Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jon and Kate Put Show Before Family

I am not a regular viewer of "Jon and Kate Plus 8," but my students are. For anyone in the family business the tale of how a couple copes with eight kids and keeps their marriage together is an interesting topic. Putting all the daily challenges on television couldn't help but multiply the difficulties.

As it turns out, they are not going to keep the marriage together. They justify their separation for the usual wrong reason - the kids will be happier if we are happier.

What is saddest in this whole sad episode is that when Jon and Kate were faced with the choice of keeping their marriage or keeping the television show, they chose the television show. As Kate said, "the show must go on."

I am not an expert in what sells on TV, but I expect that the appeal of this show depended on showing the couple coping. No couple, no show. I think this will be the last season of "Jon +/- Kate Mess Up 8."

8 comments:

Terena '99 said...

Here here, Beau Weston.

Rachel S said...

Love the +/- Kate comment

Frizzball said...

this is really insightful!!! I never thought about that.

TallCoolOne said...

Unfortunately, I suspect that, if they produce the show right, it will continue for some time, now with a "hey, except for the eight kids thing, we're just like every other American family!" angle. This kind of commodification and marketing are all too common.

devilscarpet said...

I absolutely agree with you, and have been telling people that. I'm sure they'll continue producing the show, but the ratings have already seriously taken a nosedive.

I don't know how to feel about it all. Of course everyone and their mother has an opinion on who is right and who was wrong, but ultimately, based on what I saw and generally what I know from class, there wasn't anything going on they couldn't work out, especially with all the money they've been making from the show providing options like excellent counselors.

It makes me really sad, because it's yet another example for people to cite now; although the ratings drop indicates the truth that no one -really- wants that and it's -not- all the same to everyone.

Katie said...

I haven't followed their show, but I did read an interesting bit that Jon and Kate have in common with Sandra Tsing Loh. Jon and Kate, like Tsing Loh, keep the kids in the same house while the parents rotate out. For Jon and Kate, I sure that the logistics of shuffling around 8 kids makes this the obvious choice. I was surprised, though, when I read about the arrangement in Tsing Loh's household. Her article was the first I'd ever heard of such a living arrangement post-divorce. Is this a new trend we're seeing in upper-middle divorces?

Gruntled said...

I have read about this kind of "bird-nesting," but I did not know of a real case.

With Jon and Kate, I am guessing that the house belongs to the show.

Katie said...

Alas, you're probably right about Jon and Kate's house belonging to the show, so the arrangement no longer seems self-sacrificing. On the whole, though, I think that "bird-nesting" is a good step toward helping children cope with divorce. The more that stays the same the better. I also find myself wondering if this kind of arrangement might ultimately lead to more reconciliations since both former-partners literally get the chance to come home and remember what they're missing out on.