It's a JOB, not an Adventure

Administrative Note: This blog entry was originally published almost three months ago, long before the blog was so busy and had so many readers. Many of you may have missed it at the time. I think it's particularly relevant now that there is a heightened interest in these issues being taken by several different areas of the media.

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Some people defend the protracted hours spent by the Gosselin children on the studio set permanently installed in their home by claiming that "they are just living their normal lives and cameras happen to be there". I would like to challenge that.

It is NOT like the children are merely living their normal lives and the cameras just tag along in the background, whirring silently away. Not by a long shot; if that were the case they would never have been able to piece together 30-40 coherent, streamlined episodes this past season. Probably more like 40-50 next season.

It is a production, with a rigorous schedule that must be followed to meet deadlines. There is a crew to coordinate, episode themes to create, scenes planned, staged, and shot. Many things can happen to force re-shoots -- the scene didn't go as required (lighting or sound issues), a child didn't cooperate, production changed their ideas mid-stream and decided to go in a different direction, etc.

Regular viewers often note discrepancies IN scenes and BETWEEN scenes that indicate re-staging of events to get seamless camera angles for example. The children LIVE on a production set. Why do you think there are child labor laws for professional child actors? Child advocates in the industry know full well how stressful it is to be involved in filming a production -- even a so-called "candid" production -- and demanded reasonable working conditions for minors. Conditions that the Gosselin children are denied.

The children don't even get to retreat to their own home for a safe haven -- they have to wait until production decides they have what they need for the day and then clear out. When they have an impacted colon, or a double ear infection, filming must go on because there is that production schedule always, always hanging over their heads.

No, it is far from benign and innocent. Children in situations like this need the same sort of protection that their professional peers have. Obviously they can't rely on their own parents or the production crew to give a damn about their rights. I won't even go into the issue of Coogan Law that doesn't apply here to protect the children's earnings. Do they even get any money? Or does it all line Jon and Kate's pockets? If the children are getting paid, is anyone legally required to shelter it? Nope, and I personally don't trust Jon and Kate to do so.

60 comments:

WatchOverThem said...

I think it's very easy and comfortable for many viewers to sit and watch these shows with no discernment. I am more likely to watch with more interest in how and why the shows happen, and what it takes to keep a production like this going for years on end. I think of the toll it takes on all involved as well as life-changing procedures that must happen to produce such a show. It is very easy to forget about the "fourth wall". Reality television production doesn't want the viewer to think about the fourth wall. But the wall is there in every single thing we see as viewers. What is the fourth wall? A staff of production, sound and camera people with all of their lights, cameras and equipment. It also includes all of the planning, scheduling and re-shooting of episodes gone bad. Let's also remember how the fourth wall removes peace and sanctuary from the home environment and every activity filmed and prompts activities that may not otherwise be done, for the sake of 40-50 episodes a year.

Anonymous said...

Excellent comment. Anyone who has seen movies or TV shows produced knows that hours of taping, staging, and reshooting go into even a half hour show. It's not Dad's home movies here. Bright lights, big cameras, boom mikes, directors, production assistants--this is not reality. The tups have never known another life, but this level of production is not normal for small children, aside from child actors who have are subject to rules about how much time they spend in front of the camera. Get these kids a SAG card and some legal protections. There's a notion that the show is not intrusive in these kid's lives, but it's wrong. Jon and Kate know what's involved. How much time do they spend on the confessional couch to get a few minutes of usable tape? Kate says the bright lights bother her--well, Kate, who invited all of this into your home--(and who are you to say no to all the gifts and benefits)? Just more duplicity on this foolish woman's part.

Anonymous said...

While watching the J & K + 8 Family Movie Night episode rerun, there is a segment that I found interesting but yet disturbing. The particular segment shows Cara sitting at her desk in the morning doing her homework then a couch confessional where J & K make an attempt to explain and justify why Cara's homework was not completed the night before. They state that because of THEIR busy schedule they often times fail to take the time to check the twin's homework to make sure it has been done. Cara herself in this episode in response to her dad said, 'sometimes I finish it on the bus'. Jon asks her if she is finished with her bagel and if she is going to eat breakfast or work on her homework, she replies work on her homework. I found it very disturbing that J & K openly admitted to being too busy to monitor the twins homework and equally disturbing that this seven year old was working on her homework in the early morning among constant interuption and said she has completed her homework on the school bus on the way to school. Not only is this child being subjected to the invasion of a camera crew and hectic filming of J & J + 8 but her own parents are so caught up in their own self serving agenda and busy schedule that monitoring their own child's school work falls as a minimal priority on their daily 'things to do ' list. Its even more disturbing that J & K would ALLOW the intrusion of the camera and production crew to distrupt Cara while she was trying to finish her homework . A school bus isnt the environment a seven year old should be doing her homework either ! I guess J & K are way too busy deciding on the next freebie to accept and counting their 'love offerings' to involve themselves in the twins education. It's all just very SAD, so so very SAD.

cardamom said...

This is the post that originally really got me thinking about the Gosselin children's situation. The more I thought about it, the more I was against the existence of this show (and other shows liike it). There are no laws to protect these children--from amount of hours filmed to the money generated by the show. They do not in any way have a "normal" childhood environment--they live on a tv production set with harsh lighting and cameras in their faces 3-4 days a week--and according to Kate, year-round, with very few breaks. If they go on an outing or "vacation", more often than not, a tv crew accompanies them. I wonder how many days of their short lives have been spent at home, with just mom and dad -- no "helpers" or tv crew around?
If J&K stopped the show and were honest about their financial situation and people still want to give them trips, services, things, or money--fine. If people want to pay them to speak at their events -- that's their business. It's the exposure and exploitation of the children that I cannot understand or justify.
People might say, "well it's up to the parents (J&K) to decide what's best for their children." I disagree. Children are not property or commodities to be used by parents as they see fit, IMO. If society sees something that it feel is wrong, it has the right to speak out. Laws are enacted presicely because people can't always be trusted to do the right thing.

Ravello said...

I saw a reality show tape, the Biggest Loser and was shocked at the number of retakes and how long it took to get the shot the way the production people wanted.

I cannot imagine with 8 kids involved how many times a scene is reshot to get the right angle, lighting, etc.

It is just ridiculous to think how these kids are being raised.

Amber said...

I found an article, in which Bill Hayes of F8F actually admits that they don't just film life as it occurs, they brainstorm scenarios to film.

He says Even though it's a reality series, there are still brainstorming sessions at Figure 8 for developing story lines.

"Our subjects are in on the joke," Hayes says. "We consult them about what stories we're going to tell, and how we're going to tell them, so that they're comfortable with it. They're more trusting, they're more open, they're more honest."

And, of course, in a situation like this, stuff just happens.

"Sometimes, we won't even plan for an episode," Stocks says, "but we're up there shooting something, and something else happens, and the next thing you know, we have another episode on our hands. We never have to manufacture chaos. It just happens on its own."

The link is
http://www.newsobserver.com/105/v-print/story/1003892.html

Anonymous said...

"they are just living their normal lives and cameras happen to be there."

This statement frustrates me to no end. It is so untrue and I cannot understand why some people can't see it. Are they really that blind? Are they in denial? I just don't get it.

When a family of 10, who we KNOW was struggling financially before the show, goes from not being able to pay utility bills to traveling to a new place of entertainment every weekend, going on lavish vacations, wearing all name brand clothing, and eating a mostly organic diet, this is no longer them living their 'normal life.' If it weren't for this show, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be doing ANY of that.

Another clue that they are not living their normal lives is the product placement. The V-Motion "commericial" that Kate did in the last episode brings this point home better than any other that I've seen. That is NOT living your normal life; that is being a walking/talking advertisement.

After that episode aired, I thought about the answer on their web site to the question about their dream vacation. Kate mentions that being a trip where they would retrace Jon's footsteps from the time just before he met Kate. That is rumored to have been a backpacking trip across Europe. I imaged future episodes of Jon & Kate Plus 8 featuring their family of 10 backpacking across Europe. Probably taking place over the course of an entire summer. All expenses paid. No one has to work. No one has to pay bills. Just go to Europe and have fun and we'll be there with our cameras EVERY step of the way.

That is NOT living your normal life. A normal family with two parents and eight kids, from Central PA, where neither parent works, would NOT be able to go to Europe like that. It just wouldn't happen. We have two kids and my husband and I both work full-time and we can barely afford to go on a four-day mini-vacation every year and occasionally are forced to choose between paying the electric bill or buying groceries.

I really hope the Europe thing doesn't happen. Not because I'm jealous. I know that's what a lot of the show's supporters automatically conclude after someone makes a comment like that. It's because I FIRMLY believe these people, the kids in particular, are NOT living their lives as they normally would if the cameras weren't there and it's NOT right.

Please, someone explain to me why that's clear as can be to some people and completely incomprehensible to others.

Anonymous said...

I would hope the gosselin's do get to experience Europe with their children. What a wonderful experience.

I disagree about the it being terrible that they didn't get to check Cara's homework.

I am a teacher and I have PLENTY of wonderful working parents who from time to time get caught up in work/family life and "forget" to check or do homework.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to feel like I am watching a live cam of animals in a zoo.

Oh wait, these are not animals.....
animal would almost have more rights.....

Was the Truman Show based on a book?
If so, have we contacted the author?

former fan quinn said...

I think of the Truman show too lately when I watch this show! Remember when Truman's wife turned a conversation in the kitchen into a coffee commercial? Well, it's not far off from Kon.

I hope that these kids can get a normal childhood someday. Kon would probably say that this is normal to them. Well to that I would say "how very sad".

Anonymous said...

Come and listen to my story 'bout a chic named Kate
Poor woman, barely kept her family fed but somehow wanted EIGHT
Then one day she was workin on the eight
And up through her mind came an idea that was great!
(Reality TV, that is, Kate plus 8, black gold)

First thing you know, old Kates a millionaire
Friends said, move away from here
Said that Carolina was the place she ought to be
So she loaded up the van and they moved southerly, NC, that is, big houses ... and Figure 8s)

Well, now it's time to say goodbye to Kate and all her kin
They would like to snub folks for kindly dropping in
You're all invited back again to this locality
To pay for their hospitality
Freeloaders, that's what they call 'em now
Nice folks, Y'all come back now, hear?)

Laura said...

Anonymous said...
I would hope the gosselin's do get to experience Europe with their children. What a wonderful experience.

I disagree about the it being terrible that they didn't get to check Cara's homework.

I am a teacher and I have PLENTY of wonderful working parents who from time to time get caught up in work/family life and "forget" to check or do homework.

Sure, anytime anybody can travel Europe is great, but not when you cry poor and are begging people for donations to your childs college education.

As for the homework comment, J$K have been "caught up" in life for a number of years now. Its one thing to not get the homework done becaue of "life" happening, but they have been filming for almost
2+(?) years now.

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing when Cara was doing her homework at the last minute. In those early grades in school, the homework is usually pretty simple; but it's best to sit with them, and read over their instructions, etc...and watch them work on it. This is a real investment in how they learn, how attentive they will be to their studies and will give them a better day tomorrow when they get to school with their assignment done. When my grandson stays overnight with me we always go over that night's homework. I realize that they are busy and the house is more chaotic. But every one of them will have homework and the parents have to be more attentive. This also reminds me of the time that Kate mentioned that sometimes a day goes by and they think "Did I hug so and so today?" Just sheer numbers in the family shouldn't prevent you from knowing that. They are "busy" with things that are not benefitting their children. I also was not happy that when discussing Collin's droopy eyelid before going to the eye doctor...she wasn't sure which side of his face was affected. It's bad enough that she is that "inattentive"; but it's even worse that she aired that on TV. Shame on you, Kate.

Lore said...

lol, nice poem!

I agree, the vtech was too obvious. how the games were perfectly lined up and the camera went to them as she spoke of them.

I remember at first the only thing I noticed in the t.v was Juicy Juice...and I said to myself

''OK, they have juicy juice. It's a good juice and they need to get extra money from somewhere! Not a problem."

Then came all the gap clothes and all the other stuff...and all the fancy vacations. Now I see that they went to Maui in a future episode.

Blah! I don't think I'll ever be able to watch the show again.

Lore said...

Sorry bout the double post..but..they should rename the show

Jon and Kate Live a Luxurious Lifestyle While Dragging 8 Innocent Bystanders Around.
(donations required)

DasMaedchen said...

There is no way Kate would be able to handle a trip to Europe, free or not. She does not strike me as the type of person who is fun to travel with or someone who can truly appreciate ANY place she visits, let alone Europe. I imagine that traveling with Kate would be about the same as traveling with a moody irrational teenager. Not that all teenagers are moody/irrational, only some.

The Gosselins + Europe would be an absolute disaster...so that pretty much guarantees that it will be the subject of a future episode, doesn't it?

When the kids get older and become opposed to cameras in their faces (and bathroom!) all the time, Jon and Kate might face a revolt. Let's hope so.

I felt so embarrassed for Collin the other day when TLC advertised for the marathon and showed a clip of him saying "my hiney hurts!" over and over again. I'm sure THAT won't humiliate him when he is school age.
I know that home videos of myself as a child make me CRINGE and I cannot bear to watch them. I wonder what these children will think and feel the older they get.

I started off as a fan, but the longer this show goes on, the more sickening I find it. If they move here to NC, maybe I will see Kate out somewhere so I can smack her in her (well-coiffed) head. Jon too, in his hairplugged head.

SmartyQ said...

9/11/2008 2:48 PM Anonymous said... I would hope the gosselin's [sic] do get to experience Europe with their children. What a wonderful experience.
___________
Wonderful experience for whom? Nobody is going to use the term 'cultured' to describe Kon. Do you really think Kon will read anything about the places they would visit, could understand and convey the significance of what they would see? They can't even do that in the US.

As someone who has spent a great deal of time in Europe, I can tell you that I would not be pleased to have my thoughts about the rose windows at Chartres interrupted by eight bored, unruly children and two obnoxious, ignorant parents. I don't want to be enjoying a nice meal in my favorite restaurant in Madrid, Platerías Comedor, and have Kon and tribe invade it. Oh, I can just see Katie now. She'll be one of those who think if she just talks LOUDER in her language, the person listening will understand in his.

Moreover, I seriously doubt Jon, if he really did backpack through Europe, did so by himself. I'll bet he was part of a youth tour—watched over, protected and guided, and all paid for by his father. I'm confident Li'l Jon wasn't alone hiking hither, thither and yon in his authentic lederhosen and using his walking stick to brave the crags. I'm sure he had a group, a Eurail Pass, a credit card and a big stack of travelers checks.

Ya think Katie will be angry when she finds out they don't stamp your passport between EU countries?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I would hope the gosselin's do get to experience Europe with their children. What a wonderful experience.

I disagree about the it being terrible that they didn't get to check Cara's homework.

I am a teacher and I have PLENTY of wonderful working parents who from time to time get caught up in work/family life and "forget" to check or do homework."

Are you kidding? You are talking about working parents vs parents who sit home, take freebies and choose to do a reality show. They can't take time to help out their twins when they are struggling? Their own mother also can't let them into her tent in the rain. Sure it would be wonderful for kids to experience Europe, but then again, little kids may not even care and it could be wasted on them. Furthermore, why should their kids who have already had dozens of free trips and hundreds of freebies handed to them be more special or deserving than any other. IMO, this family is less deserving because they've already been given more than their fair share.

Anonymous said...

This was on Perez Hilton, it's a quote from the interview Kiersten Dunst did for this month's Harper's Bazaar.

On her trip to the Utah Cirque Lodge rehab:

“When you spend your entire life as a child actress, being told where to go and where to stand, you’re performing constantly for people. It definitely breeds the kind of person who’s dependent on other people’s approval. If I’d trusted myself and listened to myself all the times that I ignored myself, I would have been fine. But everyone has to learn their lesson, and now I’ve got it…" .

ThreeFarmers said...

You know, I don't remember any trips my family took before I was at least 7 or 8 years old. I don't know why J&K think that the tups are going to actually remember all these memories.

I went to school with a guy whose family was big travelers. The kid traveled the world before he was in high school. His Mom was a teacher and would haul he and his brothers to all these museums and anything remotely educational.

The guy turned into an extremely intelligent adult who has no interest in doing ANYTHING. He hates museums, doesn't care to travel, and wouldn't mind if he never experienced anything but golf courses for the rest of his life. He always complains about getting drug around to all these places when he was a kid. He's been divorced twice with both ex's complaining that he would never do anything with them and they were tired of going everywhere alone.

All that memory making can sure come back to bite you on the ass.

SmartyQ said...

DasMaedchen said... There is no way Kate would be able to handle a trip to Europe, free or not. She does not strike me as the type of person who is fun to travel with or someone who can truly appreciate ANY place she visits, let alone Europe. I imagine that traveling with Kate would be about the same as traveling with a moody irrational teenager. Not that all teenagers are moody/irrational, only some.

You know, DasMaedchen, I'm kinda warming up to the idea of Kon and tribe in Europe. Watch Katie melt down when she sees her first pissoir. Watch Katie get louder and louder as she screams 'Potty'* instead of 'WC' to a museum guard. Watch Katie come apart when the tups discover the bidet.

Watch Katie go to a cafe in Paris and order 'viande de cheval' because it sounds pretty. Watch everyone vomit when they find out it's horse meat.
___________
*Except in England where the museum guard will agree that Katie is, indeed, potty.

Ilovemykids said...

I am a teacher and I have PLENTY of wonderful working parents who from time to time get caught up in work/family life and "forget" to check or do homework.

That would be an excuse if Jon and Kate actually work. Since they do not work, they certainly have time to check their children's homework. Even parents that hold down multiple jobs find time to check homework.

Anonymous said...

When i was a child, I had no inteest in going anywhere. I was happiest at home. Traveling and outings are something that parents want: adults need an escape from the day-to-day drudgery during the week. The Gosselin children dont need a getaway. Jon and Kate don't work, so they definitely don't need a getaway. What's important is not experiencing new places; but getting to know parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins... The one adventure that I DID like as a child was hauling stuff to the dump lot. I was ecstatic at the dump lot. I liked to see what people threw away. The Gosselins couldn't haul their stuff to a land fill: the sponsors would never approve.

Anonymous said...

Just throwing this out there.....The taping for each show takes one day except for huge events like Disney, skiing, hawaii, etc. So most of the time the kids are taped one day out of 7 each week. I realize it's probably a full day for them but ,the assumption that there's a film crew there daily isn't true. I live near them and they film about once a week. They do the interview with J and K after bedtime so it's a very full day for all of them but, it's once a week. That does leave two parents home with them the rest of the week to do what they want.
As far as the money, they are supporting their children with it so I'm not sure why anyone expects them to be paid. I would hope that they are putting money away for college, for when the show ends, etc. But, ultimately they are using it to buy food, electric etc that benefits the kids too.
Not defending them so much as questioning why this is a point people continue to bring up. Kids on reality shows don't get paid, the family does. It's then used for family needs. It's the same as Little People, Big World. They redid their house twice now on the show and no one questions why the kids don't get paid? They get the benefit of a bigger home, a mom that can now sah with them etc. I hope you'll post this as I think there are some good points people are overlooking.

Serena said...

The taping for each show takes one day except for huge events like Disney, skiing, hawaii, etc. So most of the time the kids are taped one day out of 7 each week. I realize it's probably a full day for them but ,the assumption that there's a film crew there daily isn't true.

It's not an assumption. Kate said, on the show, that they have been being filmed 3-4 days a week, every week, since the tups were about 1 1/2. They are now almost 4 1/2, so that is 75% of their lives they have been in front of the camera more than they have had their privacy.

Kids on reality shows don't get paid

And THAT is the problem we are fighting. Child actors used to not get paid until enough people spoke out against it and laws were put into place to ensure that not only did those children get paid, but their money was protected by law so that they didn't turn 18 to discover they had nothing to show for all their work. Children in reality TV deserve no less. In fact I believe they deserve more because of how they are LIVING on a studio set with no safe haven to call home.

Lonnyswife said...

I just don't see any travel overseas working for the Gosselins at this stage.
I have lived overseas and traveled pretty extensively.
I seriously doubt the Colosseum is going to close down for a private family tour. Nor any other major attraction for that matter.
Additionally, many Europeans AND Asian countries for that matter, don't have a problem with us coming, spending our money and leaving. Some are warmer than others. They certainly don't need an excuse to find more fault with us (Americas) which I can tell you would happen after a Gosselin European Vacation.
My sister was very young during alot of the early traveling we did. She, to this day, will look at photos of herself (at about 4-5)and say: I don't remember being in Afghanistan. When did we go there? I was in the Khyber Pass? Did we actually swim in the Dead Sea?
Which is followed by:
Why did you guys do all that stuff when I was so little I don't even remember it?
My two cents.....................

Barbara in VA said...

I just have to respond to the anon poster up thread. These children most certainly do need to "get paid". That is that money does not need to go into their hot little kid hands each week or each month, but trusts should be set up for each and every one of those kids as individuals and the money generated should be deposited into those accounts. Without them there is no show. No one would tune in to watch the Kate badgers Jon AGAIN show. The entire point of contacting Mr. Petersen is because there are no laws protecting the children's right to their money in reality programming and there sure needs to be. These two parents would do anything, obviously, to attain and sustain a lifestyle they have no interest in working for and that includes spending every cent of the money they get from Figure 8 and the poor, misguided regular folks who dig into their wallets at these "speeches". I can just picture a family who is worried about paying this winter's heating bill putting a 20 into a collection plate at a church for these two con artists. It really pisses me off no end.

Anonymous said...

Serena said...

The taping for each show takes one day except for huge events like Disney, skiing, hawaii, etc. So most of the time the kids are taped one day out of 7 each week. I realize it's probably a full day for them but ,the assumption that there's a film crew there daily isn't true.

It's not an assumption. Kate said, on the show, that they have been being filmed 3-4 days a week, every week, since the tups were about 1 1/2. They are now almost 4 1/2, so that is 75% of their lives they have been in front of the camera more than they have had their privacy.


I believe that is another instance of Kate exaggerating, either on her own or convinced by the producers, to con the viewers into thinking the show is something it really isn't. There is no way a trained, professional TV crew would need to shoot that much footage just to get the flitting snippets that make up each show. The bean-counters would never stand for it. I worked in post-production for 5 years for another, similar cable network, and also for independent producers. Trust me, what Kate said can't be factual.

Lonnyswife said...

Anon10:16 does make a valid point about Kate exaggerating the actual time spent filming.
We know she has done this on other ocassions ( what was the deal during cupcake gate? She didn't want to spend 6 ( or some other goofy #) hours changing dirty clothes.
Again just one of several symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
Exaggerates achievements and talents

Anonymous said...

Serena said...

The taping for each show takes one day except for huge events like Disney, skiing, hawaii, etc. So most of the time the kids are taped one day out of 7 each week. I realize it's probably a full day for them but ,the assumption that there's a film crew there daily isn't true.

It's not an assumption. Kate said, on the show, that they have been being filmed 3-4 days a week, every week, since the tups were about 1 1/2. They are now almost 4 1/2, so that is 75% of their lives they have been in front of the camera more than they have had their privacy.

I believe that is another instance of Kate exaggerating, either on her own or convinced by the producers, to con the viewers into thinking the show is something it really isn't. There is no way a trained, professional TV crew would need to shoot that much footage just to get the flitting snippets that make up each show. The bean-counters would never stand for it. I worked in post-production for 5 years for another, similar cable network, and also for independent producers. Trust me, what Kate said can't be factual.
==============
There is a quote from Jen Stocks, the producer/director, in the article referenced above. She states "We shoot, basically, about three days a week with them."

Anna

SmartyQ said...

9/12/2008 7:13 AM Anonymous said... Just throwing this out there.....The taping for each show takes one day except for huge events like Disney, skiing, hawaii, etc. So most of the time the kids are taped one day out of 7 each week. I realize it's probably a full day for them but ,the assumption that there's a film crew there daily isn't true. I live near them and they film about once a week.
I counted the girl tups wearing three different outfits on the camp out episde. If Figure8 is filming in one day, we're reaching the point of calling the children's clothes changing 'costume changing.'

As far as the money, they are supporting their children with it so I'm not sure why anyone expects them to be paid. I would hope that they are putting money away for college, for when the show ends, etc. But, ultimately they are using it to buy food, electric etc that benefits the kids too.
I'm sure TLC is paying their electric bills and their food. They pay for every trip and most of the children's clothing is free. Kon shop with TLC credit cards. It's a sweet life for the parents.

Not defending them so much as questioning why this is a point people continue to bring up. Kids on reality shows don't get paid, the family does. It's then used for family needs. Are the checks made out to the Gosselin Family Trust? I doubt it. Even in Bizarro world, Katie's not going to let go of her control over the children. They will have to beg for every nickle.

It's the same as Little People, Big World.
No, it's not.

Anonymous said...

It's not an assumption. Kate said, on the show, that they have been being filmed 3-4 days a week, every week, since the tups were about 1 1/2. They are now almost 4 1/2, so that is 75% of their lives they have been in front of the camera more than they have had their privacy.

Actually on an episode at Beth's house they talk about how they film about once a week and what a long day it is for them as they wait til the kids are in bed to do the interviews. There is just no possible way that each episode is done over 3-4 days and they don't produce more than 52 episodes a year so ....it's about once a week. I don't think once a week of them all "working" is so bad when you figure it means that they have two sah parents the rest of the week.

Anonymous said...

How many Gosselin show viewers have been to Europe, or to Hawaii, or have traveled across the country to go skiing. Maybe the producers of the Gosselin show have done research on how wealthy the typical viewer is. Would the Gosselin's extensive travel make them out of touch with the typical viewer? I can't relate to their lavish lifestyle. I would like to see them spend time at a roller skating rink. Maybe there could be an episode where the Gosselins donate clothes and shoes the kids have outgrown to thrift stores. There could be a yardwork episode: the chidren could rake leaves. There could be an indoor chore episode. The children can bring dirty dishes and silverware to the sink after dinner. They can wipe the dining room table and sweep the kitchen floor.

sabrinasmom said...

I would like to see them spend time at a roller skating rink.

They did do that - the whole skating rink was emptied for their benefit.

sweep the kitchen floor

They have shown that - actually Kate just "bought" brushes and dustpans for all the kids. That very same episode showed the Gosselins loading up on camping gear, that in the same breath Kate admits they will never use again - to go camping anywhere other than their backyard. Realistic and relatable indeed.

A few nights ago - the episode with the "Tumble Bus" was on - it was cute and interesting, but I would have enjoyed it more if Kate didn't say "you pay per child" - come on. Be honest. Kate didn't pay for anything. What's coming up next - the trip to the "first live show" where they get "VIP" treatment. Has anything been but VIP?

IMO, this show is not relatable to a lot of its viewers. In the state of this economy this show is actually an insult to the families, large and small who don't know if they are going to have a roof over their head in a month.

This show doesn't relate on a whole other level - how many families, people in general, have had to resort to cutting out all the the little extras in their lives? Cable television, cell phones, computers and internet service?

Someone once posed the question about what makes the Gosselins different from the Miley Cyrus(es) of the world? My opinion - those people don't pretend that they are not rich. They don't mislead the public in thinking that the fun things they do are because "they save".


I don't begrudge the Gosselins their material "things" - I just dislike the route they had to take to get them.

cardamom said...

I just saw a THS! on E about the Osbournes. The producer of that show said they filmed 16 hours a day for approx. six months to get enough footage for their first season (which consisted of a 1/2 hour weekly show).
Based on what Jen Stocks and Kate Gosselin have both said in separate interviews, they film 3-4 days a week (one day set aside for the couch interviews), with a few weeks off during the year.
Also, I have a close relative who works in the production end of a cable network "news" type of show. She says that they often need to film many hours of an event in order to get enough usuable footage for the editors to work with.
I don't really know how many days the production crew films the Gosselins (I'm not there and do not have first-hand information). However, based on several sources, I would venture to say that they are more than likely filmed more than one day a week. My guess is that the Pittsburg zoo trip had to be filmed over a a two-day period, for instance. The road trip to Pittsburg from where they live probably took too long to spend enough time at the zoo in one day.

Linda said...

Anonymous said...

"It's not an assumption. Kate said, on the show, that they have been being filmed 3-4 days a week, every week, since the tups were about 1 1/2. They are now almost 4 1/2, so that is 75% of their lives they have been in front of the camera more than they have had their privacy."

"Actually on an episode at Beth's house they talk about how they film about once a week and what a long day it is for them as they wait til the kids are in bed to do the interviews. There is just no possible way that each episode is done over 3-4 days and they don't produce more than 52 episodes a year so ....it's about once a week. I don't think once a week of them all "working" is so bad when you figure it means that they have two sah parents the rest of the week."


I believe that it was on the 'viewers want to know' segment that Kate talked about filming 3-4 days a week. I guess it becomes difficult for Kate to keep track of what she said to whom and when.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! This family, from my state, turned down the opportunity to live a Gosselin like experience.
I'm certain she could use the money with THAT many kids, But still she says no.

Mother Of The Year is you ask me.
http://www.thebodiebunch.blogspot.com/

Figure 8 please don't jump on this.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the brushes and dustpans are for the Gosselin's servants.

Leanne said...

I would like to challenge the comment that this season had "30-40" episodes. Perhaps there have been 30-40 episodes total, but definitely not in a season which airs one NEW show per week.

ThreeFarmers said...

I actually hear that the upcoming season was to have 40 episodes. But who knows at this point.

Anonymous said...

Anon said: I would hope the gosselin's do get to experience Europe with their children. What a wonderful experience.
____________

The Gosselins are not educationally, culturally, or intellectually equipped for or worthy of this experience. We do NOT need Kate making a spectacle in France, Germany or anywhere in Europe. The majority of Americans are fish out of water in Europe and have no idea of how to assimilate even slightly to learn and experience the place and culture. Kate in Europe would be a disgrace. I hate her in Pennsylvania and I'd be ready to slap her in Europe.

Serena said...

I would like to challenge the comment that this season had "30-40" episodes. Perhaps there have been 30-40 episodes total, but definitely not in a season which airs one NEW show per week.

There is a complete Episode List in our sidebar.

Season 1: 8 episodes
Season 2: 12 episodes
Season 3: 33 episodes
Season 4: 15 episodes (so far)

TOTAL: 68 episodes aired between 04/2007 and 10/2008.

At least a dozen of those have been two-parters, so do the math and you have 80 30-minute episodes in a mere 18 months.

That is OBSCENE.

Lonnyswife said...

Anonymous said...
Maybe the brushes and dustpans are for the Gosselin's servants.
9/12/2008 6:22 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~And they are named Colin, Joel, Alexis, Hannah, Aeden and Leah.
Did Mady and Cara get dust pans?
Somehow I doubt it!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kate-"Mady, here's your dustpan!!!!
Mady-"Screw you and the horse you rode in on!"

Barbara in VA said...

Yeah, that's all we need, the ultimate "ugly American" over in Europe complaining and bitching and giving her opinions of ruins. Maybe they should be cleaned up a bit before the G's get there? No, these are not people who would either appreciate what Europe has to hold in terms of culture or who would blend in and not make a complete spectacle of themselves. They want to be noticed; they think they are entitled to special treatment. I don't think we need them as representative of the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

"The Gosselins are not educationally, culturally, or intellectually equipped for or worthy of this experience."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sorry, but that's just elitist tripe. There are no rules that say you have to know this much, or have experienced this much, or have a certain IQ level, to travel in Europe.

What makes someone "worthy" to travel in Europe, aside from having a passport and the means to get there? How is someone going to ever become "worthy" by your standards if they don't have the opportunity to go to European countries and experience the culture?

Is Kate an ignorant person? Absolutely. But I think if you took a poll of the average tourist vacationing in Europe, you'd find that she's really not too far off the norm. If European countries banned people of less experience and cultural understanding, they'd lose billions in tourist money every year, not to mention gain a reputation for being snooty, elitist pricks.

A family (yes, even the Gosselin family, even Kate) traveling through Europe to landmarks and museums is no worse and I'd say a great deal better than college kids backpacking from European city to European city just for the joy of getting plastered in foreign pubs and clubs.

Barbara in VA said...

No, I was one of those kids on a tour in Euorpe -- twice, and believe me we did not demand the kind of things I think Kate would demand. We were completely unassuming and very able to go with the flow -- not something our Katie is known for. Do you really think she would backpack or be happy to rub elbows with the locals like we were? Come on. I am many decades from being a teenager anymore but I remember well how all us enjoyed the experiences of going along to get along -- again not a Kate thing. I can believe Jon could assimilate but never HER.

SmartyQ the Elitist said...

"The Gosselins are not educationally, culturally, or intellectually equipped for or worthy of this experience."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
9/14/2008 8:28 AM Anonymous said...
Sorry, but that's just elitist tripe.

A family (yes, even the Gosselin family, even Kate) traveling through Europe to landmarks and museums is no worse and I'd say a great deal better than college kids backpacking from European city to European city just for the joy of getting plastered in foreign pubs and clubs.


The college kids have a great excuse: they're young and free of obligations. Moreover, they don't frequent the cultural landmarks, museums, et al. My time at, say, the Alhambra, has never been interrupted by a bunch of drunken college students singing bawdy songs. My contemplation of Michelangelo's Pietà has never been accompanied by the sound of someone hurling.

So what's Katie's excuse gonna be when eight bored children with boundless energy invade Europe? Will she plead eight? Of course, if Kon follow in Jon's young adult footsteps, all they will be doing is experiencing the joy of getting plastered in foreign pubs and clubs. I could live with that, but I'll bet the college students will be very unhappy.

Anonymous said...

I think about the future. Jon and Kate bring out the worst in me.


Five years from now. A Friday evening somewhere in North Carolina.

Kate: OK kids, we’ve got to get packed and organized. On Monday, we’re leaving for Missouri to see the world’s largest ball of string.

A twin: But Mom. We’ve got school on Monday.

Kate: Forget school. We’re going to see that ball of string. We’ve got television, uh memories, to make.

The other twin: I’m not going. It’s stupid. Why can’t we be like other kids? Why do we keep going on these dumb trips? I’m not going!

Kate: Oh yes you are, missy. We’re got taxes on our mansion and the horses are expensive. Who do you think pays for all of this? Figure Eight? (Puts hand quickly over mouth.)

Jon (entering the room): OK, Kate. I cleaned the stable, cut the grass, and ironed 40 matching outfits. I’m tired. I’d like to watch TV.

Kate: We don’t watch TV! Hello! (Body slams Jon to the floor). Where are the little kids? Did you give them all a bath?

Jon: They’re nine years old! Can’t they do some of this stuff themselves?

Kate: Hello! Think about our fans. They don’t want the kids to grow up. Go empty the potties.

(Jon crawls out of the room.)

The other twin: I’m not going to Misery.

Kate: It’s Missouri, not Misery. What’s wrong with you? Didn’t you learn anything while I was home schooling you? Why don’t you speak proper like me?

The other twin: You never taught us anything because you weren’t here. Jenny took care of us. Then Martha. Then Susie. Then Bridget. Bridget broke her arm skydiving with us in Arizona. She said you pushed her out of the plane. Now nobody comes to the house anymore expect strangers who look in our windows.

A twin: We have to go to school next week. We miss so many days of school. I like school. It’s quiet there. Why don’t we have friends and relatives like other kids?

Kate: It’s your father’s fault. Blame him. I do. By the way, I want everyone to wear an inspirational t-shirt on the plane to Missouri. Pick the one about persecution.


A ‘tup boy (standing in the doorway): Why do we have to go on a plane again? Airports are icky.

Kate: Boys are icky! These trips keep the organic food on the table! Stop complaining. (Face contorts. Glares into camera.) Everybody’s against me. Missouri better have good spas.

Jon (crawls into room.): OK. Everyone’s bathed. Let’s have a snack.

Kate: Nobody cared enough to donate organic snacks to us this week, so we’ll do without. Everybody’s going right to bed.

A ‘tup girl: I’m tired of sleeping in the barn. It smells worse than the house. Anyway, it’s only 6:00.

Kate: (Face turns red.) I don’t want to hear it. Your father and I have to tell our inspirational story tomorrow at a mega-church in Ohio. They’ve guaranteed mega love offerings. I’m so exhausted. I’ve got to get some sleep. On Monday we’re going to Missouri to see that blessed ball of string.

Another ‘tup girl: You’ve going to Ohio tomorrow? You forgot to tell us. We get lonely out here in the woods by ourselves, Mommy. (Trips on floor-length hair.) Ouch, I keep tripping on my hair. Why can’t I cut it?

Kate: You love your long hair. Boys can’t have long hair.

(The kids are yelling and crying now. Jon’s eyes gaze over and he starts banging his head against the wall.)

Kate: Stop that, Jon. Your hair plugs will get damaged and you won’t be cute anymore.
Why can’t everybody just try to make me happy? Nobody cares about me! (Sighs audibly.)

The other twin (mumbling): Maybe someone in Missouri will adopt us.

evileye said...

That was hilarious!

I also think that to enjoy Europe you don't have to be an elitist. I was once one of those students, and believe me amongst us there were plenty europeans too! I just came back from Switzerland, and I actually told my friends my friends about KON. They were amused. Multiples in Europe are rare. I think that doctors try to discourage fertility drugs until its the last resort. My euro friends all think its crazy that someone would take drugs, and give birth to 6 kids (especially when they have 2 already). For instance the Swiss birth rate has been lowering considerably for the past 50 years. Parents want to be able to care for just one or two kids without any outside assistance. Parents believe that their children are their responsiblity. I think the kids would be sweet in Europe, but I would be embarassed for Kate. She would be barking orders at the kids and Jon, freaking out about food on clothing, and I bet you she would be upset if people didn't speak english.

Not to knock Disney, because I love Disney, but Kate never went on a flight before her honeymoon and they decided to go to Disney? I don't know, if it was my honeymoon I would have wanted to go to the caribbean or a cruise, somewhere romantic. She seems so hick sometimes, and I feel bad for her. I think she didn't have many life experiences before Jon. I think she uses her own elitist ego to hide her insecurity. She doesn't know how to enjoy situations, so she acts like she is above it all so she can control the situation.

Anonymous said...

The college kids have a great excuse: they're young and free of obligations. Moreover, they don't frequent the cultural landmarks, museums, et al. My time at, say, the Alhambra, has never been interrupted by a bunch of drunken college students singing bawdy songs. My contemplation of Michelangelo's Pietà has never been accompanied by the sound of someone hurling.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So because Jon and Kate have obligations to their children, they're no longer allowed to travel and broaden their children's horizons? I know for Kate it's just for the show, but for Jon at least it will be for enjoying the same places he explored with his children, and the kids will learn a lot.

I'm really not concerned about the kids being bored and acting out. They're better behaved than Kate, and after seven trips to Disney World, one trip to Mexico, and another trip which included England, France, and Belgium, I can attest to the fact that when it comes to bratty tourist kids, the Gosselins don't even come close to registering.

You can't ban all families with small children from every European landmark and museum because one of them might cough loud enough, or speak loud enough, or cry loud enough to disturb your quiet contemplation. Tourist destinations are public places and everyone has an equal right to experience and enjoy them.

ThreeFarmers said...

Seriously, if they do go to Europe, I don't much expect them to get too far beyond Euro Disney.

Barbara in VA said...

Anon, your post about the G's in NC in the future was sooo funny (and sadly inevitable). I could just picture the scene as I was reading what you wrote. Good laugh to start my day. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"At least a dozen of those have been two-parters, so do the math and you have 80 30-minute episodes in a mere 18 months."

When you see it all laid out like that, it is outrageous the amount of emotional, physical, and mental, pressures that are being imposed upon on these children. Very young children at that! The scheduling demands, the long distance traveling, the disruption in routine (or absence of), to name a few in a very long list.
I fail to understand why anyone would be of the opinion that these children are NOT working!!! These children ARE indeed being exploited!

Manda said...

"At least a dozen of those have been two-parters, so do the math and you have 80 30-minute episodes in a mere 18 months."

That averages to 4.4 a month. One a week. Nonstop.

Even the lowest man on the totem pole gets a 2 week vacation a year.

Now the bigger question is how many hours did they have to shoot to get the aired footage? I've heard it's pretty hard to get a workable 22 mins worth airing - but of course from some of the junk we have seen lately, that's not a stretch of the imagination.

Anonymous said...

tonight at 10:00 is the hour long "trip to utah", I am going to watch so I can see "poor kate" when she wakes up with altitude sickness, lets Beth and her kid dress all the tups for the outdoors and then "miraculously" recovers in time for the spa! Wow, amazing...I have heard others say Beth gives her a really dirty look when they are at the spa.

Barbara in VA said...

I remember that, anon 2:22. I think Beth was onto her then if not before.

Anonymous said...

I think that dirty look from Beth at the spa was edited out on the rerun that i saw a few weeks ago. I was watching for it. :(

Jo Ann said...

We had the Extreme Home Makeover show filming nearby and the number of retakes they did for various scenes was a major eye-opener for many of us. If it takes numerous re-takes for them to come up with a "seamless" show. I can't imagine what it would be like for a reality show at the Gosselins.

I too have noticed Maddy's anger issues and it does worry me. And what is it with Alexia's sleeping in the basement? Can anyone answer that???

Anonymous said...

ANON said: You can't ban all families with small children from every European landmark and museum because one of them might cough loud enough, or speak loud enough, or cry loud enough to disturb your quiet contemplation. Tourist destinations are public places and everyone has an equal right to experience and enjoy them.
________________
The kids are not the problem. I think they are way too young to take a trip like this - long flight, totally unfamiliar place, not old enough to even know where they are, etc. The sole problem with a KON trip to Europe is Kate. She will be the one acting up, acting out, being horribly rude and ignorant. I lived in Europe for many years and I do NOT wish her on any Europeans. They will see her immediately for what she is and they will be offended and they will let her know they are, I can assure you. I will not watch if there are European episodes. They will not only make me violently ill, they will make me feel compelled to punch Kate one and I do not want to injure my hand or break my TV. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"I thought about the answer on their web site to the question about their dream vacation. Kate mentions that being a trip where they would retrace Jon's footsteps from the time just before he met Kate. That is rumored to have been a backpacking trip across Europe. I imaged future episodes of Jon & Kate Plus 8 featuring their family of 10 backpacking across Europe. Probably taking place over the course of an entire summer."

If the Gosselins do go to Europe, you can bet Kate will not be backpacking anywhere. Someone who requires the premiere resort life in Utah and Hawaii is NOT going to be riding trains on a Eurail pass, staying in hostels or B and Bs, and carrying around a backpack. No way, no how will we see arrogant, entitled Kate doing any such thing.