Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Entry I Never Thought I'd Write

I can’t believe I’m writing about this. I want to talk about Jon and Kate Plus 8.

The other day, Kristen and I were watching TV and we saw a commercial for Monday’s “Very Special Jon and Kate Plus 8”. The music was ominous, the photo’s showed Jon and Kate at a family event, standing at least 150 feet apart and not looking at each other and the voice over said “Jon and Kate have a life changing announcement”.

At first, I was hoping for some big twist, like they were having a sense of humor about the press they’d been getting. I hoped for Monday’s episode to be like “We’re getting another puppy!” But I’m no fool, I know what the announcement was going to be.

I told Kristen “As someone who watches this show, you’re responsible for this.”

Kristen: “How do you mean?”
Me: “If there was no market for this type of show, this situation would be slightly less likely. Everyone who watches this show and makes it marketable is partially responsible for their marriage ending.”
Kristen: “They were living in the Ronald McDonald house when they got the offer to do this show. This show gave them an opportunity to make the money to take better care of their kids”

A valid point. I’m at a crossroads with this. I guess I’m interested to know if it was worth it. Sure, there’s a chance this would’ve happened anyway. But was Kate playing up her bitchy ways for the camera. Was Jon’s midlife crisis magnified by his fame? These are things I’m really curious about.

I’ll admit, I’m no angel when it comes to getting sucked into reality TV. I love, love Top Chef. When Kristen watches Biggest Loser, I tend to get sucked in (not to the point where if I miss an episode I’m wandering the streets lost, but I’ll admit to keeping an eye on it.)

But if you ask me, Jon and Kate, like all reality TV, is exploitation. And because of that (at least partially) someone’s marriage is ruined. These 8 kids are going to watch their family fall apart, and America will be watching right along with them. I think that’s really sad.

The other thing that makes me really sad is that the advertising and marketing departments at TLC are all smiles about this. Their show has just become even bigger than it already had, because America is chomping at the bit to watch these people’s lives fall apart. I say to you, America, change the channel. Show TLC that we’re better than this! So them that this show is no longer about the “fun and wacky adventures of a family with 8 kids”, it’s now a sad and macabre tale and that we’re better than that!


Mom said...

I agree with you 100%. And I am ashamed to admit that I also got sucked into the whole thing. I mostly watched because I couldn't believe how condescending Kate is to Jon, and I wanted to see him stand up and say "ENOUGH!!" Now that it has happened, it is very sad and each of those cute little kids will be scarred for life. It's true that money and privilege changes people.

Katie said...

Most marriages with multiples ends in divorce. Marriage can be difficult, especially when children are added. How many parents have gotten divorced after the kids have grown up--- it's because they focus all their time on the kids and lose sight of the relationship they have with eachother, only causing it to be living with another stranger essentially. At one point you loved eachother enough to get married and have children. But years go bye and people grow and change. It's natural.

It's only made worse by the fact that they did exploit their family for monetary gain. True, originally their intentions were to provide for their children, but it's overwhelming and quite apparent in the episodes.

It's a sad state of affairs, and what's worse is the children will have to deal with the devastation of divorce in the public's eye. One parent will be painted the bad guy and they will be stuck in a fishbowl. It's sickening to me.

Alicia said...

I only started watching when the problems surfaced. Damn TLC. They're probably so upset that the show is on a break till August.

A lot of people are like, now this IS REAL REALITY TV! A broken family and how they cope! Ummm...idiots...yes, the divorce is real but we just found out that they pretty much hated each other for the past two years and smiled for the cameras.

Who knows if we as viewers actually contributed to this? I think Kate was a bitch the whole time and Jon should have put his foot down and said he wasnt having any more kids after the twins were born. So yeah, maybe they would have divorced without the cameras rolling...

we'll never know. I dont care about the reality TV explotation. I'm just mad at both of them for being quitters and showing America that yet again, divorce is the answer to your martial problems (not counseling, God, or actually communicating).