The final 'Kate Plus Eight' review: Kate Gosselin and the sad delusion of fame as a savior

Kate Plus 8 went out with a whimper on Monday night. Or rather, Kate Gosselin went out whimpering. After all the years of showcasing her children, her husband, and her ever-changing hair and moods, Gosselin said proudly that “ours has always been the realest reality show that’s out there.”

In her overblown way, she was probably correct; certainly as a portrait of a disintegrating marriage, a case study in how to raise children in a manner that is both over-controlling and maddeningly cavalier, and an unwitting chronicle of a woman who’s come to see fame as the savior of her life, Jon & Kate Plus Eight, which morphed into Kate Plus Eight, was really real.

As I wrote about the series’ initial, genuine charm when Jon & Kate Plus Eight ended after five seasons:

“I started watching the show during its first season. I was just a casual viewer; the series didn’t have a season pass on my DVR. But if I was home or in a hotel room and an episode came on, I’d find that I’d always end up watching the entire thing, because the series was (hard as this is to believe now) completely charming. I remember most of the episodes they showed this last night in a quick montage, whether it was family movie-night, or the clan’s once-annual walk to the local Fourth of July parade, the little ones waddling along behind Jon and Kate like ducklings. The kids were adorable and funny, and the interactions between Jon and Kate seemed unguarded, fresh, often amusing, and sometimes provocative. Provocative because Kate’s strict rules about order, discipline, cleanliness, and healthy nutrition sometimes smacked into Jon’s more laid-back, what-did-I-get-myself-into attitude. But the yelling and the bickering was always the exception, not the rule.”

Eventually, the yelling and the bickering engulfed the show, even after Jon had left the scene. On this week’s finale, Kate’s friend Jamie said she could remember the “softer,” earlier Kate, but “now I see her, but [she's] more TV, more how-thin-can-I-be” — in short, more media-obsessed.

Given that Kate is by now so deluded she told Matt Lauer on The Today Show Monday morning that the cancellation of her show was “the end of an era,” it’s no surprise that she spent the final hour of her show insisting we haven’t seen the last of her: “This land of TV media all makes sense to me now,” she said. Getting teary, Kate added that a lot of the viewing public wants to know “how each of my kids turns out.”

She concluded, “You’ll see my kids grow up, and they’ll do great things.”

I hope the second part of that sentence comes true; I hope the first part does not.

Twitter: @kentucker

Comments (173 total) Add your comment
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  • Amy

    Well said, Ken. I hadn’t tuned in since the divorce happened. I was sick of both Jon and Kate by that point. However, I watched a few minutes tonight. I was horrified at what she had become. The show was flat out uncomfortable to watch. The kids didn’t look happy, and she was just awful to everyone. Were those women supposed to be her friends? If so, how? I felt like I was watching an episode of Bridezillas. A woman being so horrible and nasty to everyone that I couldn’t imagine ever speaking to her casually let alone calling her my friend. Can she really be so delusional as to watch herself and not see what she has become? Her latest comments about Jon’s mediocrity for finding a real job cemented my dislike for her. Please reality TV. I’ll take a million Kardashians than one more minute of this shrew.

    • jully2

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      • UGH

        The best reality this woman should now get is outside of the realm of reality television.

      • KC

        I still like that idea somebody had about what happens when the money runs out in a couple of years and they have to do a zombiefied version of the show called The Eight That Ate Kate.
        That was too funny!

      • Ken is an Anal cancer

        Well Ken it is true. She is a media made fame whoreeee. Why should she be any different than all these other nothings that have their own shows. I have never seen an episode but seeing her on TV new magazines was enough for me. I chose not to support her and her family in a lifestyle much higher than my “mediocre” life.

      • quan

        Now if only MTV would cancel “Jersey Shore” and E! would cancel the Kartrashians’ show,we might get some quality TV.BTW,I wanna share a good news to you.My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire man who is a businessman!they met via Millionaireloving.C óM ..it is the largest and best club for rich people and their admirers to chat online. …You do not have to be rich or famous. ,but you can meet one , It’s worthy a try,Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends!

      • Lester

        Jully2: your values make me gag…Mature….NOT..Beautiful….vain and very self-envolved. BIG IMPORTANT Doctor……pay more attention to your patients and less “Mirror Time”. Yuck!

      • Dee

        Hey, Rich Doctor,

        I hear Kate is available

      • Tom

        This lady didn’t save a dime of the money she was paid for her kids, and that is the real reason she is freaking the hell out right now. She is broke, and didn’t care about her own kids.

    • Jewell Owens

      Please Please stop the this madness. Kate need to find learn to support her own children.

  • sean

    Well put, Ken. I hope this truly is the end of an era. TLC and their cavalcade of cr@p need to slowly fizzle and disappear. Kate leaving is a good start to that mission.

    • bfd

      There is nothing to learn from The Learning Channel anymore.

      • Ann

        I completely agree. The Learning Channel? What a joke.

      • Tom

        Who knew this kind of B S would be so expensive to produce?

  • Debsa

    Ken Tucker, nicely said…we all pray for great things for those poor kids.

  • Lynnie

    I liked the show way back when, all the late night feedings, cute babies and tons of diaPers and laundry. The cuteness started to show cracks around the time of Kates abdominal plastic surgery (albeit much deserved) and freebies rollin on in. The only person Kate cares about, is Kate, how can anyone see it any differently.

    I really feel badly for those poor kiddos.
    Lynnie

  • Mary Gabb

    I’ve not seen much of the show since the divorce, but tonight’s program was totally boring with all those women screaming at each other. Thankfully I won’t need to be tempted to watch it again.

    • Jewell Owens

      Amen! I only hope other stations she her for what does sing the kids to stay in the limelight.
      I have looked at the Duggers even though children raising children is not my ideal but the don’t depend on the public to support thier children. Kate needs to move on.

  • Thanks TLC

    I was a regular viewer of Jon and Kate Plus 8. But Kate changed so dramatically and became so out-of-touch with reality it became unbearable to watch. Her self-absorbed (I’m always right attitude) and mean spirited ways were too much to stomach.

    Thank you TLC for FINALLY cancelling this show. I hope Kate Gosselin finds the time to get in touch with herself and put her childrens’ needs above her own. Fame whoring and selfishness are not attractive qualities.

    • Chris

      Don’t thank TLC – they only cancelled the show because the ratings dropped. TLC has no compunction about broadcasting train wreck reality television if the ratings are high enough. The people to thank are the viewers who finally stopped watching this horrible woman on television, forcing TLC to pull the plug.

      • ml ready

        Kate made me want to throw my tv out the window. What a mess she is.

      • Kristoffer

        Amen to that. If the ratings were still there TLC would still be right in the middle of Kate and the kids – watching her control every step they take – just like she used to do to Jon. Personally I hope it’s the last we hear from her – but the way tv is today I am sure her and the kids will roll around again. Only this time it will be a follow up because all the kids are out of control, in jail, etc….

    • Alan

      TLC are as much to blame as Kate. They created this monster (no pun intended). They are the ones who encouraged so much of this. Yes, she could have walked away, but would you walk away from giant piles of $$ being thrown at your face. NO YOU WOULDN’T. Let’s blame TLC a bit more as they are escaping way too much blame for this horribleness they have caused in the name of ratings.

  • dogfoot

    I don’t know why Jon was so vilified. He always did all the childcare even when they were together. And now, look at any photo of the kids with him and you’ll see broad smiles, while in photos of them with the Wicked Witch you see nothing but miserable faces. She treated him like garbage and continues to abuse those kids emotionally, if not physically. Yes, Jon did go through his stupid “Hailey period,” but it’s not so surprising given what he had gone through, and he’s well over that now. He’s had a stable job, home, and girlfriend for quite awhile now, and we should all pray that he gets custody of the kids before she finishes completely destroying them. That woman doesn’t deserve to be mother to a rattlesnake. Thank god she’s gone – let’s hope she stays there.

    • Ana

      He was vilified because it wasn’t until the divorce that they became household names and most people learned who they were. Unfortunately for Jon, that was around the same time that he was behaving like a total loser. People who watched the show beforehand tended to be more forgiving because they’d seen how Kate acted towards him. Everyone else just piled on Jon.

      • Vickie

        Other than the finale (I watched it out of boredom) I had only watched one other program over the years. The couple had taken the children shopping, I think it was for Christmas. By the time I had finished I told myself I would never watch it again, Kate was a shrew to her husband. For absolutely no reason she started screaming at him in the store. It would have been humiliating to the most humble of person. I could never understand what people saw in this couple. I couldn’t stand her and felt sorry for him. When I heard they were divorcing I wondered why everyone was so hard on him, I would never have stuck around with a husband that treated me like she did him. That is one dysfunctional family that was enabled by TLC.

    • Lana

      I agree dogfoot. Jon was always the better parent.

    • lilymax

      I agree about Jon. He was the scapegoat for that shrew and TLC. It is very obvious he was helpful when they were together. The reason why it seemed as though he appeared to be “useless” as the lover, ooops – I mean bodyguard, said in last night’s program (anyone else catch that?) is probably because he was frightened of the wrath of Khate lest he do something that wasn’t to her psychotic standards.

      • sue

        Yes I caught that too! Kate was AWFUL to Jon. Seeing all those old clips from before the divorce reminded me of all the crap the poor guy webt through!

    • Asha

      I was always “Team Jon”, We had watched the show from the start because the kids were so cute and funny. Jon was always the better parent. The fact that he didn’t get primary custody from the start was astounding to me. Kate was adn still is verbally abusive to those kids using them like little slaves on her farm.

      • Jay

        I agree with you 100%. I was also shocked that Jon didn’t get custody of the kids. Their custody case should really be re-examined using the shows as evidence of Kate’s unhealthy mental state.

        SHE should be paying HIM child support while HE has custody

      • Anika

        Did he want primary custody? I don’t know that he did…it might also have had something to do with the fact that he moved into an apartment and didn’t have space for 8 kids.

    • Nikki

      He was villified because of the Ed Hardy!

      I think anyone who watched the show during that time had sympathy for that guy and even he after they announced the divorce deserved his time with a little pop tart youngin. But it was the Ed Hardy that was his greatest downfall. :)

    • KSG

      What show did you watch? Early on, they showed a timeline of their days and Jon left at 7 am and didn’t get home until around 7 pm. He bathed the kids and then they went to bed. He even said on a very early episode that he didn’t want to do what Kate was doing which was take care of the kids 24/7. That’s why he left. He says now that reality tv isn’t a career but he made it one when he quit his day job. Kate was the one bringing home the bacon by writing books and doing speaking engagements and he was left to “do all of the childcare” and he didn’t like it one bit. Jon was a loser. The reason Kate was so mean to him back then was because she was the only one making things happen. She may be a b#$ch, but according to the great Tina Fey, “b#$ches get things done” like laundry, home cooked meals, etc…….

      • Alan

        Yeah, but you have to admit, nobody in a relationship should degrade and humiliate someone the way she did with her Toy Store meltdown, Crayola factory meltdown or her the “You didn’t use a coupon??!!!” meltdown.

      • Jae

        Yes, the show was edited to show that Kate was this amazing super-mom while John worked all day. But if you look really closely their “friends” and/or baby-sitters were always lurking in the background. To make it seem like Kate did this all on her own is VERY misleading.

        The woman has completely let fame go to her head and it has turned her into the worst sort of Mommy Dearest. It was unfair that John was the one that the public and media painted as the bad guy. I think it’s easy to forget that John was not even 30 by the time he had all these kids. Sure, he acted like a jerk right after the divorce, but I bet anyone would go ape-**** after being freed from that harpy.

      • Anika

        Alan has a great point. Jon had faults, to be sure, and early on, Kate seemed like a good (if over dramatic) mom…but she treated him terribly

      • K

        So he was a bad father because he was financially supporting the family? So in your book working fathers are bad? She wanted him to quit and make tv their full time jobs which was their downfall. He wanted to live a regular life, she does not. She is pathetic.

      • gramma roni

        like any woman with kids she had her moments, many of them, but i admire her. her kids seem well behaved and that only happens when the kids are disciplined. no one is perfect. you see the meals she prepares, the prayer before eating and the respect she demands. she is a mother of eight kids and she must be in charge. she is the boss and that cannot change or you will have kids in jail. so what if she is pretty and knows it. she just seems real. not hiding to grumpy or mouthy her. good job kate. i raised 4 kids and do understand. as for jon..marraige is forever. no cheating EVER

    • Alan

      To be honest, Jon did go through a Douchebaggy phase where he partied and got drunk and smoked with Michael Lohan every night in their matching Ed Hardy shirts. But for the most part, earlier on (and maybe now), I always liked Jon.

      • KSG

        Yes she shouldn’t have been that mean to him. I was bothered by the comments saying Jon did all of the childcare when he admitted he didn’t want to take care of them–and people commented that he should have custody. He did have custody when she was gone and didn’t want it. I used to work with someone like Jon and it was very frustrating dealing with someone that just didn’t think. He always seemed to have his head up his rear (or in the clouds) like Jon. Kate did say last night that if she got upset a couple times during a 48 hour taping, she knew that they would always end up in an 22 minute episode. She should have treated him with more respect and he shouldn’t have cheated on her. He’s not a saint either people. I kinda liked him early on too…………….

  • “ours has always been the realest reality show that’s out there.”

    That’s like a singer saying they use the best pitch correction software.

  • skm

    I maybe in the minority but I feel sorry for Kate,because reality, the kind us mediocore people live in,is about to smack her in the face.

    • Victoria

      Touche’. I feel sorry for her as well. She’s going off of the deep end. I only hope that Jon can be a stable parent while she continues on her cavalcade of self-important grandeur.

    • Ken is an Anal cancer

      I don’t feel sorry for her. Hopefully she banked some of that blood money. She will need it.

      • No

        she has been on every show that will have her, crying about how she needs to feed her babies, and she is so scared how she will take care of them. I saw her yesterday alone on the Today Show, Wendy Williams, and E News.

        Such BS!!!! She is worried about losing her place in the spotlight. She is worried about living a fairly extravagant life and not having to do any real work. if the Dillys could manage to raise their kids mostly out ofthe spot light and with *horrors* regular jobs, kate could also.

    • Petunia

      If you want to feel sorry for someone, feel sorry for those kids. They have a raging harridan for a mother, who will only become worse now that she’s not in the spotlight. And they don’t get those cool vacations anymore. And you know Kate didn’t save any money for the expensive therapy they are going to need.

      • Asha

        I think all the kids have trust funds set up by the show that they can access at 18. There was an early episode about it. Back when this show was still cute. Unfortunatly, instead of using that money for college it will be used on therapy.

    • ml ready

      Kate could sell the big house and live within her means at this time.

      • Anika

        I don’t know, with 8 active kids a big house might be necessary (though probably not the HUGE place she has now). I always wondered how they managed in the old house with 3 kids to each room. When they got bigger, that’d be a problem.

      • Liz

        Remember, Kate is a nurse. I’m sure she can find employment. Maybe not a job with all the free-bies she expects.
        Also, she needs the therapy to hopefully salvage the kids’ childhoods.

    • Alan

      I kind of agree. I mean, we live in a society where complete nobodies can become rich and famous overnight and then when their 15 minutes are up, they get dumped by the side of the road. Everyone acts so high and mighty because of her attitude, but there are lots of nagging, insecure people in the world like Kate. It just happens to be that she got famous, was milked by a TV network for all its worth and has now been dumped. All I’m trying to say is that 90% of you all would take the $$$ and fame if handed to you on a platter like it was with her.

  • KC

    NOW GO GET A REAL JOB, YOU EGOMANIAC!

  • Christine

    Boy – I sure wish I could be perfect parents like all of you – my life would be so much easier if I never made any mistakes, and was never grumpy or controlling or upset about anything. Life must be perfect around all your houses and you spend 24/7 loving your kids and spouses and never saying a single negative thing. Geez – I wonder if a camera landed in all of your houses how it would play out – maybe you’re the ones with dilusions of grandeur!

    • @Christine

      You are an idiot. I guess your only regret was that no producer found anything in your life interesting enough to put on TV. I know I would never sell my family like she did.

    • Christine

      Wow – your argument is so compelling. Go off and live your perfect life off the cameras, and I will live my imperfect life.

      • harp

        Hey, Everybody! Kate’s here!!!

      • KSG

        I agree with Christine. I’m sure nobody here ever raises their voices to their perfect little angels. Why do Kate’s kids seem so normal and sweet in their interview segments on the show if she’s so horrible?

      • Lauren

        KSG- I think the question is, Why do the children seem so normal and sweet in their interview segments (when they’re not around Kate) and sullen and depressed when they ARE around Kate.

        Do you want to answer that one?

    • Amy

      No one ever said we think Kate should be perfect. She wouldn’t have such bad publicity if it was merely that she yelled or was controlling sometimes. The problem is that she is almost always yelling and being rude or mean to someone. She is addicted to fame and her playing the victim act and general attitude toward us common folk has not endeared her to anyone. She has lost sight of what is important (her kids) to concentrate on remaining famous. It is sad. That is why people criticize and don’t like her.

      • Christine

        The problem is she’s almost always yelling? Are you in her home 24/7? No – you see what TLC wants you to see. If they only showed Kate as the perfect Mom happy and sunshine and baking cookies all the time, nobody would have ever watched. TLC knows that drama sells a TV show and just like Kate said on the finale – if she’s grumpy for 3 times over a two day period and loses it, they’ll show all 3 times over a 22 minute show. I’m quite certain that if we were all taped 2 days in a row we’d have at least the same number of grumpy moments. Anybody remember that other TLC show with the multiples? I personally can’t even remember the name of it (honestly – something about 10 at the table?) It didn’t work because there was no drama. No drama = no viewers.

    • Asha

      The only time Kate is happy is when she wakes up in the morning and looks at herself in the mirror. It’s not about her parenting it’s about her being an evil harpie who is so self involved she can’t see that she’s not loved just made fun of.

    • Alan

      I do know what you’re saying Christine, because there are lots of Kates out there in the world. Our coworkers, in-laws, neighbours -many of them are just like her or worse in terms of their attitude and behaviour. But It just feels like both TLC and Kate let everything go too far. Once it started involving Paparazzi, moving into a Mansion, the Hollywood hair extensions, etc. It was too much.

      • Fatyma

        Leave them the hell alone, he likes being bossed aurnod. At least she takes care of the kids and at least he has freedom. If he didn’t like it, he wouldn’t be there. If she doesn’t like it, she would have booted him to the curb. Why in the hell is this news anyway? The kiddos are what is important and have you forgot that they go to school this year? She can either go back to work or live high on the hog with all the money they are rolling in. Shut up unless you know them of course I don’t but still this is REALITY TV. There is editing, helllllo ratings? Leave them be and unless you walk a mile in those shoes taking care of all those kiddos and doing a fantaboulous job mind you, then shut the f*#k up!

  • Mady Gosselin

    Mommy, what’s a media wh**e? Mommy, can I go live with Daddy now?

  • Bob

    Let’s see how well she does when TV turns her down. Guess she’ll have to go back to being a nurse and pulling double shifts to make ends meet. Just like all the rest of the “real people”.

  • Paula

    Had to smile at the end of the show last night. Kate, with tears in her eyes, wondering how they will manage now that she is unemployed. Sure Kate…all this from a woman who just bought herself a $50,000 Audi sport!!!

    • Christine

      Ever heard of a used car? The cost is less – imagine that!

      • @Christine

        Kate stop posting here as Christine.

      • Jared

        Even if it’s a used car, why would a mom of 8 buy such a ridiculous vehicle?

      • Christine

        Because driving a 10 seater van when you have no kids to drive around 5 days per week while they’re in school and every other weekend guzzling gas doesn’t make the most sense.

      • JRE

        I have nbot a problem with her driving a smaller car when she doesn’t have the kids, but it’s a bit excessive to claim the poorhouse and drive a car that even bought used is expensive and not exactly fuel efficient.

      • harp

        Hi Kate!!!

      • Alan

        Christine, generally I’m more sympathetic towards Kate than most other people on this forum, but there are some things about her lifestyle that just don’t make sense. The Audi sportscar, the mansion that it just way too huge, the fancy Hollywood hair extensions, pearls and little “Real Housewives” style fashions that she now wears. This was supposed to be a show about an ORDINARY person who just happened to have an EXTRAORDINARY amount of kids.

    • iggie

      How’s all of her kids going to fit in that car? Just shows the selfish nature she has. Most Moms that have a lot of kids drive a minivan. Ughh…she needs to get a realty check, instead of a realty show.

      • tnsmoke

        It’s a 2-seater sports car, they showed it on TMZ tv and showed her getting in it and saying “I got a great deal and couldn’t turn it down.” Must be nice. With 8 kids there are now fuel efficient mini vans, but no, she wants a car only she can run around in while she leaves the kids at home. Where is all the money she banked for her tv show. Am sure she got tons of freebies for the kids.

      • Jennifer

        Hello? Mini van? She needs it to seat 10 – that is not most mini vans. That is why she has that gigantic monster 10 seater minibus. She needs space for all their back packs etc as well. There’s no such thing as a fuel efficient 10 seater.

    • No

      than get a Hyandai! those are even cheaper. I don’t care if it was actually used (dont believe that anyway), it is still extravagant, ESPECIALLY for someone out everywhere crying poverty,

      • Cathy

        Exactly! Can’t justify a two-seater sports car and then plead for funds.

      • Yudo

        Ok I would like to see any of these people ptiosng the negative comments about jon & kate in a day to day taping of their lives. Nobody in this world is perfect nor the same. And I could almost gaurantee that anybody in America put under the microscope would have a long list of so called flaws but who is to say what is right and what is wrong. Besides God. So who are we to talk down about these people who are just doing what they believe to be best for their familly. And as far as taking all the freebies any person out there that says they would deny the free trips and offers is a LIAR. Yes they might be using there kids, but using their kids to better their kid’s lives. I personally see nothing wrong with that!

    • Jewell Owens

      I thought she made her money from book sales not her children. She is self centered and lazy.

  • B.A.

    Now if only MTV would cancel “Jersey Shore” and E! would cancel the Kartrashians’ show,we might get some quality TV.

    • UGH

      Amen.

      • Tobias

        everyone needs to get their facts straight bfeore they write nonsense on websites. clearly they’re not getting a divorcewhoever wrote this.. if you watched ANY episodes.. she had 8 children..8 CHILDREN did you not see her stomach? she didnt even ASK for a tummy tuck, a plastic surgeon’s wife watched the show and offered it. if i had that many kids i would more than welcome a tummy tuck rather than wear spandex ALL the time to hold all that excess skin.and jon was also OFFERED the hair implants.everyone needs to stop hating on the show and what the publicity offers them geez.

    • Cathy

      Don’t forget Sister Wives!

      • candacetx

        and Basketball Wives

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