A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
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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?