For the past year or so, I’ve been watching Sister Wives very consistently — to the point where it has become appointment TV. At first, my roommate and I watched purely because we had all the typical questions about the so-called plural lifestyle. Why do they live this way? Where does everyone live? Where does the husband sleep? How can they afford a family that large? And so on.
Now that the show is starting its third season, which kicked off last night, I feel like all the major questions I once had about this lifestyle have been answered. And while new questions develop all the time, I find myself tuning in not because of my curiosity but because I’m interested in this family’s everyday struggles.
In last night’s episode, for instance, we picked up where we left off last season. The family was still settling into their four new homes in Las Vegas after having left Utah last season to escape some of the scrutiny they had been experiencing since “going public” with their lifestyle, and Robyn was nervous about announcing to the family (especially Meri, who can no longer have children) that she was pregnant. The episode also highlighted the challenges associated with moving — like finding new social groups for the kids and teens. While polygamy certainly complicated these issues, I later realized that I no longer considered polygamy a plot point. To me, it’s become more of a character trait than a focus for the show.
I might be alone in this, but this family is a joy to watch — even patriarch Kody has a moment every now and then. I find their sensitivity toward one another sweet, their love for their children endearing, and I like that the wives — especially Christine — have no problem standing up to Kody when he acts like a big, paisley print-wearing baby.
Opinions about their lifestyle aside, last night’s season premiere highlighted everything I like about this show. At it’s core, it’s a family drama — complicated by a very bold and controversial lifestyle choice. It sort of reminds me what I loved about Big Love — before the show became bats— crazy. After last night’s episode, I’m more interested in what’s bothering Hunter, who seems to be the child with the most trouble adjusting to his new surroundings, and the impending marriage troubles hinted in the preview than I am about debating the right and wrongs of their lifestyle. (Of course, you are welcome to… )
Am I alone, readers? Does anyone who watched last night feel the same?