I've held off opining about this couple, such as they are, because like everyone else in America, I've been over-saturated with coverage of their miserable lives. In the interest of marital harmony over the past few years, I've watched a few of the shows with Mrs. Fishing Musician. Of course, I've had no choice but to be deluged with the print, gossip, online and televised updates as to the minute facets of their lives. By virtue of being victimized in this manner, I feel qualified, if not mandated, to weigh in on their show and their lives.
First, I'll state for the record that the wife and I disagree on who the least desirable member of that union is. After watching Jon basically be the benchmark for the browbeaten husband during the brief times I've weighed in on the show, I'm on his side, although I think his middle age crazy response is a bit early in life as well as a bit childish.
The wife, on the other hand, clearly the wisest person in our home, weighs in with Kate. Jon's noncommunative "mute" persona did not go over well with her. Husbands are supposed to be happy, responsive, sexually charged at any moment of the day or night, ready to take care of the kids no matter how long he's been working or what his personal issues de jour are, and I understand this. Millions, if not billions, of men across the globe understand this. And we're happy about it, at least if you ask the wives.
I think, both Jon and Kate, in the beginning, did what they thought was best for their children in starting a reality show. I mean, how else would this couple financially make it? Who would buy the big house and the big van, as well as pay the immense food, medical, clothing and other bills their mega-brood calls for. Not to mention the toys. Just buying a moderate, non-spoiled child amount of toys for that many children would bankrupt the budget of most yuppie twin-degree households. How would any normal couple pay for eight college educations? Just daycare or a nannie would be more than most families could pay, even on healthy professional salaries.
But the responsibility goes beyond that. After already having two kids, somewhere near the national average, they decide to go for broke. Now they're yours for the rest of your natural lives, Jon and Kate. And ironically, even though you may ultimately divorce and lead quasi-separate lives, you're both joined at the hip for the next 20 years or so, and then will remained tethered to each others lives until you die. Unless Jon goes off and becomes a hermit living in a tin shed in a desert somewhere and surviving on whatever he can scrounge.
Obviously, America has a lot of problems right now. While Jon and Kate are making a comfortable income with their show, lots of other hardworking good parents who are much longer suffering than either of our heroes here are making ends meet as best they can. Job loss. No health insurance. Paying out the wazoo if they do have health insurance. Paying for college. Taking care of aging and ill parents and relatives. Working, many times, at jobs they can't stand, but nonetheless grateful for having the income to support their family.
This audience is not going to stand for Jon's little romance with a woman who wasn't even in puberty at the time he had his first kid. The earrings, the Ed Hardy shirts, the tattoos, the New York apartment, the BMW, the motorcycle, I could go on and on. Really now, Jon, do you actually think those Ed Hardy shirts make you look like anything BUT a loser? Is it a cry for help?
Likewise, no one that watches this show is going to be around for long as Kate degenerates into a TV version of the crying game, woeful and saying "why me". We know why me, Kate. You did nothing but fussed at that poor dude and glowered at him and chastised him and shook your head and gave him the silent treatment for many seasons now, and it's no wonder the dude is going through his second teenagehood now. You've got no one to blame but yourself.
And Kate. Just a word about that mullet haircut you've got. It's not happening. 1982 is calling and they want that hairstyle back. It reminds me of some sort of alien seed pod that's been grafted onto your brain and you must wear your hair that way to hide the mark of the beast.
So we need some interesting story ideas to spice up the show and get things going. Much of American I suspect, thinks you two want to keep the show going so you don't have to do what the rest of us working schlubs in America have to do: work for a living. Therefore, I think the motivation is there to come up with some interesting twists.
1. The Divorce Court Judge refers the couple not only to mediation and counseling, but proscribes various activities they have to participate in. Couples bonding weekends, perhaps where the two are handcuffed to each other for 72 hours in the midst of a tropical locale where counselors and other co-dependent types attempt to dissect their issues in a public and non-respectful format.
Perhaps induce a real experimental psychiatrist in another country into one of these forced counseling sessions. Medicate them with drugs that will make them tell the truth, or at least their innermost feelings. Surely there's some out of work CIA types familiar with chemical interrogation that could assist here. After taping their most innermost confessions, make them watch the videos while strapped to a chair with eyes pinned open a'la Clockwork Orange.
That, my friends, would be a show I would watch every week.
2. Two words: Sumo Wrestling. OK, really three words: Sumo Wrestling Costumes. Strap Jon and Kate up in a couple of these babies. Grease the the costumes up with some form of lubricant just to make things interesting. Take the marital warriors to a hilly area, someplace where their pratfalls might turn into hundred feet tumbles down hill and dale.
The goal of the fight is to fight your opponent until they are worn down to the point where they have to admit that the other party is right about everything. It's a winner take all divorce mediation taken to the next level.
3. Celebrity commentators. Have a split screen, with part showing the trials and travails of Jon and Kate and the other half with celebrity commentators giving their sage advice and opinions. Imagine Bill Maher, Kathy Griffith, Michael Moore, Perez Hilton, Oprah, Jerry Springer, and the ladies from The View are a few who immediately come to mind.
Celebritity commentators could every week, not unlike the Bill Maher show or a more bizarre version of Hollywood Squares. To make sure that it is as wild and wooly as it can be, choose a guest host each week. For more fun, choose a guest host that is bi-polar and who has a history of not taking his or her medications.
4. Merge other failing reality shows with Jon and Kate. Jon and Kate meet the Kardashians. Jon and Kate and the Rock of Love. Jon and Kate and Hulk Hogan. The possibilities are endless. They do it on Disney with the kids shows like Miley, Suite Life and so on with great success, why not with reality shows?
With the current aging out of work actors and actresses that undoubtedly need work, not to mention the plethora of once famous and now forgotten reality show rejects and has-beens, the talent pool for such an endeavor is endless. You wanna have some real fun? Bring in Steven Adler and Doc Hollywood for a weekend intervention with Jon.
The premise of the show could go like this. Someone like Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton agrees to come live with Jon and Kate for a month and do whatever the custodial parent of the day says. They are boss. If the guest de jour doesn't do as they are told, they are shot with harmless paintball guns in non-vital locations. Want to up the ante? Have a bitch session, and before having it make sure every one is copiously intoxicated. During the middle of the session, issue stunguns or cattle prods to the participants and watch hilarity ensue. I mean, just how much ordering around do you think REAL celebutants are going to take before they start shocking Jon or Kate?
Or you could make Jon go live with Hulk Hogan and his brood for a month. Let Hulk show Jon how to be a real man in the face of divorce. Since both Jon and Kate are the new breed of reality celebs, make them hangout with members of reality shows past and present, good or bad. Sort of like a purgatory of reality shows. Just make sure that random reality star Flavor Flav plays a major role in this endeavor.
You'd have to do most of these shows without the kids around. You'd have to find some good stand-in parents to actually be responsible and take care of those children and make sure those children are being loved, educated and nurtured. But you wouldn't want to make a show about that. Because with the circus that has become the life of Jon and Kate, it seems no one cares about the kids. If they cared about the kids, they would have ended the show long ago.
Maybe Jon and Kate need to have a sit down reality check with a set of celebrity parents who have a ton of kids but actually appear to be doing a stellar job of being parents. Brad and Angelina. The Pitt family seems focused on taking care of their kids. You don't hear about Brad running the streets with some teenaged chick while Angelina is home raising the kids. They both are working their rear ends off in the movie business and when they're not, it sure seems like they are always with the kids.
Taking the kids places. Doing things as a family. Making sure the kids are having a good a decent life. That's the things you see Brad and Angelina doing when they're not working. They're TCB-taking care of bidness.
On final reflection, maybe Jon and Kate just need to grow up and accept responsibility for the children they bore. Gut it up, like my friend Arthur Seaton used to say. You've made your bed, now sleep in it.