The Wedding Episode Struck a Journalistic Nerve

This episode has apparently struck a nerve. Here are two articles that ran today.

This national syndicate appeared in the Reading Eagle, a local paper in the Gosselin neck of the woods.

The Boston Herald ran this piece.

It would seem that the freebie train has some cars derailing.

Leis and Luaus - November 10 Recap

Leis and Luaus

Anyone care to guess how tempted I am to summarize this episode by writing, “The Gosselins took a vacation and got a lot of free crap. See all season four recaps for details.” and just call it a day ?

I know, I know…I can’t do that to you guys, but you get the idea. SSDD. It’s a vacation to remember, but still begs the question: Vacation from what? The last vacation? I just don’t know what these people have done that warrants a ‘vacation’ from anything. defines vacation as: “A period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation, especially one with pay granted to an employee.”, “leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure”, “a period in which activity or work is suspended”. So, you can see the problems all over that terminology.

The Gosselins are wrapping up their five day layover in San Diego that they needed to allow the kids to adjust to the time zone change on their way to Hawaii, and finally, they arrive in Maui where they are greeted with more people who are just happy to see them as well as a table full of crap at the Grand Wailea. Everyone gets lei’d and boy….
No…..OK…too easy there.

The immediate plans before this big farce of a second wedding ceremony are hula lessons and lei making for the girls and shopping for wedding shirts for the boys. This, much like the last episode, is shaping up to be a big honking flashing neon sign advertisement for the resort du jour, in this case the Grand Wailea. The Gosselins settle in to their awesome digs and Jon takes the twins to the waterslides while Kate and Jenny take the little ones to one of the many on-site pools. There’s a Lazy River on site, which no doubt works well for Kate. Leah proves to be quite the little swimmer. Of course, they all should be by this point after spending the last five months vacationing. It’s said that if Leah grew gills, she could be a fish. That could be applied to a lot of things with this family. For instance, if Kate grew a conscience, she could be a human. If Jon grew balls, he could be a respectable man. It will be ‘neat’ to be able to say Leah started swimming in Hawaii. Well, it was bound to happen somewhere, I say, as much as these kids have spent in pools, at beaches and resorts this summer.

Up next, Mady heaving and gagging. She’s turning into quite the Mini-Me of Kate, unfortunately. I so hope Jenny will act as a buffer for some of that so the child will learn there is a right way and a wrong way to go through life. Jon takes them to the beach and Mady is scared of the waves, but manages to make some friends along the shoreline which is a good thing to see. I’m glad Jon doesn’t shoo away every person who approaches his children. I’m sure the ever-constant cameras following these children around add some curiosity factor to their presence, but things like that little friend you made at the pool or shoreline that year at the beach are what childhood memories are made of. I hope when Mady grows up she retains those memories and finds joy in them, and her whole childhood isn’t summarized as ‘the cameras were always there’ or “Mom was afraid of attention seekers and didn’t let us make friends.” Sometimes there are just genuinely good people who pass through our lives. Some stay but some of those moments are fleeting but nonetheless valuable, and I hope Mady and the other kids have those memories.

The fun with friends that we see only lasts a few minutes, but I do hope the production team didn’t just show this time together for the sake of critics and allowed Mady to play with her new friends, perhaps without the cameras so they could all be at ease. We know what a grueling schedule they have to keep. Next shots show Jon and the girls on the water elevator that takes them to the top of the waterslides, and it’s back to grind, complete with more shrieking and protests by Mady. I think she’d be very happy back on the beach playing carelessly with her new friends and without cameras, but it’s just a feeling I get. I don’t think Mady likes these forced setups and obviously things she doesn’t care very much for all for the sake of getting the ‘money shot’, complete with a Mady meltdown. She knows it by now.

Later, the kids join Chef Eric and Natalie in the kitchen for baking and decorating cookies. Kate’s stressed over this, which is just shocking, don’t you think? I just can’t imagine Kate being stressed over something as simple as cookie decorating. Wait, oh yeah, I can.

Once again, Mady is banned from an activity, despite the fact they are making two batches of cookies; Mady Cookies and Cara Cookies. It’s just so sad how they have chosen to further exclude Mady and distance her from her siblings. I understand Mady. I know she is a troubled child and may be hard to deal with at times. The thing that baffles me is that they can’t see the why’s of that,this Catch 22 they find themselves in, afterall it is at their own hands that they have created this troubled child.

After all the cookies are made, with Jon assuming the role of Mady and making the batch of Mady Cookies, it seems they go out of their way to let it be known none of the kids wanted any Mady Cookies. Wonder why? Could it be that the parents have so ostracized Mady from the family that even the little kids want nothing to do with anything Mady? Very, very sad.

The family goes to eat dinner at a beautiful grass hut restaurant, where more PR for the Grand Wailea ensues. At this point, it’s really quite embarrassing to watch how they have sold their souls to this type of stuff. I take none of their compliments of the restaurant or the resort as a whole as genuine. It’s just part of the script now. Joel is pretty cute and genuine as he enjoys some lobster but that’s about as far as it goes.

The girls all go to make leis, and they really are very beautiful. We learn Cara lost a beloved stuffed animal in San Diego, “Slumber”, that she has had since she was three years old. We can all rest easy knowing that the resort they were at in San Diego found the cherished toy and happily shipped it back home to them in Pennsylvania. Another perk of being a big star I guess. While the girls are making leis, the boys go on a treasure hunt around the area. Joel finds a palm frond and pretends it is his very own mic, carrying it around just like his ever present buddies from the production crew do, hanging it over their heads. Yep, these kids are just your average little tykes. My four year old pretends he’s a dinosaur and these kids pretend they are television programming production crew. Nothing out of the ordinary about that.

Finally we get around to some hula lessons for the girls. Thankfully Mady isn’t banned from this activity and we see, once again, given the right circumstances and exposure, Mady can and will excel at the task at hand. She takes great pride on her accomplishments and relishes any and all praise she gets, usually from strangers hired to work with the family, but I imagine at this point, the child will take anything she can get to help that growing self esteem problem festering in her.

The boys take off for a little shopping. Jon has to pick up the shirt he ordered online before arriving in Hawaii, and they need to purchase shirts for the boys for the service. This whole excursion is basically another ad for Moonbow Tropics in Maui.

The whole family garners a front row seat for a luau that evening they all seem to enjoy. I’m a little shocked they didn’t get their own private luau but it’s good to let the kids see there are actually other people who coexist in the world with them. It looks like a fun evening for everyone and Mady gets an opportunity to go on the performance platform with some other kids from the crowd to show off her hula lessons. She did a great job and seemed to enjoy it.

Next up the whole family takes a catamaran trip out to snorkel and see sea turtles and other underwater creatures. This really looks like another fun day, but really, who couldn’t have fun in Hawaii? Of course, Kate is her usual hesitant self when it comes to actually getting in the water but she does it. The boat captain is really nice and funny and interacts well with the kids, engaging them often and letting them take turns driving the boat and Aaden helps prepare lunch. Jon makes a joke about throwing Kate overboard; yes, the woman he is about to recommit to. I don’t know about those kind of jokes from Jon. We’ve tried them in jest and they don’t blow over so well, so I’m not sure someone so close to her who knows her so well should either. The episode ends with Alexis quiet for a change, with her head buried in a boogie board that has a viewing circle made into it so she could see under the water surface without having to dive under.

Previews for the next episode show what is hopefully an end to this blatant advertisement for the Grand Wailea with finally this recommitment ceremony we’ve all been hearing so much about. After the last two episodes which were basically the same, change the name of the city and resort name and it’s basically the same old same old, I hope they’ll get this party started. This was quite honestly the most boring episode I have ever seen.

They needed to mix it up and throw in the threat of some dreaded tropical disease just for fun. I don’t know, something like “Dontwantus Gobacktoworkus” could be interesting. Ooops, too late, they’ve already contracted that. Must have been in Key West.

Submitted by Manda

Monday Nov 17 - For Better or Worse

Jon and Kate prove that they are more committed than ever to each other and their unique life together as parents of multiples. After almost ten years of marriage, Jon and Kate have a wedding vow renewal ceremony in Hawaii and you are cordially invited!

60 Minutes