The new season of TLC's Sister Wives will premiere on Sunday at 7 p.m. and The Stir got a sneak peek of the first episode, which is full of big changes for the Brown family.
The biggest change for the children is that they're going to be attending public school. This coincides with the family traveling to New York City to go on the Today show to officially come "out" into the open as a polygamous family.
I am a bit confused as to how a family that is on a TLC reality show could be coming "out" any more publicly than they already have. Meredith Vieira even knows that Christine has just had a baby and asks after her.
For our purposes, I will assume that this was all filmed prior to the show's first season airing on TLC, but this was a bit confounding. Just what does being "out" mean for the family?
The wives worry it will mean ridicule and bullying at school, though the Brown family certainly has safety in numbers. With 16 children combined, the family has plenty of strength to stand up to the bullies. In fact, strength may well have been the word to describe the entire episode.
Unlike a traditional family, the Browns have four women and one man to divvy up the chores and household work. They function like a traditional family in almost every way but sheer number of people. There is love and family activity -- in this first episode they go "ice blocking," which is apparently sledding when it isn't winter on a piece of ice you buy at the store -- as well as discipline and conflict.
The wives can trade their children among one another and think of each other's biological children as her own. Obviously, the controversies that face polygamous families -- underage marriage, sexual abuse -- do not apply in the Brown house. Honestly, the way they present polygamy seems intriguing to anyone who has ever wondered how they can possibly make it work with only two adults.
So many aspects of their family just make sense. But not everyone agrees, most obviously the laws in Utah, and this season may show some legal issues for the family judging from previews for the season. Perhaps being "out" is good in terms of better understanding different versions of family, but bad in terms of their actual family.
Are they going to be martyrs to the cause of polygamy? Will their family be destroyed by their newfound infamy?
Season 2 will hold at least some of the answers. Tune in on TLC on March 13 at 9/8c.
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Image via TLC