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!