A new season of Counting On premiered last night, which is surprising news for a couple of reasons.
For starters, rumors that Counting On had been canceled had been circulating for several months.
In fact, it was just last a few weeks ago that TLC announced the show had been renewed.
The other reason that last night's premiere was such a surprise treat for fans was that the coronavirus pandemic has caused indefinite delays for many reality shows.
But as previews for the new season indicate, most of these episodes were filmed before the health crisis necessitated social distancing.
However, some scenes appear to show various Duggars wearing masks, so it seems that the later episodes were filmed during the pandemic.
We're sure proper precautions were taken ... or maybe not, since Jim Bob seems to believe the coronavirus is a hoax.
Anyway, Tuesday night's episode was something of a mixed bag, as it dealt with exciting new developments and heartbreaking tragedies within the Counting On clan.
The episode focused largely on Jinger and Jeremy's move to Los Angeles.
When the couple relocated last year, there were rumors that Jim Bob and Michelle were so upset they disowned Jinger.
But either those reports were inaccurate, or the Duggars managed to keep their strife off camera, as we didn't see any of it on last night's premiere.
The episode also touched on the death of Mary Duggar (which apparently delayed Jinger and Jeremy's departure), as well as Joy-Anna's heartbreaking miscarriage.
So the major storylines had nothing to do with Jana, and yet -- as is so often the case -- she remained at the forefront of online discussions about the family,
When fans first learned that the show would be returning to TLC, there were reports that Jana would offer some insights into how she feels about being 30 and single, an almost unheard-of set of circumstances in the Duggars' world.
But in a preview of upcoming episodes, there was only one scene (by our count) in which Jana was prominently featured, and it showed her playing dress up with the younger kids.
This, combined with some recent comments from Jana, has led to a rumor that the eldest Duggar daughter has become fed up with the life she's forced to lead.
As you're probably aware, Jana is tasked with raising her younger siblings, and it seems that formidable challenge is beginning to take a toll.
She used to have a partner in her many child-rearing tasks, but now that longtime friend Laura Demasie has moved to Atlanta, the management of the household is entirely up to Jana.
Fans have speculated that her current circumstances have led Jana to become deeply depressed.
That may explain why the 30-year-old is so seldom seen in upcoming episodes.
In a recent interview with Us Weekly, Jana confessed to feeling pressured to get married and start a family of her own.
"I think sometimes it feels a little more pressure, and I’m not that worried," she told the tabloid.
"I mean, yes, I long to be married and one day I think that will come, but I’m just also trying to stay busy with whatever comes along my path and just making the most of these single years and then when that time comes, then it’ll be the next season of life," she dded.
"I think if I sit there and I’m like, ‘Oh no, I’m not married!’ And just all worried about it, it makes things way worse. I just find the next thing to do to stay busy.
On Reddit, fans have opined about Jana being burned out.
They point out that she hasn't posted on social media in several weeks, and her last post was an obligatory Mother's Day tribute to Michelle,
Unfortunately, all Duggars are skilled at keeping their feelings to themselves, and the entire family knows how to sweep secrets under the rug.
So if Jana is as miserable as some fans think, the best -- and perhaps the only -- indication is that we'll see even less of her in the weeks and months to come.