Even if you’re not a fan of screaming kids, absentee dads or overbearing mothers, chances are you’ve at least heard of the TLC show Jon & Kate Plus Eight. If you haven’t seen the show or aren’t down with the tabloid papa razzi gossip scene, Jon and Kate Gosselin are a couple that have a “reality” television show simply because they have a lot of kids. What started out innocently enough as a slice of life program about humble people coping with the side effects of fertility drugs, has now become an uncontrollable media circus (and TLC’s highest rated show) with everyone taking sides.
What has caused the big hype surrounding this couple and their show’s season premier is rumors and accusations of cheating by both Jon and Kate. Jon may have hooked up with some beat 23 year-old school teacher he met at a local bar. Kate may be getting a little too close with her bodyguard on the road. I really don’t care either way. I can see both sides: Jon, who is treated like shit and is emasculated on television weekly, quit his job two years ago to be Mr. Dad, and wakes up every morning in a loveless relationship, so he goes to a bar and cashes in on his “celebrity” with the first girl who actually shows him a little affection. Kate is now driven by money, power and fame so she goes on the road every weekend to promote her books, show and appearances, then one night has too many glasses of chardonnay and gets a little frisky with her protector. Things happen. People cheat. It’s horrible, but this ain’t Leave it to Beaver.
Quick tangent: Who is going to see Kate Gosselin at speaking engagements and book signings? What could she possibly impart on an audience? How to get free diapers from sponsors? How to have someone to ghostwrite your books? This is amazing and befuddling, but yes I do know who goes to these things and they look a lot like them.
So the whole time both Jon and Kate deny any infidelity and go into complete us versus the media mode, lashing out against tabloids and papa razzi. Really? Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black to me. This family was nothing four years ago. They happen to get lucky with a TV show and it made them famous. Along with fame comes money ($50k+ an episode?), free plastic surgery, the means to support your children, and oh yea, people taking pictures of you in public, no privacy and life under the microscope. What’s funny is that the Gosselin’s seem to have no problem with the situation when TLC films them, but flip out when it’s TMZ. Like there’s a difference anymore? Oh yea, one is paying you.
So the rub in all of this came on their season premier last Monday, possibly the most awkward hour of television ever. I liked how they tried to address the rocky situation head on, but by interviewing Jon and Kate on separate couches (then together at the end, more in a sec) the writing was clearly on the wall. Of course both claim they are faithful, but even if they didn’t cheat, the couple clearly hate each other now. Jon went on a “vacation” to get away from it all, leaving Kate to plan a massive birthday party for the kids! Come on man. And I’m not sure if anyone told you, but the fake tan, new muscles from the gym, and white sports car are not helping your cause dude. Clearly he has never seen R. Kelly’s masterpiece “Down Low.”
The funniest part of the episode was when the couple final sat on the same couch, as they have done for the past four season, and tried to predict what was next for them as a family. You’d expect them to give some canned lines like “we love each other and God is helping us through. We’re sorry for the pain we’ve caused each other and want to do everything we can to fix our mistakes…etc.” NOPE. All we got was ‘We love our kids and it’s going to be awesome seeing them every other weekend once the papers are finalized.’
Fast forward to the 2:50 mark.
Awesome. But hey, here’s an idea; IF you really only care about your kids and their future, quit the goddamn television show. No TV show equals no fame, no cameras, no problems. You can deal with your situation like every other family in the world in the privacy of your own home and you’d be surprised how quickly all of the TMZ/tabloid garbage would disappear. But no, because you really care about the kids you’re going to continue to exploit them on television for your own fame and monetary gains, presumably effing them up more in the long run. I don’t care what happens with this family and neither should you, but it doesn’t take Dr. Drew to diagnose that Jon has checked out, Kate is a bitch and their kids are caught in the middle. TLC should step in and say enough, but why would they pull the plug on their highest rated show?
It’s sad to think that watching a family fall apart is must-see television, but better them than us, right? You can’t script this kind of drama! But why do we celebrate someone like Kate, the ORIGINAL Octomom? She was once a relatable, everyday mom with some quirks. Now she’s a Diva, no different than Paris Hilton, Tila Tequila or Heidi Montag, hanging onto the crutch of D-list reality TV fame.
As a guy, I don’t blame Jon for whatever he’s done, or whatever he’s going to do. But dude, step your game up. Next time at least nab a chick half way decent! You’re Jon from Jon & Kate Plus Eight! That’s gotta give you some pull in rural Pennslyvannia!