The numbers aren’t official yet, but undoubtedly last night’s much hyped season premiere of “Jon & Kate Plus 8″ set ratings records for TLC. But for anyone tuning in who thought that the couple were going to engage in some true confessions about what’s really going on in their marriage amidst all of the tabloid rumors about infidelity and possible divorce didn’t necessarily find what they were looking for. Jon still denied infidelity– sort of–and Kate denied her alleged infidelity emphatically. Jon also played coy throughout most of the episode as to whether he is truly living with the family or if he is living elsewhere and caring for them sometimes. And in their separate interviews they both focused more on the strains of different goals and ambitions , not other people, as the reason they are having problems.
Jon and Kate were rarely seen together on last night’s episode and actual eye contact was even more scarce. They both vaguely addressed the possibility of divorce at the end of the episode–though Kate did so more strongly than Jon.
But for someone who has rarely watched “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” I came away feeling that much of this reality show drama is not being contrived for ratings as some have suspected. Regardless of what Jon did or didn’t do after hours, I think he is completely sincere in wanting to pull his children back out of the limelight for their own good. And I think he is wise to come to that revelation. As the children grow up they are naturally going to become more and more aware of their unusual surrounding s and daily lifestyle. I think Jon has realized he has sacrificed too much of his own spirit at the altar of reality TV and he is trying to pull his family back from the brink of celebrity overload, but, uh, not everyone is listening.
As Jon rather poetically and sadly said in last night’s episode, their family has turned into a business and the price of doing business has gotten too high. Yet, reality television is something akin to joining the mafia. As Al Pacino once said “They keep pulling me back in.” The Gossleins can’t just disappear off of the media radar because of what it would do to them economically, and because they have already been in the spotlight too long for people to suddenly stop having interest in them.
I think the bravest, smartest action they could take is to walk away from it all–at least for now. Let this season’s finale be the finale of this family soap opera.