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TLC's Table for 12: A nice break from Gosselins?

I had not planned to watch the season premiere of TLC's "Table for 12." But Tuesday morning, I stumbled upon the Hayes family being interviewed on NBC's "Today" show.

The conversation with the mother, father and 10 children of yet another TLC "big-family" reality TV series held my attention because I was thinking, "Well, Kate Gosselin, if you are watching TV this morning, here's your replacement. TLC has them, not you, on 'Today.' Trust me, there is a message to be taken from that."

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What I liked best about the interview was the fact that there was none of the tabloid-craziness and interview-tears-and-angst that you get with the Gosselins. Most of all, the parents of the 10 children, Betty and Eric Hayes, appeared in no way to think of themselves as celebrities or media stars, as both Kate and Jon Gosselin have so ridiculously come to do. I read that difference as evidence that it is Jon and Kate who bring the craziness with them -- not necessarily the press manufacturing as Kate Gosselin constantly complains.

And so, I watched the two episodes of "Table for 12" last night. The first, was a backyard campout. I know, we've seen this before. The second, featured the little kids (4-year-olds) going to karate school in a nearby New Jersey shopping strip, while two of the older kids (13 year old boy and 10 year old girl) go to summer music camp.

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Okay, here are the issues. You still have cameras in the home and kids being filmed -- just like the Gosselins. And some of the kids are very young.

The parents were asked on "Today" why, given all the trouble families like the Gosselins have seen, they were doing the show. Betty Hayes gave what I thought was a credible and realistic answer.

One of their children has cerebral palsy, and her mom said she thought the show would provide them with the means to give that child possibilities she might not otherwise have. I took that to mean that she thought the money TLC paid them would allow the parents to provide their daughter with such resources and opportunities. The father is a police officer.

I actually enjoyed the  backyard camping episode, as well as the friendly eye-rolling and teasing between the parents when they sit at the family table and talk to the camera.

But it is still a camera in the home and kids on reality TV -- and TLC making money off all of it.

So, here's the reason for the post. What do you think? Many of the core bloggers here have thought long and hard about families on reality TV shows and I want to know what you think about this show.

This is another Z on TV Poll, and they only work so well because of your thoughts and comments. The sociology of such shows is important to understand, and your comments will help me get a feel for how we should approach this show. Maybe we should just ignore it. What do you think?

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