Just when I think I'm out they pull me back in

I wish I could pretend I didn't watch the Jon & Kate Plus 8 season premiere. Sadly, my incurable fascination and general affection for them and their kids sucked me right in.

I used to love the show. Seriously loved. I even let my two small kids watch it with me. Good clean entertainment for them. And watching them weather the chaos of their house always made me think my life was more doable.

I didn't give up watching the show because I didn't like them anymore. I just got tired of watching the extended infomercial for all the free crap they were getting. You know, Here's the awesome 5 star hotel we stayed at in San Diego that's located on such and such street and you can make reservations with them by calling this number and, gee, it was just so nice of them to invite us. And oh, yeah, thanks for the free tickets tickets to Legoland and the backstage tour at the zoo and the box seats to the baseball game and the remote controlled cars and the Fischer Price playhouses and the teeth bleaching and the hair transplants and the giant wads of cash everyone shoves in our wallet every time we breathe.

I didn't begrudge them any of the free stuff. It just didn't interest me to watch. The kids and the interaction and the daily grind of parenting without your head exploding is what I liked. But I guess I still cared about them. Because I felt like I'd been in their living room and knew them. I'm also so deluded I thought they were a happy family. So anyway, I guess I watched the season premier hoping they'd give us some hope that despite difficult times they're going to work through their problems and get through this. Because they're a family and they're in this together like stupid intro used to say. Wrong.

Instead we got to listen to Kate repeatedly complain about the paparazzi. Jon's come right out and said he doesn't really want to do the show anymore. It feels like he's sort of in it against his will at this point so I guess I'm willing to let him complain a little bit about them stalking him. But I'm not interested in listening to Kate complain even for a second. She never complains about the freebies, the opportunities to write books or the money. The price tag that comes with those things is the media attention. I just don't feel sorry for her. I do however feel sorry for the kids. Because their mother worries about them mentioning the paparazzi at school because that would be weird. And yet, it's not weird that their trip to Party City was videotaped and everyone was clearly dressed up to make a big event out of it. I can't figure out why one is more weird than the other.

I felt very, very sad at the end of the show. Sad for a variety of reasons.

First, I thought it was clear Kate's the one that's still interested in doing the show. She was the one discussing possible divorce and she's the one crying and discussing the nature of their problems. Jon mostly just apologized and discussed the birthday party.

Second, I hope they aren't trying to ease us into the post divorce version of the show. No way the show keeps going after a divorce. Kate is not nearly as interesting as she thinks she is. Her laugh has become an annoying cackle and I'm starting to question her parenting decisions. I like Jon. I've always liked Jon. He seems nice and normal. In the past when Kate would say stupid things like let's take the kids to a bakery to make cupcakes but not let them eat the cupcakes because they'd get dirty, Jon was the voice of reason saying that makes no sense.

Third, as I've mentioned, I believe Aunt Jodi. Believing Aunt Jodi means I don't view Kate as the one that's been done wrong. Yeah, she's been publicly humiliated. But if you were arrogant enough to think you could continue the show pretending to still be a happy family, I don't feel bad that you got caught. Maybe you should just be honest. But even if I didn't believe Aunt Jodi, I think I'd still sort of stick up for Jon. Mostly because Kate appears intent on doing what she wants regardless of what he wants. He seems so trapped. And he's trapped at home all day with 8 kids no less. I don't care that Kate felt the need to tell us he has help with kids. When one parent travels, it puts a heavy burden on the other parent. Even with help. Even if the nanny's great. I feel for Jon. I also feel for him because I think your wife shouldn't belittle you. Especially not on television. Even after I stopped watching the show several months ago, I'd still see periodic clips of the show on The Soup where Jon became a running joke for having a wenchy wife that liked to point out all his grammatical errors. That makes me sad. The world is full of plenty of people to tear you down. Your spouse shouldn't be one of them.

Fourth, if her frequent travel is causing stress in her marriage, I don't understand why she doesn't just choose to stay home more. I'm not saying she has to give up her job. I'm just saying it's a choice she's making and she should own it instead of acting like she has to travel. They are not financially strapped for cash. They could afford to let her scale back.

Fifth, Alexis is my favorite one of the kids. No, Aaden. Wait, maybe Joel. No, definitely Alexis.

Sixth, I'm starting to think I need to stop having a favorite kid because maybe if everyone stopped having a favorite kid they'd stop watching the show and if everyone stopped watching the show they'd cancel it and maybe them canceling the show would be the right thing to do for everyone including my favorite kids.


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no way said...

I've never seen the show, but I know enough about them to know it appears to be a trainwreck in the making.

I love your blog, though, and your writing style regardless of the topic. I also love The Soup, and Joel McHale.

Anyway...that's it. Have a great day!

Melinda said...

WORD. That show makes my skin crawl. Every time Kate opens her mouth, I just think "How dare she?" Every annoying photographer, every Us Magazine cover -- they are all direct consequences of the decision SHE made to put her family on TV. Now she's got pockets full of cash and free bad hairdos (seriously? a two-toned reverse mullett?) and she's all "Waaaaaaah, woe is me." Whatever.

Not that I, uh, care.

carosgram said...

This was a wise and thoughtful post and I thank you for it. I watched this show for years but the last few months I stopped. I enjoyed seeing a real family deal with real issues - including differences of opinion on how to raise the kids. When they started going on trips paid by companies and especially when they went on the Oprah show, I no longer wanted to watch them. It seemed they had lost their direction and were doing things for the money and fame more than just trying to cope with so many children. I wish them the very best. I think both of them have many admirable qualities and of course like each of us they have their faults. It's hard to make a marriage work, even harder when there are children. Stress does terrible things to people and this couple has lived with tremendous stress.

rachel said...

Amen, sister! Couldn't have said it better myself! I agree 100%. Funny that Kate was complaining about being followed by cameras all day -- she's ok w/TLC following her w/a camera all day but not ok w/any other cameras?

Also, did you notice on the Premiere that she seemed to lock herself out of the car and someone inside the car unlocked it and she said, "Oh, thanks!" Could she have been talking to the nanny? Whining about "having to do the party myself" when the nanny was most likely helping her off camera AND the party was just for ratings anyway and not the real party, which was private (at least that is what I read) AND it looked to me like she put the production crew and Carla to work so how is that "doing it yourself"?

Also, weird that the kids have 4 cousins (Kevin & Jodi's kids) who lived down the street yet they do not even get invited to the party. Hmmm. Even if you dislike your sibling, don't you want your children to have a relationship with their cousins? Apparently not. But then we go back to it being a fake party so who can really know what is reality with this show and what is not?

Faith said...

My sentiments exactly. Glad to know others agree with me on this.

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