Monday, November 30, 2009

Little People, Big Problems???

Little People, Big World has always been one of TLC's best quality offerings on its lineup, despite not getting the same kind of blockbuster ratings or tabloid fodder as Jon and Kate. It's the story of a family of two little people parents raising one little person child and three normal sized children. Their story is inspiring, as well as entertaining. The entire family has some fascinating personalities.

Even though the premise of Little People is awfully similar to Jon and Kate, it has never gotten the kind of criticism the Gosselins have, and here's why. The children are much older than the Gosselin little ones, and better able to make decisions about whether they want to be filmed, whether it's good for them, and so on. The youngest is almost 13, while the oldest two are adults at 19. Adults who are quite capable of getting up and walking out whenever they want. While Kate has always maintained her children "want" to do the show, they are simply far too young to make a decision that important and be trusted to make one that is in their best interest (Kids that age WANT to eat chocolate ice cream all day too, but adults decide for them it's not in their best interest). Moreover, the Roloffs have a job other than the show. They run a working farm for profit, as well as do speaking engagements and write books about being a little person, develop products for little people, and run a charity organization for little people, all things they always did even before the show. The kids are not their income, they are not moochers off the kids. Rumors don't fly around about affairs, or stealing money, or firing nannies, or being nasty to fans. We're guessing because there are very few incidents like this. And finally, Little People is much less heavily produced and contrived. Most episodes occur at home, most filming appears to occur in the pumpkin season of summer and fall, with long breaks in between filming (it's obvious when a kid has grown two inches and had a voice change between seasons), and not much has changed since we first met this family. Amy still wears jeans and a t-shirt, they still do the jobs they always did, and the kids still go to the same school, have the same friends, and do the same activities. They have not fallen victim to the celebrity lifestyle, and it's clear they don't see themselves as part of that.

But this season it's painfully noticeable that TLC is playing up the "problems" mom Amy and dad Matt are having in their marriage. Almost every episode involves some kind of awkward interview with Amy and Matt about the lack of communication in their marriage, the passive aggressive behavior, the fights, the disagreements. The kids taking sides. At one point a split was even discussed as a possibility. Matt and Amy have always been honest about their relationship, but never this often or this dramatically.

Are the little people really headed for divorce? Doubtful. These two may not be on the same page, but that's why they love each other. They are a classic opposites attract relationship. They compliment each other and they've survived a TV show together. And they are doting parents, giving their children a real-time gift in tolerance that couldn't be accomplished in a classroom. We're guessing they're in it for the long haul. So why does TLC keep asking them all these personal questions about the status of their relationship? Ratings? Piggy back off Jon and Kate?

TLC, we liked the Little People a lot more before all these awkward conversations about their personal problems. We don't need to know all these details that would better be discussed behind closed doors, without cameras. Get back to basics with this family. The other garbage is what you did with Jon and Kate, and it nearly destroyed their family.

5 sediments (sic) from readers:

Anonymous said...

Jen D is trying to give out someones private info on Tv Snarks blog bad move Jen. ~ Administrator said...

I read the blog, I noticed there was some kind of comment that they never post on other reality families.

This post is purely coincidental as to that comment. I had noticed Little People was talking about divorce for several episodes, I was just waiting for a slow news day to do a post on the issue. And that happened to be today!

Anonymous said...

I hope Matt and Amy are smart enough to recognize that TLC is trying to "Gosselin" their show. And by that I mean script it and create family drama about a split.

1866Umidget said...

what do you mean "trying to script it?" it's been scripted since the beginning! the roloffs' are great short dwarf talent! some of the best to come to reality TV! said...

I stopped watching the other families on TLC when the JON & Kate divorce was announced.

LPBW How sad TLC is eating up lives one family at ta time.