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TCA Press Tour: Reality TV meets polygamy in TLC's 'Sister Wives'

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In a TV press tour first, a man and his four wives came to press tour on Friday.

But it wasn't the cast of HBO's "Big Love." It was the cast of a new reality show, "Sister Wives," which premieres next month on TLC.

The seven-episode series follows the lives of a Utah polygamist, Kody Brown, and his three wives, Meri, Janelle, and Christine, and his soon-to-be fourth wife, Robyn. But technically, Meri is the only wife, the one Kody's legally beholden to, but his heart belongs to all four of them.

Fundamentalist Mormons, the Browns have 13 children between them -- though three of them are Robyn's from a previous marriage. The first three wives live in one compound in three separate apartments. They hope to soon add another apartment so that Robyn and her three children can move in.

Although they've lived their lives mostly in secret -- they have told co-workers and friends -- they're ready to open up on a larger scale about their lifestyle and are not worried about being arrested, they said. "We knew there were risks but we feel that the story, for the sake of our entire family, is an important one to tell," Janelle, the second wife said.

"As every other American family, this takes everything we've got," Robyn said. Asked what they saw in their husband to make them want to share them, the women said they feel they have a lot of freedom in their lives because they live in a plural family. Like Bill Henderson and his wives on "Big Love," the Browns operate on a schedule by which they share Kody.

"I'm still trying to figure it out," he said.

"There's a constant party going on in this family," said Robyn, who said she sought to join a plural family after her divorce.

--Maria Elena Fernandez

twitter.com/writerchica

Photo: From left, Janelle, Christine, Kody, Meri, Robyn. Credit: Bryant Livingston / TLC

 
Comments () | Archives (8)

this is just disgusting....what the hell? is there zero soul and humility or integrity left in this community of film and documentary makers....what's next? what a waste of time and how out and out gross!

It's Bill Henrickson, not Henderson.

I will drink in every second of this show.

I will be watching the show with interest. Fundamentalist Mormons aren't the only group which believe in and practice polygyny. There is an entire movement in the Evangelical Christian world that also support it. Polygyny (which is the correct term for a man with multiple wives) was practiced throughout the Bible. It isn't sick or wrong, it's simply another form of marriage.

In a world where gay marriage is enthusiastically promoted. Why is polygamy left behind and criminalised. Children in polygamous marriages enjoy the benefit and right to know and be cared for by both his/her mother and father and have the added benefit of nurturing from additional parent(s) (a dynamic lacking for children of same-sex relationships). If your legislature seeks to legalise gay marriage ensure you raise your voice and lobby for the inclusion of polygamy in the same amending Bill.

I for one am very excited about this show.
I am a second wife in a polygamous relationship and I have hopes that "Sister Wives" will help generate a positive outlook on polygamy. It seems we see WAY too much of the 'bad polygamy' in the media and not enough of the good. And it really can be good! It might not be for everyone, but monogamy isn't for everyone either. Plural marriage is a lifestyle choice...simply stated.
As for my own family, we are a bit different. We do not live in Utah, we are not religiously motivated, and we do not have 21 children. We are just two happily married women who happened to be married to the same man. The love, honesty, and freedom that we experience as a group is something that should not be looked down upon or shunned by those who don't understand. So much hatred out there...when all we are about is love.
I hope that 'Sister Wives' can illustrate the great things that can come of a plural relationship. We are happy, and we are happy to see a family willing to step out of the 'poly shadows' and share their story.
My family has a blog if you would like to read about us and our journey.
Have Love Will Deviate

It is greatly saddening that the first commentator was posting a knee jerk reaction. It is only a different kind of relationship, it isn't any more sick than choosing to be single, choosing to be childless or any other choices adults decide.

There is a great lack of critical thinking going on here, just because you don't want it for yourself, it doesn't mean that it isn't a worthwhile way to live.

I saw the commercial and i have never been so repulsed in my life. This is disgusting and in no way, shape, or form should be aired on TV. If it was something normal or beautiful it would be legal. And your man is a selfish pig if hes not satisfied with the woman he originally "fell in love with".
Also to commenter who tried to compare this to some forms of Christianity and the Bible, you are way off base. I challenge you to find a specific book,chapter,and verse that proves your theory.
Now that I have stepped on all of your toes, I am done.

Wow,,how self degrading can you go,,,,,, way to go " Women of the world",,


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