Tuesday, 24 Mar 2009
I am not going to badmouth Jon & Kate. I think there are a number of issues there, just like there are in most families, but they’re going to need to work those out for themselves. So,
Dear Jon & Kate Plus 8’s PR rep and TLC,
I have been a fan of the show for quite some time. I enjoyed it because, as I raise my own little kids, it’s interesting to see how other families handle tantrums, meals, and just the day-to-day work of raising kids. While I knew it wasn’t a full snapshot of their lives, I appreciated the realism that was there.
As the show gained popularity, we began to see more and more product placements, special outings and comped vacations. Although I couldn’t necessarily relate to having VIP treatment at DisneyWorld, it was fun to see the kids enjoy the magic of the parks. The trips they took felt reasonably genuine.
This season, however, has felt like one giant ad. The kids are trotted out in their matching outfits to sporting events, theater, day trips and even full vacations. We see them less and less at home, and even when they’re there, one or both parents seems to be missing. Mady and Cara might as well have moved out on their own for as much as we see them. Instead of watching the trials and joys of a “normal” family, it now feels like we’re watching Gene Simmons Family Jewels (with Kate starring as the entrepreneurial rock god himself).
I get that it’s a lucrative proposition. Getting “real” people (rather than true celebs) to mention your product/hotel/amusement park is appealing. But here’s the thing, the fans aren’t stupid. We know when you’ve snuck in a poorly placed Allstate “ad” (that was shameless, by the way) and we know that no matter how much the family raves about this resort or that, we won’t have nearly as grand an experience. And at some point, it just gets boring. And insulting. At some point, we start to feel that, by virtue of having so many kids, Kate has reached a height of popularity such that she doesn’t actually need to spend time with them. Now she can afford her non-nanny as she jets around the country doing another book signing or speaking engagement.
It is time that all of you realize that we’re losing interest. What was compelling about the show is nearly gone and we keep watching in the hopes that it will come back. Sure, the kids are still adorable, but we barely get to see their personalities between photo opportunities. Get it together, TLC. Work on your brand image, PR Agent. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself without an audience.
A Past Fan.
Oh, and P.S. Can somebody PLEASE get Mady some counseling? The poor girl obviously is not ideally suited to be in such a large family and acts out as a result.