'Sister Wives' Review: Meet Kody Brown and His Three Wives

Jeanne Sager
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Sister Wives Kody BrownThe strangest thing to crop up in a preview of Sister Wives was supposed to be the polygamist lifestyle of Kody Brown and his three wives. But then there was the toaster.

The new TLC show being marketed as a "real life" Big Love premieres tonight, and it brings you a woman who doesn't own a toaster because "more people die from toasters than shark bites." Which her husband, to his credit, finds uproariously ridiculous.

 

It's that burst of weird that ironically makes the "plig" lifestyle of Meri, Janelle, Christine and Kody Brown so innately likeable.

The show has the marker of what's become the TLC formula -- a lot of kids, in this case 12 with another, Truly Grace, on the way. But where the focus of shows featuring Jon and Kate Gosselin or Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar has been the creation of order out of chaos, Sister Wives presents the notion that it's the very chaos that creates order.

Raised in polygamy, Meri and Christine craved sister wives. With Janelle -- who was raised in a modern Mormon family but adjusted to the throwback -- they map out a life that would be seemingly impossible without one another.

When one mom works, the other watches the kids. When one mom is squeamish about pulling elementary schoolers' teeth, another steps in. When one mom fears death, there's comfort in knowing there's someone who will mother her children.

The presentation has its bumps -- in a much-repeated portion of the show's trailer, Christine says people often ask if they think about whether Kody is having sex with another wife when it's "her night." Says Christine, "well, they better." And that's all that's said. Why she feels that way, how she handles it, isn't explained.

Likewise, in a run up to what will be Kody's big announcement near the end of the show, much is made of the family having been together from the get-go, with no child being born until after all three wives were officially "wives." But what's described as a strength flies in the face of following the polygamist goal of ever broadening the family, an ideal the wives and Kody claim to ascribe to.

The question that will make or break this show? Is Sister Wives going to simply paint the pretty picture of polygamy or is it going to show the Browns as a real family, with bumps and bruises?

The show premieres Sunday, September 26 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT). Will you be watching?

Images via Discovery

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