Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Kate and the kids put flags in the lawn over the long weekend.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

DWTS Finale Recap--the Paso Doble Redux

It’s been a blessed five weeks since Kate was last seen stomping around Dancing With the Stars, and unexpectedly, I’ve kinda gotten into this show and have been rooting for Pam and then Erin, even though there’s no way she will ever win. Predictably, the other final two are Evan and the Pussycat. Evan’s ice skating skills are so similar to dancing it’s like asking Meryl Streep to learn an accent she‘s never done before--it may take her a few days but I’m betting she’s going to get it down, and probably eventually win an Oscar, too. And Pussycat straight up is a dancer for a living, even with a college degree in dancing. Not fair, not interesting, defeats the purpose, this has all been discussed before. It is not just watching a celeb dance well that makes this show interesting. It is watching a celeb who doesn’t know how to dance learn to dance well--your Erin’s, Neicy’s, and Chad’s. Pussycat seems pretty nice though and it‘s not her fault they asked someone like her to be on the show. Although maybe she might have said, are you sure you want someone like me? Who knows, maybe she did.

Live from Hollywood, this is the finale! A bunch of girls saunter out hiding behind giant feather fans. Oh, it’s some professional dancers who’ve been voted off. Next there’s Buzz, Brenda, Aiden, Kate, Niecy, Pam (who looks hot!), and turns out this is a group dance, sorta. They put the two people who have no business dancing, Kate and Buzz, off to the side on the left stairs, and they sort of bounce in place there while everybody else gets to do some sexy moves and lifts with the feather things. “I’m so excited!” is the song playing. No child of the 80’s can hear that song without thinking of Jessie’s freak-out in that excellent classic half-hour very special Saved By the Bell: Jessie gets addicted to caffeine pills studying for the SATs. “I’m so excited, I’m so excited … I’m….scared!”

Did Kate even rehearse this? If she did she wasn’t paying attention. She finally clomps out with Tony for a couple seconds and they are at least three steps apart from each other, it’s that bad. He dances a bit, she just walks. She can’t even lift up her red feather thing at the same time. Tony is skipping around and smiling like a goon so glad this is the last time ever he has to do this with her. He basically made a total fool out of her on Jimmy Kimmel the other night. I wonder if she knew he was going to do that. It’s weird Kate and Tony are the only dancers who are not in the final “group pose” at the end. I realize they were busy with their feather things but they couldn’t work them in somehow?

Tom and Brooke explain all the boring rules for tonight--they are neither interesting nor difficult to understand so I won‘t rehash them, I trust you can follow along. Tom is really good handling a microphone, it’s cool how he lets it fall to the side when he isn’t talking, then snaps it back up when it’s time to go again. Brooke, not so good. She is always handing the microphone over three seconds too late. There is a bad joke in here somewhere but I won’t make it.

First up I guess they can pick their favorite dance and the judges will rank the three couples first, second and third. They all end up picking the Argentine Tango. They’re right, that one is really cool.

Pussycat and Benjamin Button: It is my favorite of theirs, too--firm and complicated but graceful. The song is also awesome. At first I thought it was an instrumental version of Everything is Everything by Lauryn Hill, a song I‘ve loved for years. But it’s actually El Capitalismo Foráneo by Gotan Project, a French band, only the DWTS band’s version is better, which doesn‘t happen that often.

Evan and Ana: Good grief, Evan even watches his old dances on video like a college football coach holed away in the archives studying film. Hey, this is how you get to the finals, what can I tell Kate? Six hours a day is not gonna cut it. No exaggeration, most people who do well on this show are well known to rehearse twelve, fourteen, sixteen hours a day every day until their feet are developing gangrene. Almost anyone who makes it in anything in show business works that hard. Their tango is fabulous of course, as is what happens when you put your all into rehearsing something.

Erin and Maks: Last time, that dance they did with the bed was just weird and everyone wants to forget it--except the producers never let you forget things you want to on reality shows. They fight a bit as couples doing it, often do. They’re good, not quite as complicated as the other two. Erin does an amazing jump right onto Maks’ shoulder, it looks scary, good for her. I remember when she couldn’t do even a little jump into his arms. Len and Bruno say Erin is most improved, which I completely agree with. She is the only one left who is still consistent with what this show should be about. And she and Maks have the best chemistry of all of them, although their competition is some cherubic little kid and his mother, and Evan and Ana, who are as flat as Canadian sausage.

The judges give them third place. Guess how it goes for the others? Yep, Evan second place and Pussycat first. I wonder who will win this. Yawn.

They do a little montage of everyone who stunk and got voted off during the first half or so (well, everyone stunk with the exception of Brenda who did not stink and did not deserve to be voted off first….B.S.!). The clip they show is of course Kate dancing/stomping to Papa-paparazzi and then shooting daggers at Carrie Ann after she told her it was hard to watch. (What? It was!) Let’s revisit the hypocrisy that is Kate Gosselin one more time. Kate is complaining about a few INF photographers taking some snapshots at her fence from 100 feet away with a telephoto lens. She’s never home anyway. And I’ve never even seen a paparazzi photo of her from L.A., so no one is bothering her out there. The Paps in New York get invited into her own limo. So it’s hard to believe she really feels all that harassed by the paps. Yet she has cameras in her home, in the bedrooms, bathrooms, capturing every intimate detail of her children‘s lives and even now while they are still recovering from a very painful divorce and by her own admission are throwing tantrums and crying …. Her children’s unhappiness is not enough to stop her, she still has cameras in her home! While these kids are going through the breakup of everything they have ever known, shame on her.

Come off it Kate, we choose to believe your direct quote in your own book which revealed even more of your poor children‘s secrets: “I truly love the media.” We know you do, thanks for finally admitting it. It’s a shame she has to involve her children in her love for all things fame and fortune, children who are far too young to make an informed decision about whether it’s in their best interest to have their private lives, especially during a divorce, exposed to this extent. Children probably still quite clueless how much they have in fact been exposed--they are not even capable of remembering the time when filming began, they were babies. And parents of course have a conflict of interest. Which is what child labor laws are for! After all, if we could trust parents (or even networks, for that matter), we wouldn’t need any laws to protect children. Keep it up, Murt.

Brenda is out first and she's great of course. It is so annoying she was voted out first, she could have done a lot more with this. Aiden spins around a bit, too boring to recap. Buzz beams down from the sky in a blinding green ray of light. I hope they are not making fun of a national hero. It is a fine line here. He looks like he’s wearing sparkly pj’s. He and Ashley waltz around for quite awhile and at the end she falls to the floor, which I don’t get. “Could he be any more adorable?” Brooke blurts. I think he is cute too, but Brooke is probably one of those shallow people who not only thinks he’s cute, but also thinks that’s the only thing he really has to offer at his age. Stop patronizing a guy who passed up MIT for West Point. Tom chuckles awkwardly. I think he gets it. I mean, that Brooke is a dummy that is.

You know what’s funny? During the commercial break there’s an ad for Shrek. We‘ll get to that later.

We’re back. And now it’s time for another montage. I don’t get what this is about, it’s just sort of a little bit of everyone wiggling around. Eventually Tom says it’s time for two reality shows to collide….Hmm, what crossover would I most like to see. Twisted Kate and the Deadliest Catch maybe? I would dress Kate in a rain suit and put her in charge of baiting the pots. Her shrieking would be blessedly drowned out by the crashing 30 foot waves. But instead we just get a lame dance with The Bachelor and Chelsea. And his fiancee is dancing with a pro, too? That‘s random. A hundred bucks they’ve tapped her to dance next season.

Top Five arguments of the season, oh, good. Tony tearing off his microphone and storming out on Kate when she accuses him of not teaching her right will be number one or I‘ll eat my hat. Number five through four are pretty much some mild disagreements and discussions among some of the other contestants and their pros. Maks is adorable when he stomps up and down--that wasn‘t a fight, that was two people hot for each other who probably sealed the deal that night. Number one is of course Kate whine, whine, whining to Tony during the second week. She’s not paying attention to his teaching, she’s “stressed” (everyone is stressed, you‘re not special), she’s telling him how to teach her how to dance, and then gives him a backhanded apology that goes something like “you’re not hearing what I’m saying.” I’m glad they are careful to show that it was Kate who walked out first, saying “I’m done,” and clumping away with shoulders slumped impossibly low. Her own kids are more mature. It was only after that Tony finally rips off his microphone and jogs out, muttering “I tried everything. I quit.” When you walk out first saying things like “I’m done,” you have no business being upset at the other person for subsequently walking out. Congrats, Kate, you’re number one in something on this show.

Some former winners weigh in. Apollo Ono is adorable. At the Olympics, watching his dad keep notes of his scores on his little notepad was just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. The Winter Olympics could happen every single year and I’d be perfectly happy. I have no idea who Kelly Monaco even is.

Predictably, Erin is voted out third. And the last celeb who is anything close to an amateur is gone. Their final dance the cha-cha-cha is beautiful. I like how Erin does not let bad things rule her life and just gets on with it and doesn’t have to constantly remind us every single day about how horrible her life has been this year and exploit her tragedies. A divorce is very, very sad, yes it is. But death threats are just horrifying. There is nothing creepier than a stranger trying to insert themselves into your private life. She is someone to truly admire. She hugs …. No, holds, Max for like five minutes. I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of them.

I forgot about the college dancing clubs. I think it’s really cool to encourage less mainstream activities. Everybody else in college either joins a fraternity or plays a sport, how predictable. Purdue goes first. I am rooting for them based on the fact that I have heard of this college before. Then Utah Valley University goes. The judges pick Utah Valley for the win and they get a baby mirror ball trophy, aw. Tom instructs them to water it, and I laugh. I love dumb jokes. Usually I am the only one laughing at jokes like that, but I don‘t care.

Other B-list and D-list celebs give their useless opinions as to who should win. I wonder if when George Stephenopolis was working for Bill Clinton he thought that ten years later he’d be giving his esteemed commentary on the Pussycat doll and her merits as a reality show ballroom dancer.

Kate is in her Papa-paparazzi costume and she and Tony stand there with Tom and Brooke while they blabber on. Brooke finally asks Kate what she’s up to. Notice how Kate says she has been working on Kate Plus 8. But her kids aren’t working, mind you--just her. They show a clip from Kate Plus 8. The children are huge, talkative, and just beautiful. They look nothing like that bizarre People magazine cover shoot they just did. Kate is packing for the Florida trip for their birthday--the working vacation she pulled them out of school for even though school was about to be over with anyway--but since it premieres June 6 I see why they couldn‘t wait around for children to finish the school year and other nonsense like that. Wait a minute …. are the kids sitting in highchairs? They are indeed! So that’s why they look so huge. I’m going to save my breath on this one, it’s not worth my blood pressure. Except to say, they are six years old. Six.

Kate eventually ditched the kids in Florida and came out to L.A. to rehearse a redo of the Pasa Doble with Tony. I have to give her credit for tackling this dance again since the first one was about as humiliating as that reoccurring dream most of us have all had of showing up naked to school or work. Only in Kate‘s dream, she shows up in a dominatrix costume on the set of DWTS tearing up fake tabloids.

Kate is pretty relaxed and happy rehearsing with Tony, which is refreshing. This is what Tony was trying to get her to do for so long. When you relax, you often do better. I think having the pressure off indeed actually helps her a lot. She even wants Tony to make it harder--good for her. Tony wisely points out that it’s one thing saying you want something, but it’s quite another to actually do it. Oh, how true that is for Kate. She has been quite a bit of talk about a lot of things, but not a lot of walk. For instance, she told us she would win DWTS. Except, she didn’t want to put in even a third of the effort somebody like Evan put in to make that happen. I quickly grow tired of people in my life who are all talk and no walk.

“I would probably guess that 90% of my audience doesn’t like me,” Kate says matter-of-factly. Yes, I’d say that’s a fair assessment. Kate says she is controversial, but she adds about two extra syllables to the word. Kate then claims she doesn’t know why this is. She is either lying, or has the self-awareness of a slug. If she’s trying to get us to feel sorry for her, it’s not working. I might feel sorry for her if it were the other way around--10% don’t like her. I would say those 10% are jealous, or insecure, or need to worry about their own lives. But when 90% of your audience doesn’t like you, do you think maybe, just maybe, there might be something about you yourself worth taking a second look at? Just a thought.

Look at, this is a lot better than the first Papa-Paparazzi, though Kate still looks like she’s got a metal rod in her back and is afraid of setting off airport security. Everything is going mildly okay until something very, very strange happens. In the middle of the dance, Kate runs over to a camera crane, climbs aboard, and the crane starts lifting her up, up, up into the air while she sings to the music and spreads her arms wide like the Y in YMCA. It doesn’t look planned, it looks like Kate had some kind of last minute inspiration that she should rise up to the heavens. Tony is left just standing in the middle of the dance floor like a dolt while she just keeps getting higher and higher.

Something is odd about the camera, it has like a slight fish lens look to it. The result is that, as a dear Canadian reader pointed out, Kate bears a striking resemblance to Donkey from Shrek.

This is not exactly Kate’s fault, but seriously, whose idea was this? She and Tony were looking half-way decent out there and then they cop out by raising her up on the crane like she’s going to be putting the star atop the national Christmas tree? It makes absolutely zero sense and is almost as embarrassing as her first go at this dance. If this is what a mother has to resort to in order to feed her kids, I think my kids might have to go hungry.

The first time I watched this I nearly wet myself. The second time, for the recap, I’m just kind of sitting here in stunned silence. I want a Brunoism, but sadly this isn’t going to be critiqued by the judges.

The audience goes wild, though a lot of them are laughing too. And guess who else is laughing? Tom and Brooke. In fact they can’t stop laughing. Tom and Brooke are trying desperately to transition into the next part where the final two are going to go, but they are busting out laughing through the whole thing. Tom literally has to bend his head and take a deep breath to keep it together. Ha! It was funny but was it that funny? Maybe, I guess! It’s mean to laugh at someone making a total fool of themselves, but humans are evil and always do anyway.

Brooke is back in the dressing rooms doing some boring interviews. She is asking useless stuff like, What’s it gonna take to win, guys?! I must point out, it’s okay to film adults in their dressing rooms, but not kids! Hehe.

Another montage of what I thought they said was supposed to be about Niecy and Pam. I really do not get these montages. They start out saying they are about certain people, but then they always stick in other people like Erin and the Pussycat. None of them have really had a discernible theme at all.

Pam is lowered from this brightly-lit circle thing and completely playing up her cliché sexy side. Woo-hoo, she is dancing with Tony! Why couldn’t they be partners? That would have been great. This may be Pam’s persona, but hands down her best dance was the sweet and actually in a way kind of heartbreaking I Can’t Make You Love Me--the dance that made me cry. She got the encore that week, it was that good. Here comes Neicy jiggling around. I was tired of her by week three.

I don’t have too many more good stories about Pam left, other than to sum it all up. My first-hand observations of her is that she is there for Dylan and Brandon and ain‘t afraid to get her fingernails dirty being there. She does not leave the care of them to nannies, she gets along with their father, doesn’t trash him in the press, and Dylan and Brandon don’t know how lucky they are as children of a celebrity to have a mommy like her. Most of their peers in the same boat are being raised by 22-year-olds because their mommies care more about the career and the fans, and the children were born for magazine covers and good press and because when you‘re a female celeb you‘re supposed to marry and have a few kids, not because they were truly interested in being a parent. Pam said in an interview about DWTS that Dylan and Brandon will decide if they want to be famous, but when they are adults. She obviously is on a different page than the parents of the Gosselin 8. The right page, if I may say so. Carry on, Pam.

Wow, could there be any more dry ice? Evan and the Pussycat walk out of a giant sparkly ball, ha, you don‘t need to water that one! Evan looks like he’s afraid he might trip because he can’t see the floor. Finally for the finale, Nicole dances the jive. Of course it’s incredible. Scores of 10-10-10. Evan does the Quickstep, which has always really worked with his lanky frame. He should have been born at the turn of the century. This seems a little short. Scores of 10-9-9. Aw.
Drumroll please, and the winner is …. Pussycat doll! What a shocker. I knew she would win from week one. So did everyone.

I did some predictions for this show on the blog before it all started. For fun let’s see how close I was! I said I didn’t think Chad would make it half-way: Wrong, he was a pleasant surprise! I didn’t think Aiden would make it half-way: Correct, he stunk. I actually thought Brenda would make it to the top three: Waaay wrong she was voted off first, boo! I said Niecy probably wouldn’t make it to the half-way, but she could be a wild card: Sort of correct, she ended up being a wild card I think. Erin Andrews I said top half: Correct. Pussycat would be top three: correct. Jake gone in the first half: correct. I said Buzz wouldn’t make it half-way: Correct. I said Pam Anderson would make it to the half-way mark: correct! I said Evan would be final three: Correct! Not bad. As for Kate, I thought she’d make it all the way to fifth place, knowing how driven she is. Boy was I wrong.

It’s been a long season, hard to watch at times, hysterical at other times. And some recaps have been harder than others! Thanks for sticking with me and see you for Kate Plus 8!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gary Coleman's $1.3 million lawsuit against his parents

Sadly former child actor Gary Coleman passed away today, and he's a reminder of what can happen when greedy parents are allowed to run all over their famous children and their money.

Some famous children do fine, that's true. We hope and pray the Gosselin kids get through this. We hope and pray their money is being protected. But we have major doubts. Ron Howard, Melissa Gilbert did fine--and also had very supportive and grounded parents not interested in their money. Kate and Jon however have demonstrated time and time again they are very interested in every last cent. But what's most frightening for the Gosselin children is how similar their careers are being handled compared to the laundry list of child stars who did not do just fine and whose money was not managed just fine.

One of the more glaring facts is that for almost the entire series, the Gosselin children were not paid at all, according to TLC themselves. At a December 10, 2009 court hearing under oath, TLC's Edward Sabin admitted their contract does not and has never provided for any payment for the kids, and "It is true the parents are responsible for payment to the children." In other words, it was left up to the parents to give them their money--and history has shown when parents are in charge of money, bad things happen. While Kate claims she has saved some money, there has never been one shred of proof their parents ever saved a dime for them during this period, or if they did as Kate claims, exactly how much she decided was adequate to stock away for eight kids who have spent their childhood working. We know absolutely no details, other than Kate's blanket assurance she's put something aside for them. On their own web site for many years, the Gosselin parents even stated that there is no college fund for the children, that information the state has one for them is false. So assuming they are not lying, their trust fund for the children is only a recent development. We hope Kate has saved everything they deserve. But why is this number such a secret? Well, it's not our business how much Kate has saved for the kids. Except, TLC was found to have violated child labor laws consistently and repeatedly. When someone is thumbing their noses at the laws of their state, when children are the victims, it should be the public's obligation to see to it they not only become in compliance with the law, but make amends for the years they were not. The children cannot stand up for themselves when it comes to money they are owed--at least not until they are adults, as Gary Coleman did. The children are so young they probably don't even realize how much money they really should be getting--give a kid $100 bill at that age and they think they're rich. We doubt the Gosselin kids know just how rich they've made their parents. Until they become of age, only the public can insist they are fairly compensated and protected.
After problems with the PA Labor Dept., TLC now reportedly sets aside in trust just 15% of their salary for all the children. When you think about this in real numbers, it's really shocking. For every $100,000 the Gosselins help their parents rake in, they only get $15,000. Divided eight ways: that's only $1,875 per child. Let's say they manage to make a million dollars in one year. The kids would each only end up getting $18,750....or, an annual salary that is below the poverty line in the United States for a family of four. An annual salary that is also below most college tuitions these days--if all this is just to save for college. A salary that will certainly be below all college tuitions by the time the twins reach college age in 2018. No wonder they need to keep working so much--college can't possibly be paid for yet.
What's most shocking of all, perhaps, is that this 15% isn't even safe from greedy parents. According to Laurie Goldberg of TLC, Jon and Kate may dip into this 15% if they need to for the children's safety, education, welfare or health. Broad terms that can include almost anything. Why aren't the children allowed to dip into their parents' 85% cut instead?

Coleman had to drag his parents through the court system for four long years before he finally got back the $1.3 they stole from his money. In the meantime, his parents sued him for defamation and breach of contract. Breach of contract? He was a child! Children can't even be bound by contracts. These suits were shot down. His parents were ordered to pay back every cent they stole.

His parents then tried to appoint a conservator over Coleman's financial and health needs--in other words, tried to circumvent Coleman and have some cronie handle this all instead. A shady move at best. A conservator is usually reserved for those incapable of understanding proceedings and assisting their attorney and the court due to mental illness or impairment, or people so sick they are in a coma. Coleman had some health problems including kidney problems, but he was mentally and physically well able to handle himself. Coleman sued for malicious prosecution for the four years of hell his parents put him through as an adult--not to mention what they did to him when he was a child. Coleman ended up estranged from his parents. The Gosselin children are certainly learning that when you have a problem with someone, you should estrange them. We'll see what happens when they're of age.
Thankfully the Gosselin children are being paid now, sort of, if you consider a salary below the poverty line payment. But what about back pay for the 130+ episodes they made prior to December 10, 2009? And what about keeping 100% of their money? They can't keep all their money just because they're a child? But when they're 18, they can? Why is this acceptable or even logical? Shouldn't children be entitled to all their money even moreso than even adults, since they are just innocent children and really should be in school and being a child and not working? 15% is a start, but is no where near satisfactory compensation for their current and back work. Still waiting for financial justice for the eight.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

TLC hires lobbyist to try to stop new child labor laws

Child advocate and former exploited child star Paul Petersen has written another open letter to TLC, where he calls them out on hiring lobbyist and labor and employment attorney Scott Bishop of S. R. Wojdak & Associates to actively try to stop PA state Representative Tom Murt's new child labor bill HB 2515. Bishop is a member of both the Pennsylvania and the California bars. Bishop's firm has represented other giant corporations such as Bank of America and Microsoft. They proudly list "Discovery Communications" as one of their clients on their web site.

What's wrong, TLC? Don't you want all minors protected? What's wrong with limited hours, making sure children are paid for their work, and having an advocate on set? What are you trying to hide?

Petersen still has a lot of unanswered questions for TLC, including: "Where is the independent Advocate for the Gosselin Eight? Who negotiated the terms of the contract with these children? What Court approved this contract? What person…with a license to lose…is going to oversee the day-to-day production of "Kate Plus 8?" Who will guard the "health, safety and morals" of the minors?" Paul closes his letter with this: "As for the adults you employ? They can fend for themselves. They are not my concern. But when you take advantage of a child in the entertainment business you're going to hear from us…now or later."

On one good note, at least TLC knows the kids are beautiful just as they are. We hate that the kids are being filmed again, but we think their promo photo is a heck of a lot more natural than People magazine's.

Kids exploited all over People cover this week

It's not gonna stop. It's not. The kids are on the cover of People this week with Kate, and the subheading talks about how the divorce has caused "tears, tantrums, and chaos." When will Kate get it? It's one thing to have your divorce dragged through the tabloids. It's another to give exclusive interviews to People and write books about all your children's private thoughts and feelings and behavior as a result of said divorce--and what percentage of her People paycheck did the kids' get, we're curious?

One word: disgusting.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kids meet the new girlfriend

We don't know why we've hesitated to post this. Jon has been spotted out the past few days with the kids and his new girlfriend.

Lots of child development experts say it's not a good idea to introduce a girlfriend this soon. Most children fantasize about parents getting back together and a girlfriend can be very upsetting.

However some experts say that "hiding" a girlfriend from children can be just as bad. When the children finally find out, they can feel betrayed, or like they are not important enough to be included in what is going on in their parent's life.

DWTS Season Finale--Discussion Thread

Kate, who apparently has been in L.A. since she ditched the kids on their working vacation in Florida, will be back for one last dance with Tony on the Season Finale of Dancing With The Stars....LIVE!

Discuss how even Kate admits that 90% of people watching her don't like her. Kate? Do you think there might be something wrong with YOU when 90% of people don't like you? Even Bush had better approval ratings.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Other families of eight kids are doing just fine remaining anonymous

We often hear, if you had eight kids you would put them on TV too! Or, Kate has to put them on TV, to survive. Or, no one else can walk in Kate's shoes.

Well, four families with eights kids who don't have their own TV shows are walking in her shoes, and were recently interviewed by Parent Dish. There are other families with eight or more kids out there, that can be easy to forget when it sometimes seems like Kate acts like she owns the patent on eight. Here's a little taste of their worlds, and how they're managing without exploiting their children:

  • Elizabeth Foss of Washington, D.C., works from home as a writer so she can stay around the house. She even home-schools her eight kids. We say: There are plenty of other things you can do besides getting a job more than 2,000 miles away, or obviously, putting your kids on TV.
  • Most of the moms interviewed don't use babysitters. They can't find a teenager willing or able to watch all eight. Instead, they will have an "at home" date watching a movie together when the kids are in bed. We say: Fun and memories don't always have to be a luxury vacation.
  • The children help with tasks like folding laundry, but all the moms say they have to accept that the cleaning and housework will never be perfect. We say: Obsessive focus on the children being matchy-matchy, French braidy-braidy, and spotless, puts undue stress on the children to always be perfect, and takes time away from relaxing and just enjoying the your time together. Childhood is brief and at the end of the 18 years the ice cream stains won't matter.
  • Some of the moms say it just gets better as the kids get older, more fun. They don't want to keep them "babies." We say: There is joy and happiness and uniqueness to be found in every year of your child's life with the right attitude and priorities. Sometimes a 10-year-old is a lot more fun than a cutsie 3-year-old. With the 10-year-old you can have a conversation that starts to resemble adult-speak. That's FUN. Enjoy your kids, no matter what their ages. Don't constantly wish them to stay the way they are or to age the opposite direction. That also puts undue stress on a child to not just be themselves.

Friday, May 21, 2010

First photos of kids working in Florida

TMZ has some exclusive photos of the kids in Florida filming Kate Plus 8 last week (during school). When the working vacation was over, Kate left directly to L.A. and the kids flew home with four nannies, according to an eyewitness at the airport.

The family took a private tour of the Everglades on Boggy Creek Airport rides.

TLC, did you comply with Florida's child labor laws during this shoot? Where is the Cordinator of Child Labor liason required to be on set? Did you get the required permits?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chronology of Collin hiding his face

We want to document this for future reference. Baby Collin's fight to get his privacy back after his parents sold it to the highest bidder:

1. The first time Collin was seen hiding his face was sometime the week of May 3rd, 2010, when Kate picked him up from the bus stop. He hid his face behind his jacket from the bus all the way to the car. None of the kids appear to be laughing or joking with him as if he were playing.

2. A few days after that, on his birthday 5/10/10, he was seen draping his arm across his face at the bus stop with Jon. The other children were busy crawling all over their daddy, and were not seen interacting with him.

3. Later that night, out to supper with Kate on 5/10/10, he covered his face with his hands for the entire walk there.

Another interesting note, sometime in April at the bus stop, Kate was caught covering Collin's mouth with her hand at the bus stop. No one was laughing or smiling. Hm, maybe he was saying he didn't want to be famous anymore. And Collin, the "stubborn" one, speaks his own mind and runs his own agenda, according to his parents.

4. On the premiere episode of Kate Plus 8, which aired 6/6/10, Collin told a crew member: “It’s good that the paparazzi went away.”

5. On Father's Day June 20, 2010, Paparazzi took video of Collin hiding his face.

6. On 6/26/10 on a trip to the store with Kate, Collin hid his face again.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Police in death of 7-year-old "Were excited; they were on TV"

Chicago Police Department: "Police work is not entertainment."

We don't often post off-topic news (this is a Gosselin blog and its niche is the Gosselins, and other things going on around the world or even on TV can easily be found and talked about elsewhere) but this revelation today in the tragic accidental death of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones has us stunned.

Aiyana died when a police officer's weapon accidentally discharged during a raid and hit her in the neck, according to the Detroit Police (eyewitnesses however have reported it was a grenade thrown into the house, or possibly a shot fired into the house).

What has not been mentioned until now, however, is that police were being filmed at the time of her death for A&E's popular reality show "The First 48". And the circumstances of little Aiyana's death have been captured on film and could be used as evidence.

We often hear that children on reality shows are "just living their lives" and that therefore it should be okay. If they just were indeed living their lives, it probably would be okay, we agree. But incidents like this one make one question whether people really do act differently when there is a camera crew around--and are not, in fact, just living their lives, whether they are at home hanging around the house or at work doing their jobs. It's arguably harmless error when it's just a family being filmed on a vacation, but not so harmless when it's a cop with a weapon. According to reports today:

Some, including one former attorney for Aiyana's family, believe the presence of the reality-TV show crew may have encouraged police officers to act with more bravado than necessary. Attorney Karri Mitchell, who was replaced by Fieger, said the police "were excited; they were on TV." Mitchell told The Detroit News that the TV show's need for drama may have inspired the officers to act with too much force.
"They didn't have to throw a grenade through the front window when they knew there were children in there," she said.

A&E has faced heavy criticism in the past for its show "Intervention" and other reality dramas that delve deep into addictions and mental illness, and according to many, "exploit" their subjects' problems when they are most vulnerable. Did the Detroit police act differently because of the cameras? Did they throw a grenade into the house just to beef up the drama? We'll never know. And neither will Aiyana.
The good news is not everyone thinks that police should be filmed. Police departments in Chicago, Detroit, Honolulu, and Orlando have refused requests to tape in their cities. Chicago Police Department Deputy Director of News Affairs Patrick Camden has stated in response to requests for COPS taping that "police work is not entertainment. What they do trivializes policing. We've never seriously even considered taping."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kids return from Florida alone as Kate takes off for L.A.

Apparently Kate or Jon couldn't be bothered to bring their children home from Florida. With Kate off in L.A. to tape Entertainment Tonight and Jon busy riding a snazzy bike with his new girlfriend (was this the bike he said TLC promised him awhile ago if he was good?), the kids were escorted by nannies/bodyguards from their working vacation in Florida back to Pennsylvania. And back to school, we hope.

Jon takes new girlfriend for a spin

We don't post much about Jon's string of girlfriends. He's ridiculous and they're a bore. But since the kids are busy vacationing (read: WORKING) in Florida, it's been a slow news week.

Jon was spotted out on his wheels with girlfriend Ellen Ross, 23, of Harrisburg.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

First episode of Kate Plus 8

TLC: “Another year has flown by for Kate and her adorable kids. The little ones are turning 6, and Kate’s planning a special birthday filled with exciting celebrations. But shhh, it’s a surprise! For the first time, Kate faces planning and feeding all 8 kids on her own. Will she be able to keep it a surprise or will she crack under the pressure of single-motherhood? And how will the kids react when Kate reveals the surprise?”

On her own? We've seen paparazzi photos of Steve, Gina, friends, nannies, and various others all there to help with the party.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Funky t-shirts

Clothing company Peace Love World has pictures of the kids in their clothing up on their blog.

Kate and kids spotted in Florida

Floridians are reporting they've seen the family filming in Orlando at Discovery Cove. And that Aaden is sick.

Isn't it a school week?

TLC, have you complied with Florida's child labor laws?

  • They also require permits before any shoot begins.
  • Employers must provide Florida's Department of Business and Professional Regulation information as to each "shoot" and shall submit a "final report" upon completion of the shoot.
  • The employer shall designate a Coordinator of Child Labor on each set to be the liaison with the Department.
  • Minors age six to nine shall not be required to work more than 6 hours a day
  • Minors ten to 16 may not work more than 7 hours a day
  • Minors must have at least 12 hours of "rest" before returning to school.

According to PA law, time shooting in any other state counts toward time permitted to film in Pennsylvania. In other words, you can't run to another state and max out on your hours permitted in PA, then come back into PA and start fresh. The clock has run.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Unbelievable. Kids right back to work. And Collin is still covering his face from the Paps

Colin, CENTER, hiding from the Paparazzi AGAIN outside Austin's Restaurant in Reading. And the media is starting to notice. Still think he must just be playing peek-a-boo? This is the second fourth time he's been seen in public trying to hide his face. It's not peek-a-boo anymore, it's happened too much:

Their first full day of being six years old and apparently with no school today, where else would the Gosselin kids be but back to work!

The kids paraded their new birthday presents for the cameras for the upcoming Kate Plus 8, which starts June 6. Explain how this is different than the Dionnes. We will forever stand behind this: It is not okay to film children's private moments like this. And it is not a parents' right to exploit their children just because they're the parents.

After, Kate took the kids, along with Steve and a nanny, to Austin's Restaurant in Reading (above), where Colin hid his face on the way in. How did the Paps know to show up there? Either they are tailgating them, or someone is tipping them off--both of which are scary.

Child exploitation book falls off Best-Seller list

Maybe folks were tired of hearing about how inconvenient these children have made Kate's lavish life? After just two weeks on the New York Times Best-seller list, it's gone.

In case you forgot some of the highlights:

•After the babies turned one, Kate claims she and Jon were caring for them mostly by themselves
•Kate says she is thoroughly annoyed with fans.
•"Where I lived, the career mom was not normal, but in New York it was. It was good to fit in. I’ve learned to talk to my kids on the phone and love them from afar, reminding myself that I had to do my job. I truly enjoy the campaigns, books, shows, media.”
•In her letter to Mady, Kate insists to her that all the decisions she has made for her have been best for her even if Mady disagrees right now. She points out a time when Mady lied about a beach towel on the floor and said she wants to insstill honesty in her.
•In Alexis’ letter, Kate calls her naughty and says the changes from the divorce have been confusing and upsetting to her.
•In Hannah’s letter, she says the divorce has caused pain and doubt and shaken her.
•In Aaden’s letter, she calls him an inconsolable baby and points out the many pairs of glasses he went through at a cost of $200 each.
•In Collin’s letter, he tests and tries her authority every chance he gets.

But don't worry there's more exploitation where that came from. TLC says a new season of Kate Plus 8 kicks off June 6. Murt where are you?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jon and Kate together on kids' Birthday

This brought tears to our eyes. The kids so desperately need this. There's nothing kids want more than Mommy AND Daddy on their birthday. Here's to putting differences aside and co-parenting. The marriage may be broken, but they will forever be tied together because of the kids. Might as well make it work.
Jon also took them to see his new apartment.

Jon's birthday bus pickup

The kids bolted off the bus to Jon this afternoon, thrilled to see Daddy on their birthday. We're glad Kate "let" him have visitation today according to him, or whatever his arrangement is with her now.

Happy birthday

Party this weekend, then bus stop duty this morning.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Weekend tanning

Cargo pants, t-shirt and flip-flops? Kate is sticking to her new more hands-on Mom look.

In Touch Weekly--May 17 edition, pg 70

This week's In Touch has some disturbing up close paparazzi shots of the kids with Kate and a nanny. Including Colin cowering behind his jacket:

They also report:

1. Some of the kids are happy to film again because they missed the companionship of the crew
2. Others of the kids are not happy to film again
3. Kate's terrified of losing fans and is eager to do a show again
A few questions: Has the crew had their background checks? Livescans in? How many hours are the children working? How much is being paid to EACH of them and more importantly, how much is being put in TRUST UNTIL THEY'RE 18? Is there a set teacher at the home? Is Colin being forced to work when he would rather hide his face behind his jacket? Has the Department of Labor ever gotten around to inspecting the set/home? Are the children permitted to go to school events, sleepovers, friends' houses if it conflicts with the filming schedule, or is the crew their social life now?
We still do not know the answers to ANY of these questions. Does that concern anyone?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gosselin kids need helmets, therapy, non-matching clothes, and time with mom and dad for their Birthday

This blogger has made a list of the birthday presents the Gosselin children really need. With the exception of a dog (they have not shown they can be committed and responsible enough to take care of a high-maintenance animal like a dog), we agree.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wrapping paper shopping

Here's hoping:

1. they celebrate their birthday on the actual day
2. they celebrate their birthday without paparazzi documenting it like animals in a zoo
3. they celebrate their birthday without a camera crew there like animals in a zoo
4. Jon and Kate are there and get along for the sake of the eight

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Remember when he said this?

"The kids are unanimous. They don't want to film. We filmed 152 episodes. What more can you possibly still film? You want us to go to the moon? You want us to take the kids and go to Korea? Are you crazy? They don't want to be on a four-cylinder bus in Korea. They want to be home in the pool. "

A little light reading

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tony filled in for Louis after he got food poisoning

And apparently Niecy told him: "Welcome to it — you’re going to have a partner who smiles, who laughs, and who admits she’s happy to be away from her children. Get ready! We’re going to have a good time!"


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Kate's book falls from #11 to #22 on New York Times Best-seller list

Exploitive Letters to my Money-Makers, aka "I Just Want you to Know" is sinking.