Kate Plus Wait
It isn’t every day that I come to this column willing to admit something that would seem to get me shunned in the real world. Today I’m doing just that because I have to admit that I was always a fan of JON & KATE Plus Eight. Please, whatever you do, don’t let that get in the way of reading my column.
Now that I’ve admitted this to you I feel a little better in the admission of having watched the special KATE PLUS EIGHT event that happened this Sunday night. Even though it was advertised by TLC as somewhat of a return they also, at no time, admitted that this two hours of back-to-back showings of KATE PLUS EIGHT were just that, two hours that won’t be a regular occurrence. It was just a sampling of what is to come. This sampling might not have been too bad either if it weren’t for the fact that both episodes were completely wreaking of PR spin.
I don’t think that anyone is under the illusion that there is 100% pure reality in the beast that is reality television. Footage is show, reviewed, and then it is edited to allow for a story to be told depending on what story they want to have told. These first two hours had a very specific agenda that wanted to hit on very specific items. If you didn’t take the time to watch them (or if you are just here to enjoy a study in PR spin) allow me to break them down for you now.
1) The children aren’t being exploited and they really enjoy doing the show.
The first ten or fifteen minutes of the first hour were dedicated to the ceasing of taping for JON & KATE PLUS EIGHT as well as the reactions by the children, how they were sad about it. After that transition we see the surprise return of the camera crews, how the children love them and play with them, and we should all be comfortable with the fact that this show exists. The message was heavy handed, it didn’t serve much except for this one point.
The second half of the first hour tried to also drive this point home by seeing how the family gets to enjoy certain perks from the fame like a trip to DISCOVERY KINGDOM for the sextuplets sixth birthday. This message probably could have just been overlooked as actually providing some cute kids seeing cute animals for lots of “ooohs” and “aaahs” except from a critical story telling error. One of the older twins, MADDY, has a melt down because the six younger kids are now getting their third birthday party. Yes, their third. Instead of a perk we’re suddenly reminded that what we are seeing is reality television that has been scheduled and planned out. This breaks the fourth wall a bit for someone like me and I suddenly step out of the experience and realize I’m watching a trumped up scenario created for the purpose of showing me the perks the kids get from production. I suppose the good news for TLC is that it worked because I got the message.
2) Kate is a working single mom, just like so many other moms, but her employment is in the media so don’t hate her.
This message was delivered a little bit in the first hour and heavily in the second hour. In the first hour KATE says after she was voted off DANCING WITH THE STARS she just fell right back into her mommy routine. Understandable, but isn’t it also what you are supposed to do KATE? The second hour, where we see a few behind the scene days with KATE where we see her grueling day of trying to train for her upcoming dance number, meet an obligation with the TLC network and suffering from exhaustion. Although informative it just wreaked of, “See how weary she is? Don’t hate her, feel sorry for her! She’s got 8 children and she’s running herself down just to provide for them!”
Other than the heavy handed message I think the only disservice this second hour did was in showing a book signing that they really didn’t need to show. This made me have to guess that possibly there was some press around the LOS ANGELES book signing not having great turn out since they said during the show at least three times how it was ‘thrown together at the last minute.’ I haven’t bothered to explore if that’s right but based on the message they were sending out I’d venture to say that I might be.
Putting aside my observations of the PR-centric nature of these episodes I have to admit that I still enjoyed both hours. My only wish is that the show was actually returning in full force instead of us just getting a few teaser episodes. Now that two hours have aired we have to wait for the next KATE PLUS EIGHT special that will be available JULY 11th.
Now that we’ve gotten all the PLUS EIGHT ought of the way let’s see what else TV has to offer us.
FOX - 8:00 PM: It’s been a while since we last saw LIE TO ME so let’s hope these last final nine episodes pack a memorable punch.
NBC - 8:00 PM: I’m not sure why but LAST COMIC STANDING is back. One redeemable quality is CRAIG ROBINSON being brought in as the show host which is reason enough for me to give it a shot.
ABC FAMILY - 8:00 PM: After this many seasons is there really any secret left in THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER?
FOX - 9:00 PM: Since the special sneak peak of THE GOOD GUYS I’ve been jonesing to know if they can keep the magic of that first show going. Tonight I’ll have my answer.
NBC - 10:00 PM: PERSONS UNKNOWN seems on the surface to have elements of the classic THE PRISONER show with people abducted and dumped into a TV where they are monitored via closed circuit television. It’s created by one of the minds behind THE USUAL SUSPECTS so it has a pedigree that warrants at least an episode or two of exploration.
ABC FAMILY - 8:00 PM: I don’t think you could pay me to watch PRETTY LITTLE LIARS but it might be a good form of torture.
A&E - 8:00 PM: Want to feel better about your life? Watch a few hours of BILLY THE EXTERMINATOR and unless you’re actually on the show you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.
FOX - 9:00 PM: I’d probably be more on the edge of my seat for the season finale of GLEE with the NEW DIRECTIONS getting to the make it or break it performance at Regionals but the show has been picked up for two more seasons already.
BRAVO - 10:oo PM: KATHY GRIFFIN DOES THE BIBLE BELT may sound like an adult movie but instead it’s the bridge burning spitfire tackles the A-listers during this taped Tennessee performance.
FX - 10:00 PM: OK, KATHY GRIFFIN not butch enough for you? You’ll want to catch the season finale of JUSTIFIED in that case.
NBC - 10:00 PM: After last week’s premiere of LOSING IT WITH JILLIAN MICHAELS did so well at 10 they decided to keep it here instead of at 8 like they said last week. Just a heads up.
CMT - 8:00 PM: Sometimes the things I type even make me do a double take. Here’s one example: THE CMT MUSIC AWARDS hosted by KID ROCK. Yeah, I know… right?
TLC - 9:00 PM: Enjoy another mind-numbing season of I DIDN’T NOW I WAS PREGNANT as it kicks off tonight.
ABC - 10:00 PM: Wait, HAPPY TOWN is still on the air? Whoah, didn’t know that.
FOX - 8:00 PM: No, the schedule is not playing tricks on you. GLEE moves over to Thursday nights for repeats this summer. Squirm uncomfortably with me during the duet of ENDLESS LOVE sung by WILL and RACHEL.
SHO - 10:00 PM: It’s the return of PENN & TELLER BULLS$!T! tonight as the two take on the American splendor of the CHEERLEADING.
USA - 10:00 PM: It’s been FAR too long that we’ve waited for the return of ROYAL PAINS and this week we find out HANK and EVAN’s father is none other than HENRY WINKLER. Last time this guy was near sand wasn’t he jumping a shark? Hmmmmm.
BRAVO - 10:00 PM: REAL HOUSWIFE NYC alum BETHENNY moves into her own show titled BETHENNY GETTING MARRIED? Yeah, I’m not watching it either.
ABC - 8:00 PM: The Alphabet Network brings us the 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP KICK-OFF CELEBRATION CONCERT.
FOX - 8:00 PM: Hey, remember that show PAST LIFE that nobody watched! Great news nobody, it’s back!
SYFY - 9:00 PM: It’s the end of the somewhat unbalanced season for STARGATE UNIVERSE.
ABC FAMILY - 3:00 PM: Want to go back-to-back-to-back with all of the BACK TO THE FUTURE movies? Here’s your chance.
DISNEY - 7:00 PM: If you don’t already own them on home video than you can get ready for TOY STORY 3 with tonight’s back-to-back airing of TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2.
SYFY - 9:00 PM: With a title like STONEHENGE APOCALYPSE you’d think it was a high quality TV movie, right? Too bad the movie wasn’t aware it was a parody.
CBS - 8:00 PM: Tonight THE 64TH ANNUAL TONY AWARDS is the show most networks are not even trying to compete against.
HBO - 9:00 PM: I won’t be watching the TONY’s at all tonight because I’m all about the premier of TRUE BLOOD.
AMC - 10:00 PM: JESSE is on the run and WALT tries to negotiate a deal for their safety on the season finale of BREAKING BAD. Perfect for post TRUE BLOOD viewing.
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