My cuppa: Barry's Irish Breakfast tea

17045_010_m This past Monday, I engaged in an internal debate — and then threw the question out on Twitter — as to whether I should watch the season-five premiere of TLC's monster reality hit "Jon & Kate Plus 8."

I had never seen an episode of the show about two parents and their eight small children (including a set of sextuplets), but was well aware of it and had seen the news reports about all the allegations and tabloid headlines swirling around husband Jon Gosselin and his supposed unwise behavior.

But I did have an inkling, through my own sources (didn't try to find this out, it just happened), that Kate Gosselin was challenging to deal with, to say the least — but then so am I if I don't get a cuppa when I need one.

In the end, for professional reasons, I decided to watch.

Then I pondered whether to write more than a "tweet" about it. Again, my job is to watch TV and talk to you guys afterward, so here's the only post I plan to do on the subject.

What I saw was a sad and unfortunate display of two people who have definitely reached the end of the marital rope and, for at least Jon, reached the end of patience with life in the TV/celebrity bubble.

It's always regrettable, though unfortunately not uncommon, when a marriage hits the rocks, especially when there are children involved. As for the TV thing, if the Gosselins didn't know what they were getting into, they've never stood in a supermarket checkout line. But then, the human capacity for self-deception is considerable, and no one on the outside knows what has happened behind the scenes day to day.

That all being said, this just reinforces my feeling that minors shouldn't be involved in this sort of intrusive reality-TV shows, especially children as young as the Gosselins'. They aren't capable of consenting properly to having their lives put under a microscope, not to mention permanently recorded for the world to see.

Luckily, these seem like basically sweet, bright kids, and they make a good impression on-camera.

Always bears repeating that the show wouldn't exist, and those paparazzi wouldn't be trailing the clan day and night, if we, the viewing public, didn't tune in. Nothing can become a spectacle if nobody's watching.

I sincerely hope the Gosselins work out their differences, for their

own sakes and that of their considerable brood. Beyond that, just

don't have any interest in watching more.

Now I can go back to Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" and my new favorite reality show, TLC's "The Little Couple." Love seeing hard-working, resourceful people coping with the tough challenges life throws their way — and no kids (except the ones that the physician female half of the "Couple" helps as a pediatrician).

Posted by:Kate O'Hare