A MinD in MoTown

And baby makes (more than) three.
March 12, 2009, 5:51 pm
Filed under: I watch too much TV, Pourquoi?

Move over Jon and Kate Gosselin. See you later Duggars. There’s a new family in TLC-town.

Following in the footsteps of some fairly-successful reality-TV households will not be an easy task, but the Hayes family and their soon-to-be-debuted show, “Table for 12,” seem ready for the undertaking. After all, three sets of multiples – Eric and Betty Hayes have two sets of twins and sextuplets – practically guarantees you one season in the TLC spotlight these days. Before you blink your eyes, the defamed Nadya Suleman and her 14 children, including a set of octuplets, will grace your HD-TV sets one hour per week (this is not on the agenda yet for TLC, but it’ll happen sooner or later, guaranteed!).

Whenever or however this fascination with outrageously large families started is beyond me, but it’s become fairly obvious over the last few years that it’s not disappearing. In fact, the charm and attraction just might be multiplying … by a lot.

If I wander over to TLC and “Jon & Kate Plus 8” while my boyfriend lounges with me on the couch, he quickly refers to it as “the scariest show ever” before asking me to try another television option. Eight kids? In a country where the average family consists of approximately two children, four times as many can be a bit daunting, to say the least.

My favorite is Joel, bottom left with the glasses. He's so cute!

My favorite is Aaden, bottom left with the glasses. He's so cute!

But that’s part of the appeal; the fact that the majority of us will never have the same number of mouths to feed as a typical set of dinnerware China. So it becomes fairly interesting to watch another family react to that amount of stress and responsibility.

However, when the Duggars emerged with their small country-sized litter, I was a bit dismayed. Their family did not carry the same allure. Clearly with a dozen and a half children – their show was originally “17 Kids and Counting,” but then Mama Duggar gave birth and now they’re “18 Kids and Counting” – one becomes somewhat curious how any parents can cope. But after watching one episode and realizing that this family grew to 20 individuals (including parents) on purpose, the excitement swiftly fizzles.

My extended family isn't even this big.

My extended family isn't even this big.

Need I even mention the fact that they have a MASSIVE house and clearly enough money to adequately support their ginormus family? I thought not.

I will note, however, that what makes this family different than the others is their strict Christian values, their modest dress (they all dress alike though, and that is strange) and their willingness to continue having children until God takes away that ability (so bizarre!). This is one family that clearly sways away from the norm other than procreating repeatedly for 21 years.

Seeing the obvious success of these two families and their lives prominently displayed on cable television, TLC apparently decided another larger-than-usual family was just what their programming needed. Cue the Hayes horde.

I completely grasp the concept of taking something profitable and running with it, but a company can still attain repeated hits while remaining unique. Take “Little People, Big World” for example. How much airtime do little people truly get? Not much, and that’s what draws an audience into this specific show. But the Hayes? I’m sorry, but TLC’s preview of “Table for 12” looks exactly like “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” except two extra kids are hanging out, waiting for supper time, and they all have red hair.

One show about a large family? Fabulous. Two? Still pretty decent since the families are quite different. Three? Well, it just might be too much of a good thing. I guess we’ll find out when the Hayes premiere later this month.

10 Comments so far
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The Duggars scare the crap out of me. That just isn’t right. Did you know that when the eldest son got married he hadn’t even kissed his bride, ever! Hello, forget about the no sex until marriage, there was no kissing until marriage. WTF!

I saw that! Completely ridiculous. What if she’s a bad kisser, or bad in bed? I mean, I guess he’ll have nothing to compare it to, but still…

Comment by Dutchess of Kickball

C’mon, it is modern TV… you’ve gotta ride the horse till it is dead!

I suppose, but it’s still becoming a bit much.

Comment by [F]oxymoron

Ugh. The Duggars. Those people are the bane of my existence.

Ha. Seems none of my commenters are fans. How are they still on the air!?

Comment by Akirah

Um kate is quite frightening and, at times, vile. Their show has turned her into a monster and I worry about the number of years all of those kids will be spending on the couch.

My boyfriend says Kate is horribly mean to Jon all the time. He absolutely hates Kate, and I can see why. She’s nutty! And I’m sure it’s a result of the show. There was a special on a few nights ago from before they started filming “Plus 8,” when they simply created TLC hour specials occasionally, and she seemed so relaxed and normal. Now…not so much!

Comment by thatShortChick

Stop invading TV with those shows, people! LOL I feel like screaming that, let’s just leave it at 2 or 1 is pretty much enough.

I think that’s how most of us feel!!

Comment by andhari

maybe I should just stat knocking chicks up. Once I get up to like 15 baby momma’s I’m sure someone will give me a show.

Maybe they would, and it’d be a lot different than what you normally see. You should go for it!!

Comment by Matt

TLC should just change their network name to, “Birth Control Denied”

You hit the nail on the head!

Comment by rs27

OK….assuming Kate and Jon get 4-5 minutes alone together every once in a while…WHAT do they use for birth control? Geeeeeeeeeez.

They used invetro (so spelled wrong!) for all of their children, but I’m hoping they’re at least playing it safe these days just in case.

Comment by jbanc

I will admit to watching Jon & Kate Plus Eight with the pseudo-girlfriend over the summer.

Apparently I need to start paying more attention to television as I had never heard of the Duggars before reading this (aside from the son marrying a woman he had never kissed).

I get freaked out just knowing one child sees me as her father, the idea of 7 much less 17?! others is inconceivable.

I can’t even imagine having ONE at this point, ha. And the idea of acting like a Pez dispenser, pushing out baby after baby after baby. No thank you!

Comment by Kendall

Having even ONE kid scares me. I can’t even fathom more than my puppy dog.

Me neither. Well, not as this point anyway, ha.

Comment by Cee

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