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Polygamy, TV style

September 27, 2010

So here’s a new show on TLC this season called “Sister Wives” – have you heard of it? In case you haven’t, please allow me to give you a brief synopsis.

The Brown family consists of husband Kody, his three wives (Meri, Janelle and Christine) and their 12 children, plus one more on the way.

Take a second to digest that.

Now add to the mix that on the first episode, Kody tells the wives that he wants to marry another woman and take in her 3 children.

Wow.

When I first saw promos for this show, many thoughts ran through my head. Who came up with this show idea? Was there a demand for insight into the polygamist lifestyle? Or did the good folks at TLC just want to continue their exploration of unique family dynamics, as seen in shows such as “Little People, Big World” and “Kate plus 8?” Who is the target audience for this show? And most importantly, would it last?

I knew I would have to check it out, and thankfully I caught the replay very late Sunday night of the series premiere. I’m still watching it now as I write this post.

To say that their attitudes and lifestyle intrigue me is a dramatic understatement. Obviously, I don’t understand how they feel. They’ve all grown up in polygamist families, making the decision to be involved in this family structure a no-brainer for them. They see nothing wrong with sharing their husband, raising each other’s children and being open to adding new women to the family.

I would love to hear from someone familiar with plural marriage. Why do these women want to be involved with a man who clearly has a roaming eye? Don’t they want a husband of their own? How do they handle the news that a new wife is being added to the family? Are the women allowed to have multiple husbands, or is it only the men who are allowed this privilege? I know I could look up articles and information online about polygamy, plural marriages and sister wives, but I would rather hear from a real person.

I’m not sure yet if I will plan to watch new episodes or just catch them as I notice them in the channel listings, but I do think I would watch it again. I hope to gain more insight into these women and hope to stop viewing the husband as a total dirtbag (sorry, Kody, but that’s my gut reaction).

I’d also like to hear from you, the readers. What do you think about all this? Is this a show you might watch? Why, or why not? I look forward to your input, and perhaps a spirited debate!

UPDATE 9/28/10 – According to this People.com article (this one too), the Brown family is being investigated by Lehi (Utah) police for possible charges of felony bigamy. Updates will follow as I read more.

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