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Tuesday, June 23

new reality show?

I have to admit that until a few weeks ago I had no idea who Jon and Kate were or what they had 8 of. Oh, I could guess. Their show was on a channel that seems to make the most ordinary life events into television spectaculars. Weddings, pregnancy, childbirth, all get a show. Normal people doing normal things in front of a camera. Odd.

So, of course, when the buzz about these people started, I did what I always do. I googled and TiVo'd. OK, 2 people who had 8 kids under 5 or so. Yeah. my life isn't stressful enough, I have to watch that? Yikes. But I did watch. Once. For about 10 minutes. I saw 8 kids who seemed to be pretty much out of control and parents who seemed to "train" them with cookies. And 2 people who seemed to not be really fond of each other. It was sad and I wondered what people found so compelling.

Now they are divorcing and they scurry to and fro with hordes of cameras clicking away at them and their children and there they are on the morning news and I hear the mother say the most amazing thing. "The show must go on" she says.


I love some reality TV. American Idol and Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You can Dance, shows with people that are meant to be in front of cameras. People with aspirations to perform for a living, getting a shot at it. That's fun to me. This family, however, is just a family. Or used to be.

I guess these 8 very young kids will get no relief from the cameras as long as the parents are convinced that their day to day existence is somehow noteworthy. And more important than those 8 kids, apparently.

So, I'm thinking the next reality show should be about us art roadies. Why not? Have the cameras rolling while we try to fit everything for a show into a minvan, while we prowl the streets looking for a booth number that was just washed off the curb by a passing morning shower. There could be fascinating footage of putting a canopy up, strapping the display down because a tornado is coming, finding a level spot for our chairs. Fascinating stuff.

I picture "talking head" moments with artists "confessing" that the artist amenities for this show were really awful. Boxed donuts! Zoom shot of donut box.

A fuzzy shot of an artist counting the day's receipts while a whispering voice over tells us that Jack had to make enough today to save the family farm and Jack (a) slouching over the cash box in grief or (b) raising a fistful of cash and cheering.

Hey, it would be better than watching someone trying to get 8 children to sit down and shut up.

Meanwhile, this Kate person will continue to get her extremely odd haircut manicured, I assume, weekly, and her husband will escape to someplace quiet. The show must go on. And the only audience that matters, just 8 of them, waits for someone to turn the cameras off so that they can be seen.

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