Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Five Wives: TLC's Newest Polygamist Reality Show

My Five Wives premiered tonight on TLC. I liked it! It brought a fresh perspective to the polygamist lifestyle; it's very different than the Sister Wives experience.

My Five Wives features Brady Williams and his wives named Paulie, Robyn, Rosemary, Nonie, and Rhonda, plus their 24 kids. What makes this show different than Sister Wives is that it feels much more genuine, right off the bat. We learn right away about the pain, jealousy and challenges faced by the wives - there's no pretense that their polygamous family life is easy.

The My Five Wives Family
For example, Rosemary struggles with her weight, and therefore struggles to feel as beautiful as her thinner sister wives. Brady's talk with her about it was beautiful - like a man, he kind of screwed it up by insinuating that he wasn't attracted to Rosemary (not true), but he cleared it up and made her realize she was special. I think a benefit for this show is that Brady comes off as more likeable and reasonable than Kody Brown in the recent seasons of Sister Wives. That's nothing against Kody - he's clearly under a lot of stress from being on TV that hasn't hit this family yet - but somehow Brady seems more genuine and kind. (Maybe it's because he doesn't have that weird Kody hair...just maybe.)

The family is more relatable in ways we can all understand - like when it comes to money and having kids. The family, like millions of others, was hurt by the recession, and the family isn't afraid to talk about it. For example, Nonie, one of the wives, talked about having another kid and if the family could financially handle it.

Brady's also realistic about his time - he admitted that he's stretched thin giving his wives and kids attention. He also makes decisions into family decisions, like when Rhonda brought up the idea of adoption. He suggested that Rhonda bring it up in a family meeting. While Rhonda admitted she'd be devastated if a sister wife shot down her idea, it was a good way to bring the whole family into the choice and not just put the power in Brady's hands.

I liked that the family is honest about their jealousy and the wives are open about their feelings. They have jealousy - strongly - but they work through issues together and keep their jealousy under control. They're also realistic - when discussing adoption, the family discussed emotional, legal and financial implications.

My thoughts on My Five Wives? Watch the show. It's nice to take a look at a polygamous family besides the Browns. As far as I'm aware, the show isn't picking up where there's major drama coming up (like Kody marrying Robyn); it's showing the day-to-day life of the family. I'm not sure if I'll burn out on this show like I did with Sister Wives, but I'm going to give it a try and find out!

Note: the family is no longer Mormon. Interesting, right?

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