Okay, Gosselin family. I was going to give you up. You'd been crowding up my DVR, and remaining largely neglected. Ever since O. decided that he won't nap, I have to really prioritize which shows get watched. I feel a little guilty plopping him down in front of a show just so that I can watch some of my own in the middle of the day.
I've gotten a little tired of the departure from a show about what it's like to live day to day as a family with lost of kids and instead become an "adventure of the week" showcase. I would take all the resorts offering you vacations up on their offers, too, I would. But seeing all of you at an amusement park, posing for a photo shoot, in San Diego, or North Carolina, or hello, HAWAII does not help me get through a long afternoon and evening with two children under the age of four.
I used to be able to turn to you for a little "there, but for the grace of God" sanity. But now Jon's not working, and so there are two of you, plus the babysitters, plus the supervision of a film crew, and it feels a little too easy. I know. Eight kids, not easy no matter what.
But I've been finding myself getting critical of your parenting choices and attitudes. I can't stand to hear Kate say "boys are icky" one more time. Or watch Mady have a breakdown without wanting to call in a therapist. Since you are real people and not characters on a sitcom, that makes me feel uneasy. I understand that when you agree to have your life taped, you knowingly submit yourself to this kind of inspection, but I don't think I want to partake in it, because it's not healthy for anyone.
I still admire your ability to be real and upfront about the challenges of raising children, how you have admitted that it is hard and frustrating, and you let yourself yell at each other and sometimes the kids, even on camera. It would be easy to say that Kate is a bitch, and not acknowledge the way she visibly grows in so many ways right there for the country to see. For example, when she sucked it up and got in the water with those sea turtles, even though it was something she at first said she would not do. While it took a lot of courage to get in the water, I think it took even more to change her mind when she had said she wouldn't. In the end, the possibility of looking foolish while doing something that made her uncomfortable was something she was willing to do so that she could have an experience and expand her world view. In the process, she helped teach her children to do the same.
So, for that reason alone, I'm watching the renewal of the vows episode, even though it seemed like a stunt on the part of the producers, even though I was annoyed at how easily I fell for that manipulative "It's a Beautiful Day" commercial they've been pumping for the last two weeks with you holding hands and walking through the grass.
And now that I am, here is a scene with Joel, and he says "Jenny, you say I'm a big lump when I'm hiding" and she and some of the other kids play along, pretending not to see him under the covers, and he squeals with delight when they pull the covers back. This is O's very favorite game, played out right in front of me on television, exactly how he likes to play it "Mom, you say where's O., and what's this wump in my bed. But not yet, I have to be hiding first."
So, I watch because you are a real family, with kids like mine, except a lot more of them. So, although it makes me uncomfortable to participate at times, I am glad you share yourselves and your lives. Could you get back to more of these moments, though, please??
But Roloffs, we're through for sure. I don't know if it's your editors' fault, or if I've just lost interest, but there does not seem to be enough content for you to maintain a full series. As evidence, I present the episode where Matt did nothing but lie on a couch in Nashville, while Amy had to say the same voiceover "We're in Nashville to give a talk, and Matt is not feeling well" at least a dozen times. And looking at your messy house continues to just make me feel a little crazy.
Duggars, I am not even going to start you. I have nothing to say to you that will not make me feel like a horrible person, starting with the fact that Jinger is not even really a "J" name, and she comes awfully early in the birth order lineup to be resorting to weird spellings.
I think that's all for now.
PS: Dear producers of "Bringing Home Baby" Are you aware how awful it is that you prey on people that have NO idea what they are getting into when they invite you to share this experience with you? Can you please leave the struggling breastfeeding mommies alone so they don't have to try to hide their sore nipples from your cameras? And really, no one WANTS to hear the sound of a squalling newborn crying at three AM, even if they are watching television at 2PM.
PPS: Don't worry, my inappropriate involvement and interest in the lives of reality television stars does not end with your network. I've got plenty to say to those over at Bravo. It's still early in the season of Top Chef though, so the enthusiasm has not yet shifted to annoyance at the editors quite yet.