Kate Plus 8

Common Sense Media says

More Kate than kids in reality series spin-off.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kate's frustrations often run high with the kids, but the show also includes some intimate, heartfelt moments between Kate and her kids in which viewers can glimpse her range of emotions as a mom. The show explores the difficulties, exaggerated as they might be, of being a single parent.

Positive role models

It’s clear that Kate’s goal is to be a good parent, but she does lose her temper at times and make sarcastic and snide remarks toward the kids. She also shows her bitterness toward Jon during solo confessionals for the camera, though she strives to keep her comments light when she’s talking to the kids.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language

Marginal language like “It pisses me off,” but nothing stronger.

Consumerism

The Gosselins are treated to luxuries like private buses, personalized play houses, and birthday trips to Sea World.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that but for the obvious exception of Jon’s presence, there’s little to differentiate this series from what it was under its old moniker, Jon & Kate Plus 8. The focus remains on the often-stressful life of now-divorced mom Kate and her eight kids, and tensions frequently run high within the busy household. With Jon's absence, Kate gets more screentime, and it's tough to believe she doesn't enjoy it -- though without Jon, there's less bickering onscreen. Parents will certainly relate to Kate’s frustrations over temper tantrums and sibling rivalry, but the show holds no value to kids, who won’t understand the reasoning behind Kate’s biting sarcasm and pithy comments about Jon.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

KATE PLUS 8 centers on newly single mom Kate Gosselin and her eight kids: twins Mady and Cara, and sextuplets Hannah, Leah, Alexis, Joel, Collin, and Aaden. Fresh from her divorce from Jon, Kate is faced with the daunting tasks of keeping her household running, managing her worldwide notoriety, and being a working mom (she’s a published author and recently competed on Dancing With the Stars). While the bulk of the show’s content centers on birthday parties, family outings, and the kids’ milestones, the fallout from the divorce does come up during Kate’s confessionals on camera.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Whether you love or hate Kate’s polarizing personality, it’s impossible to dismiss her position as a symbol of modern motherhood. She faces the same types of stresses that other moms do, but on a much larger scale because of her family dynamic. Now that she’s divorced, of course, there’s a whole new set of issues to resolve, but an unexpected plus is that Jon’s absence makes for far less bickering. On the downside, Jon's absence also means more camera time for Kate, and she clearly soaks up the extra attention.

There’s really no reason for kids to tune in to this show, since they won’t get anything positive out of watching the Gosselin tots take elaborate trips or zip around in their flashy riding toys. Kate makes harsh comments about Jon during her camera confessionals (she holds her tongue around the kids), and she's sarcastic to the kids themselves . Then there's the issue of her inviting media attention through the show while crying foul on the paparazzi's interest in her family. If you can tolerate Kate’s strong personality, though, the show does feature the occasional heartfelt moment between her and the kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the media portrays family relationships. Do you think this series gives an honest account of life in the Gosselin household? How does their family compare to yours? Do you think reality series like this one are realistic? Why or why not?

  • How has the definition of “family” changed over the past few decades? How do you define the word? Does the media lead the change or change to reflect it? What shows do you know of that portray different kinds of American families?

  • What do you think of Kate’s parenting style? Is it too harsh? Is it fair to judge her having never been in her shoes? Do you think this show exploits the kids for monetary gain? Why or why not? What is the point to someone airing her dirty laundry on TV? Can anything good come of it?

TV details

Cast:Kate Gosselin
Network:TLC
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Kate Plus 8 was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old August 16, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Please, please, please!!! Just don't watch it!

Kate Gosselin. She is a brat, she thinks of herself so highly, she's a terrible mother, who treats her kids like cr@p, and she uses her negative feedback as a positive way to make her popular. Her sextuplets are so sweet, and can have their bratty moments, like any 6 year old, but her two twins, please don't get me started. I am almost two years older than them, and they are the brattiest girls I have ever seen. They're whiny, terrible to their mother, and act like their the coolest thing since pumpkin pie. This is a terrible show, only embracing the ickyness and cattiness that the world just doesn't need.
Kid, 11 years old July 11, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
i luv thiz shw nd i feel bad 4 kate
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byMeow314159 June 9, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
Kate pretends to be this supermom, but really she just needs to stop thinking about herself and be a real mom who actually cares about the kids.

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