Thicker Than Water

 
(i)

 

Wealthy, religious blended family gets reality treatment.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although being a happily blended family is discussed, much of the show's focus is on the family's luxurious lifestyle. They are a strongly religious family, and they talk about how God wants them to be rich. 

Positive role models

They all clearly love each other but don't always get along. Some cast members are more pleasant than others.

Violence

Arguments sometimes break out between family members. Cast members' previous arrests are discussed.

Sex

Characters discuss sex, virginity, and kissing, and married couples are seen being affectionate in bed. One cast member had a baby at the age of 14; some cast members worked in a strip club when they were younger.

Language

Words such as "damn" are audible; occasional curses are bleeped.

Consumerism

The Tankard ministry and the DC Destiny Center are prominently featured. Hummers, Mercedes-Benz, and other expensive vehicle makes and models are visible. Apple computers, iPads, and iPhones also are shown.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol and drug (marijuana) use is discussed; occasionally drunken behavior is visible.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Thicker Than Water features the day-to-day antics of a wealthy pastor's blended family. Many of the themes focus on the family's wealth -- both how good they have it and how much they deserve it -- and some difficult childhood issues are discussed, too. There are lots of logos (Mercedes-Benz, Hummer, Apple), and some episodes feature references to sex and sex-related activities, including having a child out of wedlock at a very young age. Words such as "damn" are used, and alcohol and drug use is sometimes discussed. Thicker Than Water is milder than some reality shows, but it's not geared toward kids.

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What's the story?

THICKER THAN WATER is a reality series starring the Tankard family, a Murfreesboro, Tenn.-based blended family that enjoys living the good life. It stars recording artist and pastor Ben Tankard and his wife, Jewel, who live in a mansion along with their adult children Brooklyn, Britney, Benjamin, and Cyrene. Also joining them is Benjamin's wife, Shanira, and Diamond, Brooklyn's tween daughter. From family prayer time to going jet-plane shopping, this family enjoys each other while proudly living a luxurious lifestyle.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Tankards refer to themselves as a modern-day Brady Bunch thanks to the merging of two families after Ben and Jewel's marriage 10 years ago. But, despite the show's focus on the family's dynamics, many of its themes center on how good the clan feels to be rich and how they believe that God himself has called on them to be wealthy. 

Despite their commitment to ministry, the way the pastor and his wife flaunt their wealth makes it difficult to take them seriously. Meanwhile, outside of some edgy stories about some of the the Tankards' troubled childhoods and a few arguments, its pretty boring. It's definitely voyeuristic, but, overall, there's just not a whole lot going on here.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why this family is being featured in a reality show. Is it only because they're wealthy? What are viewers expected to take away from TV shows like these? Do you think the way the people behave or what they talk about on-camera is the same as when the cameras are off?

  • What are this family's beliefs about money? How do these beliefs differ or align with yours?

TV details

Cast:Ben Tankard, Brooklyn Tankard, Jewel Tankard
Network:Bravo
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Brothers and sisters
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

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Quality

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  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written bytavi05 December 22, 2013
 

Negativity is not christ like!

Due to the area I live in there is not much I'm guilty of watching this show as well, but don't agree with the way they continue to pick on Brooklyn about her past! BUT he is a pastor and preach on forgiveness! Also how are they teaching their son about being a man and being responsible buy giving him everything but have something negative to say about Brooklyn, his wife is not fair and her daughter is not perfect. I do understand why her baby sister is distant as well, nobody wants to be judged daily just because you are doing better than others and why don't they donate to their members and also teach them how to be millionaires! Talk to the poor and the middle class not just those who are on her level. She is very judgmental and it is not cute! Brooklyn need to move out and do her own thing and show them who she is trying to become as a working single mom so they be in that son's business who by the way has nothing going on but DJ'ing lol wow what a living? What is his wife doing besides living off them she is not nice either she need to do something besides be negative toward those who are trying! It's not nice nor Christ like to talk about a child's mother in front of others and not expect that poor baby's feelings! Sirene is sneaky and need to learn responsibility
What other families should know
Too much consumerism

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