‘Jon and Kate Plus 8’ Follow in Footsteps of Other Reality Show Families

Jon and Kate Gosselin aren’t the first parents to have cameras follow their family.
One Fellow Reality Star Say Gosselins Should Stop the Show

Jon Kate Jill

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In 1973 America’s first reality family invited us into their home in PBS’s “An American Family,” which tackled tough topics. It had episodes dedicated to divorce and to a gay son.

The family was shocked by the attention it received.

“Do you like watching somebody else’s home movies? We had no idea that anybody would be interested in this,” said that show’s matriarch, Pat Loud in a 2003 interview.

But despite all the challenges, the rewards can be just as great as has been the case for Jill Zarin, a star of another current reality TV show “The Real Housewives Of New York City.”

“In some ways it’s tightened up the family,” Zarin said. “I think it is a good thing on the show to see ourselves through other people’s eyes because it makes me a better person. I think I will learn from it and change my behavior on some things.”

Zarin’s teenage daughter Allison is also in the show and the hit show profiles her struggles with weight.

Zarin said it was Allison’s choice to be in the spotlight. “Allison totally had the ability to veto and if Allison didn’t want to do it, I wasn’t going to do it. We all supported each other,” she said.

But of course, the Gosselin’s eight young children don’t have the power to say no; and with Jon and Kate’s marriage on the rocks, Zarin had advice for the fellow reality-television stars.

“If you really ask me my honest advice … it would be to not do the show anymore,” Zarin said. “If it stops working for you, don’t do it anymore and I don’t think it’s working for her family.”