WARNING: This is a rant. If you don't want to read a rant from an angry spinster, then please look away. Regularly scheduled programming will resume momentarily.
I'm as peeved as a spinster can be at the moment. Like the rest of the free world, I somehow got sucked into the whole "John and Kate Plus Eight" mess. Now for those of you who haven't a clue as to what I'm talking about....J&K+8 is a show on the TLC channel about a family that has twin daughters and sextuplets. Tonight they announced to the world that they are divorcing after ten years of marriage, five years of a television series, and six months of tabloid reporting of their torrid affairs with anybody that has crossed their respective paths.
Let me first get a few things clear so that you don't think I speak from a position of authority:
1. I have never been married, so I have no idea of the daily pressures and stresses of sharing your life with another person and/or tripping over his/her socks every other minute.
2. I do not have children, so I do not understand the tremendous responsibility of being in charge of raising someone into a normal, healthy, grown-ass person who manages to stay out of trouble generally. You've met Stewey, so you know how successful I would be in the parenting department.
3. I have never had a reality TeeVee show, even though Stewey is convinced we could make millions and keep him the manner to which he has become accustomed.
4. I have never been followed by paparazzi, unless you count the early morning attempts by my neighbors to gather photographic evidence of me in my robe and duck books retrieving the mail (for the home owner's association board, don't you know).
5. And finally...with few exceptions, I rarely watch reality TeeVee unless it involves somebody hunky doing something that I'm interesting in, like cooking a five-course meal on a deserted island. Without a shirt on.
Having said all of that, please allow me to say with full-throated voice and fist shaking in air: SHAME ON YOU, TLC! SHAME SHAME SHAME ON YOU AND YOUR STUPID PRODUCERS WHO DID NOT HAVE THE DECENCY AND GUTS TO SAY "YOU KNOW WHAT? OUR FRIENDS JOHN AND KATE ARE IN TROUBLE AND WE THINK IT'S UNSEEMLY TO WATCH A MARRIAGE COLLAPSE ON NATIONAL TELEVISION. SO WE'RE GOING TO SUSPEND PRODUCTION OF THE SHOW AND LET THIS FAMILY GET SOME HELP AND GET OUT OF THE SPOTLIGHT FOR A LITTLE WHILE SO THAT THEY CAN SEE IF THEY CAN PULL THIS BACK TOGETHER."
SHAME SHAME SHAME ON YOU, JOHN AND KATE FOR NOT HAVING THE GUTS OR DECENCY TO SAY "SORRY, FOLKS. WE'RE HAVING A REAL ROUGH SPOT AT THE MOMENT AND WE FEEL THAT THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF OUR FAMILY IS WORTH MORE TO US THAN A TELEVISION SHOW. WE'VE DECIDED TO SUSPEND PRODUCTION OF THE SHOW FOR A LITTLE WHILE TO SEE IF WE CAN FIGURE THIS WHOLE THING OUT WITHOUT THE WHITE HOT LIGHTS ON. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING OUR PRIVACY AND NEED TO BE AWAY FOR A LITTLE WHILE. WE'LL LET YOU KNOW HOW THINGS WORK OUT."
I am disgusted. I am sick to my stomach that I just spent an hour of my life watching a marriage implode. I am sick at the thought of eight children looking at these tapes someday saying "Gee, that's when our parents got divorced on national television, but weren't our crooked houses and constantly matching outfits wonderful?" I'm p***ed that I went against my better judgement and turned this damn thing on tonight instead of reading a book. Or stitching. Or plucking every renegade eyebrow out of my head. I'm mad that I allowed myself to peek over the fence and then scan the tabloid headlines for the next salacious detail. I'm most upset, however, that I now have to take a moral stand and NEVER watch this damn channel again, despite the fact that they have a few shows that I find interesting. (I'll wait for the DVD's to come out, thank you very much, and I will not pay one damn dime for them, but will borrow them from the library like a person should).
I think what saddens me more than anything is the fact that our entertainment options have devolved to this level. Aunt Chrissy and I were talking about TeeVee shows the other day and we decided that there have been very very few truly original, well-written, well-acted shows out there. We've got cop stories, courtroom dramas, hospital soaps, and reality garbage coming out the ying yang, but when you want to see something that transports you or just takes your mind off of life for a lousy twenty-two minutes, you're completely screwed.
WHY???!!! Why did I have to think that something good would come out of that mess? Why do I constantly hope for the rosy outcome of something that I know to be beyond repair? Why did I think that the "IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT" would be that these stupid people on this stupid network had come to their stupid senses and had decided that their stupid reality was more important than the stupid public's access to it?
I'm not a drinkin' woman, but tonight I'm headed for the wine rack. It's either that or the Krispy Kreme drive through, and at this time of night I'm sure the resulting heartburn from the doughnuts would be worse than the potential hangover from a glass of vino.
So excuse me, fair readers, and thank you for allowing me to get this off of my heaving chest. I hope that I haven't offended anybody and that you'll come back to visit me soon. In the meantime...give the dog the remote and go pour yourselves a cocktail.
EDITED TO ADD: Now just so y'all don't think me chicken...here's what I've just left on the TLC Viewer Relations site (and no, it wan't AFTER the cork was removed from the bottle, but before):
Gentlemen: Please allow me to ask (respectfully, of course)..what the hell were you thinking? I've just watched the IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT on John and Kate Plus 8, and I hoped against hope that it would be that you decided to suspend production so that this family could regroup, get some help and see if they could get it together. Instead, we got to watch a marriage implode. Informative? Learning opportunity? Useful? Nope. Just salacious garbage that is not worthy of my time. Shame on you folks. Methinks you have many many apologies to make for exploiting this mess. (And yes, John and Kate are equally to blame.) I certainly expeced more from you. Sorry, but I won't be watching you or your sister channels in the future.