What is the deal with TLC? (Kate and Jon move on)

As a collector of train-wrecked relationships, it should come as no surprise that I would hone in on the plight of Jon and Kate (and the 8). I had never been interested in the show until the airwaves began crackling with the news of their marital troubles. My attention was piqued even more as my wife was watching Youtube videos of the show. So I went on the internet and watched some episodes and clips to get up to speed. So as the resident relationship analyst, I give you my take on it.

First off, TLC totally blew a chance to turn this into an even bigger cash cow. Granted, 10.6 million viewers isn’t too shabby for a cable show, but they could have done better. They could have:

  • Rescued the marriage
  • Elevated another show;s ratings
  • Avoided the whole hiatus business
  • Come off as heros while making tons of money

How? My question is, where the hell is Rabbi Shmuley? TLC has its own resident relationship expert who has helped other couples with Shalom in the Home. Well he’s very much alive and well, and posted his own thoughts on the Gosselins in two different blog posts. His insights are a lot better than mine, but I wonder why TLC didn’t tap this guy, a celebrity in his own right, to help Jon and Kate. afterall, he has 8 kids of his own! He would surely have had something useful to contribute to the couple and he may yet be able to offer guidance toward helping the kids get through the experience with a minimum of damage.

Kate and Jon are dead wrong on what they are doing. Just a year ago, they were in Hawii, renewing their vows, and now Kate has filed for divorce. She already began drawing up custody battle lines saying that she would never miss a birthday or holiday with her kids. Both her and Jon went on and on and on abut how the kids were the most important thing in their lives. On one level, it’s a bit refreshing that commentors on their TLC site recognize what the fallacy is there. But this couple careened out of control and fell into the ditch faster than even I could have expected. The announcement of seperation was made on the same day divorce was filed for! It’s a travesty, and people should have a degree of outrage over how these two are throwing their marriage under the bus.

At some point, their kids will wonder why their parents had to split up. They’ll see all the stuff that was filmed and read all the comments people made about their parents. They’ll see the vows Jon and Kate made in their wedding and again when they renewed their vows. Then they’ll see as less than a year later their parents proceed to break those vows in a truly grand fashion. What Jon and Kate can not possibly say is, “We did everything we could to keep this family together.”

There was no counseling offered by TLC, and no attempt by either Kate or Jon to contend for their marriage. No one seemed to make any attempt whatsoever to salvage, reconcile or heal this couple. They both let circumstances dominate them, and got swept away and their family got blown apart. It really is an ugly spectacle and it’s going to get even more hideous. We’ve all seen this replayed all over the country countless times as divorces go from bad, to ugly to vicious. The divorce lawyers are going drag this on, keep circling and feeding until they have torn, consumed and shredded all of the assets this family has. We haven’t seen the tip if the meltdowns and ugliness that will be played out on the tabloids.

The faults of each of these two (plus the network) are all well-known, so I’m not going into all that here. I don’t think any one factor killed this relationship, but that it was a perfect storm of things that all came crashing down in a tragic chain of events that just keeps going. I think both of these folks gave up too easily on each other and should have fought harder. I know a bit about how hard, long and grueling the fight can be. But I can’t imagine fleeing in a headlong retreat the way these these folks have. I’m embarassed for these two, as well as for all of the people who have been watching from the beginning.

Should the show go on, as Kate says? I think it should become a show about divorce and kids and how hard it is, although ironically having that extra income stream might actually make it easier for them to break apart and divide things, which most divprcing couples don’t have access to. Just the presence of the fame and fortunes take away a lot of the reality implied by reality TV. Kate is definitely not going to let this cash cow go,and neither is TLC. It seemed to me that Jon was willing to at least consider shutting it down, but he might not get much of a say and might back down when faced with the prospect of having to go and get a job in this tough economy. What’s he qualified to do, anyway?

I wish someone would slow things down and at least consider reconciliation. Weren’t these two supposed to have strong Christian values and belong to a caring church? What happened to all that? Or was that one of the things they cut loose for the sake of their fame? It’s difficult enough squaring their actions with personal integrity of any sort let alone any sort of Christian morality. Once again, christianity ends up looking mighty foolish and impotent when pitted against fame, fortune and popular culture.

My advice would be to at least consider some form of repentence and seek forgiveness from each other and for anf from all parties involved. when they kids grow up to a point where they can understand all of this, when they are teenagers, the parents are going to really need it.


3 Responses to “What is the deal with TLC? (Kate and Jon move on)”

  1. Tom Allen Says:

    Having done the joint counseling thing, there is no frickin’ way I’d want to have *that* part of my life filmed, too.

    I mean, WTF is wrong with people who agree to let the cameras in? Don’t they realize that practically every other family or couple that has been filmed has split up? Haven’t they heard about Shroedingers cat? Sheesh.

  2. Desmond Jones Says:


    They’re giving us parents of eight a bad name. . .

    I try to studiously avoid these tabloid story lines. And I don’t even have cable, so I’ve never seen an episode. But, what little I know (and it ain’t much), I’d tend to agree with your assessment, Digger – seems like giving up awfully easy. How the hell do you go from renewing your vows to ‘irreconcilable differences’ in less than a year?

    And of course Tom is right, too – there’s more than ample evidence available that, if you care about your marriage, you don’t even think about letting the cameras into your home. I mean, cameras in the home did for the Osbornes what decades of Ozzie’s drug abuse couldn’t, knowwhatImean?

  3. Xavier Says:

    Just as soon as their trial is over (you know, the child abuse/exploitation trial for giving all-access to the kid’s private lives) I’ll be ready to comment in this divorce.

    First things first, you know?

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