How Getting Mobbed by Howie Mandel Melts a Heart of Stone

What do you get when you mash up a B-List celebrity host, an overdone trend and heart-wrenching family drama? I'll tell you: my new favorite show.


Basically the deal is (according to the expertise I gained from watching a grand total of 1 episode), Howie Mandel (yep) uses a team of flash-mobbers to reconcile relationships. Through dance. That's about it.

SITUATION RECAP: Older Brother writes in and tells us about how this feud between him and Younger Brother is tearing his family (and their band) apart. He explains that one day, Younger Brother had called and asked Older Brother to bail him out of some hijinks...again. Furious at this request, Older Brother decided to take matters into his own hands and not only steal younger brother's clothes and favorite guitar, but also sell them. Older Brother later finds out that Younger Brother was actually planning a surprise birthday party for him instead. Older Brother feels like a douche (as well he should) and calls Howie Mandel.

Younger Brother is super hostile to Older Brother and they haven't talked in months.

Enter flash mob.

Full disclosure, I have no idea why the flash mob is necessary.

Why didn't this kid just make a sincere apology to his brother on his own instead of involving national television? And if we are going to make it a production, why isn't a mind-boggling drummer with a 67-piece see-through drumset and "the guy from Everclear" (both present in this episode) enough for us?

I'll tell you why. Because this is America, dang it.

And we go big or go home.

And throw in a celebrity just for good measure. And kick out anyone who does it wrong (also happened in this episode). There is no room for sloppy overhead claps in flash mobs. This is serious business.

How it went down: Younger Brother gets blindsided while under the impression he is meeting with a record exec who wants to sign them, but change his lyrics into a rap. Just as he is in full-blown tirade mode at this heinous suggestion, the flash mob kicks off.

Younger Brother, understandably shaken at this point, has no idea what is going on for about 5 minutes, until Older Brother finally reveals himself and makes a sincere apology (but not without a duet on the see-through drums first).

After several attempts by Older Brother to convince Younger Brother he is being sincere, Younger Brother finally breaks down and embraces his brother, apologizing and telling him he misses him and loves him.

Heartwarming things like this continue to happen as Guy From Everclear tells them to cherish the relationship he could never have with his brother that passed away, and the Brothers' mom shows up all excited that they are finally reconciled.

It was quite possibly one of the most precious things I've ever seen. To see Younger Brother's rock-solid exterior melt before my very eyes was kind of beautiful.

Moral of the Story

The longer the episode went on and the more I learned about Younger Brother, the more nervous I was that this would all be a huge failure. He'd even said that if Older Brother were not actually his brother, he would "beat his brains in" and put him in jail. Not exactly an attitude conducive to forgiveness.

Even Howie seemed a little uneasy about the whole thing.

I mean, in what universe would provoking obviously-irritable Younger Brother to the point of rage, then throwing him into a sea of jazz hands and fist pumps from 1000 strangers make him want to accept an apology? But Howie must know what he's doing, because it worked.

What I think this story shows is that almost any grudge or fight can be reconcilable,

if someone is brave enough to take the first step.

A strange thing happens when you do. The other person is completely unraveled by your humility and willingness to mend your relationship, and the walls come down. Our instinct of self-preservation melts away when someone admits they were wrong and asks for forgiveness.

How many times in our lives have we refused to be the first to apologize? What would have happened if we did?

The younger brother in this scenario was 100% unwilling to even talk to his brother, let alone forgive him. I'm telling you--it seemed impossible. Yet even the most hardened of hearts, it seems, can often be just a defense mechanism--a result of a deep hurt--and when the opposing side surrenders, there's nothing to defend anymore.

Though surrounded by flash mobs and see-through drums, the beautiful story of forgiveness and redemption shone through. And I loved it.

Don't get me wrong, the absurdity of the flash mobs and trickery definitely made it interesting and contributed to this being my new favorite show. But the story was what stuck with me.

Where have you seen redemption where you least expected it?