” I said, don’t think…just watch me work…hahaha. They asked us to do a video like “right now” we think to make sure that we were true and authentic to how we come across on screen. We did one, sent it within five minutes and was contacted by the producers ten minutes later.
And now the fun begins…the background checks (yes they did a complete background check…and we still made the show…ha!) the release forms, the back and forth, back and forth emails, phone calls, texts, etc. with different sets of producers to set up the story line, the shooting schedule, special requests, etc. It is a lot of work. From the time we said yes, we were expedited (no exaggeration) through the paperwork process because they really wanted us to be a part of the show. The shooting schedule was set for three weeks after the last signature on the dotted line, and from that point we were sworn to secrecy…somewhat. We couldn’t put it out to social media but we could tell friends and family…which we did. You know who you are lol.
The day of the shoot, the five person crew arrived ready to work. We had a great crew (which included a personal assistant that made sure we had halal food to eat) and got along fabulously. No one minded removing their shoes as that was a prerequisite of the filming. We definitely let them know that we do not allow shoes in our home before they even sent out a crew. They said, “no problem.” The next steps were to get “comfortable” with our field producer and how things were to progress. We talked about the scenes and what would be filmed. Yes, reality TV is somewhat scripted. I of course was concerned about wardrobe and needed to know as much in advance as possible. FYI…there were several changes during the two days of shooting. TV can be very stressful as we had to shoot some scenes two and three times, at different angles, different lighting, saying something different, etc. Filming started at 8am and went well after midnight both days. We did it all with a smile.
What you didn’t see in the show is a scene they did at our home with Br Ibrahim Rahim, a conversation about renewing our vows, a scene with our baby boy, Miles Triplett, about his less than fabulous car, a scene with us visiting the cow/chicken farm and us actually slugging out in the mud (as it was a rainy day) trying not to fall, feeding the chickens and picking out a cow and goat to slaughter, a scene where we talked about hubby saving money on computer parts because of how he collects them from old computers, a scene where we are talking about our book and giving a marriage seminar (that was a really cool scene) TLC wanted to keep that but they were short on time, a scene where hubby and his brother were singing to me…I really wish that would have made it…lol, and a scene where we partially created a “luau” type atmosphere with hubby digging a hole in the sand, we had a tiki fire and we put coals down in the hole to cook the meat.
Although a lot of our words were edited, especially during the vow renewal, and some scenes that gave exposure to our book, (you can find our book on Amazon) we were quite pleased with the results. We participated for the reasons stated above, but also to show people that you can have fun, create memories and do things that are not so expensive. After 25 years of marriage (officially Oct 27, 2014) we have tons of memories, all because we learned how to ball…on a budget.
Here is our segment (in 5 parts) of the special show, without commercials. Enjoy…
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Offering remarkably relatable real-life stories without judgment, the network celebrates the reality that “everyone needs a little TLC.” TLC’s hit series share everyday heart, humor, hope, and human connection with programming genres that include fascinating families, heartwarming transformations, and life’s milestone moments such as wedding-themed programs. TLC is a global brand available in more than 95 million homes in the US and 329 million households in 167 markets internationally.