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Jun 23, 2009

My Take On Jon And Kate

Yes, I too got sucked into the "Jon and Kate big announcement" episode that aired last night.

I used to watch the show now and then, but found myself tuning in less and less as time went on. When I watched last night I was not really up to speed - for instance, I had no idea they now have two dogs, and I had never seen their new home (wow).

The episode saddened me. Not the divorce stuff - that's fairly common these days. What got to me and is still haunting me this morning was the birthday party.

Is it just me, or was there NO ONE there? Yes I saw the "classmates and other moms", but where were the other friends and family? The Gosselins were holed away in some secluded location, with all the trimmings (balloons, bouncy castle), but with no one else around. The whole time it was on, I felt like it was just the party set up and I was waiting for the real party to start. It was like some carnival that was never advertised, so no one knew to come. SUCH a weird vibe.

Why? Because the media attention has overwhelmed them, and they're trying to escape it. In the past they've taken the kids out in public (i.e. Disneyland) and they've had a taste of normalcy. Now, I think, the Gosselins are feeling so much media heat that they're hiding from the world. Hiding, and yet parading around on TV.

Is it really their fault, or is that simply what happens when you're in the public eye? For all their faults, Jon and Kate are just like so many other people that we share our "non-public" lives with. They're no different - no better, no worse. I think originally they tried to make a good decision in regards to doing the show, but that decision has turned sour.

In my opinion, the show has become toxic for these kids. In the beginning it may have been fun, and the exposure may have been beneficial to them in regards to getting them extra help. Now, however, I can't help but fear that the seclusion they've been forced into can only impair their development.

Whatever. I'm not a child psychologist.

I am, however, of the opinion that there should be a limit to this kind of TV programming when it involves kids who aren't old enough to choose for themselves. Adults can make their own choices and take the consequences of those choices, but is it really fair to take a child and shape his or her entire life in such a way that this child becomes segregated from the rest of mainstream society?

It's not too late - they could take these kids off the air, and let some time pass. Let their "fifteen minutes" fade into memory, and into the archives of reality TV. Give them a shot at a normal life. But will they? Here's hoping.

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