Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sputtering Back to Life...And a Missed Opportunity?

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

Thank you so much for your kind words and well wishes. I caught pneumonia and spent the last four days in the hospital. But I'm getting better. I'm confined to my bed, but I can still type.

I'm determined to resume the please tune back in, cuz we may be wheezing as we write, but we're back in action.


And here's my one Meltingpot thought for the day. While I was in the hospital I watched a ridiculous amount of television. The one show that seemed to be on continuous replay was the TLC show, Jon & Kate Plus 8. It's a reality show that captures the daily (and often times boring) life of a couple that has a set of seven-year-old twins AND a set of sextuplets. I find myself fascinated by the show for the obvious reasons of watching any parent manage so many damn kids under one roof, but mostly because they are an interracial family. She's White and he's half Korean but they never talk about identity/race.

Does anybody watch this show religiously and know if race/identity has ever come up? I know this show is ridiculously popular and one of TLC's biggest cash cows. I've seen them on Oprah, and the Today Show, so they obviously have a platform to discuss such issues but as far as I can tell it's not something they talk about. After watching my like 87th episode last night, it hit me. Maybe the Asian dad has his own unresolved issues about his heritage. Maybe mom doesn't see color. Since the show is all about family you kind of have to wonder how the children's ethnicity/identity will be discussed. And if they don't discuss it, to someone like me it's like the big duh that's missing. But maybe for network television they like the family to be whitewashed.

Thoughts? I'm going to do some cyber investigation. I'll report back.

Peace (and good health)


Yvonne said...

Welcome back, m'lady! So glad you're feeling better. Re: Jon and Kate Plus Eight, I watched a couple of episodes while I was nursing a cold brought on by my company's lethal air conditioning system. I had a couple of thoughts: How could a show about a couple juggling eight small children possibly be boring. And yet it was. I do think Kate sometimes tend to speak to Jon like he's her 9th kid, but...whatever. I don't blame my falling asleep during each episode on the cold or the Sudafed! I wondered about the absence of ANY race talk too. I've dated interracially for a couple of decades now--as well as 'my own kind'--and it always comes up, even if only jokingly now and then. So I had a big question mark about Jon and Kate. I finally decided that they were way too tired from all that child wrangling to have the energy to even think/worry/joke about it! But I'd bet money it will come up as the kids grow older and are away from their parents' watchful eyes. That's a whole other show-Eight Minus Jon and Kate: The High School Years. So very glad you're home and healthier! Happy healin'...

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

glad you are feeling better.

I saw that show a couple of times. I wondered about the race thing too. The kids look like a combo of their parents. I didn't know Jon had a white parent.

I agree as the kids get older this issue will come up.

Mango Mama said...

So glad your on the mend!

I've caught bits and pieces of the show and yes, wondered why the race thing never comes up. I also wonder if all interracial families discuss race on the regular or if after a while it just becomes passe.

They could also edit out any discussions on race to keep the focus on how the family copes with all of the kids, adding race to the mix may be just too much for the "powers that be" to handle.

Anonymous said...

Well there was one episode where the producer asked Kate how she feels about the fact that her kids do not look like her because they look more asian. She answered that she knew her kids would look more asian because Jon's grandmother told them that asian genes are really strong. She said she was happy that her kids look Korean and she wished she was Korean.