Sad Spectacle

I just watched the season premiere of ‘Jon and Kate Plus 8’ with my wife (no man would ever admit to watching it alone or by his own choice, I believe). In recent months, both Jon and Kate Gosselin have been plagued by tabloid rumors of tension and affairs. The pages of tabloids, as well as more ‘reputable’ gossip magazines such as Star, US, and People, have been plastered with pictures of Jon with ‘the other woman’ and Kate with the bodyguard she is rumored to be having an affair with. With an internationally televised show, it’s easy to understand why their family would be the subject of tabloid attention. That’s what tabloids do – they seek out famous people, take their picture, and then make up a scintillating headline in order to sell copies. I get that.

Jon and Kate plus 8What I don’t get is the way Jon and Kate are acting in public and on their show. Kate has not only been the subject of speculation and rumors about her personal life apart from Jon. In a recent issue of People Magazine, she sat down and discussed all of these issues at length and with startling openness. My wife read the whole article and kept saying, “I can’t believe she’s talking about this with People. This sounds like a conversation she and Jon should be having with a marriage counselor.” I agree.

Jon has been more silent about all of the drama. Even so, throughout tonight’s season premiere, both Jon and Kate addressed their personal issues. Both kept to what they’ve been doing publicly – Jon maintained that he and Kate were working on it, but that it was their business; Kate addressed things more directly.

The saddest part about all of this is that both Jon and Kate are making such poor choices when it comes to their family. Both said over and over tonight that they’re in it for their kids. But the fact that they’re even doing a season 5 tells me that both Jon and Kate are more interested in what’s in it for them. For Kate it’s obvious – she has two best-selling books, numerous speaking engagements, etc., in addition to the money I’m sure they receive for allowing the show to be filmed. I don’t know what’s in it for Jon, apart from the money. But the fact is that there would be no season 5 of Jon and Kate Plus 8 unless they had both signed on the dotted line.

I have a feeling that this season is going to be a) the last, and b) extremely uncomfortable. Tonight’s show made me squirm. Both Jon and Kate acted like they were pleading their case in the court of public opinion. I don’t know if I can take a whole season of it. My fervent hope is that they will realize the toll that all of this is taking on their family, stop filming the show, and work out their issues. Based on the choices they seem to be making, it doesn’t look like either of them is really serious about addressing the real issues they’re dealing with. The end result of not addressing hurt and conflict is always heartache.

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One Response to “Sad Spectacle”

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