Jon and Kate Gosselin bad. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar good.
Give us a breedin' break.
Yes, Jon Gosselin's clichéd blondes-and-bikes midlife crisis is lame, and, yes, Kate Gosselin's control-freak streak is grating, and, yes, the estranged couple's increasingly uncomfortable reality series makes us wish their eight kids could get a divorce—from the camera.
But the Duggars—the fawned-over, cooed-over, they're-so-many-of-them-they're-cute Duggars—are no better. In fact, among the growing world of prime-time giganto-families, they're worse!
The 18—and counting—reasons why:
1. More kids! If you include the one that's on the way, the Duggars have 11 more kids than the Gosselins. That's such a stunning figure, such a stunning gap that we're going to make the surplus Duggar kids reasons No. 1-11 why their family is worse than the Gosselin clan! If you think we're being unfair, read on—and see who's really being unfair. To us. To you. But mostly to us.
12. The Duggars are worse for the environment than the Gosselins! They live in a bigger house (7,000 square feet versus 6,000, not including ancillary condos and bachelor pads). They do more laundry (up to 11 loads a day versus three, not including the dirty tabloid laundry). According to scientists, overpopulation is the single biggest threat to our world. Jon Gosselin's friendship with Michael Lohan? A distant second.
13. The Duggars are worse parents than the Gosselins! Just watch Michelle Duggar stumble over the names of her kids on The View. What's the problem, ma'am? Too busy raising apparently well-adjusted children to bother to learn their names? Ever hear of getting away by yourself to do a book tour? Or a weekend pool party in Vegas? That's how Kate and Jon Gosselin stays focused. Try it sometime.
14. The Duggars are worse at baby names than the Gosselins! Jim Bob and Michelle's dedication to the letter J (all 18 born kids have J names, as will the 19th) is unimaginitive—and weird. How on Earth do you do the J name thing, and only get to Jennifer on No. 19? The Gosselins, on the other hand, treated their eight children like eight individuals, with a relatively broad mix of names. Don't think the Duggars' own kids haven't chafed under their parents' rule. Josh Duggar's first child, due in October, is to be named Mackynzie. Which, last we checked, does not start with the letter J.
15. The Duggars are worse showoffs than the Gosselins! You know what you're supposed to do in this deficit-addled country when you're debt-free: Keep it to yourself. But, no, not the Duggars. They have to talk on and on about how they've managed to raise a football team without running up a MasterCard bill. Do you ever hear Jon and Kate talk about their finances? Nope. We can only surmise their respectful silence is a sign they're rolling in the Ed Hardy endorsement dough.
16. The Duggars are worse neighbors than the Gosselins! If you lived in the same neck of the woods as the Gosselins, do you think you'd ever get stuck behind the lot of them at the movies? Ha! First off, they're never together ever anymore, and, second, even if they were, there's only 10 of them. The Duggars, meanwhile, love standing in line. Everywhere. Together. Good luck getting good seats to Inglourious Basterds with that herd around.
17. The Duggars are worse for the economy than the Gosselins! Actually, the Gosselins have been great for the economy—their trashed lives turn pages, sell magazines and, until recently, score record ratings for Jon & Kate Plus 8. All the Duggars do is live quietly on their TLC show, the that'll-need-to-be-retitled 18 Kids & Counting, and pop up on in the mainstream media every nine months with a new baby. Would it kill Jim Bob to get an earring and a 20-year-old girlfriend?
18. The Duggars are worse for the Gosselins than the Gosselins! If you're Jon or Kate, and you're surveying the wreckage, you might tell yourself, well, it couldn't be helped—marriage isn't easy, it's less easy with eight kids. Then you turn on Fox News, and see the Duggars on Huckabee. All thousand of them. Happy. And smiling. And being asked to explain why they're happier than you.
And counting: We reserve the right to add onto this list at such time when the Duggars decide to add onto their family. Again.