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Jon & Kate Plus Eight: "Reality" TV & the Selling of the Gosselins Paperback – April 20, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Polly Kahl, M.A. is a licensed professional counselor with a private therapy practice and consultation business in West Lawn, PA. She has worked as a child advocate since 1984, appearing on over twenty television shows and National Public Radio as well as presenting at many seminars and conferences across the country, on issues related to post traumatic stress disorder and incest and childhood abuse recovery. She was the clinical consultant for the MTV sexual abuse special Fight Back and was the featured therapist in an educational film on crime and the elderly produced for the Berks County Office of Aging. She is on the speakers bureau of RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. Polly's popular blog, Small Town Gosselins, went viral after she interviewed actor Eric Roberts and was linked to by Perez Hilton, the Huffington Post, and many more entertainment news sites. She appeared in the E! Television True Hollywood Story “Kate Gosselin.” Polly has lived in Wernersville since 1991 and she and her husband are the parents of two children.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Kahl Counseling Press (April 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615455565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615455563
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,345,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Polly Kahl, M.A. is a licensed professional counselor with a private therapy practice and consultation business in West Lawn, PA. She is a lover of pop culture and became interested in the Gosselins when they moved to her small Pennsylvania town, and then her interest increased as she began to view the Gosselins as being exploited in reality television. Polly Kahl is the author of Jon & Kate Plus Eight: "Reality" TV & the Selling of the Gosselins, available in paperback and eBooks including Kindle. The book is a compilation of interviews and discusssions with experts on reality TV and the effects of fame on families and children, including former child stars. It also includes a bonus chapter, "Getting Real with the Gosselins", which was originally printed in the Al Walentis book The Secret World of Jon and Kate: The Stupidest Story in the History of the Universe and the People Who Covered It.

Polly has worked as a child advocate since 1984, appearing on over twenty television shows and National Public Radio as well as presenting at many seminars and conferences across the country, on issues related to post traumatic stress disorder and incest and childhood abuse recovery. She was the clinical consultant for the MTV sexual abuse special Fight Back and was the featured therapist in an educational film on crime and the elderly produced for the Berks County Office of Aging. She is on the speakers bureau of RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. Polly's popular blog, Small Town Gosselins, went viral after she interviewed actor Eric Roberts and was linked to by Perez Hilton, the Huffington Post, and many more entertainment news sites. She appeared in the E! Television True Hollywood Story "Kate Gosselin." Polly has lived in Wernersville since 1991 and she and her husband are the parents of two children.

www.pollykahl.com
http://smalltowngosselins.squarespace.com/

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E-reader on April 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I initially bought this book to curb my appetite for the phenomena that is the Gosselins. After reading it however, I'm thoroughly convinced that children on reality TV should have the EXACT same rights as child actors in this country. If there is one thing I walk away with from this book, is that children on reality TV do not have the same access to protection, rights, money and schooling as child actors. Through the interviews with industry professionals and former child actors, I learned that even protected child actors are often exploited and robbed by the same people who were supposed to protect them.

If these Gosselin children, and ALL OTHER CHILDREN ON REALITY TV, do not have the same protections as even child actors, then something needs to be changed. Thank you Polly for writing this book, doing the research and talking to other professionals to bring this horrible situation to light.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bill Pen VINE VOICE on August 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
Polly Kahl is well prepared and qualified to write this book. Anyone interested in the phenomenon of reality television, its fidelity to reality, and its potential effects on those who appear in the programs will want to read this book. It would also be very useful in college classes on media or on child psychology, though it is accessible to most readers. People interested in the truth behind the Gosselins will also find this interesting. The interview with the mother of the Dilley sextuplets provides an excellent contrast between good and bad ways of dealing with the enormous difficulty of raising six kids of the same age. The interview with Paul Petersen, a child actor on The Donna Reed Show turned child actor advocate, was very useful. Parents considering show business for their children will want to read it. The interview with Jon Provost, who played Timmy on the show Lassie when I was a child, provides an encouraging example of how to do it right. The other interviews are also worth reading. The biggest problem with the book is its repetitiveness, but I don't know how this could be avoided. The same concerns are at the heart of each interview, of course, so there will be repetition. Also, some readers, especially students, may only read selected chapters. Without the repetition, they would miss important information. Buy this and read it for what it is: an important contribution to the field of reality television studies and useful background on the Gosselins.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom Bjorklund on September 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
Have just finished this book, and I would recommend it to anyone with a critical mind. To me, it has nothing to do with the Gosselins. In fact, I never watched the show. But the book has everything to do with the dangerous world of reality TV, of people transforming themselves for the thrill of becoming celebrities.

When TV cameras were first allowed in courtrooms, it was argued that they would be unobtrusive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any of us are more stressed with that camera looking at us. Some of us are willing and anxious to put on a show, to make ourselves look more important than we are. And sometimes there are tragic consequences. In this case the breakup of a marriage and potential lifelong damage to children. We're not going to eliminate the cameras. But hopefully the media will find ways to shy away from the exploitation of people who are so gullible that they will throw away their lives for that 15 minutes of fame.

Polly Kahl has done an incredible job in this effort. If you have any interest in analyzing reality TV, or live TV in general, it is an absolute must-read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By tealady on August 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I couldn't wait for it to come out. Al's book was intriguing, and I wanted more. Polly promised that, and delivered.

I was convinced K.G. had a master plan to turn these 8 little paychecks into her enamourded lifestyle. Her Hollywood lifestyle, hair extensions, nails, tans, mani/pedis, and teeth bleaching, all while driven in private cars, is all funded while her litter is being babysat.

It's a page turner that was worth the wait.
Thank you Polly,
Mary
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By kristin on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Polly Kahl not only describes the true reality of the filming of the Gosselin family, through interviews with former child stars, psychiatrists, and professionals in the television industry; she provides readers with a thorough understanding of the profound deleterious effects to the Gosselin children of being raised in such a manner. Paul Petersen,a former child star, and founder of A Minor Consideration, a non-profit organization formed to improve legislation for child stars, notes that the Gosselin children were not protected by laws that exist for child actors in California, due to lagging legislation in Pennsylvania. In addition, because the show was reality TV, it was non-union, so did not fall under the same restrictions. Former child star, Alison Arngrim, notes the distinction between being an actor who presents a character and the Gosselin children who presented themselves, while being filmed almost 24 hours per day. She explains the editing process that creates scenes for the viewer, to expose the most drama. Dr. Michael Brody, a child psychiatrist who has published prolifically on children and the media, notes that with the children's lives being constantly exposed, it can negatively effect the healthy, necessary development of personal boundaries, thereby impeding the development of trust.
The purpose of the book is clearly to open the public's eyes to the welfare of the Gosselin children. Hopefully it will also give others pause when considering whether and how to include children in reality television filming.
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