My Five Wives

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
My Five Wives TV Poster Image
Polygamist family reality is both voyeuristic and candid.

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age 2+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Plural marriage is represented as an acceptable lifestyle choice; the challenges that come with it are also discussed. The importance of family is also a theme. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Williams family is Mormon, but are no longer part of the Fundamentalist Mormon Church. Brady believes in education; both he and Rosemary are going to college. All the wives grew up in polygamist homes. Some wives work outside of the home. They don't always get along.

Violence

Arguments between Brady and his wives sometimes escalate to yelling and tears. 

Sex

A few conversations about how the marital relationships function, and the spouses' ability to cope with their husband having sex with multiple wives. Women dress modestly, but are occasionally shown in traditional faith-mandated undergarments when in bed. 

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My Five Wives presents polygamy as a lifestyle choice, and one that comes with its benefits and its challenges for those who choose to practice it. Family is a major theme, but reservations about living out in the open, dealing with prejudice, and the rejection by Mormon Fundamentalists and others are also discussed. There is also some arguing, and occasionally feelings about sharing a husband both emotionally and sexually are discussed.

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What's the story?

MY FIVE WIVES is a reality documentary series that follows a plural family living outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. It stars Brady Williams, who is married to his first wife Paulie, and in plural marriages with Robyn, Rosemary, Nonie, and Rhonda. While trying to balance his relationships with five wives and 24 children, he runs a construction business with his brother, Jared, and is earning a college degree. Meanwhile, the wives work both in and outside of their two houses, take care of the children, and cope with the challenges that come with sharing a husband. It's not an easy life, but one that Brady and his wives are committed to.

Is it any good?

My Five Wives offers a voyeuristic look into the Williams household, and underscores many of the highs and lows that come with living a plural lifestyle. But unlike Mormon Fundamentalists, Brady and his wives practice what they define as "progressive polygamy," where equality is emphasized, and plural marriage is a result of mutual love and commitment rather than a fulfillment of a religious obligation. However, their lifestyle leads to the same political, social, and economic dilemmas that other polygamists describe, and for which they are often criticized.

The Williams appear more modern and enlightened than the plural families featured on shows like Polygamy, USA. But unlike that cast, and the cast of Sister Wives, Brady's spouses are more candid about the negative feelings they have about sharing a husband and having to co-exist with each other. The result is a series that offers less romanticized view of plural marriage, which some will find both interesting and disturbing.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about plural marriage. Why/how do some families practice polygamy if it's illegal in the United States? Why have some polygamist families decided to live their lives publicly, if the way they are living can get them into trouble?

  • What are some of the media stereotypes that exist about polygamists? Do you think TV shows like this one challenge these generalizations?  

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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