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Duggar family members wait to greet a television crew at their home. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Opinion: Duggar show should call it quits, Bill Nye still teaching kids

This is part of a weekly series called “Pop Opinions” in which The Lantern offers its take on the week’s pop culture news.

Let Duggars deal with reality alone

Last week, TLC’s pride and joy, the Duggars of “19 Kids and Counting,” fell from grace when it came to light that son Josh had molested five young girls as a teenager. One of my first thoughts, however insensitive, was something like, “not them too.”

I am a person who wants to believe in reality TV. I want to think that everything — every overly perfect thing — on the screen is true. I don’t want to see cracks in the Duggars’ glass house. I want to see a family praying over tater tot casserole and couples who save their first kiss for the altar.

But a boulder came crashing through and now it’s important how the shards are dealt with.

Yeah, it hurts me a little to find out that another perfect family on TV is really not that perfect, that some bit of goodness is now tarnished. Yeah, the family also threw stones at others off screen.

But this isn’t about me or any of us viewers.

The shards left behind from the wreckage hurt the Duggars and, especially, the victims most. They are hurting — have been hurting — and need time to deal with their pain.

An editorial in The Washington Post said now is not the time to cancel “19 Kids and Counting,” because this is right when their lives are the most real.

Yes, I want to walk around the perimeter of their glass house, observing the destruction. It would make great television to see them pick up the pieces, but that isn’t what matters. What matters is that the pieces do get put back together as best they can. But that can’t happen with an audience.


I loved Bill Nye as a kid because watching one of his shows in class meant I could catch up on homework due in other classes — yes, I was that kid (still am).

The theme song for “Bill Nye the Science Guy” also mildly disturbed young me. Spinning heads? Chanting of “Bill! Bill! Bill!”? Too much for timid me who just wanted to figure out long division.

But, as you read, I’m seeking new television material so now that Bill Nye is on Netflix, I might brush up on what exactly makes up the Earth’s core and revisit my friend mitochondria: the powerhouse of the cell. And maybe I’ll finally finish my work beforehand. Maybe.

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