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Does the World Need Really Need ‘Kate Plus 8’?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Last night marked the return of the Gosselins to TLC, minus Jon, and it felt as if the mother of multiples and her brood had never been away from the small screen. Which, depending on how you feel about the show, is a good thing or a bad thing. I keep coming back to whether it’s a necessary thing.
The premiere of ‘Kate Plus 8′ welcomed back viewers with familiar territory, celebrating the sextuplets’ birthday. The “little kids” were turning six and SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove invited the group to come down to Orlando and swim with the Dolphins. Personally, I felt terrified for those dolphins as I recalled the whole shriek-filled organic dairy farm visit of last season’s finale and those little lungs didn’t disappoint.
Aside from the new hair-do, Kate was still Kate, making the kind of comments and taking actions over which her critics will salivate. While reflecting on the fact that the sextuplets were turning six, she didn’t talk about all the wonderful things that have happened in the past years, but instead mentioned that she just felt old. And when one child fell ill, Kate left her with a sitter on the bus to rest while she rustled the kids off to swim with stingrays.
Admittedly, I raised an eyebrow at her behavior, but upon further reflection, Kate is a rather brave woman to let TLC portray her the way they do. What woman hasn’t made a similar age crack to that effect and what working mom hasn’t had to choose between work and taking care of an ill child? And for all of the perks, Kate is the star of the show and the show is her job. But, we all know that we don’t really want reality TV to be too real. Which is why TLC should have aired the special about the whirlwind last year in Kate’s life prior to the premiere of “Kate Plus 8.”

Including commentary from Jim Moret (“Inside Edition”) and Meredith Viera (“The Today Show”) and behind the scenes footage, the documentary-like special humanized the polarizing figure that is Kate. She fully admits to being abrupt and tactless! She has a breaking point! She has fears about being a bad mother! (Although, I still don’t believe that we care more about her hair than she does.)
Which brings us back to the question of the necessity of “Kate Plus 8.” Clearly the family needs the show not just for financial stability, but for emotional stability. The way the children reacted to the return of the film crew was a bit disturbing, reminding viewers that the crew members are more like extended family after six years and probably provide them with a great deal of stability. And it’s very apparent that Kate needs to constantly be multi-tasking to be happy. (Guess it’s a good thing she has eight children.)
TLC had a real opportunity to change up the show a bit, and play up the single mom aspect which the special did well. But, to me, “Kate Plus 8″ is simply continuing on the trajectory of “Jon and Kate Plus 8″ turning into, as I said last November, “the six little ones vocally jostling for position with twins Cara and/or Mady whining in concert.” Is there a need for such a show?
Sure, TLC needs the anti-Duggars, a family that reflects the dysfunction of the typical American family, but if I wanted to experience children bickering and yelling over who gets the better birthday party or who gets to hit the piñata first, I’d head to my local park, swimming hole, what have you. This is a case where I really don’t want reality TV to be too real.
Bravo to Kate and her brood for carrying on, but, ignoring for the moment that the show has devolved into one giant infomercial for [insert product here], I can no longer find the show entertaining by any definition. And I’m not sure how many will.
Will you continue to watch “Kate Plus 8″ or do you think the show has run its course?

  • pagansister

    Am not a fan of the show…having watched it before the famous break up, maybe 3 times. Personally, I find Kate a B**ch and couldn’t watch anymore after those 3 times. As to whether it needed to be returned to the air? Not for me. Are those kids going to ever be given a “normal” life…without cameras watching their every move? Does Kate need the money or does she just like being in front of the camera??

  • Elaine from Ohio

    I am so tired of people knocking Kate. I think she is a great mom trying her best to keep her children’s lives as normal as possible after divorce. IF you have your children in day care with strangers taking care of them do you think that is a good choice? It was okay to have the children on t.v. when Jon was collecting money, all of a sudden now it is wrong. Give her a break! Also, love her new hair-do.
    I loved both of the new shows. Seeing how they broke up reminds me of how selfish Jon is. You try taking care of all those children and try to take care of a husband who was little help. Can’t wait until Kate starts dating…will see how Jon likes it then, oh yeah, she won’t be allowed to, she will be a bad mother, but he can walk out and have all the multiple partners he wants too!
    Keep your head up Kate, you and your children will be the winners!

  • tia

    I guess I’d find the show interesting now if Kate were actually parenting like any other solo parent. I admit I only raised two sons on my own but I think I would’ve done a pretty great job if I had nannies, a mansion and cleaning crew to go with it, bodyguards, managers, private cooks making meals ahead of time, tv crews, and all the other fluff that Kate has filled her life with.
    I’m no anti-Kate but I am prochild and if anything shows me that the tv crews need to go it’s the fact that these children seem more at home with them than the lady who is supposed to be the mother. I think a good tv program idea, Kate AND Jon + 8, has morphed into an egofilled tribute to a lady who spends more time whining about parenting than she actually does parenting. And in my view, as a hands on parent, the children are the losers. I bet years from now the kids will wish their mom had spent less time earning more money than they needed and more time actually being a mom.
    It’s a sad show now, we cringe when we see those faces. First teir Dad got removed for not playing the Kate/TLC line, then she offed the dogs, and now they’re nothing more than props in the tv show(s) about Kate.
    it used to be a family, now it’s just a lady with a big ego and sad kids we all wish we could hug.

  • Suzanne

    I LOVE the Gosselin children and have watched them grow up since the beginning of the show. I also support Kate in her efforts to work to support her children. The only difference is that people with money have bigger bills than the average person so why don’t you get off Kate! If you don’t like the show don’t watch it but some of us were glad to have them back.

  • Carolyn Bynum

    I found Kate Plus 8 very entertaining, and was glad the kids were so happy to see the camera crew, and I think the show is a huge success. I am glad to see Kate and the kids move forward with the new show, minus Jon…Kate is a GREAT mom, and its obvious she does her best to shield the children from papparazi, and threats that have been made on Kate and the kids. I will continue to watch the show, and hope that it remains a hit for TLC and Kate. Break a leg woman!!!

  • Charles Cosimano

    There are few considerations of less importance in progamming decisions than what the world may need.

  • Cindy

    Throw Kate in a hole and bury her with all her lies. She is NO single parent. She has more help than a home with 2 parents and she does nothing but work her children and whore herself and them out to anything that will bring her $’s in. Horrible mom and horrible person all the way around! Done with the nut case.

  • Keith

    I’m just wondering which of the producers Kate is doing in order to get her new show on the air, the last I heard TLC had no intentions of bringing it back.
    Personally I can’t stand the women, who wants to be around someone with her attitude and I really can’t blame Jon for leaving with the way she treated him in front of millions of viewer’s. I could never figure out if he was the husband, butler or number 9 in the child count, I guess Kate plus 9 didn’t rhyme enough.
    The new hair does look good though, she is pretty hot.

  • newsy1

    It looked like a new show, and Kate looked more glamorized than in her past show, but she is still whining, complaining, and acting like no one else in the world has been a single parent. And she has plenty of help, free vacations, a tv show, book deals etc. How is the general public supposed to feel pity for her? Another blog on her new show is at

  • victoria

    I found it very good and will continue to watch it. So what if Jon is not on. I think it is better without him

  • Barb

    Does the world really need reality T.V. or most of what is put before us ? Most of the programming is pure garbage….in fact, I remember the day when you waited for programming….wasn’t so bad after all…the news is over kill and the commercials ruin anything that is worth watching….all in all, the real potential for T.V. has been lost in small minds and lack of vision…

  • Mary

    In a way I feel sorry for Kate as she seems to be the main support for those children. But I an tired of listening to her whine. She wanted to have those children. I think most couples with fertility problems would have stopped when they had those two beautiful twins. But she and Jon went for a second time, knowing they could have a large, multiple pregnancy. It’s a shame that Jon doesn’t seem more interested in providing for these eight children, since he too wanted them, too. I suppose the easiest way for Kate to make the best money is to be on tv, I just don’t care to watch the show.

  • sue christofferson

    kate you may sometime watch your own show and see what an obnixious person you are ———- your two oldest girls are so spoiled and awful to watch they are so like you awful and also if you are so worried about the photo people WHY DO YOU PUT YOUR FAMILY ON TV you are just a bitch with new boobs

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