We've long wondered about the fascination behind television shows featuring huge-ass families. And uh oh, here comes another one - tonight, TLC debuts 17 Kids and Counting, a reality show about the Duggars, a 19-member family from Arkansas. Former high school sweethearts Michelle and Jim Bob (yes, really) are — huge shocker here — super religious (a.k.a. they clearly don't use condoms) and believe "that every child is a gift to be cherished." They have ten boys and seven girls with number 18 on the way, so they obviously need some camera crews to come in and liven things up. Michelle has been pregnant for nearly 12 years of her life. Excuse us while we die for a moment. Anyway, this will mark TLC's second foray into the overgrown-clan genre. Jon and Kate Plus 8, another show about two parents with way too many babes, has proved successful for the network - even stirring up some controversy from those who believe "raising children is not theater." But why do audiences tune in to see screaming parents and whining tots?It's the "how the fuck do they do it — and why?" quotient. I mean, these people have got to be straight-up clinically insane, right? How do they pay for all of the spit-up rags and dollies and bottles? How do the husband and wife not kill each other after bickering constantly? (Lots of make-up sex, perhaps?) Why do they want so many kids - are they weird and religious or just super charitable and giving? And most importantly: how the hell did that woman pop so many out? Oy. Be the answers what they may, the best part about watching these shows has to be that when those sweet 30 minutes are up, you've got to feel so much better about your own spoiled brats. For your sake, we hope there are only a few of them.
- 17 Kids and Counting [TLC]