I was. . . am. . . used to be . . . .still are. . . (obviously so confused), a big Jon & Kate Plus 8 fan. I have quite religiously watched the show for the past 2 years, and seen their "specials" and checked them out on Oprah. I've watched them potty train, have meltdowns on planes, give time-outs by the dozens. I've watched Kate yell at Jon and most enjoyed that, although there are many times I would perhaps like to be married to Jon, just for a little while (he seems so damn helpful to me). Most Monday nights at 9 you will find me curled up on my couch with some salty crunchy snack watching a new episode on TLC. I always enjoyed peeking into their lives, and especially coveted Kate's great organizational skills. Lately though I am becoming disenchanted, and I think the love affair is ending.
There has been A LOT of hoopla lately regarding this show. There are many, many people who are starting to question the children's actual safety and if this many hours in front of the camera can be construed as abuse. Paul Petersen of some actors children's advocacy group is all involved now, as is supposedly Pennsylvania's Department of Children and Family Services. In the episode I watched last night they were having a 2-day photo shoot with Good Housekeeping. 2 days in 90 degree weather posing for a Thanksgiving November issue wearing sweaters and turtlenecks. And the kids were, well, kind of miserable. The older twins, Cara and Mady were especially upset, and barely smiled. I kept thinking, "wow, this does seem like a lot" and a small part of my brain kept thinking that maybe these opponents of the show have a point. Perhaps it is time to pull the plug.
When the show started I enjoyed it because it was interesting to see how a family managed with that many small children. Jon would go off to work and Kate would take care of the kids. You saw her doing a lot of cooking, a lot of laundry (although she always has had some help which I never begrudged because hell, the woman has 8 kids!), playing with the kids, taking them outside. But now it is different. Jon no longer has to go to work, I assume because they are now making like a gazillion dollars or so from the show. And the people who were around before, their friend Beth and Aunt Jodi and Kate's brother, they seem to be gone. The last few episodes have had things like Jon and Kate get their teeth whitened. Jon gets hair plugs. They go to Idaho. They go to Disneyworld. They go look at a GIANT house they might buy. They go to the beach and stay in a gorgeous location. I have not seen her cooking much lately, or cleaning, or going to the grocery store. Now it is no longer at all realistic. I've heard that there is now a chef, someone who grocery shops and someone who cleans the house. Kate works out 1 hour and 15 minutes every morning on her treadmill. Hmmmm, I suppose I could do that too - if I got up at 5 am every day. But then I think, maybe she does get up to work out at 5 am. I don't know. It is just a t.v. show, there is a lot we don't see. But we sure do see a lot . . . and maybe that is becoming the problem.