'Jon & Kate Plus 8' ends, 'Table for 12' begins

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The fourth-season finale of Jon & Kate Plus 8 was promoted as though there would be husband-and-wife fireworks (“It’s all been building to this!”) but, really, all that consisted of were a few moments of Jon saying, “I can’t just be Jon [in public] — I have to be ‘Jon and Kate Plus 8.’” And while Kate said he was “struggling” with this identity crisis, Jon Gosselin, to his credit, seemed a tad embarrassed to even be admitting on camera that “we don’t have privacy at all… it’s tough.” He’s smart enough to know that that’s the sort of sound-bite that can bite back: It doesn’t do for a family-man to whine as though he’s Spencer Pratt dodging the paparazzi. I’d cut the guy some slack, for sure. If there’s one thing Jon rarely is, it’s a complainer. “We’re ready for season five, we think,” said Kate more cheerfully. Jon remained deadpan. But then, Jon’s always deadpan.

For regular viewers, the choicest tidbit occurred in the new episode that aired before the season finale, during which Kate said that the family has a new “helper” since they moved to their bigger house, and that “we will keep her identity a secret for privacy reasons.” That’s understandable, I guess, but may prove awkward next season — how, other than through deft editing, are you going to prevent the four-turning-five year-olds from referring on-camera to their “helper”? (And she’s not a nanny, Kate insisted.) Given the fact that Gosselin family and friends have all but disappeared as the series has proceeded, and given rise to lots of internet chatter and rumor about the reasons why, this morsel of news was intriguing. More to come next season, I’m sure.

Meanwhile, we have Table for 12, TLC’s new contribution to the kid explosion, about a New Jersey police officer, his wife, two sets of twins and sextuplets. The two back-to-back premiere episodes made a strategic mistake, I think, by focussing on activities (Mom’s birthday party and a trip to a restaurant) rather than introducing us to the family’s ordinary-day routines. What made Jon & Kate so fascinating in its first season was simply the stuff of organization — the how-they-feed/clothe/organize-the-kids stuff. Table for 12 did little to establish the children’s personalities last night. But parents Eric and Betty Hayes seem like very nice people, and the show handled the presentation of four-year-old Rebecca, who has cerebral palsy, with restraint, not exploitive sentiment. The episodes were, overall, edited in a rather dull way, but I’ll keep watching a few more times.

How about you? Did you watch Table for 12? And what did you think of Jon & Kate‘s finale, and Jon’s struggle with fame?

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  • Moe

    I completely agree that Jon and Kate have changed for the worse. Kate says she’s “working” but what does that mean? What happened to the people we came to know as friends of theirs? Are they all suddenly gone? I have to say, it’s been kind of difficult to watch the show recently because of the lack of love between Jon and Kate. Even though they had their moments of arguing, they were always able to laugh it off and let it go. I hope the rumors of infidelity aren’t true for the kids’ sake.

  • Mary

    I’m not buying the cover story that Jon went to take care of his mother, when he has eight small children, and he could have hired someone to do it. NO WAY. Especially since he was seen in bars all over that area. No, it’s either a trial separation or outright separation, not to be caputured by the cameras in the home.

  • Sara

    I absolutely love Jon & Kate and the whole Gosselin clan. They really are “every family”…with a few more mouths to feed. I have yet to spend time with a family where chaos and bickering didn’t exist. And Lord help the Hayes family. It’s only a matter of time til their lives are picked apart by the detractors and the inevitable Hayes Without Pity website.

  • Katie

    I think its time for the Gosselins to move on. I used to love their show but now that the kids are getting bigger and the parents are reaping in all this money due to their kids the fun has now ended. I feel sorry for Jon and for his sake end the show. Kate has done nothing but make a fool out of him for four seasons and how much can this poor guyl take? I vote to end the show now and give us a new fun family to watch on Mondays.

  • CJ

    I will miss the Gosselin family. They are definitely a wonderful family. What family doesn’t go through times like we have seen. I am not surprised at all that they have times of dispare. God bless them for opening their lives to all of us, who love to watch their family. They could teach many a family about raising children. What a fabulous job they do. And NO I do not think this was just for television drama. I am sure that they have their individual problems. You tell me what married couple hasn’t. But, they are guinely a wonderful couple that happen to be raising 8 adorable kids. The show has brought them a new style of life they would not have had before. But, it is us, the public who love them, that allowed that. Yes, I look forward to season 5. I am sure a few months without the cameras will be a blessing for all of them. I am very surprised that NOW they want the extra help, when they did all the hard work when the kids were babies though. God bless you all! CJ

  • contessa

    I love jon and kate. It is one show you can watch with your kids and not be embarrassed. My daughter see kate as out of control and makes comment on how she would not treat someone like that so it also is teaching her respect of others. Jon and Kate should as count their blessing that in this economy they are able to feed their kids buy new clothes and live in a amazing house. I can understand not liking the public life they are a young couple and have major responsiblity but everyone with a family know how it changes your life. They need to step back and look at their amazing life and see how much they have to be thankful for and how much they have touch so many peoples lives. Take a well deserved break but please come back and let us enjoy seeing the kids grow up.

  • Betty

    Bring back the Gosselin family soon. And NO they are not seperating. What nonsense is that!!!! And that new family of 12 cannot replace Jon & Kate plus 8. I will watch them a few times, but our whole family, kids and all love to watch the Gosselin’s because they are a lot like watching ourselves! Have a good rest Jon and Kate, from allthe camera’s in your houe and in your face. You deserve a break, but, we thank you for letting us in your lives. Please come back Jon. I know Kate said she is already on for the next season, but, it has to be with your good spirit too. Thank goodness you now have a house that can give you some space. And what a beautiful piece of property! Yes, you deserve some privacy. But, I home you come back! Betty, Bill, Jacob, Kristina, and Cara

  • Shamrock

    Ok, we get it. Having lots of kids at once is hard. Having stuff given to you free must be stressful. How do they do it. Let me run downtown and tell little Johnny who lives in a car how lucky he his he doesn’t have to deal with trips to Hawaii.

  • K

    Personally, I think that Jon needs to get a job. The kids are getting older and easier to care for so I think it would make him feel better to be apart of something on his own. I think that their two very different personalities compliment each other. If they were both laid back like Jon, the kids and house would be complete chaos and the kids would walk all over them, he is just a little too laid back. If they were both like Kate, the family would be more like boot camp than a family. Yes, she does need to lay off him sometimes but he needs to help her out more as well. It is just like she always says to him, “when I am freaking out the best thing you can do is ask what can I do to help.” She is right on this, he does need to step up and try to help her and doing so will enable her to start letting go of some of the control she feels she has to have. They are great together they just need to learn how to balance each other out more constructively.

  • marie

    What a minute….you have your life filmed for TV….Buddy, you lost your privacy from the minute those camera lights went on and the money came rolling in !! Quit being a cry baby, Jon.

  • Mom of MoMo’s

    I used to love Jon and Kate Plus 8, but have unfortunately watched them turn from good to bad. It has been very hard to watch the show for a while now. My husband who is in the Army, and I who am a veteran and a stay at home mom, have a very rare set of identical twins…one of them has 3 brain anomolies that are so rare they only occur in 1 out 750,000. I used to be able to somewhat identify with Jon and Kate and their daily struggles. From what the show has portrayed within the last several months, they have become very Hollywood, and I can no longer identify with them. As for Table for 12, I love it! They are real people, with real jobs. They not only have 3 sets of multiples, but they also have a special needs child. I can identify with that! Days spent with our 5 in-home therapists, and weekly visits with our 14 different specialty doctors is real life, and it’s refreshing to finally see a real family on television again!

  • Shamrock

    Sorry, you sign up for a reality show and reap the benefits from it, you don’t get to complain about privacy issues. It’s funny that the posts here defending them having some privacy are the ones who tune it to watch the show. If not for you the viewers, it wouldn’t be an issue, there would be no show, so you are all just part of the cycle.

  • LisaMay

    Thank you Shamrock!!! I too am WAY over Jon and Kate plus 8 and Little People, Big World TOO! You see all those vacations that these people go on? WE THE VIEWERS ARE PAYING FOR THEIR VACATIONS!

  • Shamrock

    LisaMay, I know it’s sad. People sit home and watch others go on vacations. I don’t get it.

  • Tonya Davis

    I think Jon and Kate are wounderful and they have a little more problems than anyone because their life is on T.V. and people are jugdeing them! When they don’t really know what’s going on all we see it what they(tlc)want us to!I support them,I hope they come back!!!! My family loves them and it hurt to know that they not come back!

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