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'Kate Plus 8' season premiere review: It's off to a brilliant start... or is it?

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Kate Gosselin began the new season of Kate Plus 8 episodes by showing a new side of herself. Charming, witty, and endearing, she managed to overturn a widespread image of herself as petty, mean, and selfish. The new episode took the family-minus-Jon to  Australia, where…

Awww, I’m just kiddin’ ya.

Kate Plus 8 was tedious whenever it wasn’t painful. Accompanied by two helpers necessary to aid a mother who chooses to shepherd her children through two airports while wearing spike heels, Kate took the children to Sydney. There, they threw boomerangs, and watched fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Guess what? Cara had a meltdown during the fireworks.

To offset the even poorer image she accrued during her appearance on Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Kate emphasized her new-found adventurousness and good-sportiness. “I had a little redeeming to do,” she said of her Alaska livid-diva turn. “I’m in the mode of challenging myself,” Kate told the camera when she was safely back in her Pennsylvania home.

The Australia footage, however, told a different tale. Volunteering for a shark cage dive, Kate squawked that she doesn’t “like water,” and she screamed while in the cage because the water was cold (“Imagine if there were sharks,” said an Australian guide whose eyes were probably rolling behind his goggles).

It’s the usual by now: The kids are cute, what we see of them; too many scenes are chopped off just before someone starts to sob or, perhaps, throw a fit, and for that, I’m glad for the sake of the children and their future. Kate is doing her version of an over-dressed TV personality who has trouble keeping her temper under control.

“I think it was great for the kids to see my positive attitude,” said Kate, because, you know, it’s all about her. Next week, more Australia and then it’s off to New Zealand! (Coming attractions were shown of Kate crying because of “my fear of heights.”)

I don’t think I’ll keep reviewing Kate Plus 8 this season. Will you be watching it?

Twitter: @kentucker