Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sound Off

Are the most recent episodes pure "Damage Control?"


nomoredrama said...

Does everyone hate this topic?

anya said...

Hi NMD. "Hate" isn't the right word....just fatigued perhaps...?

No, the recent episodes are not "pure" damage control IMO. I don't even know what that phrase means anymore other than it's a club to hit the show and the Gosselins over the head with when in a particular episode (like this Monday's):

-Kate is pretty pleasant and doesn't freak out over the little and unimportant things that just about all viewers get annoyed at her about;

-Kate doesn't obsessively correct Jon and Jon doesn't roll his eyes like a little boy;

-There isn't some "big" scene open to conjecture that viewers can use their imaginations to run away with , i.e. Joel not being allowed to help with the cake decorating or the boys not getting cupcakes on their un-birthday.

So because many of the haters have so much invested in finding fault with everything Gosselin related, there has to be a way to still snark, right? Ok, we have a way - "damage control." And doesn't it make US feel so important? Figure 8/TLC/The Gosselins read our blog every day and plan the next episode around what we are thinking - right?!?

For my real thoughts on the matter (if anyone cares), I touched on this topic in the "Sight and Sound" thread. Do I think it's possible that some of the criticism that been leveled at the show has been listened to and they are attempting to address? Quite possibly. Or, maybe just maybe, J&K have seen some of their own behavior that they are less than pleased with and are attempting to make changes for the better.

I *get* that's it's easier to be a cynic. None of us really know the whole truth, however. For me the rational and compassionate response lies somewhat in the middle, but again tilting towards compassion. If that makes me a chump, I guess I am a chump. There are worse things to be....

Anonymous said...

The "Haters" are taking too much credit!

a said...

I think the most recent episodes are damage control. Instead of showing the children, there has been more of focus on J & K and their relationship. I think the show, in the past, has been edited to show the less appealing side of Kate and the wimpy side of John simply because it made for more interesting t.v. But, because of all the recent backlash (particularly the controversy over Aunt Jodie) the producers are trying to do some damage control.

Baby Mama said...

So if it JUST so happens that Jon & Kate discuss Alexis and where she sleeps (because they are fighting over the issue with the girls bedroom) that doesn't mean its JUST because it was written on a blog somewhere. What ridiculous is that they (meaning those on GWOP) are claiming that its because of THEM and what they say on their blog. Its ridiculous. I agree with Anya that there isn't much to complain about anymore, and "damage control" is all they can come up with. I truly feel that the producers intentionally showed the "worst" of Kate in the past to keep the controversy up. I could only imagine what the "worst" of me would be like....

MommyZinger said...

Previously, I referred to it as damage control because a lot of what they said and did seemed a little bit too coincidental given what people are discussing here in blogworld. But then I thought, "Who knows anything for sure?"
It could be that viewers sent them emails saying what they wanted to see.
It could be that they are just happier for whatever reason.
It could be that the editors just decided to put in all the loviness and cut down on the yelling.
So my answer, "I don't know."

On that note, what does anyone know for sure anyway? Not much. I find it so unfair that they are being so harshly criticized based on what? - second, third, fourth hand accounts, a show that is edited to maximize viewership and the internet?! I'm shaking my head. So frustrating.

MCB said...

Don't hate it, but since we discussed "damage control" in the last episode thread, I didn't want to repeat what I already posted.

But, if you insist.... :)

As I said in that thread, the thing about "damage control" is, how do we know that this is Jon and Kate's doing? Perhaps in the footage left on the cutting room floor, there have been plenty of nice moments between Jon and Kate, but nice moments are "boring," while conflict gets attention (unfortunately). Perhaps Figure 8 realized that they have shown them in the worst possible light and maybe they're the ones that are doing "damage control," not the family.

The thing is we DON'T really know. Maybe it is and maybe it's not. I hardly think they're doing it to appease hate sites like GWoP. Maybe they're doing it in response to more normal, rational fan complaints, but I seriously doubt they're making any kind of changes because of GWoP. Common sense says you don't acknowledge or give in to the obsessively over invested fan or hater. It just empowers them to cross the line even more.

a anon post said...

Part of a PR company's job is to monitor everything said about their client, including blogs. Now that they've hired a PR company, I'm sure that they take all of the blog comments (fan based ones and ones like GWOP) into consideration. It's market research, and I am sure they are trying to steering the show into things they think people what to see.

This is why I think them getting a dog is nothing more than a PR stunt. (Can you really see Kate agreeing to a dog on her own?) I'm sure they needed some new topics for the show, and a dog could get them at least 3 or 4 episodes, with Kate freaking out about the mess a dog makes at least one of them (which of course will be balanced out with the cuteness of the kids with the dog.)

I agree with mcb in that some of the nicer scenes with Kate in the begining of the series were probably let on the cutting room floor, because Kate's behavior in the beginning had a "I can't believe she did that" quality that some people liked to see. (I know I did - I told him Kate made my freak outs look good.)

Now that people are sick of Kate being over the top, they are trying to show another side of her. I also think that Kate is more aware of her actions, and is holding back for the cameras as well. That's just a natural progression of seeing your actions on TV.

I don't know if I would call it damage control, but I think they (TLC, Producers, Jon and Kate) are listening to what people say and are making changes accordingly.

delurkerloo said...

I think the collective THEY (TLC, Figure 8, etc.) are trying to play to both sides to get the most ratings. In addition to the purported "damage control" showing Jon and Kate in a positive light there have been certain things shown that I think THEY would have to know would create a lot of hoopla on the negative side.

For instance, a couple of weeks ago there was a close up shot of a sign Mady made about keeping cameras out of her bedroom or the bathroom (not sure which). Then there was the camping episode where Kate told Joel about bears coming to get him. He looked a little frightened, but there was no resolution showing Kate reassuring him or Joel maybe laughing after he got the joke. THEY just cut away from the shot. This allowed plenty of room for assumptions and fuels more discussion on blogs about Kate's being mean or whatever.

I'm sure Jon and Kate play a good sized role in this manipulation. They signed a contract and have to play along. I found the couch interview in the Sight and Sounds episode with them talking about the benefits of traveling and Alexis sleeping in the basement to be awkward and rehearsed and not even appropriate for that particular episode.

All in all, I think it's a little bit of both with maybe more towards the new and improved nicer Kate. There's probably an effort behind the scenes for Kate to become a celebrity outside of the show, which I think all involved know will be ending soon simply because of the children's ages. They want to clean up her image before she has to take that leap onto the next "gravy train" - otherwise known as a job in the entertainment industry.

AgainAnonymous said...

Okay, here's my thoughts on the "damage control" label.

I ABSOLUTELY agree with the basic idea that those who are left with little to snark about any given episode will call any positive behaviors they see J & K display as "damage control."

No one here has really mentioned J & K talking on the couch at the end of the "Sights and Sounds" show about "how many good days they've had" lately and how beneficial the traveling has been for the kids and how they only really need one helper now, and eventually won't need anyone because it'll just be "our family," or how they've met lots of new people.

I don't see this as damage control, but I DO think they are responding to public feedback. I don't call it damage control because I don't feel any defensiveness or grasping desperateness in what they're saying. "Answering" some much-blogged-about issues, perhaps?

I think it's egotistical of the "other site" to think it's all their doing, like the Gosselins have them on speed dial or something of that nature to check how they react to the G's every move. Are they part of "the public"? Sure. But they are not omnipotent.

AgainAnonymous said...

Okay.. delurker's and my post showed up at the same time, so it looks like I didn't read the post above mine...sorry, delurk.:)

I tend to agree that the G's are in on the joke to some degree. Just how much they approve or disapprove of how they're portrayed is hard to tell, and whether it's them or TLC/Fig 8 that feels the need to respond to their "peeps" is equally hard to say for sure.

I think the G's genuinly do strive to be good parents. To what extent they feel the need to be "perceived" as good parents is hard to say. If they had NO say it how they're portrayed on TV, I'd think they'd have been upset with their production company long before now and/or turned into Stepford parents in front of the camera pretty quickly.

I feel there's the possiblity they are determined to show the "real" side of their lives, but didn't realize at first how being "real" in public might mean you have to clarify things people see on TV and react to; i.e., Alexis sleeping in the basement.

a anon post said...

Delurkerloo -

You brought up an interesting comment about Kate becoming a celebrity all on her own. Doesn't anyone else but me think she is a horrible spokesperson?

I don't know if it was on this blog or another that had the clip of Kate trying to sell some breakfast idea or product on a morning show (at least, that is what I think it was).

I found it painful to watch. Kate had not an ounce of enthuasism for what ever it was she was suppose to sell, and didn't even look like she wanted to be there. The same thing with the Vtech commercial in the middle of the show. We all know the company paid for her to read it, but could she even pretend to believe the things she was saying? If she wants to become a successful celebrity spokesperson, she has a long way to go.

twinmom said...

Maybe it's not all damage control. The kids are getting older so there are less "things" to deal with then when they were babies or toddlers. Perhaps, now that their lives are fairly settled (as much as any family could be settled while being filmed for TV) and they are used to their brood of 8 maybe Jon & Kate are finding their relationship again. It's so easy to lose that husband wife thing when you become mommy and daddy. I was also thinking that Kate might be getting a handle on some of her "stuff". She sees the episodes too and maybe she doesn't like what she sees. And whoever said it was about the ratings? I agree that what gets the most ratings is what they would like to produce more of. All this talk on the internet? Their numbers are way up. That show is practically floating TLC. Thus, the plethora of new shows surrounding large families. If there was no demand, there wouldn't be a product.

5monkeys said...

For instance, a couple of weeks ago there was a close up shot of a sign Mady made about keeping cameras out of her bedroom or the bathroom (not sure which).

It was a downstairs room, near the kitchen, where that sign was posted. (I watched that episode, "Kate's Labor Day", for the 1st time a couple of days ago after it was re-aired).

I think it was the bathroom, but I am not really quite sure. But I do know that Mady summoned the camera man to follow her to get that shot.

5monkeys said...

I don't know if I would call the most recent episodes "damage control", but I do think the Gosselin's PR people do pay attention to what is being blogged about them, and are trying to adjust their image.

Like others mentioned, we really do not know what is cut from the final episode, and Figure 8 is going to air what people want to see.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where to post this, I posted under haiku earlier but thought I'd try again under this topic. I'm just wondering if anyone on this blog knows the Gosselins? I read a post on PennMommy's blog from Becky who seems to know them and respect them...I think she mentioned this blog so I was hoping to find positive posts on this family (from people that have met them). I'm tired of reading all the snark (that is mostly just opinions) from those who have never even met them.
About the damage control. I think some of it could possibly be dc but alot of it must be coincidence because they film weeks in advance and sometimes people think that just because the blog world mentions something one week and then the show addresses the same issue the next week it must be because they read GWoP or FB or whatever. It can't happen that fast.

bigsis88 said...

So does "damage control" refer to actions on the part of J&K or actions on the part of producers/editors? Like MCB, I tend to define damage control as the latter; I'm one of those conspiracy theorists who thinks the show created the controversy on purpose; now they are trying to dial it down.

nomoredrama said...

I think my brilliant answer to all of this is..."I don't know'

sevenstrangers said...

I'm one of those conspiracy theorists who thinks the show created the controversy on purpose; now they are trying to dial it down

That is definitely possible, but I think at a certain point, Jon and Kate would step and say - this is NOT our life and how we really are. What we hear from them is "the show is our life and our life is the show" and that it is "accurate".

sevenstrangers said...

Doesn't anyone else but me think she is a horrible spokesperson?

ITA. That's why when someone brings us that Jon and Kate are "playing along" I have to disagree, she is not an actress. What you get is all her. (the V-tech voice over was worse than Cindy Crawford trying to sing in the Charlie commercial).imo

HBIC8u said...

Okay, I've been reading the newer threads and I honestly can't say anything that I haven't said 10 times over or that someone else hasn't mentioned already.

I think I may be suffering from Gosselin burnout;-)

nomoredrama said...

I agree too....she is not a good spokesperson. She totally fumbles when something is scripted which is why I doubt when others say the show is scripted.

scarfoot said...


Well, no snark from me. I just checked the Gosselins website. The girls all now have a cute little home page. I'm sure this will be proof of gender inequality in the Gosselin home. There is also "baby" writing on Alexis' page, which will be made fun of. Finally, under her latest devotional page, Kate said that the girls have above average reading skills. Undoubtedly, it'll be an issue that Kate was bragging.

It's really sad that I now have to read everything from the perspective of people "over there." I actually thought the girls' pages were cute, and enjoyed the real snapshots of their kids, taken by Jon and Kate. It's nice to see candid moments, like Kate in her PJ's with her daughter.

I also want to say two things: One, I think Kate is terrible at reading scripts or being in interviews, so I think she isn't a good actress. Two, I thought that the room that had the sign on it was the twin's study room. Maybe I was wrong, but that's what it appeared to be for me.

Anonymous said...

It might have been damage control, it is probably whatever TLC wants us to see. They want their show to be successful. It's hard to guess if Kate is trying to be a nicer person, or it's an act or editing. I 'm guessing they would realize that some people (like wired posters at another site) are just wild in their opinions and fixed in their beliefs. Because the boys tease by sucking on their toys, they have security issues. Alexis sleeps in the basement and is a fairy tale character living in the dungeon. Kate did not stop working when Maddy showed her a card she had just made for her. No one gives her credit for asking Maddy if she could save it. Because her children did not mind her and Kate had to yell at them to make them stop eating strawberries, she was compared to Joan Crawford beating her daughter screaming “no wire hangers”.
Kids suck on stuff an boys will sometimes tease their sisters without mercy. Perhaps after Alexis was made to stay in the basement she found she enjoyed it. A lot of posters at GWOP give these children no leeway to just have childhood moments. No one seems to think that there might be days when some of the kids want to play a game of “let's get mom”. No one seems to remember that children that age are almost always testing their limits. They give the children no credit for being themselves or for just being kids.
Some of the ones screaming how much they care about the children are putting those same children under a microscope and declare everything found to demonstrate that Kate is the mother from hell and that these children have severe emotional issues and everything else they say about them.
Assuming the worst of any of the shown and EDITED film of the children clearly shows unbalanced thinking. IMO those type of posters are using children to suit their own purpose.

Becky Haas said...

I read a post on PennMommy's blog from Becky who seems to know them and respect them...I think she mentioned this blog so I was hoping to find positive posts on this family (from people that have met them). I'm tired of reading all the snark (that is mostly just opinions) from those who have never even met them.

I am here. I think this blog appeals to me more than GWoP. There is less snark and pickiness. I do respect PennMommy because she is a doer not a observer. 14 years ago we lost our baby girl to meningitis. PennMommy came to my house every day in the aftermath for three months to clean & cook & watch my daughter who was three until I was ready to live again. I love the Gosselins! I love Penn Mommy to.

Linda said...

Becky -

Thanks for stopping by.

a said...

As I mentioned before, I think the episodes were edited to show the crazy side of Kate, but that being said, J & K admit they view every show before it airs. So, Kate is very aware of the way she comes across. This leads me to believe that Kate really is as OCD as the editing may make her appear, and in order to save the show her PR people are adding in these scripted scenes of J & K being all lovey. It's obvious Kate loves the attention from the show, so she'll cool it down a little to keep all those freebies coming in.

MommyZinger said...

I posted over at PennMommy's asking if you cared to share your Gosselin experience. Of course, I totally understand if you don't feel comfortable.
Sorry about your daughter. That must have been so very difficult.

anya said...

Hi Scarfoot.

Thanks for alerting us that the Gosselin kids page had been updated.

Of course, the girls will be done first. Don't ya know -- boys are yucky :-).....

Seriously, the pages are cute. There are some pictures there I haven't seen before. I loved the picture of Alexis sleeping with her leg crossed and the picture of Alexis and Kate together (you can see a resemblence when they are together).

Anonymous said...

Becky...My heart breaks for you, losing your precious child. How old was she? Thank you for sharing what PennMommy did for you, what a wonderful blessing she was to you. I think she has handled herself well. I don't know that blogging was the best choice but...she has spoken well of the G's. Openly telling everyone that they LOVE their children, while Julie seems to act like they mistreat them. My arguement has always been that they obviously Love the kids but there are some posters that would disagree, I guess they are much better parents then me (and Jon and Kate). I think Kate does a great job and I see myself in her alot when it comes to the kids, the similarities stop when it comes to how we interact with our spouses, lol.
I'm so glad to find a more balanced board! Yayyy!
I will second the request for you to share your story...I assume you haven't already shared it, if you have just point me in the right direction and I'll just read what you've already written.

anya said...

a said...
"This leads me to believe that Kate really is as OCD as the editing may make her appear, and in order to save the show her PR people are adding in these scripted scenes of J & K being all lovey. It's obvious Kate loves the attention from the show, so she'll cool it down a little to keep all those freebies coming in."

A, I think many of us acknowledge that Kate gives the editors the film to work with. They did not "create" the often anxious, neurotic and snappish sides of Kate we have all seen. From the start, however, we have (or at least I have) seen the nicer, more down to earth and calmer sides to her too. I believe the editing comes into play in how much we see of particular aspects of her personality during a given show.

I don't know that the show "needs to be saved." I thought the ratings were still pretty good? Despite the negative blogging of a rather small % of the viewing audience, I don't think there has been a huge backlash against the show. I think the show will probably end on it's own in the not distant future. The sextuplets will go to school and I think much of the viewer interest will continue to wane as they become school-age.

Mom said...

As far as damage control is concerned - I think, to an extent, a small amount may be. However, I also believe many in blogland are taking too much credit for the apparent change we've seen on TV, as anon 1130 mentioned earlier.

For one, these episodes were shot some months ago. I could bet money on the fact that the production dept has enough footage of this family and can make any episode turn in any direction they wish.

Anya - I saw PM's note to you and thought it was nice - as was your reply to her.

Anonymous said...

Just WOW.. I just purchased my weekly issue of the National Enquirer. Guess who is in this issue? Yep, Paul Peterson is speaking out about Jon$Kate and the damage caused in having their family on the tv. It was a very fair article.

Anonymous said...

Why would that be a WOW? WOW to me is more, WOW, Paul Peterson is lowering himself to the level of the National Enquirer.

PepP said...

Paul Peterson says "I shopped my article to every paper and all I got was the lousy Enquirer"

anya said...

Pepp said...
Paul Peterson says "I shopped my article to every paper and all I got was the lousy Enquirer"


I haven't had the chance to read the article yet. I went online, but I don't think it's posted there. There are more revelations about Sarah Palin and her family, however. Their secrets are waaayy juicier than the Gosselin's!

Seriously, I think it goes to show that Paul Peterson, while having good intentions, is a little too much into grabbing the media spotlight for himself. I don't think the article will accomplish anything other than getting Paul Peterson's name in the paper again.

chick said...

Well, I think a lot of what we're now seeing is damage control. Do I think anyone in the G8 blogosphere is responsible? Nah, not really. Do I think people will try to take credit? Absolutely.

I think that it's likely Figure8 looked back, saw how their portrayal of Kate had slowly changed from "neurotic, anxiety prone, but well meaning and generally loving mom" to "shrill, nasty shrew of a woman who has no respect for her husband and disses her own kids on a regular basis", and they realized that:

----while it makes for good TV to have a "villain" in a reality show, making mom the baddie was a huge screw-up

----if they kept showing the negative side of Kate, even the most devoted fans would turn the show off

----the show had stopped being about how an ordinary family lives under extraordinary circumstances, and had become more of a travelogue

----the show was in danger of losing all appeal as the kids grew older and started school

Hence, some damage control, or "re-imaging": soften Kate's hard edges, bring the focus back to family, not constant travel, minimize negative publicity with new PR team, and update the old website to emphasize the kids and how cute they still are.

Will it work? I hope not. I think the Gosselin kids would be better off camera free, except for yearly or bi-yearly updates.

I hope the show ends soon, and I hope J&K have saved up some of the money their children have earned for college and for those inevitable rainy days all families face.

lulubae said...

Damage control or not?

I really don't care to tell you the truth. The kids appear to be happy and that's all that matters in the end.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Chick, I think the most recent episodes have been a bit of damage control. I think TLC realized they were editing for "most drama" and needed to be more careful because they created a villian that was just too good. I also agree that GWoP gives itself too much credit. I think Jon and Kate have their good moments and bad, I think over the run of the show we have seen both.

Slightly OT, but the most recent "sightings" comments on GWoP mention that Jon and Kate held a rummage sale in a church parking lot with all proceeds going to charity; yes, as usual with them the cameras were there. As you can probably guess "damage control" appears in every post. Another example of exactly what everyone wants them to do and when it actually happens they scream because Jon and Kate did it wrong (not to their standards). I'm sorry, not Jon and Kate did it wrong; Kate did it wrong.