Thicker Than Water

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Thicker Than Water TV Poster Image
Wealthy, religious blended family gets reality treatment.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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


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


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.


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


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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult 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 a... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality shows

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate