According to Gail Collins, an incredible audience of 9,8 million viewers watched the opening of Jon and Kate Plus Eight, Season Five. For those who don't know, this show follows Jon and Kate's strugglee to raise their twins and sextuplets.
I've seen the show a couple of times. It's one of those cute shows that you put on when there is absolutely nothing else on or as background noise while cooking, talking on the phone, or surfing the Internet. Why, then, such a sudden and huge interest towards the show?
The reason, of course, is all the tabloid gossip about Jon's cheating and the couple's marriage breaking up. I strongly believe that the reason everybody is so excited about Jon and Kate's marital troubles is not simply "love of scandal", as many journalists suggest. Neither is it a desire to revel in somebody else's misfortunes.
In my opinion, all the attention towards the show is a result of many viewers' desire to experience (albeit vicariously) what they wish for in secret. Many people are sick of their relationships that they maintain solely for the sake of children, money, property, or a misguided understanding of comfort. Watching the collapse of a marriage apparently sealed forever by eight children and a TV show would provide such people with a space where they could play out their own fantasies of liberation.