I was out of town for the Jon & Kate big reveal episode, but DVR is a wonderful tool. Yes, I DVR'd it.
What's stunning is:
this is all taking place on camera. Whatever the show was about with the cute kids and the struggles of raising 8 kids at the same time... that's over with. This stuff would normally play out in the tabloids and result in the show being quietly shelved. Instead, TLC decided to proceed, and Jon & Kate went along with it.
In a way, its pretty savvy. With a show that airs weeks after taping (or even more quickly), the show can manage the situation to an extent and show folks more than they'd really want to see. Speculation becomes a little redundant.
Jamie tells me the episode pulled in 10 million viewers (which is absolutely enormous by basic cable standards). So I'm not entirely certain what will happen. Surely TLC can now offer both parents even larger sacks of money to keep with the show.
Its certainly different from other reality shows in that the narrative has taken a decidedly unexpected turn (will TLC now ask The Little Couple to start having issues to boost their ratings?). The conventions of the "confessional sofa", etc... have taken on a whole different kind of immediacy that a program like "Rock of Love" doesn't really muster.
One last thing: I felt bad for Jon before, and its tempting to say he's doing the wrong thing as one considers the kids. Especially as, seriously, the dude is almost giddy at the prospect of getting this over with. But I don't think his decision is wrong. One day those kids are going to watch those DVD's, and they're going to see exactly why their dad and mom split. Its that, or those kids grow up in a house where they learn that bullying and berating is how a relationship works.
But that doesn't mean I am tuning in any more. This show is now a real downer.