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Movie review: Sister Wives: Seasons 1-4

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Movie review: Sister Wives: Seasons 1-4


This TLC reality series follows the lives of the polygamist Brown family. Kody Brown has four wives and many, many children. This series explores the reality of their relationships, the raising of their children, and even legal troubles over their chosen lifestyle.

Kody Brown, Meri Brown, Janelle, Christine, Robyn, and their children.

Many alternative lifestyle shows purport to be documentary or reality in nature but instead seem to focus on drama and sex. After all, that is what sells. Thankfully Sister Wives has taken a different approach, apparently due to the religious values and ethics of the Brown family. While the series intimately explores their life, intimacy itself is off the table with the family preferring to keep some things private. What the series does do is capture the many aspects of living a plural partner lifestyle. We get to see how children are raised, family decisions are made, problems resolved, finances managed, and legal troubles over their lifestyle handled. The result is a tastefully done series that presents the actual lives of those involved, rather than just another dramatic sex focused fluff piece.

The Brown family are not actors so commenting on their acting talents would seem a bit unfair. That said, it is obvious Kody enjoys the limelight most of the time, and exaggerates his behavior to gain attention.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds are primarily actual living spaces and locations with the exception of the interview room. Most shots are well done and capture the action needed for the series. Dialogue appears largely unrehearsed and is usually entertaining. Sound is good with captions as needed.

Overall Sister Wives is an interesting presentation of an alternative lifestyle. While the Brown's self-identify as polygamists, Kody is legally married to only one wife, lending the series the ability to represent many styles or portions of styles, under the umbrella of polyamory or plural relationships.

Those with an interest in polygamy, plural relationships, and alternative lifestyles will likely enjoy this the most. Those with puritanical relationship views will probably not enjoy this much at all. Nothing to really limit audience age here.

Released: 2010 - 2013
Reviewed: 12.17.13
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: TV Shows, Reality TV

copyright ©2013 Dave Riedel

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