Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reflections on "Reality" TV

So last night I am not ashamed to admit (ok, I am slightly embarrassed) that I watched the season premiere of “John and Kate Plus 8”. Myself and 9.5 million other Americans tuned in to see Kate find a way to systematically excise her husbands testes yet again. For several seasons we have watched as Kate has morphed into this harping banshee who obviously loves the limelight more than her kids or the security of her marriage. And like everyone else out there, I have watched it all with mouth agape and eyes wide. It seems like she couldn’t possibly belittle her husband any worse…and then she finds a way. It’s almost painful to watch, but like an accident on the freeway, you can’t seem to look away.

While the stress and hardships of raising 8 children is obviously difficult and would test any marriage regardless of how strong it was, it seems that Kate acts unnecessarily mean to her husband. It seems to me that this is not the smartest idea because that man is the only other human being legally obligated to share in the prison of procreation that they have created. I can’t help but feel bad for those kids as they now see their miserable father retreat from the limelight and from his wife. It kind of seems that for the sake of ratings no one is intervening. If anything, it is being encouraged by the channel as they shamelessly promote the painfully uncomfortable situation. While the kids are being raised by nannies and two absent parents the rest of the world watches.

At least for shows like “Daisy of Love” EVERY train wreck of a human being has willingly signed up to expose themselves and their desperation for fame. The 8 children that are bring drug through this media circus are unknowingly being thrust into the front line of this entire clusterf#$@ of a situation. Because this family has willingly thrust their lives into the public eye they have knowingly opened themselves up to the criticism and repercussions of fame. While Kate claims to have done the show to document the lives of her children and to show other parents that they are not alone, it seems as though she really only did this show for fame and approval…and really isn’t that the only reason anyone willingly signs up for reality TV? The most disturbing part was watching as Kate’s husband, who seemed largely unaffected by the hell that his wife has created for his family, hint at not-so-subtly at their pending divorce proceedings, while Kate cried in disbelief on a separate couch. If she and her husband can not be in the same interview room together it should not be a huge shock that her husband wants out.

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