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New 'Jon & Kate Plus 8' DVD: a 'wedding renewal' ceremony, smiles, and frowns

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The folks who are releasing Jon & Kate Plus 8: Season 4, Vol. 1: The Wedding — a three-disc DVD set, out today — could not have predicted the way some of us would now be watching it. That is, for signs of strain on a marriage that’s recently been all over the media in the wake of alleged naughtiness by husband Jon Gosselin.

This DVD collects the first half of the season-four episodes, culminating in Jon and Kate’s 2008 “wedding renewal” ceremony in Hawaii. They reaffirm their wedding commitment (they married in 1999), and write their own vows. Kate’s words take on new resonance now. Addressing Jon, she promises to “be more respectful and more sensitive to your needs.”

This being Jon & Kate, cable TV’s most interesting reality soap opera, lots of little details tantalize. Kate mentions that when they first married, many of “our family members weren’t willing or able to come.” Not “willing”? We’ve heard hints of disapproval emanating from extended-family members before, but they’re never fully addressed.

As always, the sweet Gosselin children are little wonders to watch, so happily silly and spontaneous. (Of course, Kate has to interrupt the minister’s ceremony to, as she freely admits later, bark sternly at the little ones to behave. Hey, it’s her parenting style, right?)

Kate says on the DVD that she had to explain the “wedding renewal” to the youngest ones: “Not all moms and dads stay together… and we’ll always be together,” she says. Here’s hoping those kids have a happy parental pair in the future.

Did you watch these episodes when they first aired, or were you waiting for the DVD? Do you remember the “wedding renewal”? What do you think of Jon and Kate and the kids’ adventures?

For more on Jon & Kate:

Jon’s mystery woman speaks out

Jon Gosselin’s friends come to his defense