Polygamy's the Pits

Why TLC's Sister Wives struck out

By Madison Schmakel

TLC’s Jon and Kate Plus 8 first proved that American consumers crave multiples. Now, TLC is edging its way into the multi-spouse market. Its show Sister Wives follows the Browns, a polygamous family from Utah, as they try to convince viewers that it’s normal to share your husband with three other women. But it seems they have bigger fish to fry: the fuzz recently caught wind of the Browns' communal husband situation; now, the polygamists need to convince the government not to prosecute.

Kody and his three wives, Meri, Janelle, and Christine, work together to raise their 12 (and soon-to-be more) children. TLC labels the women in the order that they married Kody like a farmer numbers cattle in his barn. And he’s expecting a fourth cow—I mean wife—this season.

During the first episode, Brown explains (while driving around in his Lexus sportscar) his belief that God rewards people for good behavior with more wives. Translation: God rewards him for being a sex fiend. His wives serve as his gifts, but they can’t receive similar “gifts,” like an extra husband or three. Regardless, the wives love Kody—picture flowing blond locks and a cherub-cheeked grin—and the "plig” lifestyle.

“I always wanted sister wives,” Christine (wife #3) said. “There are too many things I wanted to do, to be free for.” Like watching dozens of screaming children while your "sister wives"(glorified sorority sisters who steal your husband) work full-time jobs and leave their offspring in your care. I see, freedom at its finest.

But my bitching is the least of their worries. According to People.com, Utah police started investigating the Browns before the show but admit that Sister Wives publicity prompted the full-blown case against them. How smart of the Browns to participate in an entire show devoted to breaking the law every day. Since bigamy is a felony in the U.S. of A., the Browns could land some serious bonding time in lockup.

I wonder how they’ll raise “productive, contributing members of society” from the state penitentiary…phone calls? Let’s be clear, I’m not dogging on polygamy—hell, Mormons, go at it. I simply want to see a show devoted to polyandry, too. Let’s straddle one woman with five husbands and call it even. TLC, think of the ratings! Oh wait, a woman couldn’t cook and clean for that many husbands. Silly me.

Illustration by Keisha Cedeno