Over the past year, Kate Gosselin has come full circle in the court of public opinion. Around this time last year, most people thought of her as the shrewish mother of eight who was constantly nagging and snapping at her laid-back husband, Jon. As soon as they divorced last summer and Jon started dating a string of questionable 20-somethings, Kate became the sane and stable one to Jon’s man-boy. Then, Kate appeared on “Dancing with the Stars,” and again she became the shrew, as rumors flew that she was nasty to her fellow cast members behind the scenes. Well, I’m going to say something controversial. I like Kate Gosselin. I think she’s smart and appreciate her wry, barely-there sense of humor. I think she’s handled herself with restraint and class for the past year while dealing with the end of her marriage under the tabloid microscope. I appreciate how open she is about her emotions, and how hard it is to move on. And while millions will be watching when “Kate Plus 8” premieres on Sunday, I’m looking forward to having a second dose of Kate on television with her brand-new reality show, “Twist of Kate,” coming to TLC soon. After the jump, 10 reasons I’ll be watching.
1.Kate has the best name ever. Not that I’m biased.
2.The concept of the show is a touch schmaltzy, but interesting. Kate takes a letter from a fan struggling through some challenge and visits them to essentially live their lives, meeting their family and doing their job. “She will be in that person’s shoes. And more often than not, it’s not going to be terribly comfortable for her,” says TLC chief Eileen O’Neill. [USA Today]
3.She wrote in a blog post today, “I look forward to being dropped into the lives of interesting and unique people and families. ... Kate on the back of a trash truck, anyone?” Is she really going to be a garbage collector for an episode? Need. To. See. [Us Weekly]
4.OK, fine, I want to see what her hair will look like. Will she keep the extensions or go back to her signature porcupine reverse-mullet?
5.We also know that in one episode, she will be a waitress at Finch’s Restaurant. She was spotted filming there in Raleigh, North Carolina, in December. Will she be able to deal with rude diners without sending them to time-out? [New Raleigh]
6.It’ll be nice to see Kate get a break from caring for eight kids. Perhaps we’ll get to see her real personality rather than the on-edge mom?
7.Perhaps during one of the 12 episodes airing this summer, Kate will meet a guy. How nice it would be to see her out on a date.
8.That said, we’re thankful she’s not the next “Bachelorette.” We’re glad she decided to go this route instead of straight to a dating show.
9.It’ll be fun to guess which life she test-drives next. Here’s hoping that she gets to be a circus performer. Or maybe she could put her “Dancing with the Stars” skills to use, and visit a struggling exotic dancer?
10.Hey, it’s better than a show about Jon.
Kate Plus 8 Through A Specialist's Eyes: (for full video please go to ETOnline.com)
Kate Gosselin is bringing her brood back to the TLC airwaves on Sunday. It's sure to be a hit with TV audiences, but how does Kate rate with bestselling author and child specialist Betsy Brown Braun? Betsy's the author of Just Tell Me What to Say, and her new parenting guide You're Not the Boss of Me has landed on the Los Angeles Times bestsellers list. The book, subtitled "Brat-Proofing Your 4- to 12-Year-Old Child," gives answers to very specific issues that come along in raising a child in today's world. But is Kate, with TLC cameras back in her family's life, raising a brood of brats? "I didn't get the impression that any of her kids was a brat; she's working really hard to make sure no one is bratty," Betsy says after watching footage of the premiere episode of "Kate Plus 8," airing Sunday at 9/8c.
And, rating the family as a whole? Betsy says, "The kids seemed happy, she seems stressed. I imagine for Kate -- poor thing, really -- that she has eight kids and the whole world is watching her raise these kids. … She's being scrutinized all the time. She must feel tremendous pressure. That really does get in the way of your being a natural, spontaneous parent." In Sunday's episode, the kids are overjoyed to see the return of the TLC crew into their home to shoot their reality show, and Betsy points out that there is a need for a sense of normalcy in a house that's seen many changes.
"Isn't it interesting how kids strive for normal?" she says. "Kids like regularity; they like what they're used to." Although Betsy does caution that the chaotic environment of shooting in the house may present challenges for the Gosselin children. "Kate is very direct and I like that about her; I think she's doing the best that she can," says the child development and behavior specialist. "She actually seemed calmer and more in control and in a more centered place than the last time I saw Kate -- this was before she and her husband separated. ... The kids are always going to be the beneficiaries of the parent's mood and the parent's tone." Betsy adds, "If I were going to make any recommendations for Kate, I would say to her, 'Kate, take care of yourself. Make sure that you're giving to yourself so that your cupboard isn't bare.'" In addition, she advises, "Kate, you need to be the kind of person your kids want to be, because remember, you are a reflection of who your kids are going to grow up to be."
Busily filming another sure to be entertaining show, Kate Gosselin was spotted at home with her eight kids and the TLC crew in Reading, Pennsylvania on Saturday. Looking to be in quite the cheerful mood, the 35-year-old was also joined by a group of Pennsylvanian Amish builders who were invited over to help build a chicken coop. The Gosselin gang introduced themselves to their construction team before doing their best to aid in the putting together of the farmhouse structure.
The shoot comes a little less than a week after Kate and the kids made their TV return in "Kate Plus 8 last Sunday, with the family getting set to debut another reality series called "Twist of Kate" to begin this fall. Enjoy more Kate Gosselin and the kids out building a chicken coop at the above link!(June 12).