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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.
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.
Marginal language like "It pisses me off," but nothing stronger.
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The Gosselins are treated to luxuries like private buses, personalized play houses, and birthday trips to Sea World.
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.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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.