By a show of hands, how many people watched Jon & Kate Plus 8 when it first aired on TLC? I know I did. They were just a cute couple with eight kids trying to navigate life. It was one of the first reality shows I watched that wasn’t competition based, and I was loving it.
But as things went on, it became clear that there was tension brewing in the household. Both Jon and Kate had differing opinions on how to parent their kids, but Kate always seemed to win in those arguments. Crazy what can happen when you scream and throw a tantrum, right?
The show started to be more dramatic, with spats and arguments taking over the original point of the show, which was to document the lives of a large family and provide some uplifting television. As the seasons went on, we saw the kids grow and develop their own personalities, but we also watched as Jon and Kate’s marriage completely crumbled. Kate became more and more controlling as things progressed, while Jon was either completely passive or totally defiant. This couple that once shared so much love between each other had totally fallen apart.
In 2009, the Gosselins announced their separation. It wasn’t unexpected, but it definitely left a lot of questions unanswered. Would this split affect the television show? Who would get this kids? And most importantly, would Jon and Kate stay cordial enough to allow their kids a happy life despite their own personal feelings?
The answer to that last question was a resounding NO.