Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jon & Kate is depressing as @#$%

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.


Simon MacDonald said...

Yeah, Kate watched that episode as well and I caught some of it. From what I saw Jon came off like a real jerk.

I can understand that he's happy that he will finally have his freedom but come on dude, wipe the smile off you face. You are talking about the dissolution of your marriage and moving away from your kids.

Unknown said...

I didn't see it, not that I can be self congratulatory about it because I probably would watch it if I had remembered to DVR it. In any case, I read that the producers decided to put the show on hiatus, which is probably good. The whole thing seems sad to me more than anything, and when I hear people complain about how they shouldn't put their kids on television, I can't help but think STOP WATCHING. And now, like you, I think I have.

The Social Bobcat said...

up until the end of last season / beginning of this season i hadn't watched any episodes; only caught the clips that were shown on The Soup.

my impressions then were:
1) having a super-large family by accident through the fertility drug culture must be absolute hell on a marriage. manners and civility fall off quick when there's very little sleep and a whole lot of financial concerns.

i mean, i have one newborn right now who i love dearly - but if i consider the effort involved in caring for him x 8, the logistics nearly make my brain explode.

2) jeez kate is a domineering b*tch. how many times did i see her talk right over him or actually *shush* him like a parent would do a child? of course, as per point 1 above, maybe she wasn't like that before the kids came around but she's sure like that now.

that said, i don't condone cheating whatsoever but i can understand the impulse for Jon to do whatever cheating he did - some kind of rebellion against his world of 24/7 severe responsibility and emasculating henpecking. bottom line, he was wrong to do it but no one can be totally surprised that it happened.

sad thing is, most if not all of those kids when they get older are going to look back and be smart enough to put the pieces together that they were responsible for their parents' divorce.

not in an active way or through any malice or defect on their part, of course - but the imprint of the tangible weight of their collected presence on Jon & Kate's relationship will be hard to miss.

Simon MacDonald said...

@The Social Bobcat

Well initially financial concerns must have weighed heavily on their minds but they would have to have been quickly dismissed when TLC started paying them $50,000 for an episode. I understand it is up to $75,000 per episode this year.

Yup, eight kids or not they they are making more in one episode than most Americans do in a year. With 100 episodes recorded they've banked some serious coin.