Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jon and Kate Plus Hate

Full disclosure: I've never watched the show, but I get the whole premise of an otherwise sane couple mired in a litter of children and the poignant hilarity that follows. It's a prime example of that delicious subgenre of television that makes us all happy to live our lives and not the ones of these pseudo-celebrities. And the latest tabloid escapade to emerge from J&KP8 is that one or both spouses have been unfaithful.

While it should come as little surprise that the overexposure and unearned celebrity a family-based reality show would wreak havoc on said family, I still pity these people for having to endure all this on TV.

I firmly believe that signing up your loved ones for trial by network ratings involves some kind of "you get what you deserve" scrutiny. Making your lack of uterine and fertility drug judgment fodder for pop culture commentary seems especially fit for our desperate need to achieve 15 minutes of fame. But to drag your children into it as well? That's just cruel.

When Jon, Kate and their counterparts on other shows signed up, they were consenting adults. They might not have fully comprehended what they were getting themselves into, but at least they made an informed choice. At the same time, they'd be literally NO WHERE without their oh-so adorable multitude of children who had absolutely no ability to make their own decisions.

Their parents decided for the sake of publicity to exploit the fact they took the birthing option that didn't include selective reduction. Perhaps the failure of their marriage is just an inevitable side effect?

Meanwhile, these children will be thrust into an even greater level of public examination and dissection. If one so much as shoplifts a pack of gum, we will all have to hear about it on Oprah, the Today Show, et. al., ad nauseum.

I don't know the sextuplets' (and I think there's a set of twins) names, but I sincerely hope they are all able to rise about their parents' equally numerous set of bad decisions. You may say I'm a hater or simply an uncaring broad. I say, think about the damn kids before you expose them to the harsh limelight simply by existing, or before you sign a bunch of book deals, oh and before you go and sleep with someone who isn't your spouse. That might be a good idea too.