Monday, July 14, 2008

What Are We All Really Doing Here?

Alright, I admit it. I have been lurking around the Internet googling and reading everything I could get my hands on about the TV show "Jon and Kate plus 8" ever since I started watching it in March. I loved this show. The more I watched the new shows as well as the reruns that I would Tivo, the more I wanted to know. A woman obsessed. On a mission to find out every detail.

Now, sadly, I regret that I did that. Way too much information out there. Admittedly it is my fault. I should have just watched the show like I do any other that I watch and take it for what it is worth. But no, I had to read every blog and every message board and let me tell you - it is not pretty. It is like a war zone out there and the Gosselins appear to be the enemy.

Bloggers are saying that they are bad parents and that the children are being exploited and have lost any sense of normalcy or privacy in their lives. Jon and Kate have been diagnosed with a multiple of psychiatric illnesses by different bloggers and a variety of medications have been suggested ( some of these people have a little bit too much familiarity with all of this). Bloggers have even threatened to call the Department of Family and Children Services on them.

Should they surrender and wave the white flag? Stop production of their show and go back to their busy probably somewhat difficult lives that they had before the show? I think not. Give them a break. They are just doing what many other people would do in similar circumstances and I for one can not see that the children are being harmed.

The posts that I am reading on different blogs are hurtful, disrespectful and destructive. I know that they have put themselves into this position and should expect some of this, but no one deserves this. A better question is, how did we get to this? Jealousy? Boredom? A whole lot of time on our hands?


Anonymous said...

Interesting perspective. Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I tend to disagree with some of your points. I think the kids are too young to be subjected to daily filming.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Don't see this too many places. Do you really feel this way or are you just trying to go against the grain?

Anonymous said...

You didn't leave an option for disgust at the lies and concern for the children's welfare.

Anonymous said...

Are you watching the same show I watch? You think these kids are not being harmed? They are plastered all over YouTube, televised bathing and using the bathroom, and have their temper tantrums broadcast on international TV (yes, JK8 is in Australia now). Joel is punished for being sick and inconveniencing Kate, Collin is terrorized by a raving madwoman over a small piece of gum on a bear, Mady and Joel are regularly disparaged by their parents in front of thousands of viewers, the boys are described as icky, disgusting and gross and on the bottom of the totem pole with the girls, especially Hannah, being shown favoritism, and you do not think these children are being harmed? I just don't see it that way.


So, tell me how you really feel.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the writer. I don't feel these children are being "harmed". Is this an ideal situation - no. I just don't know if it is any different than parents that drag their kids around for beauty contests or for acting in commercials

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much for a more balanced perspective. No children are being "terrorized" IMO. They are adorable, mostly well-behaved children and the parents are doing the best they can. Are they perfect - of course not. Who is? (And would the show be interesting if they were?)

It would be nice if this site could grow and those who are not fanatics could have a place to discuss the show postively, i.e. did you see that look Kate gave Jon?, wasn't Alexis' little doggie walk adorable???

Please - there must be some other people out there who don't like or want negativity 24/7.

Nancy said...

Yes, the kids are cute; yes, it is unusual to have twins AND sextuplets, but come on! Give this family a yearly or twice-yearly special and get the lights and cameras out of the children's rooms. Quit allowing them to be filmed in the shower, mom and dad! Let them have a semblance of normalcy in their lives!

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog! I have been watching the show for a couple of months and following the online discussion for almost as long, first at TWoP and then at GWoP (and also sites that mock the GWoPers, like Princess Marie Chantal and Bitter But Brilliant).

I don't know why J&K push the buttons that they do. It's an interesting sociological phenomenon. Some of the women at GWoP scare me a bit. They are so vociferous and obsessed in their hatred of J&K that I worry a bit about what some of them might do. I don't go there anymore because I find myself angry about how truly unreasonable (to put it mildly) they are. I absolutely think that there are things to criticize about J&K and even about the very concept of the show. But the people over there...their behavior and comments say SO MUCH more about them than they do about J&K, and the sad part is, they don't even realize it. They have really lost perspective (assuming that they had it in the first place; I would guess that some of them are fairly "normal" in their everyday lives, and some of them...aren't).

Anyway, thanks for offering another perspective!

iluveeyore said...

"We do not take responsibility for opinions or views expressed in the comment section."

That's very interesting. If that's true, why are comments moderated before they're posted?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it the same on GWoP? There's a header statement there that takes no responsibility for whether posts or even blog entries are true. It seems to be written in faux-legal language but I have my doubts about whether it would protect the site if one of the people over there did something to harm the Gosselins.

And the comments over there are definitely moderated.


Comments are moderated to delete anything with swearing or name calling.

Anonymous said...

To answer the question posed at the end of your post - I do believe jealousy + too much time has created a lot of vitriol seen on the web (and on one particular blog I will not name).

These posters always claim they are not jealous and then spend hours upon hours posting about the "freebies" the Gosselins get or the fact that Jon & Kate don't have 9-5 jobs. Who cares? It's really none of our business.

These same posters claim to have very active lives yet spend way too much time discussing the lives of people they have never met.

They clearly don't like Kate. They sorta don't like Jon. Some of them even go so far as to name the kids they don't like and yet they continue to watch the show and blog about it constantly.

It's really amazing.

Ok, I fall into the same category. I don't blog, but I read too much about this family and sometimes watch the episodes more than once. The difference is I basically like the family and like the show.

I am sure there are others out there. Come on. Let's discuss last night's episode (which I thought had a lot of cute moments and even a couple we can snark on). Note the difference between "snark" and "hate". I don't hate Kate (even kind of like her), but I shake my head when she tells Jon to get out of her kitchen! Mainly, it would be nice to have a place to discuss the kids and what we like best about the episodes without the over-the-top, "let's call CPS" nonsense that is being tossed around on other sites.


Excellent comment. Please submit something for a featured post. Also we would like this place to be the place you described above.

Anonymous said...

"They are plastered all over YouTube"

How many other kids are plastered all over YouTube? Should we make them our mission also?

Anonymous said...

Why are the Gosselins such topic of controversy? Do they tap into our insufficient childhoods or our fears about how we raised our own children? Do they operate just inside the vague definitions of what is right and wrong? Is the issue one of self-sufficiency versus child exploitation? I don't know. As a student of American culture, the Gosselins interest me. My opinion is negative, but mildly detached. However, I feel a compulsion to speak out on behalf of young children who can't make decisions on their own. (L123)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see a balanced viewpoint about the Gosselins. I've been watching the show since it first came on and also, admittedly, reading all the blogs.

I was appalled at the hatred and
venom that was being spewed about this show and the family.

I, too, think that Jon and Kate have taken advantage of a situation which was offered to them and made it work.

My husband and I are old enough to be their parents and have no small children at home, but J&K speak with the same kind of sarcasm and humor that we do ourselves. The kids are absolutely adorable and act like normal kids....

The children seem in NO way abused... but happy and healthy.
All kids cry... Most kids whine.
Most kids have sibling issues. Multiply this by eight times
and the result is what we see.

I think the show on Monday night about discipline should have quieted those who write that the
parents don't pay enough attention to their kids. Jon and Kate are good parents and they have eight
happy and healthy children. I wish
them nothing but the best and I will continue to watch.

Anonymous said...

Just to jump off the last poster's comment about discipline. I really give credit to J&K for having (mostly) very well-behaved children. Do they occasionally hit/cry/whine - sure, but I would say generally from what we see on screen, they are within their age group or better when considering the size of their family. Let's face it, if these kids were total brats, a lot of us would turn the channel. I know I have done this with some episodes of Super Nanny and the like. J&K deserve credit for raising likeable and seemingly happy children.

To this point, I was impressed with Kate's handling of Aaden's melt down at not going with Jon to the store because it wasn't his turn. She told him to go to timeout - he did it on his own (no picking up and putting him there). Later, she gave him the option to pull himself out of his funk and come do a project. He wasn't in the mood and she sent him upstairs to his room. It seemed like the ideal solution. He wasn't attracting attention he didn't deserve for misbehaving and the little guy got a little rest (which I assumed he needed because the next shot was of him dozing with his thumb in his mouth). Kate was calm and collected throughout and modeled the behavior she wanted from her son.

Now to areas that J&K (particularly Kate) can work on: let's minimize saying snarky things to the children (particularly the tups). There is a way to address dirty fingernails and it's not to tell your son you won't eat whatever food he makes for you!

We are all human and make mistakes. Overall, I like what I see on J&K or I wouldn't keep watching...!

Guinevere said...

I agree. I'm sure the haters will say that Kate was abusive to poor Aaden, but really she followed advice on dealing with a tantrum perfectly. It's tempting to comfort the child but it reinforces the behavior and teaches them that they can get extra attention by throwing a fit. Good for Kate!

Anonymous said...

Your post really struck home with me. It's exactly how I feel. I hope this can be a place I can come to discuss concerns about the show as well as highlights of the show without being censored because I don't "hate" the Gosselins. I wrote a comment at GWoP and it didn't get posted because I was saying that IMO some of the posters over there were going a little over the top with what they were snarking about ie. Kates hair....IMO that has nothing to do with the well being of the children or nor is it a basis to pull the show off the air. My mother always told me, if you don't have anyting nice to say don't say anything at all!

Shea said...

It's really refreshing to read something about Jon & Kate that isn't spewing with hate. I'm amazed that people can say such horrible things about this family as though they are in any place to judge. Really - are you any better than they are as you troll message boards posting awful things about a family you don't even know? It baffles my mind. I'm an entertainment writer for MTV reality shows, which, trust me, never get this amount of venom (not even Spencer Pratt can pull in so many angry comments). I blogged about the JK8 last night and would be interested what others have to add to the conversation:

Anonymous said...

Iluveeyore is a regular at gwop, although, Fiona, the one who makes all the comments directly to the children is my personal nominee for loon of the month.