Posts Tagged ‘ Sister Wives ’

TLC’s Sister Wives: A Surprisingly Redeeming Reality TV Show

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

21 months.

For the most part, reality TV shows sort of disgust me. I think it’s fair to say that many of them position the viewer to make a judgment call on the show’s participants, dubbing the cast of characters as a collection of village idiots.

In TLC’s Sister Wives, a fundamentalist Mormon, Kody Brown, along with his 4 wives and 17 children, attempt to show the world that despite their untraditional (and unpopular) choice of lifestyle, they’re really not that different after all.

That sounds like the perfect formula for a reality TV show where we “normal people” again get to enjoy the guilty pleasure of gawking at the far less ordinary.

But the truth is, Sister Wives is actually a very redeeming TV show, if I do say so myself. I don’t look down on the Brown family at all. In fact, in many ways, I admire them.

It’s difficult not to have compassion for a man who works very hard to support his wife and kids, multiplied times 4, and makes great efforts to show all of them through his actions and words that he loves them.

I also can’t help but notice that the children actually seem to like each other. The bond between them and the way they care for each other is something I find refreshing on a TV show featuring a family.

Perhaps the best part of Sister Wives is its subtle Libertarian message. Much of the show’s 2nd season is based around the fact that the city of Lehi, and eventually the state of Utah, begin flexing their muscles and baring their teeth at the Brown family; intimidating them from a legal standpoint.

As Kody Brown explains, throughout American history it has not been uncommon for the children of polygamist families to be split up and displaced, while their parents are incarcerated. After all, polygamy (plural marriage) is illegal in our country.

So the family moves to Las Vegas, where their lifestyle is much more accepted and much less of a legal threat as it is in the rest of America.

I’m assuming that most of us don’t morally endorse polygamy. But that’s far from the point.

After making it through the first two seasons of Sister Wives, you can’t help but ask yourself:

Which is worse: For a hard-working man to legally marry his first wife, then “illegally” marry 3 more, or for the state to split up this family over their consensual civil unions?

Marriage is an extremely personal choice; sometimes modeled after a person’s certain religious beliefs, while other times there’s nothing particularly religious at all about it.

Either way, why is it our government’s job to get in the middle of that? (Remember the plot of Braveheart? I bet the first time I watched that movie is when the seed was planted in my brain to eventually become a Ron Paul supporter.)

In the case of the Brown family, their fundamentalist Mormon beliefs teach them they are pleasing God by their lifestyle. I’m having trouble seeing how their polygamist lifestyle is actually hurting anyone else.

(Obviously, we as America don’t seem to be too much against Sister Wives because we keep making it a popular show on TLC.)

Why can’t the Brown family be allowed to practice their religion, and therefore their lifestyle, without the hassle of government intervention?

Is it because kids are involved? Are we fearful that the Brown kids are being brainwashed and won’t be able to make their own decisions as adults on whether or not to continue being polygamists? Should that itself be a crime?

I say what matters more is not that a child has one dad and one mom.

What matters is that a child is raised knowing they are loved and believed in by those who raise them.

And for the record, my favorite sister wife on the show is Christine.

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Nervous, Preoccupied and Spaced Out

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Thirty-nine weeks.

Today was my wife’s last doctor’s appointment before the due date (November 11th), which it just one week from today.  She is dilated one centimeter and effaced 50 percent.  However, the nurse told us today that it is common for first time moms to go a week past their due date.  But still, it could happen at any time.

For the past week now, I’ve noticed that I have been completely spaced out.  My mind is obviously preoccupied with knowing that our “Jack-in-the-box” could spring out any moment.  People have asked me if I’m getting nervous- to my surprise, the answer is yes.  I thought I was over that stage.  But the first time I got nervous, around a month ago, it was because of the realization I don’t really know what to do with a newborn baby.  Now that we’ve finished our Lamaze course, I’m much more confident on the basics of how to help care for Baby Jack.  The thing that makes me nervous now is knowing that I have to see my wife in pain and discomfort, for hours.  No matter how easy it could end up happening, it will still be difficult.

People have asked me if I think I will pass out during the delivery.  The answer: a simple “no”.  Blood and guts don’t bother me.  Besides, unlike the reality TV star of the moment Kody Brown (Sister Wives), I will not be on the “receiving end” while my wife is giving birth.  I don’t need to see his head coming out.  Instead, I will be holding my wife’s hand, or at least beside her, as he’s being born.

Speaking of blood and guts, my wife and I have come up with some exciting plans for the weekend- that way, even if our baby isn’t born in the next few days, at least we can be busy and entertained otherwise.  And we don’t have to just sit around getting anxious.  So either way, we win:  Saturday morning we have brunch plans with some friends- I’m very excited about the meatloaf and mashed potatoes at the place we’re going.  Then Saturday afternoon, my wife and her mom (who is in town for the next couple of weeks) will be getting a facial.  (I guess I’ll read a book during that time.)  Next, we will go to the matinee: I will see Saw 3D (finally explaining the “blood and guts” reference), while my wife and her mom see something a little more light-hearted, yet appropriate for the upcoming event: Life as We Know It.

That’s right- my mother-in-law got into town Sunday night and plans to be here through the end of the month.  If the audience of dad from day one was male, I would have to take a page to humorously explain that though my mother-in-law is living with us, it’s not a wacky, cliché sitcom sort of deal.  I can’t complain.  When I come home from work, dinner is already ready- as my wife has had help preparing it.  As well as the fact that her mom immediately takes care of the dishes afterwards.

People have asked me if I’m planning on taking off a while from work once the baby is born.  At this moment, I’m thinking I’ll take off just a couple of days.  Because fortunately, I won’t be leaving my wife alone- she will have her mom there with her until I get home.  We are very blessed that my mother-in-law has chosen to stay with us.

Those are my final thoughts as a man who has yet to see his son.  Everything is about to change.  Unless Baby Jack stays in past his due date, the next dad from day one will be “Baby Jack is Here!”  Pictures of him will be included, of course.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

This is our friend Nickie's baby, not ours. Did I fool ya?

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