A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Polygamy is described here as a lifestyle that can be positive and healthy for those who choose it. Kody Brown clearly notes the distinction between the L.D.S. (mainstream Mormons) and what he calls the Fundamentalist Mormon Doctrine that promotes and practices polygamy. The Browns voice some concerns over prejudice toward their lifestyle.
Positive Role Models
The Browns practice a fundamentalist doctrine that endorses plural marriage. Neither Brown nor his wives proselytize or criticize other faiths. The women appear to care about and respect one another. Most of the wives come from plural families.The adults (and some older children) share in parenting duties.
Violence & Scariness
Some talk about dying at the hands (or fins) of sharks ... and toasters.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Discussion about the existence of sexual relationships between Brown and his individual wives.
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Products & Purchases
The family drives large cars like Honda minivans and Chevy Suburbans. But the logos/brands aren't highlighted.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality series presents the polygamist lifestyle as one that's both positive and healthy for those who choose to live it. Much of the show's focus is on the relationship between the sister wives themselves and their ability to deal with their husband's courtship of a potential fourth wife. There's no proselytizing here, but the family occasionally makes references to being fearful of living out in the open and dealing with prejudice. There are also some mild conversations about the importance of healthy sexual relationships between each individual sister wife and their husband.
Is It Any Good?
Sister Wives offers a fairly voyeuristic look at plural marriage from the point of view of people who have chosen to live according to a religious doctrine that promotes it. The series' intent is to show how complex this cohabitation lifestyle is and to counter some of the stereotypes about plural marriage that exist today. But while Brown and his family discuss some of the challenges that come with choosing their lifestyle, including the emotional and financial burdens it creates, overall the series paints a happy picture that sometimes seems a little too idyllic.
The family is very likable, and they seem to be a bit worldlier and open compared to other plural families (both real and fictional) depicted in the media. Despite all of this, some of the choices they make and other unspoken signs indicate that they're sometimes not as comfortable in the mainstream as they appear on camera. Nonetheless, the show ultimately offers viewers a unique chance to see real people openly share their experiences as part of a plural family.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.