You thought the chills Carol Ann sent down her family’s collective spine with the shocking revelation of the Poltergeist’s return was scary? The same chills of terror sprinted down the backs of most logically minded Americans as this past week marked the return of Jon and Kate Plus 8.
When last we left the venerable Gosselins, their family was being torn apart. Both Jon and Kate both sat alone on a couch made for two in the basement of their Wernersville, PA estate, both Jon and Kate waxed on about how the constant glow of the camera’s eye affected each of them. Jon, with a look of more disconnect and glaze than Jack Nicholson at the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, spoke about the pressure of being a “celebrity”. Kate, with her hair that looks like it was done by Edward Scissorhands after an eightball, told America how much she loved the demands of her life. Despite their differing views on the effects of the show, both were sure to point out the show must indeed go on for the sake of the children(that decision has since been called in to question by family, friends, and child services).
Even in divorce, Jon still reverts to his hazed over look whenever he enters Kate’s orbit of perpetual disgust, Kate still feigns emotions, other than contempt for her husband’s existence, in front of the camera. This week offered something a little different though. For the first time in months, the cameras and story actually centered on the kids. While it is true this latest episode seemed even more contrived, more planned than ever before (the signs of the desperate trying to keep their cash cow pumping money from the utters of television), with impromptu vacations and a kitchen renovation that had to be done for the “sake of the children”, at least those who watched got a chance to see the children. Maybe you remember the ‘Plus 8’? The whole reason these people got a reality show in the first place? I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true.
Millions tune in. Millions offer their opinions. Millions spend their husband’s hard earned money to buy her book. Millions spew venom. Regardless of what you may think, buy, or post anonymously on an Internet chat site, Jon and Kate have offered the tabloids more fodder for their cover pages since John Kennedy Jr. was alive. But why do we care?
It occurred to me by the end of episode one in the first season, these two pseudo-celebrities are no different than any of us. In some cases they are us. Our neighbors. Our relatives. Our friends.
Kate is no different from your aunt who has spent the better part of twenty years breaking your uncle down on a physical and emotional level with her constant nitpicking, verbal barbs, and never satisfied attitude, until your uncle’s will has been reduced to the viscosity of your Thanksgiving Day gravy.
And do we not all know of that guy. That guy who has had his life asphyxiated from him by the very short leash time locked around his neck? The guy who has to check in with his wife 17 times in a 45 minute time frame while he is out with his friends? The guy who is looking for the right opportunity to run screaming from his life like a horror movie teenager running from Jason Voorhees? That guy may be your best buddy but he is also most definitely Jon Gosselin (Is he not worthy of becoming a colloquialism at this point? The next time you’re at the bar and your buddy is being verbally abused by his wife over his iPhone so loudly you can hear it over the Beatles cover band you could say, “Oh man did you get GOSSELINED!”).
So why tune in? Why waste any amount of time watching these people when all we would need to do is attend a family reunion or go out with friends to see it right in front of us? Do we need any more Us!Weekly covers with Kate’s Flock of Seagulls haircut or a Star magazine 6 page expose’ about Jon’s revolving Lazy Susan of girlfriends he chooses from like he’s picking between the Oregano and the Allspice (I do have to give him credit, 45 seconds after his separation he was on a boat with another girl in the French Riviera. I guess he isn’t that upset with his new found celebrity)?
The best thing we can do, what the pair has asked us to do for months, is ignore them(I’m guessing neither of them really want us to do that for fear that by doing so will dry up the rivers of cash our interest flows in to their bank accounts). Ignore the magazines. Ignore the Today Show interviews. Turn a blind eye to their “reality” show. We do not need to glorify them or endorse the manufactured fame and undeserved adulation they have hoodwinked the American populace of giving them. Patronizing them will only and assuredly have Kate publishing a new book about surviving a divorce (you can already hear her scripting it during her interviews on the show) and will keep the show airing. Let them fade away to the Reality Show mausoleum housing the likes of Richard Hatch, Puck, and every Bachelorette and Bachelor to hand out a rose. And when, by the good graces of whichever set of gods you happen to subscribe to (if it takes a few prayers to Zeus or Thor, remember it is for the greater good), these two and their octadic brood get cancelled you can get back to your lives which are probably filled with or look a lot like the one you had been watching for the past 5 years.
- Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country (and bald...and cranky...and out of shape...in the service of being a parent) - George Washington
Seek and Ye Might Just Find