Sister Wives is taking a break this week….the Oscars are on, and TLC can take their time putting the finishing editing touches on the “real story,” and the “tell all” episode, spinning the tale of Brown family shuffle in hopes that their loyal audience will eat it up. It remains unclear as to whether or not the spilled tea of the covert Brown divorce and new legal marriage was purposely leaked, or simply uncovered by accident, but one thing seems to be evident.
The Browns and TLC appear to be in cahoots with a probable move towards damage control, and are likely striving for a believable and palatable angle to thwart the current viewer backlash. Meri Brown is being sold as the instigator of the newly revealed divorce from her bed hopping hubby, and as we watched the last episode teasers of Kody and new legal wife Robyn’s forced shock, the cast Twitter accounts were littered with “stay tuned for the real truth” plugs. Meri’s Twitter feed abruptly changed from being cluttered by emotionally charged posts, to cheery ‘wait and see’ themed messages.
The Browns have always maintained that the portrayal of their polygamist lifestyle has been honest, and that their approach has remained vulnerable and open. There appears to be some kind of shady whammy underway, and the effort has actually had some helpful support in the last two episodes, in the form of two anthropology students, Richard and Antoinette. The UNLV grad student duo moved in with the Browns for a few days, to allegedly study the family as part of a research project. Thankfully for the Browns and TLC, the experiment landed not only in a cozy pro-polygamy position, but Antoinette actually expressed personal interest in leading a ‘sister wife’ lifestyle, and Richard smugly labeled any public naysayers as “off their rockers.” Impressive endorsements indeed, and certainly convenient, considering that the family is set to publicly launch into the sketchy wife swap explanation.
Could this research have simply been TLC joining hands with the college that two of the Brown kids attend, to bolster a hit show that is really coming apart at the seams? A quick look at Antoinette’s Twitter account answers a core question about all of the forced intellectual bedroom floor banter between these two so called truth seeking scholars, and the real story behind this supposed research project.
This project was simply a filmed Sister Wives endorsement with a scholarly spin, and was completely up to TLC to cut and edit as they pleased. Another telling aspect of Antoinette’s Twitter feed is that there is not ONE even mildly derogatory statement made about any aspect of her experience in the four Brown homes…in fact, she has emerged as a practical cheerleader for polygamy. This rah rah experience does not jive with the veiled misery that many of us longtime viewers have witnessed, as a frequent visitor on the Brown cul de sac.
The obvious problem with this statement, is that it contradicts the Brown family assertion that what the viewer sees is a truthful depiction of their lives, and a candid and vulnerable plea for understanding and tolerance of their unconventional lifestyle. So which is it? Is Sister Wives what the Kody and his harem claim it to be, or are the network and the Browns just skimming the surface of a ‘family’ structure that is dangerously close to falling apart? What comes next with Robyn now reigning over the clan, and we will we ever learn the real story? Stay tuned!