Jill's public announcement of her very personal loss has highlighted why there is nothing else in sales or entertainment quite like home shopping. The sales person at Macy's, Target, or Dillard's might have also gone through a recent tragedy in her life, but in most cases we would know nothing about it. In fact, we probably don't even know her name.
On the other hand, not only do we know Jill's name, we feel like we know her. We certainly feel entitled to comment on her hair style, her clothes, her sales shtick … and, in all honestly, being in the public eye, I think that's all fair game for discussion and opining.
Jill, like all the other hosts, talks about her personal taste, her lifestyle, and her family. We hear stories of how she grew up as an only child, how she met her husband, and what she's making for dinner that night in the pressure cooker (it's a time saver because she's a busy mom!) I know that she loves hoop earrings because she thinks they don't make her face look too full. I know that even though she tends to go for the more "understated elegance" look, she loves bold silver jewelry because it reminds her of what her grandmother always wore. I know that she wants a real emerald mother's ring. I know she's a good cook and that David Venable. loves to come over to eat and gossip. I can tell that it physically pains her to wear bedazzled Quacker Factory clothes. I know she was a journalist before coming the the Q. I know that she snagged the Silver Style show when Jane Treacy was gone and carved out that territory for herself. I suspect that she has a Martha Stewart perfectionist streak in her. And even though Jill's presentations on Saturday were technically fine, I could tell that she was not herself.
But, no, I don't really know her. And unless you are friends with Jill in real life, neither do you.
When Jill happily ... no, joyously ... shared her pregnancy news on air, she opened up the floodgates of well-wishers. It seemed every caller was truly excited for Jill and wanted to offer their sincere congratulations. It was that overwhelming outpouring of support that forced Jill to make that announcement of her tragic miscarriage and ask that it not be mentioned on air. The same community of people who shared in her joy, would also want to share in her pain. Obviously, this would make getting through a segment selling the latest Denim & Co. capri pant or Sleep Number bed without breaking down and crying a bit difficult.
As home shopping fans, we are privy to the joys and life-changing events of the hosts, the tense moments and off-the-cuff remarks, and sometimes, the shiny veneer is peeled back just a little bit and we get a peak at their hearts. And when that happens, we can't help but be touched.
Reality TV has nothing on home shopping. It doesn't get more real than this.