Monday, November 17, 2008

Boston Herald Article

Do you think Jon and Kate are doing their children favors?

Read about one reporter who doesn't at the Boston Herald.

‘Jon & Kate’ are doing their children no favors
By Mark A. Perigard

TLC’s favorite fertile couple renews their vows tonight.

But this wedding may have some viewers raising objections.

s the episode opens, the Gosselin clan - parents Jon and Kate, twins Mady and Cara and the 4-year-old sextuplets - are vacationing in Maui.

The parents hammer out a renewal ceremony. The girls go for pedicures. Jon meets with relatives he hasn’t seen in several years.

Even by “Jon & Kate” standards, it makes for a slim show.

Why do the couple feel the urgent need to renew their vows after only nine years of marriage? Kate tells the camera that she wants her kids to know that while not all moms and dads stay together, she and Jon are forever.

As the ceremony later demonstrates, not even the oldest girls understand the ceremony’s significance, and the youngest surely will forget it.

This cynic is forced to conclude the “wedding event” is a way to capitalize on a free vacation in Maui.

“Jon & Kate” has become increasingly about the freebies the Pennsylvania family can gather. The visits to increasingly far-flung destinations are nothing more than travel infomercials, with the kids as adorable props. Jon’s morning on a golf course here is a chore to the eyes, but he dutifully plugs the management in his armchair confessional.

If we’re rewarding people on the basis of fertility, shouldn’t the prizes go to the least blessed?
Yes, it’s kind of horrible the way Kate talks to Jon as if he’s one of the 4-year-olds.

As he samples wedding cakes tonight, Kate tells the wedding planner, “I’ll try what he decides. And then I’ll argue, if he decides wrong.”

But as my favorite relationship coach - that would be Judge Judy - would say, he picked her.

Save your concern for the children.

Mady, for example, almost has a meltdown when her mother expects her to be her maid of honor. Is she just another reality show witch? No, she’s just an 8-year-old, having a perfectly normal moment for a child - that is being broadcast to millions of homes.

The younger kids have been trailed by cameras for almost their entire lives. What does that do to a child’s perception of the world and his or her importance in it?

The kids might not mind the cameras following them now, but they’ll probably feel differently in about 10 years when their high school classmates can download footage of their potty training to their iPods.

Imagine having all your worst moments from childhood available to anyone who wanted to see them for the rest of your life.

That’s what the Gosselin children face.

Maybe it’s time for Jon and Kate to drive the cameras out of the home for some quality family time.