Season five of TLC's "Jon and Kate Plus 8" started Monday night amid rumors that the Gosselin marriage was in trouble. The reality show tracks the lives of the Kate and Jon Gosselin and their 8-year-old twin girls and 5-year-old sextuplets. Tabloids have reported that both Kate and Jon have had affairs. Both have denied the rumors.
As it has in previous seasons, Monday's show started with Jon and Kate offering commentary while sitting on their "interview couch." The difference was that Jon and Kate weren't sitting next to each other. Instead each had a separate interview.
Individually Kate and Jon each talked about how they were struggling with the recent attention from the tabloids and paparazzi. Kate said she was feeling a lot of anger and that she fears that she and Jon don't want the same things anymore.
Jon was largely absent from scenes showing the party planning that Kate was doing for the sextuplets fifth birthday. In clips from the party, the couple hardly spoke, though Jon did follow Kate's instructions. A family photo was taken and Kate later remarked that she had a thought that it was possibly the last full-family photo the Gosselins would take.
At the end of the show, Kate and Jon sat on the couch together but didn't speak to one another. Kate said everything she was doing was for her kids. "I'm committed to not letting any of this harm them," she said. Jon said he was there for his kids, too. He said he quit his job to take care of them and so Kate could do her speaking engagements and "book stuff."
Alone on the couch again, Kate said, "very swiftly we turned into two different people."
Neither had an answer for what the future would hold or whether they would stay together.
"I'm so confused." Kate said. So are the viewers. What can fans expect this season? Will there be a somber tone to season five's episodes? Will Kate's gripping at Jon take on a different meaning now? Will the show lose its charm if the light-hearted banter isn't so light-hearted anymore? Will Jon and Kate even appear in scenes together anymore?
Will the desire to learn the answers to those questions be enough of a reason for viewers to continue watching the show?