The batches of wives, girlfriends, and lovers sprinkled across reality TV networks have made our heads spin. Alas, there seems to be no end in sight where this type of programming is concerned. Enter the stage, "The Sisterhood" - TLC's semi-experimental attempt to showcase yet another slice of American life. All in all, the response to this show has been relatively quiet. Still, critics have managed to find fault with this program's obvious slant.
Some criticisms of the show:
The women have unnecessary arguments. Isn't this the case for most reality shows of this nature? Are we to believe that "women of the cloth" never have disagreements with their peers?
They divulge too much of their private lives. Sure, some of the scenes contain a few gratuitous details. But who says that these things should not be discussed? Aside from a few TMI moments, nothing terribly salacious was ever revealed.
It's not realistic. "Most pastors don't have weekly dinner parties. And their wives don't get together and argue." One boycotter of the program doesn't think this show portrayed the reality of what it is to be a Christian. But what does that mean exactly? What should these women be doing? The criteria used to measure one's dedication to Christianity have always been murky at best. But the experiences shared on "The Sisterhood" are in fact, these women's reality.
They have financial problems. They struggle with marital issues. They're challenged with teaching their youngsters about sex. And quite frankly, in a time where many mega-church pastors are under fire for embezzling money and/or abusing their religious authority, seeing these "average" families trying to survive could be considered a breath of fresh air.
As far as that "manufactured negativity" critics claim exists for ratings-well, it's probably not that manufactured. There are perhaps plenty of women who can identify with Domonique's attempt to reconcile her wayward past with the new life she's created with her family (although her history seems a bit extreme).
Furthermore, a tense moment in Miami provides yet another example of how this show strays from the pack; where other reality "wives" would start throwing drinks and profanity-laden slurs, Christina politely excuses herself from the increasingly hostile situation.
Maybe what some fail to realize is that this isn't a religious show per se, despite the subject matter or the participants. These are merely women whose husbands happen to be men of the cloth. Does this show contain the requisite wild cards necessary for decent ratings? Absolutely.
Clearly, Delana is the Kim Zolciak (of "Real Housewives of Atlanta") of the group, for lack of a better comparison - with the "plantation" sign outside her family's home serving as the main catalyst in reducing her on-screen time. But unlike Kim, who was unceremoniously ousted from Atlanta's circle of housewives, Delana was finally able to make peace with her Christian sisters.
The other obvious wild card is Tara, her husband Brian, and their distinct brand of Christian Judaism, which plays a huge part in their storyline. Between her quest for religious (and physical) perfection, it's ultimately her loopy behavior that held this show together.
The women of "The Sisterhood" are indeed flawed individuals who are content to let the world observe their "human" sides. The problem that critics seem to have with the show is the very reason some Christians find it refreshing. Here is one group of women that is really no different than others we've seen on reality television, save for the drink-throwing and excessive foul language. That this program should defend the image of the Kingdom could be considered a "lofty" request. Some might say that accepting humanity while living by example is the Christian's true test of faith.