When Jon and Kate Plus 8 debuted it appealed to viewers because much like the specials that preceded it, the show centered around more than just eight adorable children, but a real couple — Jon and Kate Gosselin — who for better or worse, were making their marriage work while raising two sets of multiples. It was a feat that most of us couldn't imagine, but show after show, we watched the laughter, banter, and bickering between them. We saw the young husband and wife navigate their way through their chaotic life, taking on trying times and celebrating triumphs together. We've seen them holler and roll their eyes while allowing the cameras to film, but until tonight's fifth season premiere, we'd never really seen them retreat. As a longtime fan of the big brood, I watched the hour-long episode with a lump in my throat. Here are the reasons why . . .
Kate Cried: Both fans and foes of the Gosselin matriarch would agree that if anything, the mom to multiples is an incredibly strong woman. To see her so emotional when discussing the state of her marriage was difficult to watch. How could any fellow wife and mother not be affected?
Jon No Longer Jovial: The laid-back guy has always been the light-hearted half of TLC's favorite couple. Tonight the man who was married at 22, a dad by 23, and father of sextuplets by 27 seemed disconnected, almost stoic, and broken. It was heartbreaking.
To see the other reasons the season debut was somber, read more.
No Banter, Not Even Bickering: Jon and Kate are famous for their way— good or bad — of communicating and at the sextuplet's fifth birthday party, there was scarcely any interaction between the two. But, tear-inducing moments between each with their children.
Divorce Statistics: While tabloid headlines and news reports are all speculation even when "sources" confirm portions, tonight, talk of splitting up came straight from the couple and that made it all too real. Especially when Kate mentioned the statistic associated with divorce among parents of multiples and said that the family picture may be their last.
Separate Sides of the Chair: Jon and Kate have been interviewed side by side in the oversize chair since the show began, often sipping coffee or getting a sugar rush from jelly beans to stay awake. In this episode, they sat in the new chair without touching. Their body language spoke volumes.
Photos courtesy of TLC