You'd have to be living under a rock to not see the marital strife engulfing this couple, and it was clear and present in the episode. Kudos to TLC for showing the truthful discomfort of a TV couple at a crossroads, but in the end, their pain was obvious and honest, and it just made me feel sad.
I watched the episode with my husband, and I found that when it was over, I just wanted to hug my son a little tighter and work harder on my own marriage. I felt guilty for being a welcome voyeur into this family's pain. I also managed to make a mental note to avoid being on a reality TV show at any cost. (With the possible exception of "Rock of Love" ... I kid!)
It's easy to demonize Kate -- after all, that's what sells tabloids -- but anyone who's been in a marriage stressed to its limit recognizes the uncertainty and pain looming divorce can bring. We don't all have reality TV shows and book tours in addition to raising multiple kids stressing our marriages, but for the moment, I felt compassion for Jon and Kate.
The masterminds at TLC did the impossible: humanizing the tabloid monster. Who knows if her tears were real, an onion could have been just slightly off-camera, but I actually felt bad for her, fame-whoring tendencies and all. Kate seems so alone. It seems like the TV crew has become her social circle; she tries to make them laugh, she confides in them, she references the show again and again.
She may get her own show, with her white teeth, her spray tan, her bodyguard, and her piles of money in her big house with all her kids -- and it may be a crazy life, but it seems like an empty life. A life I won't be watching.
|Diane Mizota is an accomplished TV host, actor, writer and producer who began her career as a professional dancer. She is a first-time mom who currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and toddler son.|