Thursday, October 1, 2009

Jon & Kate Plus 8 Minus Jon, Now Minus Entire Show

I used to love Jon & Kate Plus 8. I thought the kids were adorable. I took mental notes of Kate's money-saving tips, like freezing soup. I spent the entire first season trying to tell the kids apart. By season two, I had a favorite--Leah, the one who looks most like I did when I was little. I enjoyed seeing the kids playing dress-up at their Aunt Jody's house and making lollipops from scratch. Those were the best episodes, because those were the ones I could relate to. Growing up in a too-small home with parents who sometimes bickered, and fighting for their attention with my younger sister.

Then this show made Jon and Kate got rich--really rich. The episodes featured trips to a ski resort and Disney World and horse beaches and Hawaii. Kate got a free tummy-tuck and Jon got free hair plugs. The kids got to go to a baseball game and sit in box seats and take a picture with the Phillie Phanatic. They got to meet the Harlem Globetrotters and go to the Ace of Cakes bakery.

I stopped watching Jon & Kate back in August. Not because of the whole divorce drama, but because so few people were seeding this show on BitTorrent that I was unable to download any episodes.

Back when I was still watching the show, I didn't have too many questions about this family other than the usual "How does Kate not want to pull her hair out?" and "How many times a day does she have to clean those potty chairs?" Normal questions about things most parents go through. In the later seasons, I'd watch the show and have questions like "I wonder who's paying for those souvenirs the kids are picking out--Kate or TLC?" and "Oh, they showed the name of that barber shop for two seconds, the kids probably got their haircuts for free." That sort of thing.

When people watch a show, they don't want to analyze everything in it. They don't want to know think about the motives behind all the stores, brand name products, etc. that end up on the show. (Maybe that's why I don't watch 30 Rock.) People watch TV, even reality TV, to escape.

And now TLC has suspended production of the show (again), thanks to Jon's cease-and-desist letter. If it were one year ago, I would've been sad. Now, I don't miss this show at all. I only miss what it used to be.

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