After all of the controversy surrounding the divorce ending the once “normal” marriage of Jon and Kate Gosselin, it seemed the show that made them famous — “Jon & Kate Plus 8” — was gone forever. But the old series has been revived without its douchebag father, and it seems to be doing just fine, if not better. In its latest season following the Gosselin twins and sextuplets, Kate and crew show us exactly why Jon never really mattered in the first place.

“Kate Plus 8”

Sundays at 9 p.m.
TLC

Nowadays, Kate has moved on with her life and is raising the eight kids “minus her helper.” The kids are doing exactly the same things as when the previous show ended last summer. The sextuplets are now six years old, and in the series premiere, they celebrated with a giant party of their own by going to Discovery Cove. The eight kids still fight, cry, whine, pout, play with their toys (albeit much nicer and more expensive ones than before) and have meltdowns when they’re tired and hungry. Kate is still pretty much exceedingly controlling while trying to micromanage everything, only now she wears hooker heels in the process to maintain her image.

One perk of losing Jon (besides not having to watch the awkward relationship between an about-to-implode couple) is that he no longer does any commentary on the show. Rather, the utterly lovable children get to add in their own commentaries. The six kids end up screaming over one another, shouting lines like, “Are we going to have our party in a giant peach?!” or saying they are “this many” when they refer to their upcoming birthday.

The new “Kate” is “Kids Say the Darndest Things” times eight, and it really is just cheek-pinching cute. These children are so darling, well behaved and funny that it’s almost impossible to comprehend how Jon could not want to be around the best thing he’ll ever create — but instead chooses his Ed Hardy T’s and fame-chasing girlfriends.

Gone, however, is what made “Jon & Kate Plus 8” so endearing ― their normality. Instead of being set in a not-too-large house in suburban Pennsylvania with parents who seemed to care and an overall focus on the day-to-day efforts of a family trying to get by, the main focus of the show now is how “star” Kate juggles her eight kids, career and struggles with divorce. “Normal” is unfortunately no longer in the Gosselin family’s vocabulary, and really, the only reason to watch the show now is to see what grand thing the family gets to do next while Kate tries to get over her tool of an ex-husband.

Unfortunately it seems as though the Gosselin eight will spend a large majority of their childhood running from the paparazzi, hearing the negative press about their parents and living their life around a TV show schedule. “Kate Plus 8” gives everything that is ever wanted from a show about adorable children, but let’s hope it’s not at the expense of their future sanity.

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