By now you’ve probably heard that TLC’s “Jon and Kate Plus 8” is being turned into “Kate Plus 8,” as Jon is out of not only the marriage but, beginning in November, he’ll be out of the show itself.
Idol Chatter’s Ellen Leventry has followed this story for awhile now and recently posted her latest update.
Further, CNN is among the outlets reporting that Jon may have even wanted to get fired. As for me, I think the Gosselin story is a tragedy that’s being portrayed as reality, when in fact there’s a tragedy much deeper that isn’t being identified in the enough media.
While the producers are talking about the “family” evolving, the truth is that the family is falling apart. Who gets to stand up and say that anymore? In a faith-based culture–or at least in a culture pretending to be one–shouldn’t somebody call for the producers to shut down the show, use some funds for childcare, and free Kate and Jon up to restore their marriage? Now that would be some reality TV worth watching! And it would be inspiring!
And while I’m thinking that way, shouldn’t the network take some responsibility for what they’ve created and not just choose sides by giving Kate her own show? I know, I know, it’s about ratings and money. Well, of all channels, shouldn’t The Learning Channel be the one to break the mold?
You may think I’m old-fashioned, archaic or nerdy, but I think much of America agrees with me. Viewers of the show are disappearing faster than the Gosselins’ sparks for each other, as America is tuning out of the ratings-driven garbage it’s become. Even with the realities of, well, reality-TV, the old show was of a nuclear family trying to hold it together amidst some really big challenges, not the least of which was the numerics of the family. But to see a family breaking apart? Wow! I don’t know anyone who would appreciate that as an “evolution.” It’s more of a mutation. And it’s not inspiring. Not one bit. And the ratings are showing it.
The producers have made their stand. They’re going to try to make this about the single mom who so many in our nation can relate to. So can I. My mom was a single mom. I respect her and love her for what she accomplished for me and for our family. I love and respect all single moms and our practice makes special room for them. But if the producers are going to throw dad under the bus and ask the audience to take sides, well that’s about like any divorce proceeding where the parents each have their views and the kids have to decide. I didn’t like it then and I don’t think our culture will like it now.
The Learning Channel has a chance to be about reconciliation, whether on or off the air. And America will have no problem attaching onto another couple with a lot of kids, if TMC needs to fill the slot. But the powers-that-be need to take a look at why their ratings are plummeting: America’s not interested in what they’re peddling, and casting off Jon won’t save the mistake.