Jon Gosselin, Kate Gosselin
Jon & Kate Plus 8's series finale limped to its conclusion, a shell of its former self, ending with a whimper of a family's life that used to be.
The first eight minutes of the show entailed the talking heads of the unhappy, soon to be divorced, couple. "These are the last moments of the Gosselins," a stark white-on-black old-movie placard said as the show got under way.
"It's sad, it's needless, it's useless, it was totally avoidable," Kate said when asked about how she felt about the series coming to an end. "This is a very bittersweet good-bye for me, because the kids are already missing it."
Jon Gosselin brings roses for Kate to arbitration hearing
For his part, Jon Gosselin discussed learning about "being myself" and being married at 22, a father of twins at 23, and sextuplets at 27. But in getting divorced, "I felt like I was free," he said. He added, however, that he has to stop "being a kid."
"Maybe I've been in the same boat as Jon, but the truth is I've been in a completely different boat," Kate said, explaining that she wanted the best for her children.
"I never had a clear picture of how it would end, but I think it's too soon," Kate said.
The final show featured Kate taking her six youngest kids to a dairy farm to see how cows are milked, after Jon took them to run a fund-raising lemonade sale for the local fire company.
Check out photos from past episodes of Jon & Kate Plus 8
For five years, TLC's cameras have engagingly captured the lives of the young Pennsylvania couple raising twins and sextuplets. But as the meltdown of Jon and Kate's marriage became increasingly public and grew uglier, the show started to disintegrate.
It initially managed to goose ratings, though. When the duo made their separation official on an episode in June, it was seen by 10.6 million viewers. (By last week, viewership was one-fifth of that number.)
Jon ended the series, saying he no longer wanted his kids involved. In turn, TLC sued him for breach of contract (meanwhile, the network plans a show focusing on Kate, minus Jon, who himself reportedly has deals in the works for a show).
TLC has moved on, just as the Gosselin couple apparently is. The cable channel promoted Cake Boss, which will take over the time slot.
"I'm very grateful, for the memories, for the memories on tape," a tearful Kate Gosselin said. "It's been a unique opportunity."
The show ended with a montage of happier moments the family enjoyed, accompanied by the mawkish tune "It's Your Life" by Francesca Battistelli.
How do you feel about the end of show?