Jon Minus Kate, Still Eight.
by Meredith O'Brien
We’re on the brink of a reality show first. After years of programs that have chronicled the ups and downs of dating, child-rearing, cooking, home decorating, plastic surgery, etc., it looks as if we’re going to see the highest profile reality show documentation of the disintegration of a marriage.
Consider it a reality show cautionary tale: You invite TV cameras into your home, allow them to follow you and your family around to watch you eat meals, do laundry, celebrate milestones and take trips outside of the house. You know, in the back of your mind, that the ratings-seeking network that’s airing your reality show will be on the look-out for the most dramatic moments the cameramen can capture. They’re not exactly on your side.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming either Jon or Kate Gosselin for deciding to accept the TLC network’s offer to build a reality show around their family of twins and sextuplets. The money and the products the Gosselins have received as a result of their reality show certainly have more than helped them make ends meet. The show has, according to news reports, provided opportunities for them to get a new home, nab book deals, book public speaking gigs, receive piles upon piles of clothing and accept hair plugs for Jon and a tummy tuck for Kate. What did the Gosselins have to lose when they agreed to allow their family to be the focus of Jon & Kate Plus 8 which, last season, had some 4.5 million viewers? Their marriage apparently.
It’s so very tragic because the deterioration of their relationship is happening so publically. It’s sad for the children who’ll inevitably learn about this period in their parents’ lives. It’s likewise horrific for both Jon and Kate who -- regardless of who you think wears the villainous black hat (my take is that no one is singularly to blame, they’re just two people who’ve grown apart) -- are forced to not just pretend that they aren’t dying inside when they’re with their kids, but also have to pretend in front of the TLC cameras and during interviews with the voracious news organizations that are salivating over every intimate detail of the couple’s estrangement.