A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series aims to show how two dedicated parents cope with the daily demands of such a large family -- but they often respond to stress by arguing and picking on each other. In the 2009 season, infidelity and divorce become major issues.
Positive Role Models
Varies depending on the season. Both Gosselin parents started out being clearly devoted to their kids and committed to each other. But over the course of the show, as their marriage deterioriated, things changed a lot, and both adults often ended up looking more childish than their kids.
Violence & Scariness
Nothing physical, but plenty of verbal sparring.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief mention of the fertility treatments that resulted in the Gosselins' two sets of multiples. Jon is accused of infidelity.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults occasionally drink wine when they're enjoying a kid-free dinner out.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that because the 2009 season of this reality show brings infidelity and divorce front and center, we increased our recommended age. The accusations and their consequences have spawned a media frenzy, with each parent looking terrible. Otherwise, the show remains focused on how the parents (especially mom Kate) often respond to chaos-imposed stress by bickering and picking at each other. While adult viewers will probably empathize with their tense emotions, young kids may not understand the context of the heated comments and could be upset by them -- especially since infidelity is a subject that kids under 12 won't be able to grasp, and divorce is one that is likely to upset them. Even then, this show is best reserved for older viewers.
Is It Any Good?
We can't imagine why kids would want to see this show. But we can see how parents might get some enjoyment out of it, since they can relate to many of the issues Jon and Kate face (if on a slightly smaller scale). But some parents may be turned off by the frequently snide comments that Kate makes about Jon, both in his presence and out of it. ("He takes longer to get ready than I do, and that's really irritating," or "Can you please help me instead of playing with toys?") Her seeming negativity, while understandable in her situation, often becomes the focal point of the show, and young viewers won't fully understand the stresses that lead the adults to talk to and about each other the way they do.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.