TLC is bringing us another giant family, this time on a reality TV special. This special is called Meet the Putmans - it features 10 adults and 15 kids, all living in one home. They've got one set of rules, one bank account and only two bathrooms.
Bill and Barb Putman have been married 33 years. Instead of their kids growing up and fleeing the nest, Billy, Brandon, Blake and Blair stayed home, got married and had kids...but stayed in the home with their parents.
Apparently, the family is always together - work, play, etc.
The kids' spouses are as follows:
Billy & Jen
Brandon & Kacie
Blake & Megan
Blair & Jamie
The philosophy is that life is more enjoyable with other people, so why not live with them? And besides, they've got built in babysitters. They strongly refute that they're a cult, so I guess they're just...strange!
Billy, the oldest son, is married to the household matriarch in training, Jen. They have twins Isabella and Abigail, 9, Addison, 8 and Gabriella, 6. They met because Jen worked for Bill's business, and Bill suggested she date his son. If I understand correctly, Jen was 26 and Billy was 20 at the time. Apparently it worked, despite the age difference. The pair stayed in the family home after their marriage, and got pregnant after two months, so moving out wasn't an option.
Brandon's the second son and he's married to Kacie. They've got kids named Emma, Bella, Maya, Nova and Gia. They met at a wrestling match at which Brandon was participating. Kacie said Brandon's the one who defends the family when necessary. Kacie keeps the family organized and make sure needs are met.
The third kid is Blake, who's married to Megan. They have kids Mercy (or maybe Marcy, I couldn't tell), Noah, Lulu and Alina. Megan had an adjustment moving into the big household, but she said her strong relationships with the family made it make sense.
At first there was drama between Jen and Barb, which Bill likened to chickens pecking each other. There is still drama - a lot of it centers around who gets time in the bathroom.
The family is planning to build their dream house with 15 bedrooms and 19 bathrooms. It'll include a theater and racquetball court.
Two people work outside the home, and that's Blake and Jamie. Both are doctors. Jamie changed his last name to Putman because he and Blair it would be easiest if all the kids in the household have the same last name.
The family planned a Super Tuesday, which is a family meeting in which the family members can air their dirty laundry.
Blair told us that she was spoiled, and I hate to say it, but that's kind of evident from her current demeanor. Fortunately, she does it with a smile so it seems kind of endearing, but it seems like it might be a source of contention.
Jamie pulled Blair aside, and he told the confessional that he's working long hours and driving 1.5 hours to work at a hospital. Following that, we saw his conversation with Blair again, in which he told her it was time to tell her dad that they're thinking of moving out.
The family travels in a bus. In what I'm sure was staged for the cameras, the whole family went together to the grocery store. (Because really, who would do this voluntarily?) The women made the guys pick out pads and tampons.
They said that if anyone needs anything outside of the ordinary, they have to vote because they share expenses. That makes sense because their weekly grocery bill was $1,178.56 - that's nuts!
Four kids were sick so they were quarantined in one room.
Blair complained that her brothers expect her to act like them because she grew up in a household of guys. Blair said sometimes she needs a minute to herself and the guys won't understand.
Blair pulled her dad aside and asked him to pray about her and Jamie getting their own place, closer to the hospital, while Jamie finishes his residency. Jamie defended his need for safety, but Bill was still floored by the request. Blair questioned what she should do, because if the family didn't approve, would she go against them?
After that, we found out the truth of why the family's so attached. Bill's mom died when he was 8 and his family fell apart. He landed in foster care, and seemingly spent the rest of his life trying to make up for the love he didn't get as a child.
Super Tuesday happened and people argued about bathrooms in the new house. This, like anything else, had to go to a vote, and majority rules. After the bathroom debate, Blair and Jamie had to talk about how they wanted to move out. The room went silent, and people actually voted no. NO! THEY VOTED NO. WHAT? How is that even an option? It's about Jamie's personal safety! Barb said it would be hard on Blair because she's never been alone, but that seems like the wrong reason to be opposed to it. Bill reluctantly gave his blessing, as long as Jamie comes home when the residency ends. The family voted in favor, but the level of attachment seemed really unhealthy - it seemed like Jamie and Blair were not allowed to make adult decisions for themselves.
The family did a groundbreaking for their new home while chanting their last name. And that's where we left off, theoretically in case TLC decides to turn this special into a show.
My Review of Meet the Putmans
This was interesting but I don't think it's interesting enough for a series, which is probably why it's just a special at this time. By the time the show was halfway over, I was starting to tune out. Overall, this family seems interesting, but not enough to make me want to watch more of them.
Plus, they really lost me when Blair and Jamie had to consult the family before deciding to move out - I get that many decisions are communal, but this was a personal safety issue - this isn't up to anyone else. I did not feel good about that.
Oh yeah, we learned at the end of the episode that Blair's pregnant again - maybe because she and her husband finally have some privacy!