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November 28, 2014

TLC Renews 'The Little Couple,' Their Best "Little" Show

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 23rd 2010 3:02PM
Jen Arnold and Bill Klein of 'The Little Couple' on TLCA couple of weeks ago, I joked that Discovery Networks seems to have every little person in America under contract for a reality show. They do seem to be fascinated with the lives of people with dwarfism, aren't they?

The company's various channels have explored primordial dwarfism, followed a little couple as they adopted an Eastern European baby with dwarfism, and followed a third little couple during the wife's pregnancy. They've also decided to build a series around a little couple who own a chocolate shop in Salt Lake City ('The Little Chocolatiers') and a little person who rescues pit bulls ('Pit Boss'). And the family who started TLC down this road, the Roloffs, are still cranking out episodes of 'Little People, Big World.'

Of all these shows, I've always liked 'The Little Couple' the best. I'm not sure if it's because it's so unrelentingly normal or that Bill Klein and Jen Arnold make such a charming couple. Either way, it's good to hear that TLC has renewed the show for a third season.

Of all the shows in Discovery's "little people" arsenal, this one seems to have the most respect for its participants. In a lot of the shows, at least one of the participants is edited into looking like the bumbling comic relief. In 'Little Chocolatiers,' Steve Hatch looks like he leaves his wife Katie to do all the work while he goes out to schmooze new clients. In 'Pit Boss,' Shorty's assistants, Ronald and Sebastian, take the boss' abuse on a daily basis. And anyone who's watched 'Little People, Big Wold' knows about the misadventures of Matt Roloff (though a lot of that image he may be earning without the help of creative editing).

But 'The Little Couple' is different. Many of the episodes contain extended segments that follow Arnold to the neonatal unit of Texas Children's hospital, where she takes care of premature babies and soothes their parents. They also devoted a number of segments to the simulation center she was in charge of getting off the ground.

On the couple front, the two of them seem so normal its ridiculous. Bill doesn't like shopping and wants to watch sports, but loves spending time with Jen. Jen's indecisive, not a great driver, and has some great powers of persuasion over her husband. Especially during the show's second season, we saw both of the stars' flaws and attributes, neither falling into the traps of "idiot husband" and "long-suffering wife."

Between this and the hospital scenes, it makes me wonder if the media-savvy couple struck some deals with the producers before they even filmed their first special for the network. I can see Arnold not agreeing to do the show unless the work she was doing at Texas Children's was heavily promoted, and I can see Bill not wanting to ruin his business by looking like a dope on national TV.

Now, being respectful of your participants doesn't necessarily translate into good TV. But somehow this show manages to be both classy and entertaining, something I can't really say about most of what's on TLC.

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geoffl4343

I love the show and want to see new episodes before the kids grow up...they are so cute and I do want to see the show sooner than later. Reminds me of my own kids when they were little. The show is so natural and realistic, and I was worried that Jen may have had a relapse of her cancer, as a reason to hold the show off with the new shows.

October 06 2014 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Beaglemix

I love THE LITTLE PEOPLE its fun to see their new children grow.One of the only shows I really like.

May 04 2014 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
msstewsr29

I would like to know if the Little Couple is coming back on TV...for the fifth season, just can not get an answer.
They do have reruns on Discovery Fit and Health, but we, the fans are waiting for news of their return, please answer, Thank You.

October 24 2012 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
...Rain...

Yes, it's a quite interesting and well-done show, unlike many of the shows on TLC, focusing on people who are amazingly average, despite being little people.

It's really eye-opening to learn about the lives of people under four feet tall, and how they address the issues of being so short in a world meant for people much taller.

Jen and Bill (the main characters) are very interesting and "real," and their stories are extremely interesting, and their attitude and outlook amazing.

This is a really wonderful reality TV show because of how simply real it is.

January 22 2011 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jewel

Love the Little Couple....was wondering what happened to it?
Last time I saw the show...they had gone to find out about having a baby...and haven't seen it since?? I really hope they keep this show on more and often...they are such a breath of fresh air.

April 27 2010 at 11:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rosa

I just want to say that I love your show, The Little Couple! So when is the show coming back? I hope its soon because I miss watching you guys! You are a cute couple and just love watching the show! Hope to see it soon!

April 25 2010 at 7:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bayleesgram98

I am pleased to learn about the challenges that all the little people contend with. They really cause me to think and care more and to try to be as nice as the example Bill and Jen, set. It is also nice to know that all your participants can have down days too. No one is perfect and to see people so challenged, not complain but do something to improve the human condition, is wonderful. i still enjoy the Roloff family. I hope the strong personalities can come to good understanding. They are all such great personalities. Good things do indeed come in small packages.

March 28 2010 at 11:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bayleesgram98

I really enjoy the Little Couple. They are "REALLY real." They are both genuine and charming and love their Chihuahua. Chihuahuas are small and intelligent too. I really wanted to watch them train him. Bill and Jen also are pleased to enjoy their family and friends without looking for faults. Most unusual in this day and age. That they both have real careers that they are truly happy in, is a plus. I will be pleased to watch their new season.

March 28 2010 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kitty

I've watched all of the shows about all little people. I find that Jen and Bill are my favorite and most genuine down to earth folks. As for the Roloff family, my heart goes out to Matt. Amy seems to be resentful of his disabilities and non-compassionate. When he has to return from family vacations because of his physical limitations, the pain he's in, etc. she becomes very resentful and wants to strike out on her own. It appears as though she's trying to pull the children in her direction turning them against Matt. Yes, he does go on business trips, etc. but why can't she for once rearrange her precious schedule to accommodate his plans for the family when he tries to reach out to do something special for all of them. I recently lost my husband of nearly 31 years and I wish he were here so that I could do things with him. I always tried to do everything in my power to be with him and our son so we'd have precious memories to hold to and I'm so very thankful I did. I have no regrets and I'm afraid Amy will. My husband and I both had physical limitations and we had to work to accommodate each other. Please try to get the Roloff family to be more considerate of Matt's health issues. It's the worst thing to deal with loosing your walking ability and mobility. I know I'm in a wheelchair and I pray that the Lord will restore my walking ability and take away my pain.
Bill and Jen are still newly weds so to speak but they both work together and take into consideration what will make the other happy and they spend quality time together. I give you a rating of 10 and the Roloff family a rating of 6. Good luck to both and I look forward to watching the new season.

March 22 2010 at 1:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patty

I use to like watching Little People but the show has gone downhill this year. Matt does live in a fantasy world and does a lot of building a lot of those dreams. The kids are very disrespectful of their Dad. Amy allows them to talk back to their Dad. Zak has a definite hate towards his Dad. He has no respect for him. Zak will not make it thru college with his study habits and punk attitude. The other kids are not motivated in the least. Jacob should not have a cell phone. He doesn't respect it. Amy has a rotten attitude towards Matt. She should be lucky to have him. It is to bad that Matt doesn't enjoy family vacations. I think he has a lot of medical issues going on. The kids do nothing to help as far as picking up their messes. They are young adults and teenagers and should know better, but Amy doesn't care either. I am totally turned of their show now.

March 01 2010 at 10:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Patty's comment
Dee J

I "discovered" TLC's "Little People"-type shows while I was in the hospital last year recuperating from major surgery. I instantly fell in love with Jen & Bill!! They are exactly like any newlywed couple, regardless of their diminutive size. We got to know them as they got to know one another. Bill is Jen's hero and Jen is Bill's adoring princess.
I discovered Matt & Amy Roloff, as well. Now, here was a family I could identify with: married 20 years with the challenge of raising young adults and a younger child. Amy became my hero! She had a good, level head on her shoulders, rarely, if ever whined about the inevitable aches & pains that surely accompany dwarfism, goal-oriented, take-the-command - with good leadership abilities. I didn't pay too much attention to Matt Roloff ... he sort of blended into the background, as did the youngest son.
Fast forward to the present. Bill & Jen? Still delights me. Amy Roloff? A wee bit conceited. She clearly prefers to "win" any parental / spouse confrontations. If she devoted at least 1/4 of the attention and energy to her husband as she does to THIER children, their marriage wouldn't be such a source of stress for herself and for Matt. She does not show him any sympathy and/or empathy regarding his health concerns, which are pretty danged serious in my book. If she does show him any, it's not when the camera's rolling. Amy pouts to the max whenever Matt leaves for a business or pleasure trip w/o her. Sometimes a chance to travel pops up for Matt and Amy's schedule is not as flexible as Matt's is. In one episode, Matt and the kids were readying themselves for one of those "short notice" business + pleasure trips. Amy, as is her m.o., manipulates the older children so cleverly that they tell their Dad that "If Mom isn't coming along, neither are we!". Matt heads out with the youngest boy. Then Amy leaves for HER business trip, as the 3 older kids are subjected to a few days of isolation. Gee, Mom, what's wrong with this picture?!
So, Congrats to "The Little Couple" for (at least) one more season!
And, Amy: PLEASE learn how to show Matt some care & understanding. He brings home a tidy paycheck, loves you and your kids, he's sensitive and, from what I can surmise, is a man who needs a little more emotional security & warmth from his life's companion. Once the kids fly out of their nest, guess who will still be there with you?

March 15 2010 at 2:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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