Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Not That I'd Trade ...

So, I've been watching Jon & Kate + 8. It's a fascinating show on TLC giving us a peek into the daily life of the Gosselin family in Pennsylvania with a set of six-year-old twins and a set of four-year-old sextuplets. Whoa ... now there is a couple with their hands full.

Still ... as I was watching, I couldn't help thinking ... "All this on one salary?" Oh common ... they couldn't have paid for that elaborate Disney vacation ... or that skiing trip ... or the trips to Dutch Wonderland and the Crayola Factory and Hersey's Chocolate World and ... and the list goes on. What we're seeing is product placement on steroids.

I'm not denying them their right to earn a living ... even if it is off their kids' backs. Between the income from their TLC show, the product endorsements, and freebees, neither Jon nor Kate has to work outside the home. They have nannies and people who help with household chores like laundry and such. And you know what? Good for them. BUT ... if they want the show to continue being a success, they might want to consider treading lightly ...

Let's take the Disney vacation for example. Consider the expense of driving eight children to Disney World in Orlando. The trip itself would be a large chunk of change even if you're only looking at the basics of gas, food, and a couple of rooms at LaQuinta. But their trip was light years from basic.

The JK+8 brood stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge ... which is astronomically priced. They ate at Chef Mickey's ... had a private meet and greet with the princesses ... and, for me, the cherry ... make that cherries ... on top were the eight tiny sets of ears that were waiting for them on their beds ... already embroidered with their names when they arrived.

It makes for great television. But it doesn't take long to grasp the reality that they're you're no longer watching a "normal" family. There were no shots of them waiting 45 minutes to ride on Dumbo ... or shots of them getting eight Fast Passes for It's A Small World ... because those experiences no longer apply to them. They're VIPs now. Would anyone watch hour after hour of Kate doing laundry or the twins doing homework or the tups playing at the park? Maybe. Maybe not.

Still, I think I'd tune in just to watch and wait for one of Kate's infamous meltdowns. And, I suspect, if TLC took away the nannies and the personal trainers and the household help and the trips to Disney ... we might see a few more of those. And if you've seen her outburst at Toys R' Us, you know that is good television ...

See him drink from a bottle
See him eat from a plate
Cute cute as a button
Don't you wanna make him stay up late
And we're having fun with no money
Little smile on his face.
Don't cha' love the little baby
Don't you want to make him stay up late

Talking Heads - Stay Up Late


  1. MiniTwin2:37 PM

    The one thing that makes me a little sad the Disney episode, besides what you already mentioned, is that they never woke one of the little girls up when the parade started. They had 4 adults and 8 kids. You would think that ONE of them would have noticed her sleeping.

    I think my favorite episodes are the ones where they don't go anywhere special. There was one where they went to the park, and had ice cream. Cue about a 5-10 minute segment of the kids jumping on the benches and spinning in circles. Disney and the other trips are nice, but give me an episode of the kids running around being kids any day.

  2. Anonymous9:27 AM

    I've watched J&K+8 a few times with Mrs. Johann. I couldn't agree more- they're no longer anywhere close to your "ordinary" family that just happens to have a set of twins and and a set of sextuplets. (Not that they ever really were, considering their own cable show and all, but you know what I mean)

    I thought the same thing during the Disney trip- where is the two-hour wait for Splash Mountain? Where is the 15-minute (per child) argument about which ice cream flavor each wants?

    I agree with minitwin- I'd rather just see the kids being kids- as close to "regular" as the subjects of a national cable show can be- than to have it subliminally rubbed into our faces that I'm inferior because I didn't give Mrs. Johann enough children {at one time}.

  3. Oh no, Johann ... your fault lies in not going in for IUI and packing as MANY babies in Mrs. Johann as possible. Had you done that, you might've had your own TLC show ... with Golden Fast Passes at Disney ... matching outfits free from Gymboree and Gap ...

    Then again ... you might want to hold off on the hormone shots. Looks like sextuplets aren't as rare as they used to be:

    Aw, screw it ... go here and you can see a list of all the sextuplets by year: