90210 vet Jennie Garth and Twilight star Peter Facinelli announced their divorce yesterday after 11 years of marriage. The divorce will be dealt with on new CMT reality show Jennie Garth: A Little Bit Country, slated to premiere April. But how? To be sure, Garth and Facinelli are not the first reality TV couple to fail in front of a camera. What can they learn from those the split before them?
Love Story: Though filmed as a documentary, An American Family was technically one of television’s first forays into reality programming. Airing on PBS in 1973, the series followed the Loud family’s daily life and unexpectedly ended up documenting the crumbling marriage of parents Bill and Pat. The show also spurred the Golden Globe-nominated HBO movie Cinema Verite.
Lesson learned: In principle, this was the first lesson of them all. Maybe this was the warning sign the entire world issued about reality TV capturing too much and ruining lives.
Love Story: We’ve seen our fair share of Kardashian break-ups throughout the reality show’s run, but none quite made headlines like the E! reality star’s 72-day marriage to the professional basketball player.
Lesson learned: Perhaps a courtship should last longer than six months, especially when Humphries didn’t even know Kardashian was married in her early 20s well into their relationship. And maybe, just maybe, consider cancelling the wedding before it airs on national TV and costs, you know, $20 million. Or something like that.
Love Story: The pair found reality stardom when TLC filmed the couple and their brood of eight as the family navigated the frantic world of daily familial life made complicated by their populous household. In 2009, after five seasons, the Gosselins divorced after news of Jon’s rumored cheating permeated tabloids.
Lesson learned: There’s a reason marriage vows don’t say, “To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, on camera and off…”
Love Story: After seven years of marriage, the singing power couple split in 2011. Rather than a nasty and tormenting break up, the pair have unexpectedly remained friends… so much so that they continued working together on their Latin American musical series Q’Viva. Shocking, right?
Lesson learned: An amicable divorce is possible! Not only is Q’Viva currently airing on Fox, but the show also documents a good-natured relationship between Lopez and Anthony. “We were meant to be in people’s lives on different levels,” said Anthony in the premiere. “Our marriage was one chapter. We got each other for life.” Hey, Jon and Kate, wanna take notes?
Love Story: It’s public knowledge The Bachelor franchise has little success rate in the resilience of their showmances. From the minute season 14’s bachelor Jake gave that final rose to troublemaker Vienna, it seemed inevitable that the relationship was headed straight for The Bachelor graveyard.
Lesson learned: We’d say it would be that you shouldn’t give the final rose to the villain, but Ben Flajnik just threw that one back in our face on Monday night. So instead we’ll have to go with don’t go looking for love on a reality TV show where everyone wants to be famous.
What are your thoughts, PopWatchers? What other couples have dabbled with the reality TV spotlight, but couldn’t make it out intact?