Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yes, She Said Thank You.

Someone forwarded me a comment that appeared on another site about the Going Green episode. The commenter complained because she felt that low income families could have been given solar paneling for the cost of the Gosselins’ paneling. She further asserted that Kate was not grateful (I assume this lady must be psychic, since Kate expressed gratitude several times in the episode; apparently, this complete stranger on the internet knows better!).

There were a couple of comments in our own episode thread referencing Kate’s lack of gratitude. Besides again feeling that Kate’s expression of thanks conveyed gratitude, I was left feeling I’d missed something. Was the solar panel installation described as being a charitable endeavor towards the Gosselins? I had assumed, and saw nothing that indicated otherwise in the episode, that those who participated in the installation were compensated. I didn’t think it was a case of “oh, these poor Gosselins can’t even afford to heat their home; we must help them!”, and I don’t understand why anyone else would have thought that.

So, as I said in the episode thread, I’m not sure how much gratitude was required. I was raised to say “thank you” when completing business transactions, but I don’t fall all over myself in abject thankfulness every time I buy a pair of shoes.

I guess I don't understand why any time the Gosselins get anything, it has to be brought up that there is someone, somewhere who deserves it more. I guess I'm lucky I'm not under such scrutiny. Can you imagine all the people who deserved or needed the jalapeno bagel I had for breakfast more than me?

I don’t know. Maybe the original poster is a Marxist (hmm, she does mention “struggling” in her post!). Maybe that’s what the pro-/anti-Gosselin business is really about – the capitalists against those that subscribe to the notion, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. Maybe one day the mighty proletariat will rise and vanquish the bourgeoisie Gosselins (especially that little Leah – such an anti-egalitarian enemy of the people!) forever.

Or maybe some people need to get the hell over it and realize that some people have more than others, and that watching TV (or reading a book, or…going out of the house, really) involves the risk of encountering such people. Maybe those “low income houses”, or rather the people in them, should be grateful that they actually do have a roofs over their heads; plenty of people in the world don’t, you know.

19 comments:

Pam said...

Kate's body language in this episode spoke volumes for her. She had her arms crossed the majority of the time, and everyone knows that's a sign of defensiveness and certainly not a sign of gratitude. What made me notice this was when that episode was on, I had the volume off because I was on the phone. While I was talking on the phone, I glanced at the tv and was noticing Kate's folded arms and was wondering what was going on for her to seem so defensive. I saw her talking to men in the garage with folded arms, and with no sound, it seemed she was not a happy camper. So, I think even though she did say thank you and did say they were grateful, her body language was yelling something else and people picked up on that.

Eileen said...

I didn't see the episode, I don't watch them anymore, so I can't comment on whether Kate seemed grateful.
I'm pretty sure almost everyone here knows I'm not a fan of Kate's. That being said, is everyone really going to sit here now and critique Kate's body language? Kate's body language wasn't grateful enough? Kate's body language was screaming that she wasn't grateful? Give me a break.

Three Amazing Kids said...

The entire episode was done as publicity for Discovery Channel's Planet Green Network and the Renovation Nation TV show on that network.

Steve Thomas was explaining "the virtues of eco-economics" and Kate responded that what he was saying was boring and likely to be edited out. Personally, I find that to be a rude thing to say to someone who is there to help you and improve your home. Now, let's say that the Gosselins paid for the supplies. Fine. But I am pretty sure the labor was free. Steve Thomas is an expert in his field, and I am 95% sure that he did not charge the Gosselins for his presence. He was there to talk about going green and home improvement as part of a special for earth day. When Steve Thomas asks if everone is ready, Jon acts like a little kid and says "what choice do I have?". While she may have said thank you, she and Jon acted like they did not want to be there and did not behave like they appreciated it. That is just my opinion. The show was uncomfortable to watch.

Other people could have benefited from TLC and Planet Green doing a joint special to help low income or needy people go green. If stating that is an anti-captialist thing to say, then fine.

Eileen said...

I'm apologizing to Pam.
If you (or anybody else here too) want to make an issue of Kate's body language, who am I to say it should be of no concern to anyone?
I was rude in my comment directed at you. I'm sorry.

Linda said...

Pam,

I could see how without the volume you could think that way. However, she also described several times why she was worked up and that she is much better than she used to be. She made several statements during that episode that she hates "projects" and that she doesn't like things out of order.

I also recall her saying thank you too.

I do think that she was quite cranky in that episode though, but it seemed like banter between her and Steve Thomas.

Kel said...

Kate has a thing about projects. She was uncomfortable, crossed arms are not only a sign of defensiveness, it can be a sign of being uncomfortable. She states in the episode that she doesn't like projects.

Seriously, anyone who has worked with any kind of building subcontractor should have an idea as to why she would hesitate! I used to call the builder of the condominium I managed "Tony Tuesday" because he always said, "I'll do it next Tuesday."

And when I was going through my kitchen remodel? Dear Lord, I was a cranky human. And even when my dad helped us remove a bunch of bamboo from our yard I wasn't very happy. And my dad is a "Completer of tasks"! But half way through the project I got 'THE FEELING of DISPAIR" that felt like this project was just too big.

I think people put too much emphasis on body language. Sometimes body language reports more on the internal feelings of the person, not how they feel about the person to whom they are speaking.

When someone says "Thank you" I tend to say "you're welcome", not examine their body language. I'm sure when the project was finished on time and they cleaned up after themselves, Kate was effusive, but perhaps we don't see that part of the day.

indianprincess said...

I thought Steve Thomas acted just as snarky as Kate. I don't know how many times a person has to say thank you. Steve has his own show and gets paid for his time and it was an opportunity for his to get free advertising for his own show if he gave his services for free helping the Gosselin's out. It's a win win for everyone involved.

What happened to appreciate what you have in life? Someone will always have more and their is nothing you can do about it.

merryway said...

I would love to see networks giving away free solar panels complete w/installation to low-income families. I don't think that's going to happen unless it's part of those make-over shows. Finances and wealth are subjective. Unless you give everything away and live in a cardboard box, there's always going to be people less fortunate than yourself. The show was not charity event given to a struggling family of 10. This was a business arrangement for a tv show. Everyone working was paid. I thought Kate's gratitude was appropriate.

rain88 said...

I’m not sure how much gratitude was required. I was raised to say “thank you” when completing business transactions, but I don’t fall all over myself in abject thankfulness every time I buy a pair of shoes.

I wasn't expecting them to fall all over themselves, but Kate could have shown a little more interest in "Going Green". It's not the same thing as you buying a pair of shoes. You pay for them. When you receive goods in exchange for advertising those goods you should show some interest in the product. Isn't that part of the business transaction?

Jacelynn said...

I think Kate was more thankful than usual...... she definitely could have shown more interest but she probably has a million things going on in her mind. Im not trying to make excuses for Kate, just saying that if I were in her shoes I probably wouldn't have been falling over myself thanking workers.

Saint said...

When you receive goods in exchange for advertising those goods you should show some interest in the product. Isn't that part of the business transaction?It's just my opinion but I'd say, no, not in the case of the show J&K+8. Kate has developed a persona on the show based on her real-life persona. She gets anxious and nutsy when there are 'too many' people (in this case workers) around her house. She doesn't like mess. She wants things perferct and completed quickly. I think the shows fans and religiously following non-fans expect that from Kate, and the companies that place products there know it. No company that watches that show expects a Michelle-Duggar type reception to their product. They expect Kate to be excited about the things that help her keep her world mess-free (whirlpool, paper towels) and irritated by messy projects (solar panels, carpet installation, broken stove.) I wouldn't watch if she were too annoying. I sometimes don't watch because of it, in fact.

Kate reminds me of Simon Cowl (sp?) from American Idol. No one expects him to gush like Paula Abdul, and he is often too blunt. He is a huge part of what makes the show interesting and successful.

Anya said...

Merryway, very well said.


Rain88...I wasn't expecting them to fall all over themselves, but Kate could have shown a little more interest in "Going Green". It's not the same thing as you buying a pair of shoes. You pay for them. When you receive goods in exchange for advertising those goods you should show some interest in the product. Isn't that part of the business transaction?

Rain, I understand what you are saying and I know a lot of people feel the same way. My own take - and it's just conjecture - is that Kate's "I hate projects" and the banter between her and Steve was suggested/encouraged by the producers. Not that these elements are not true to who Kate is. I am sure she DOES hate projects. I am pretty sure she isn't *that* interested in the whole green movement either. She strikes me more as the practical 'if it's not going to save me money, why would I do it?' type. Maybe I am not defending her after all. LOL.

My point is I think the producers look to her to bring a certain "attitude" for lack of a better word to the proceedings and she does it. I don't think any of us know how much she is encouraged to "play it up" for the cameras, but I think we would be naive to not believe that some direction goes on.

It should be noted that she also baked for the crew working on the project. Do you think this was her idea or the producers? I think if we want to take her to task for acting apathetic or unappreciative in parts, we should acknowledge this was something she did do to show appreciation.

My opinion is Kate actually seemed like the more engaged of the two in this episode. Jon was kind of just there. The clip on "The Soup" actually captured my take on his mood. It was Jon's demeanor that actually caught my attention (and not in a good way).

marci said...

Anya said...
My point is I think the producers look to her to bring a certain "attitude" for lack of a better word to the proceedings and she does it. I don't think any of us know how much she is encouraged to "play it up" for the cameras, but I think we would be naive to not believe that some direction goes on.
I agree, Anya. I can absolutely see the producers of her show fielding the cross promotion of the Renovation show with her in this Green Episode and her just rolling her eyes and saying, "Well, don't expect me to like it." And the producers telling Kate, "Have at it!"

That being said, I was one of the viewers who saw the exchanges between Kate and Steve as playful banter.

I also don't think you could qualify Kate as being gracious about people being at her house (when has she ever?), or that she even seemed remotely interested in what they were doing outside. But I do think she thanked them and thought enough to bring them out snacks. I don't have enough imagination, I guess, to make the leap that production faked the baking just to make Kate appear like an appreciative hostess in huge contrast to all her griping.....can anyone imagine Kate doing ANYTHING she wouldn't WANT to do at this point???

Heather said...

I agree with this post. How many times does she have to say it? Some people are just not effusive people (like me).

Also, as for arms crossed. I think it's just a habit. I know I stand with my arms crossed all the time and people are always asking why I am mad. It's normally that I'm cold, uncomfortable, or need something to do with my hands!

Sometimes I am surprised by Jon and Kate. There are some things they could so easily do to appease their critics and they don't. I wonder why? Just don't care? Really DO want it be reality?

Spring said...

I actually thought there was a very telling moment when Steve was asking Kate why she didn't like projects - she mentioned that growing up - projects were never completed. Nature vs. nurture? Did that cause her to become the type A personality she is now, or was she like that and as a result reactions to the mess of projects the way she does?

I enjoyed the back and forth between Kate and Steve because I thought he gave her attitude right back to her - and of course his demo with the kids of photons was adorable.

Anya said...

Spring said...I actually thought there was a very telling moment when Steve was asking Kate why she didn't like projects - she mentioned that growing up - projects were never completed. Nature vs. nurture? Did that cause her to become the type A personality she is now, or was she like that and as a result reactions to the mess of projects the way she does?

I would think it is probably a bit of both (nature and nurture). Just from the little I have read on Kate's family, I think it would be very telling to have a deeper look into Kate's upbringing and her relationship with her father. I have the feeling there is a lot of there there!

Heather said...Sometimes I am surprised by Jon and Kate. There are some things they could so easily do to appease their critics and they don't. I wonder why? Just don't care? Really DO want it be reality?

I have thought the same thing from time to time. Of course, on those rare instances when J&K do appear to do something differently that they had previously been condemned for, the detractors scream: "DAMAGE CONTROL!"

Maybe they figure they can't win so why bother....?

Kuromi said...

I thought that Kate's not-so-effusive reactions to the whole going green thing proved a point: There are a heck of a lot of people who care more about their immediate needs (family, kids, jobs, etc.) than about lofty ideas like "save the planet." Not they want to destroy the earth; they just don't want/have the ability to spend time and money on green products, recycling, etc.

I'm not saying it's right; it's just a fact. That's why, when I wrote news stories about green or medical technologies, I would always outline the monetary savings that would result. Monied folks may not care about poor people, dying Africans, or their own carbon footprint. They DO care, however, about how to save money coming from their pockets, whether they're taxes or less money spent on their own health.

That's why I think Kate's seemingly blase attitude was a good ploy for the episode: More people are going to have her PoV than will admit.

Kikibee said...

I recently watched this episode again. I didn't notice Kate with her arms crossed very much at all.
I saw her taking cookies out to the open garage, in mid-February, in a long sleeved t-shirt,while the men were wearing heavy shirts and down vests and her kids had on winter coats. To me, crossing her arms said "I'm cold".

Kate and Steve were joking with each other as equals. It's not as if he was an employee who might have hesitated to give some back to her, for fear of getting fired or something. He was snarking on her with Jon when she wasn't around and I haven't seen anybody say that was rude.

I can understand people not liking Kate's personality, but not being
overly effusive or gushy doesn't equal being rude. She thanked everyone for their efforts, she baked them treats, I don't see how that is rude.

And, solar panels may be good for the environment, but they don't make for riveting tv viewing. If it weren't for Kate's antics (and the cute kids) would anyone even be discussing this episode?

rain88 said...

My point is I think the producers look to her to bring a certain "attitude" for lack of a better word to the proceedings and she does it. I don't think any of us know how much she is encouraged to "play it up" for the cameras, but I think we would be naive to not believe that some direction goes on.I think you're right and that's why I enjoy the show less and less. They focus on Kate and her attitude more now and much less on the cute kid things.