A little tired of………….The Little Couple

Back in 2009 my wife happened to stumble upon a new reality series on The Learning Channel (that’s TLC in TV lingo).

The Little Couple.

The plot of the show follows and chronicles the lives of Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein. A newly married couple (of over 3 years now I believe) in their mid 30’s who live in Houston, Texas.

Jennifer is a neonatal physician at Children’s Hospital at the Texas Medical Center while Bill (along with a business partner) owns a call center in New York State.

Both Bill and Jennifer suffer from a bone growth disease called Skeletal Dysplasia which leads to their dwarfism. Jen is 3 foot 2 inches tall and Bill is 4 feet tall.

The series began and continues to focus on the couples’ stature along with the trials and tribulations that they have (and continue) to overcome.

They are intelligent, humorous and interesting. Heck, I would love these 2 as my neighbors.

Here in lies the root of my article. I am not a PC person so I will be blunt.

In my opinion, the show is viewed by us (the audience) as a form of voyeurism if you will.

Are we watching the show because Jen is a doctor or Bill is a businessman (who works from a home office)? Perhaps a small number do but for the vast majority, NO.

Are we watching the show to see how these two live their lives day to day because they are little people? ABSOLUTELY.

Be honest.

If Jen and Bill were of average height and had the same professions, would we really even care? In high probability, NO.

After the first season of the show, the novelty for me quickly wore off. These two live an average life like we all do. There is nothing special to theirs. Yes, they are little; yes they face obstacles (as we all do day to day) with some being greater than others. They even just finished building a custom made 3,000+ square foot house.

In truth, I have seen nothing on the show that the two cannot do except for possibly conceiving a child.

Due to Jennifer’s size, doctors determined it would be risky for her to become pregnant so the couple wrestled with adoption or in vitro fertilization options.

They are currently in the second season of air time trying to conceive through a surrogate implanted with their “genetic materials” logging endless frequent flier miles back and forth (seemingly weekly) from Houston to a clinic in L.A.

Jen is a doctor at the largest medical center in the world and they cannot find an in vitro center in Houston? Only one on the beach in Santa Monica, CA?

How convenient and it makes for some great seascape shots at sunset.

Half of the last season seemed to focus on this topic (the other half in completing the aforementioned house).

Why do we care?

I wish them all the success I would any couple wanting to have a child in any way they thought was appropriate (adoption, in vitro or the old fashioned way).

Now, the show has become just a “side show”. Is it not enough that we have been voyeurs in the daily lives of this couple for two and half years? But now it has extended to a surrogate couple?

Having children (and deciding how to have them) is a personal choice, not a worldwide event.

I have no idea how much longer the show will air or if they will have a child/children through in vitro or adoption. I really don’t care.

It seems to me that this couple who yearned to just be average and accepted for their stature have achieved this all TOO well. They have shown the nation that they can be just as tedious, boring and over the top as the rest of us.

In the end though like any reality show these days, it just continues to prove that we as a country will watch anything.

We need that precious “water cooler” conversation piece.

Now if I can only find my remote and change the channel.

Finding Bigfoot is just starting on Animal Planet.

  • Taylor Stern

    I am on season 7 of the Little Couple & I can honestly say these kids are spoiled. Bill & Jen clap/high five for EVERY single tiny thing these kids do even if it’s stomping on oreo cookies to make a dirt recipe for Zoey’s 4 year birthday party. Seriously why do some parents think every little thing calls for praise. When these 2 kids come into the real World as they get older they are going to be very disappointed b/c the World does not constantly praise you for every breath you take nor is it healthy to do so anyway. Even though I do like the show due to the journey, it is annoying to see how they are with the kids. I get they have love for them but the kids do run the show sometimes & you have to let kids know that parents run the show not them. All kids are cute to a degree but in all honesty these kids are not special. I met a kid a few years back who had that extra special quality to him plus a real personality at the age of 2 & all of us were like WOW. Seriously all of us were saying this particular child should have a show. He was a true original & rare type with a darling/charming/funny/loving personality. When I see Will & Zoey I just see average kids b/c they are average. Will is a cool kid but my standards are high from witnessing other truly unique kids.

  • Taylor Stern

    As time has gone on watching this show I have realized Bill Klein thinks he is so funny. Sure Bill says something funny every now & then but if he thinks he is funny he is very far off. I have met truly comedic people & I can assure you Bill is not in that category. Also every time one of his kids says or does something Bill has to repeat what they said out loud & chuckle so everyone is sure they did not miss it. People don’t need to hang on every word or act the kids do. It’s like the parent who shows a bunch of pictures of their kids to people… most don’t want to be subjected to that. I realize Bill is a bit of a ham & I can imagine how Will is going to turn out. Ironically I knew a friend who’s cousin reminds me of Bill & he was annoying to people from time to time. Also when they picked up Zoey, Bill got into his “feelings” b/c she didn’t take to him right away. Then he whined about it. I mean Zoey was under 2 years old from a orphanage & he didn’t think it takes time. All Bill could do is make it about himself. I am not saying Bill is a bad guy b/c they did adopt after all but just chill a bit. I really like Jen & think her work at Children’s Hospital is amazing. Bill is ok but a bit annoying personality wise. Plus his pet store idea is only EVERYWHERE. That is not another thing we need plus a pet fashion show sounds ridiculous & boring like Bill. Oh & people may get mad but all kids are cute but some are cuter then others. Will & Zoey are not on the “cuter” list either. I knew a girl who had this kid you wouldn’t believe. I just think Will & Zoey are average in terms of personality/charm, looks etc. People who are “fans” make such a big deal over this & if you dare say your opinion look out but I just said it.

  • Emily

    Reading these comments is really interesting. 2 to 3 years ago it was ‘I love this show! They are darling!’ Over the last few months, it has become a haven for people disturbed by Will’s behavior and concern for Zoey. It seems the tide is turning and people want to voice their feelings about what they see. It’s pretty unusual to see comments on a 3 yr old blog. I hope TLC and the Kleins take these opinions on board while the kids are young enough to turn things around.

    • demo89

      I admit that I used to love the show. After this last season, I don’t think I’ll be watching it anymore. Was just looking at a pic from last season of Zoey and Will sitting in their high chairs. Will with his thumb in his mouth at usual, zoey with her fingers in her mouth. Will has gained a lot of weight, in the pic his legs were big and so is his belly. His face has filled out so much. They pacify the kids with food, Jen being a pediatrician should know better. Will eats even when he isn’t hungry, Zoey packs the food away too, they eat like adults. I don’t think adoptions should go through knowing the kids were going to be on tv.

    • demo89

      I am watching the first week of school episode where Will helps himself to goldfish crackers and tells Jen don’t touch. she listens. Then at the pool will tells bill to go away, his pool, Bill listens. Every time he tells them don’t touch or something else they listen. Jen says when you have a toddler the parents are no longer truly in charge. REALLY? Now we see where the problem is. At least Kate Gosselin disciplined her kids and when she put them in time out she didn’t stand there consoling them. zoey eats as much as will

  • Shan

    Indeed Alfred, Zoey is sweet natured and Will is getting worse. His communication suffers as he grunts and yells demands such as the Christmas cookie session, the brat literally ate butter and dough repeatedly after being told no. How does a mother not see that? Then I tire of each and every conversation beginning with hey Will, what about Zoeys opinion? He will hurt her in due time. Jen seems truly afraid of him and both she and Bill make deals with him such as I will let you hold the keys if you dont suck your thumb or you wont get this or that if you cant shart and when he screamed at Jen while he chunked down raw cookie batter “DONT DONT AND PUSHED HER HAND DONT WATCH ME” so the little ass could do as he sneakily pleased. It’s shameful but they will need serious assistance with him in another two years. If anyone just listens you will hear everything is directed at Will first Zoey secondly,if she had more attention she would bloom tenfold but she seems to be reluctant because they adore him so much more and they make no secret of it. Wait till you see Will beat the hell outta his baba after surgery
    My parents would have spanked my ass good..

    • Emily

      Thank you! It is absolutely astonishing how quickly you can spoil a child. There is an episode where little Zoey has her coat on upside down and Will repeatedly body slams her – he is twice her size! I firmly believe they should be extra strict on him so Jen can handle him. Once he wanted to run on the road and she was stuck trying to reason with a toddler who is bigger than her.

      • Mary Jane Rottenkrotch

        Body slams her? Not quite, but thanks for your hysteria…

      • demo89

        Although I think Will is misbehaved and get tired of him yelling demands, he didn’t body slam Zoey

  • Ms. Gourami

    I agree that Will is a brat and needs discipline. Keep in mind he was from China who prize boys. They are treated like “little emperors”. He may have been the only boy in the orphanage and it’s obvious the staff spoiled him. He was already overweight when he was adopted while the girls are underweight.

    I went through part of an adoption process that didn’t work out. It’s very difficult to adopt locally due to women not having the social stigma today. Also, you have to pay all the bio mom’s expenses even if she changes her mind at the last minute and keeps the baby.

    I learned that all adoptive parents are encouraged to let many things go and give little discipline due to the child’s situation. That involves the trauma of loss of their birth parents and being institutionalized. I didn’t completely agree with it. I can see it causing big problems later. We have seen some of these. Will is rude, talks back, and steals food. There are usually no consequences. Also, I don’t think Bill and Jen could physically handle the kids without her parents living nearby and the nanny. And this is without all the major health problems they’ve had. I really hope for the best for this family. The girl is just adorable. I hope she doesn’t pick up her brother’s bad habits.

    • Shan

      Oh,Ms.Gourami I agree with you. It would appear to some extent there is a deep rooted issue as you said, in china look online the baby girls left in poor orphanages today if you dont have the twenty plus thousand dollars plus gifts and presents the baby who may ne in the sire need of dood and med and could die soon is overlooked its sad and pathetic. I too hope sweet Zoey will be okay after all this she needs love, he is so pampered and she so ignored. When he had on his karate suit he wanted to hurt Zoey and if given a few more min he would have he was like chasing prey and she’s too small to defend herself. He knows he is wrong and sneaky because with the teacher he whispers but screams yells hits and more with his mom especially. They can’t handle Will and the biggest mistake they have made is babying him and making deals with him to do what is expected. Shameful and he wants to take everything from Zoey you would think Bill and Jen would boost her up so she doesn’t lose self confidence.

      • Emily

        Shan I just referenced the same incident as you before I read your post. Bill didn’t pull Will off of her – it was horrifying

        • demo89

          Bill is afraid to discipline. If the cameras keep them from disciplining then the cameras need to be turned off for good. Both kids have issues

    • demo89

      If they let things go too long they turn into insufferable little brats which is happening. I am sure being in the orphanage is fading in their heads and time to stop using that excuse


    Wow. I can’t believe people have a problem with what a child calls his/her parent! My children were both adopted in 2001 from Russia. From the second my then 26 month old daughter met him, her father was “Papa”. He is, at nearly 16 now, still her “Papa” as he is to her younger brother (adopted at 9 months and whose first word was, “Papa!”. The word that she knew at the time (pronounced sort of like “dada”) meant any “man” in her Russian baby talk. Why would we force her to call her papa a generic term for “Man”?? I know a family who adopted from India. Their daughter at 12 years home calls her dad, “Baba”. What is there to be ashamed about? I sincerely don’t understand how someone could have an axe to grind with something so utterly inconsequential…. BTW, I am 51 and still call my father “Daddy”.

    • Mary Jane Rottenkrotch

      I agree with you. Just miserable sots on this board. Who cares what the child calls the parents, as long as it isn’t disrespectful.

  • Camden

    And why didn’t they adopt American children? Their lifestyle is very good $$. Also I wonder why they were allowed to adopt 2 “little babies”? Who will protect Zoey if a larger person picks on her when she becomes older? I can not watch The L..C.. any longer. I can not stand watching how much bad behavior and bad ‘health” they allow their kids (Will) get away with. And, why do they keep calling Bill “Baba’? How do you say ‘Dad’ in Indian? Is Zoey and her culture not as important as the ‘golden?’ bad boy Will?

    • Shan

      Camden, you hit the nail on the head many times over. Will is a spoiled out of control kid who will give hell to his teachers, parents and classmates alike. Unfortunately I don’t for see any friends for him with the way he acts. Jen and Bill constantly parrot words and make learning more difficult. The children are American and I think forcing them to call their dad baba is rediculous. Zoey seems puzzled by them all. Unfortunately Will is her bully he takes her food away ,was first to get into her birthday cake and is shown as being bad for entertaining??? What parent would say that? I believe that Zoey is going to catch hell and this little monster William will continue to become more spoiled and irritating than he already is. TLC has another show called our little family staring the Hamil family, they have twins 3yrs and a 5yr old boy named Jack. That Will could learn from him and Jen&Bill could certainly take notes from the family. Thanks for keeping it real in your post. He is horrible, 5yrs old still in diapers and knocks the crap out of his mom.If they wanted to be on TV so people treat them normal and it have nothing to due with stature well then I say take a paddle to his but.

    • Shan

      Exactly Camden, Zoey is unimportant everything they do every sentence begins with he Will and she just stands there. Her vocabulary ia much better, she’s a thinker she is respectful and loving but he is mean, rotten, apoiled, ungrateful and rude not to mention abusive he’s already comfortable lying and taking things without any discipline and He is not cute his behavior makes people dislike him because of his ways. As for the BABA they are selling mugs shirts etc, shameful. And as for Will, he does what the hell he wants when he wants. When they bought fish rude Will stuck his hands in the tank without permission, and calls an aduly over as if he’s a servant. That boy could use a month with my grandfather and I believe he would come back full of respect. It’s sad the way Zoey stands in the background. If you watch the fish episode she stood in the background i think Jen &Bill wanted the novelty of being parents and they think Wills bad behavior is funny so they are more drawn to him. I am with you, Zoey is not Chinese,wheres her culture? I think Will is going to hurt her one day because she’s small and he has no training as to being a good big brother, he kicked her around on the floor on the way to karate, if no one was there i wonder what would have happened?

  • sammi

    Has anyone besides me noticed how horribly behaved their children are? Especially Will.. He will be bigger than his parents are before long and those slaps wont be so over looked or they won’t make excuses for every tantrum maybe.. Also every episode the kids are constantly eating.. They have gotten fat because of it.. Which isn’t any better on their body than being small was.. I’m just sayin

    • Shan

      Sammi, that boy Will is just awefil. His 5th bday is April 29 2015. Still he’s in pampers. I just can’t deal with how bad he behaves. My children have never tried to hit me. Will has hit and bit and pinched Jen. Its pitiful and like I said I cannot understand how they kiss will on his lip and say oh good kisser do u know how horrifyingly bad that can be for any kid much less an adopted child. And my goodness move him to a table so Zoey can have her meal he is strong and pulls her chair to his high chair to eat her food. Sad…and true when he hits them or Zoey in particular he will hurt them. Lastly, do you wonder why never you see the two kids playing together and chatting it up? I so love TLC MY LITTLE FAMILY WITH THE HAMILS. now that is a real show.

      • Emily

        They always say he is taking care of Zoey when he is served food (FIRST of course) he makes sure she gets some – it’s because he considers her food his – not because he cares for her. He feels he has extra food there – should he want it.

        • Shan

          You said it honey.

  • Shan

    Will the parents ever discipline their son & why such a huge difference being made between the childten? I cant believe the things this boy gets away with and it will get worse over time. I know he wont get away with his behavior in school.
    Also, please stop kissing Will in the mouth can you imagine him doing thatand saying BaBa in class? Come on now….

  • Jody18

    For Me I only Hope TLC CANCELS that Show and 200 Kids and Counting !!!!!!!

    • demo89

      Agreed, Luckily, 200 kids has been canceled and hope there is NEVER a spinoff

  • Jody18

    How can people sit and watch this GARBAGE that TV Spews Out ???
    This show is as bad as watching that other Stinking Rotten Show —200 KIDS AND COUNTING—Yes, I said 200 cause if it was possible that Bitch would HAVE 200 KIDS !!!

    • Shan

      Jody if u think his voice is irritating Google pics of his spoiled ass its sickening. Too many perfectly good children right here in our beautiful country needed a home but that’s their business I’m happy they have children but damn…Zoey is a doll and Will is a brat who needs a good butt whipping. If my granny raised him that kid would do a 360 in a week

      • Shan

        Did you see him on this episode where he took over Zoeys ballet lesson? Her teacher was giving kuddos to her for a lesson well done and he grabs her hand mid speak and goes on to take the teacher back to the class and pull out her materials so he can ballwt dance? WTH?? If they focus on making him listen and mind he may learn to speak better, stop thumb sucking and go potty like a five year old.

    • demo89

      Will needs to get that thumb out of his mouth, he looks ridiculous

  • Courtney79

    I HATE the commercials for this BORING couple and from what I have seen on the show….you are absolutely right. It wouldn’t be popular if they were of average size….it wouldn’t even be a show.

  • Zazu22

    Hey, maybe we’re all a little tired of you also. Actually, I didn’t know who the author was until I clicked on this. These two people and their children are amazing, and many of use love watching them. If you are tired of it, please feel free to watch something else. Maybe an episode of the real housewives or wives with knives would be more to your liking. I hope the show lasts until these kids are all grown up and have children of their own..

    • demo89

      we don’t care

    • Shan

      Well I watch because I can, because I am in AMERICA, and because it is not called the KISS WILL’S ASS SHOW. Zoey has a right to have support from fans too unless you are like other adults in charge of her care who put her needs last if at all.

  • Jane

    Bill and Jen are the classiest people on TV and that is why I love them. I can watch this beautiful couple as they raise their darling children. To me, Bill and Jen are what we all should be, regardless of what the measuring stick says. They are much more educated than most of us. I can sit and watch their show and not have to hear a curse word or see a tattoo–only great taste, a beautiful, happily married couple enjoying a lovely home they have worked for. What more could two people be? I love and admire them. If I could swap places with anyone on earth it would be Jen and Bill

  • Tink

    Will is a brat.

  • Carol Mitchell

    That Will is mowing them down and imagine a second child? Boy oh boy.

  • Lynn

    I like the little couple I think it’s one of the best shows on TLC, I sure hope they don’t stop having the show. I have watched it for about three years. It will make me sad to not be able to.

    • demo89

      They really should end the show and get the cameras off the kids

  • Barbara

    You get up on the wrong side of the bed? You don’t like it, don’t watch it. Go for a walk. Feed the dog. Read a book. Take your wife, if you have one, out to dinner, go to the gym–see? there’s lots of things you could do instead of spending time hating on two great people…..that lots of folks out here care about.
    Get over yourself.

  • Jed54

    And its much more entertaining then Two and a half men

  • Jed54

    We like the show here… hope they do not cancel…

  • http://www.facebook.com/fisherry Sherry Morris Fisher

    You can certainly change the channel! I love this show but can’t watch it now since I don’t get Discovery Health channel ;(

  • lindy

    will the little couple return to tlc any time soon?

  • http://www.zknitz.blogspot.com/ zareena

    I haven’t seen the Little Couple on in a while.  Anybody know what happened to it?

    • Shan

      Will probably behaved so badly they had to take a time out so he can be ready.

  • therealguyfaux

    Actually, I like Matt and Amy Roloff more than I do the Kleins,  because they’re crazy.  Sure, the Matt and Amy show was a gimmick (“Three average-height kids and a dwarf son!”) but the two of them were Ralph and Alice Kramden, without the threat of a punch to the kisser.  Somehow you felt Matt and Amy, despite their cat-dog marriage (which part I’m sure was embellished), believe they have the best partner they could ever find in a marriage, as in “I don’t know what (s)he sees in me, but thank goodness (s)he does!”   Bill and Jen– well, no real “drama” between them, and they’re too “nice.”  But there’s nothing wrong with “nice”; we could use a little (no pun) more of that.

  • RB

    Yes, No matter what size Jen and Bill were I would watch them if they were the tallest people in the world or just average like myself.  I really think you need to get some of your facts straight.  They are getting ready to celebrate their 5th anniversary.  There other facts that were wrong as well.  But I don’t watch the Little Couple because they are little I watch it because it a clean family show and Bill and Jen are down to earth people.  They want the viewers to see how they live and struggles they go through just like you and I.  Yes, they happen to have more struggles then average size but I am please that they are continuely inviting us into their world.  Many people love the Little Couple and will contine to do so.  I know I look forward to the show and would if they were average size individual.

    Why is it is so many what the Dugger’s because the size of their family I don’t I agree with trusting God to meet your personal needs that is why I watch them.  You could ask this show for every show TLC show and most people don’t watch it because of the size of the family, size of the individual and so on but because they enjoy a clean family show.  That is what it comes down to many stations aren’t showing clean shows these days.

  • Nicky

    Well I love The Little Couple! I think its the best show on TLC!

  • Nicky

    Well I love The Little Couple! I think its the best show on TLC!

  • Nicky

    Well I love The Little Couple! I think its the best show on TLC!

    • Kaygee

      I feel the love between them and that is a reality.
      Another thing, I have always been uncomfortable with my height. I am 4.ft. 8.5 inches, Between the Arnolds and the Roloff’s, I am more comfortable. I still get stares from time to time, but it does not feel so bad.

  • Nicky

    Well I love The Little Couple! I think its the best show on TLC!

  • Nicky

    Well I love The Little Couple! I think its the best show on TLC!

  • A Woman

    “Are we watching the show to see how these two live their lives day to day because they are little people? ABSOLUTELY.”

    Much of what Michael mentioned are reasons I have enjoyed the show. But mostly  I’ve enjoyed the show because it’s a “safe” show. To also be blunt, I don’t have to worry about breasts being exposed, drunks doing who-knows-what, curse words and/or bleeps every other word, “cat fights”, illegal activities, blatant narcissism, meanness for meanness sake, and so on. I can kick back and, yes, watch a “typical” couple have a normal & usually fun day. I can forget about the ugly of life for a short period of time and just smile. They are kind-heart people with great senses of humor; the kind of people I would love to know in real life.

    Plus, I love the fact that they live nearby… in the Texas-sense of the word.

    But to claim or imply many watch it because they happen to be little people? I think that says far more about you, sir. And sadly it’s a shallow statement.

    • Neil1981

      Thank you for your response.
      As stated in my response to Michael, I like Jen and Bill. I also agree the show is clean and very family friendly. I’m just asking in my article, if they were of average size, would we be watching them?

  • Michael

    I’m not surprised to read such disdain for “little people” from someone who uses his first initial in his byline. 

    Maybe some people watch the show because it feels good to see two people who have overcome a physical issue that years ago would have limited them to the circus.  In a country with an increasing population of whiners and complainers and demands for handouts, maybe it’s good to have a weekly reminder that there are still people who won’t let anything keep them from achieving success. 

    This guy and gal have probably suffered years of ridicule, and have probably been left out of Lord knows how many activities – regardless of their intelligence, ethics, or personalities – simply because of their size. 

    Unless they’re sending you the bill for their travel expenses, let them have their day in the sun, whether it’s in Houston, Santa Monica Beach, or Paris frigging France.   

    • Neil1981

      Thank you for your response.
      I don’t see how using a first initial is a sign of disdain nor do I disdain Jen, Bill or any small person,  in fact, I compliment them.
      As stated in the article, I applaud their achievements but am just stating if they were of average size, would we even care much less watch a show of this nature.

      • Flor

        I like the little couple and their personalities but I agree with Neil1891 when he says that if they were a normal couple I wouldn’t be watching the show.