After 150 episodes, six years, and ironically eight seasons – littered with tantrums, the crumbling of a marriage, freak-outs, outbursts, and, of course, many touching and tender moments as well – “Kate Plus 8,” the family reality show formerly known as “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” said goodbye Monday night in its series finale on TLC.
The finale consisted mostly of a series of interviews with Kate, her brood, ex-nanny Ashley, bodyguard Steve, and crew (interviews with ex-husband Jon Gosselin notably missing), taking a look back over the show’s run. It started with last week’s explosive penultimate episode, which saw Ashley, their nanny of five years, quitting during the tumultuous road trip in the September 5 episode, “RV Breakdown.”
In case you missed that episode, in which the gang took an RV vacation – drama ran high as Kate clashed with everyone and had an especially talked-about fight over pizza. “Oh my gosh! That is disgusting!” Kate shrieked when Mady handed over a piece of pizza with a dirty hand. Oh, the horror.
That entire episode, we like to call “Pizza-Gate,” in fact, was not exactly Kate at her best. Snippy comments ran amuck for the explosive hour, including Kate complaining behind Jamie’s back, “She’s acting like a child,” after Jamie simply said, “I can’t hear you,” when Kate barked out orders from afar. She even gave her trusty bodyguard Steve a good snapping, “We have footage to prove you scoffed at me. Ugh. This is so over.”
Well, it’s not over until TLC says it’s over and that they did with Monday night’s finale.
Let’s kick things off with the “she said-she said” battle of Kate vs. Ashley, which lead the finale “fun”:
Kate on the RV trip fiasco: “Stress got the best of us. All of us.”
Ashley on quitting: “I’m glad I did what I did. I wouldn’t change it. I think the only thing I regret is not saying more, really.”
Kate on Ashley saying, “I would die for these kids but I can’t stand one more minute with her”: “It hurts a lot. I think she was very angry with me. But, quite honestly, I think it was a little over dramatic.”
Ashley on Kate saying they are good now: “It might be accurate for her, I wouldn’t necessarily say…”
Kate’s one last dig to Ashley: “I was extremely surprised that Ashley left because she is not a quitter.”
As for the rest of the finale, here are some highlights:
Kate still blames it on the editing: After a clip of Kate throwing a “poopy diaper” at producer Jen, she admitted that she cringed “a lot” at her bad behavior. “There’s been a lot of times that I watch it and then I think, ugh. I couldn’t even stand myself in Season 2. I think that people think that I’m like Mommy Dearest, like this horrendous person.” Fair enough. And true enough. But then she blamed it on the editing: “Over two days of shooting for one episode and I have three crabby mommy moments…Well guaranteed you’re gonna see them all in a 22-minute show. So, of course, it’s going to make me seem like I’m crabby mommy all the time.”
Bodyguard Steve on his true feelings: “I honestly think couples would sit down on the couch and the wife would turn to the husband and say, ‘Look darling, see? I’m not as bad as that.’ And the husband would say to the wife, ‘Hey, look darling. I’m nowhere as useless as that.” Yes, Steve, with whom Kate had been rumored to be having an affair called Kate “bad” and Jon “useless.” Nice.
Kate on screaming at Jon in many episodes: After airing an early clip where Kate screams at Jon at Toys R Us, just one of many episodes where Kate is yelling at her then-husband (remember the “You didn’t use coupons?!” episode), making most of America feel she emasculated him, Kate says today, “I saw how I came across sometimes and I thought, ‘Really?'” But then, ultimately, Kate doesn’t blame that for a reason Jon left the marriage, but instead chalks it up to “we were going in different directions.”
Kate on her future hopes: “[Sigh] I hope a job. I just know that my kids, I refuse to pull them out of their house. I refuse to pull them out of their school. So I better figure something out to keep them there and it’s scary. Probably the future holds TV for me…I would love to continue going forward in whatever capacity suits me and my kids.”
Kate on her kids’ futures: “Is this the last time you’ll see my kids on TV? Probably not. I know that there’s a lot of people out there who genuinely really care how each of my kids turns out.”
Kate’s parting words for her viewers: “This is not goodbye. This is, I’ll see ya around.” She then corrects herself and says, “We’ll see you around.”