Among the things that viewers were hoping to see on last night's new "Jon & Kate Plus 8" episodes:
*Jon's girlfriend Deanna.
*Jon's girlfriend Hailey.
*Jon's latest girlfriend, the tabloid reporter.
*We would even have settled for Kate shaving her head, or attacking paparazzi with an umbrella.
What viewers actually saw:
*Jon and Kate briefly bickering about yet another shameless freebie - a completely remodeled kitchen where their already to-die-for kitchen was. Things got particularly heated about the under-the-counter refrigerator.
That's as juicy as it got.
(Unless you count Kate bending over at the beach in her bikini a lot. I don't.)
Last week, TLC President Eileen O'Neill told critics, "We will continue to capture this family's journey in a respectful and sensitive way." I'm guessing that's not going to be good for the ratings.
One concession to what TLC is calling "The Next Chapter": The infamous interview couch has been replaced by a single chair and ottoman. Looked like white pleather to me.
The first two episodes were Kate-heavy, possibly because Jon was busy with his mid-life crisis. Kate called it "a very very difficult time right now," in her usual measured narration. "Those words almost don't even cover it."
Plucky single mom Kate focused on the kids. She took the kids on vacation alone, built a campfire alone, and erected a pup tent alone - with unhelpful comments from one of the girls, who pointed out, "Daddy knows everything about a tent."
"Wow, well, he's not here!" Kate responded.
Production assistants took mercy on her and put up the big tent for her.
One of the best bits was a lingering shot of one of the girls' feet as she tried, over and over, to get a shoe on without using her hands.
As always, the kids were adorable. Heartbreakingly so.