Since it’s no secret that I have a fascination with the litany of train wreck programming shown on TLC, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’ve also been tuning into the latest people-watching debacle on the network, My Five Wives. This doesn’t mean that I support polygamy or anything in the least bit, but I do find it interesting to watch the fabricated lives of supposed real-life polygamists.
Personally, polygamy isn’t for me, because I find some of the backstory to Fundamentalist Mormonism somewhat disagreeable, with hints of greed and narcissism between the lines, loosely entwined with religion to make it taboo to argue against. Either way, it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a show that exploits the lives of a modern polygamist family.
Needless to say, it’s definitely something to watch the trials and tribulations of the Williams clan of 30, living on a massive plot of land out in of course, Utah. I simply don’t know how or where Brady, the patriarch of the family manages to find the time and energy to satiate 29 other people when it comes to husbandly and fatherly duties, while having his own job and trying to complete school at the same time. Simply put, he really doesn’t, as there’s always a demand for his person, and there’s a great deal of sacrifices made by the wives and some of his elder children to pick up the slack.
To no surprise, the most compelling part of the show are the wives themselves, whom have to “share” Brady with one another. The general rule of thumb within their family is that on a daily basis, Brady “lives” with each family on a rotating nightly basis, not including special occasions like anniversaries or birthdays. Although they repeatedly claim to be okay with such a limiting arrangement, it’s obvious that, whether on their own volition or if they’re being coaxed by television, every single wife would obviously be happier if they had more time with their husband.
It’s an obvious tension that is easily seen, but whether if they are holding back on account of looking civilized on television, or if they really have no spines or respect for themselves, or if it could just be chalked up to being a religious thing, the wives all stand down and simply swallow their angst on a regular basis.
That being said, it’s still crystal clear that there’s a pecking order amongst the wives, that’s at least viewable to those watching on television. So without further ado, let’s put it down in writing, from most powerful to least powerful (I’d also disclaim that there are spoilers, but I can’t imagine many people aside from me to be such extreme TLC watchers to where it even matters):