from my post on Mom Spark, see here...

I have been undecided for a while about whether or not to discuss the whole drama with Jon & Kate Plus 8. Part of this hesitation was due to feeling a little silly for caring so much, but after seeing hundreds of tweets on Twitter regarding this issue, I no longer felt silly. If you do not care about this subject, please skip on by to another blog and do not be hateful in your comments. We all have an opinion, which I want to hear, but please be respectful of the Gosselin family.

***

I am a TLC junkie. Have been since we first received cable six years ago. My favorite shows in the beginning were Trading Spaces, What Not to Wear, and A Baby Story. A couple years ago I caught the first special about Jon, Kate and their brood. As many other mom viewers, I was fascinated by the sheer logistics of caring for eight children. The second special captivated me as well, and I was thrilled to hear they were making regular episodes. Instantly, I was fan.

For those of you who not "get" what is so great about Jon & Kate Plus 8, let me share my thoughts. For some reason, I could relate to what Jon and Kate were going through on a daily basis. Watching Jon & Kate manage eight children actually made managing my two seem like a breeze, and actually made me thankful that my life was less chaotic than theirs. I figured that if they could do it with eight, I could easily do it with two. Another thing that drew me to the show was the roller coaster relationship between Jon & Kate. It was immediately apparent that Kate was really hard on Jon, and often treated him as one of her children. It was also obvious that Jon wasn't perfect either, and could be immature and distant. Having that friction between both spouses was also something that I, and others, could relate to, even if it wasn't exactly the same sort of friction. It seemed real, in the beginning.

Think what you may about me, but I have seen every single episode of this show. When you watch a "reality" show like this one from the very beginning, you feel like you know the family personally, which is honestly a little weird and creepy. It is fun peeking into someone else's life, and like I said, it makes you feel better as a wife and parent when you see them succeed or sometimes fail. HOWEVER, it is television. There ARE ratings, AND some of the episodes are staged, which takes away any "reality" left to the show. When the Gosselins start getting teeth whitening, hair plugs, and fancy vacations, you start to feel less and less connected with them, because most of us simply cannot relate to that lifestyle. Are they wrong for accepting the perks of being television stars? No, not at all, but it does alienate their viewers to a point. Regardless of their new celebrity-like life, I, and many others, still wanted to see the children grow up and hear their funny conversations. (my nine year-old thinks they are hilarious!)

Now...the season five premiere that aired last night. Even after witnessing four seasons of Jon & Kate disputing, AND reading all of the tabloid accusations floating around, I still felt incredibly sad for both parents last night. Seeing the awkwardness of them not talking or showing ANY emotion towards each other just ripped my heart out. I quickly forgot about all of the things that were turning me off about the show, because I saw real, true pain. Some would say they brought it upon themselves, and maybe they did to an extent, but it does not take away the hurt and potential damage to their family.

What made me most upset last night was the lack of conversation about working on their marriage. In my opinion, "doing what is best for the kids" would be focusing on their marriage and trying to salvage what they can. In all fairness, maybe they have. Maybe they are past that point. Seriously, we only see their life in episodes and tabloids. Honestly, I was surprised that they shared so much with their viewers about their marriage. I think it was somewhat smart to open up to the viewers, which may help avoid further trash talk. (not that the tabloids will care) Nobody likes to see a family go through a potential divorce, especially after seeing their children so happy and adorable at their birthday party. Hearing one of their daughters asking her daddy to be home more was really, really sad. Kids can sense when something is wrong, and as a child of divorce, my heart goes out to them.

As much as I want to see what happens next in their life, I really think they should end the show and come back to true "reality" for the sake of their family. I know the show and books provide Jon & Kate's current income, but it just isn't worth the trade-off of no privacy, not only with TLC cameras, but the paparazzi, during an especially sensitive time. Yes, they will still be recognized everywhere for years to come, but less and less as they resume their life as an IT tech and nurse. Viewers will indulge in a new obsession, eventually.

Overall, I truly feel awful for the Gosselin family right now, regardless of their past actions, whether they be true or false. Divorce is devastating, and I sincerely hope they can avoid it and make their marriage work. My hope is that their kids truly do come first, and because of that, they would be willing to step out of the spotlight, even if that means forever.

***

So, what do you think they should do? What were your thoughts about the premiere?

Tags: &, 8, Jon, Kate, Plus, divorce, family

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I, too, feel stupid for caring about this but I admit it really rattled me! I generally don't like that show--I like Kate's hair and that's about it! But I've been sucked in by the tabloids--and my kids like the show--so we watched the premier. It honestly just depressed me thoroughly. I agree with you 100% that they should end the show and go resolve their marital problems in private--they owe that to their kids.

What I hate is the hypocrisy of the whole thing--especially Kate. She professes to care about nothing but her kids, yet she is ripping their lives apart by insisting that they continue to have their lives televised even though Jon doesn't want it. To me, it's a no brainer: your husband doesn't want cameras in his family's house anymore--I guess the cameras go. To me, something like having your lives be exploited on TV is something that either everyone has to agree with or it cant' happen (everyone being everyone in the home). What if, god forbid, one of the kids became suicidal or something--THEN would Kate agree that the whole thing was too stressful and was ruining their family and kiss the gravy train goodbye?

I literally can't stand to think about her now--let alone watch her on TV--she disgusts me that profoundly. And I NEVER care this much about anything or anyone on TV. Maybe it's because I'm divorced and I know how devastating it is to kids--at least I can say I tried for years and years to make it work. Kate is not even trying; because to try means she'd have to give up the show and she's too enthralled with the stuff and the money to do that. For someone who claims to be religious and care about her family, she is remarkably crass about her marriage. She's all talk and no action--she's not willing to do the ONE thing that everyone can agree should be done--get your lives out of the tabloids and see if you can salvage the marriage. In private, where a marriage belongs.

My feeling is that if Kate isn't willing to cancel the show, she doesn't care a bit about her kids and the whole thing is a ridiculous charade. Or more of a ridiculous charade than it was. I seriously think all her "fans" should help her make the right choice by boycotting her stuff--don't buy her books or watch her show--so she's forced to put her money where her mouth is and stop talking about how much her family means to her and go demonstrate that she means it.

Whew--can you tell I've been wanting to talk about this? ;) Thanks!!
Yes, I can tell you are very passionate about it, as many of us are. I've never had a show affect me the way this one has either. Like I said, it's actually a little weird. :)

From what the cameras show, it does seem like Kate is inconsiderate of Jon's feelings about being in the spotlight, but maybe they have talked about this privately. Who knows? If it were me, I would respect my husband's feelings and end the whole thing. Not worth the strain on my marriage.

I think Kate feels that since this is her new job, she cannot just quit, because that would be irresponsible to her family. Of course, I, and several others do not agree, and say NOT quitting would be irresponsible to her family.

As I said before, we only see what the edited episode gives us, and I'm sure there is much more to the story than we know. (or need to know)
I have been a fan of Jon & Kate Plus 8 since the beginning as well. I remember the very first special that TLC ran on them, and I have been hooked ever since. Although I have never agreed with the way that Kate has talked to Jon, almost like he was a child, in the beginning episodes you could still see that they had love for each other.

I do agree that we, as viewers, get a weird sense of "I feel like I know them" from watching them every week in our livingrooms. Having gone through a divorce myself, I don't wish that kind of experience on anyone.

I feel as if Kate may have let fame go to her head a little too much. Although if I was in her situation, after having eight kids, I too would jump on the opportunity to get a tummy tuck. But the teeth whitening and Jon's hair plugs, which to me looked as if he only did it to appease Kate, are a little bit too much.

I no longer am able to relate to them. I use to be able to sit back and feel not so bad about my not so perfect parenting skills because I saw that other parents didn't do things so perfectly either. Now, with the trips to all over and the staged scenes, I no longer feel drawn to the family as a whole. I am now drawn to just the children.

I feel as if stepping back from the show would do the family, and Jon and Kate's relationship, some good. It would give them time to focus on what should really be important to them.

That's just my two cents.

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