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Sister Wives

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Sister Wives TV Poster Image
Docuseries turns polygamists into reality stars.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.


Some talk about dying at the hands (or fins) of sharks ... and toasters.


Discussion about the existence of sexual relationships between Brown and his individual wives.


The family drives large cars like Honda minivans and Chevy Suburbans. But the logos/brands aren’t highlighted.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDogcrazed March 13, 2011

No thanks!!!

Can't stand it, there is nothing positive about women having to share their husband. That is not love, you cannot tell me that this is not sexist, if a wo... Continue reading
Adult Written byjohnGibcert July 20, 2011

Sister Wives

Polygamy is a very sensitive issue. Many are not convince that this kind of living should be acceptable in our society. But also many are practicing this kind o... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymambobird March 27, 2011
the women are happy and be willing to all be married to cody, there is no forced or child marriage, no problem with this
Kid, 10 years old March 23, 2011

Just plain weird

Kody should not be married to 4 different woman. Strange...

What's the story?

SISTER WIVES follows the day-to-day life of an American polygamist family. Husband Kody Brown and his three wives -- Meri, Janelle, and Christine -- negotiate their relationships with each other, their 13 children, and, on occasion, with the mainstream world. Viewers also get to see how the courting and introduction of a fourth wife, Robyn, into the family circle impacts the wives, as well as the overall family dynamic.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lifestyle presented in this show. Why/how do some families practice polygamy if it's illegal in the United States? 

  • What are some of the stereotypes surrounding polygamists? Do you think this show contradicts some of these stereotypes?

  • Why do you think this family agreed to be in a TV show?

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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