TLC premiered their first episode of a new reality show called Sister Wives last week about—YOU GUESSED IT!, a polygamist family and the relationships between the husband Kodi Brown and his four wives: Meri, Christine, Janelle and Robyn. Think of it as HBO’s Big Love except real and, therefore, infinitely less interesting.
Because the Browns are involved in a technically illegal relationship, the Utah police are investigating the family for bigamy, which is a third degree felony. Despite the legal hassles, the family and the network have both decided to move forward with airing the program. We can’t wait to not watch!
But admittedly, hearing about this latest TLC monstrosity got us thinking about a few other less than traditional relationships we’d like to see represented in a TLC reality show.
TWO MEN, TWO BEDS, ONE LOVE
WHO: Jerome and George met in a homo-romantic, asexual identifiers support group in the early ’00s and bonded over a shared love of exotic travel and cybersquatting. Their cozy two-bedroom apartment in Providence, Rhode Island, has plenty of space for both their personal needs and their large collection of Indian wedding sarees.
EPISODE PLOT SUMMARY: George and Jerome plan a vacation to the Bahamas after selling the domain name BahamaMamas.net for $30,000, but an argument started over whether or not Jerome used the remainder of the label maker tape threatens to ruin their plans. The couple resolves the fight by going to Staples to purchase more tape (at Jerome’s cost) and eating at Bertucci’s.
SEASON FINALE: Lost in a remote Chinese village after separating from their tour group, George and Jerome share a tender hug in the rain after they realize they’ll be forced to spend the night on the street with the riffraff.
WHO: After a car accident made her mortality real for the first time, Chicago sanitation worker Katherine Boyle decided she had to be a mother, man or no man involved. From choosing her donor to conception to birth, this is a laughter- and tear-filled journey with the Windy City’s only pregnant garbage woman.
EPISODE PLOT SUMMARY: Knowing that she’s pregnant but not wanting to tell her co-workers the news too soon, Katherine agrees to compete in a post-work flip cup competition. Once it’s discovered that she’s replaced the beer in her cup with sparkling cider, her partners Gary and Bill confront her about what they assume is a drinking problem.
SEASON FINALE: Katherine’s elderly father and Lamaze coach Robert joins Gary and Bill at the hospital for the delivery of her baby. After Robert passes out from watching his daughter work through a rough contraction, Bill steps in as coach until the baby is born and their sex is revealed to the world.
WHO: After deciding later in life that they want to have a child, Chet and Margot Rousseau settle on an open adoption and invite the teenage and pregnant Holly to live with them. The arrangement is this: Chet and Margot pay for all of Holly’s medical expenses, living arrangements and the delivery, and Holly will remain in their life after she gives birth to her son.
EPISODE PLOT SUMMARY: The situation gets sticky when Holly’s boyfriend J-Money decides to show up unannounced and throw a part in the Rousseau’s basement. Unable to move from her bed to stop the party, Holly calls the Rousseau’s home from a dinner party, thus sealing the trust between her and her adoptive family and breaking ties with the destructive J-Money.
FINALE: Holly struggles with her decision to hand her baby over to the Rousseau’s and confronts them about the possibility of not going through with the open adoption. Chet and Margot decide to use a portion of their retirement money to turn their attic into an apartment for Holly so she can stay and raise the baby with them.
SWING N’ THINGS
WHO: Ted and Robin Machman are new to the swinging community, but after their marriage nearly failed due to Robin constant infidelities, they decide to give a multi-partner sexual lifestyle a chance. But what will their college-aged children think?
EPISODE PLOT SUMMARY: For their second swinging experience, Ted and Robin meet up with Leicht’s, a pair of long-time members in the swinging community who take the Machman’s under their wing. Together they attend a swinging conference, where they discover more couples new to the swinging scene and pick up a few new toys.
FINALE: When Ted and Robin’s twins Jesse and Jennifer return from their first year at Florida State, the Machman’s find themselves in the awkward position of covering their tracks, while not necessarily trying to hide their new lifestyle. Ted and Robin are forced to come clean to their children after Jennifer stumbles upon a photo of her father in a compromising position with an unknown man.
WHO: Alex (formerly known as Alexandra) and Melanie (formally known as Duncan) are high school sweethearts and a female-to-male and male-to-female couple living in St. Paul, Minnesota, the birthplace of sexual reassignment surgery. As natives of the small city, Alex and Melanie still find themselves explaining to former classmates and even family members that they’ve switched genders but remain together.
EPISODE PLOT SUMMARY: Alex and Melanie are anxious to attend their 15-year high school reunion and have matching outfits tailored in preparation for the event. Their night stands to be ruined when a former bully-turned unemployed alcoholic relentlessly teases them throughout the evening. The couple comes out on top after Melanie informs Alex that he was known for in the locker room for having the smallest penis on the men’s volleyball team.
FINALE: Unable to accept that they physical changes her son has made to his body are a reflection of his inner self, Alex’s mother insists that he look into his child-rearing abilities. Alex and Melanie meet with a doctor who explains to them that just like the pregnant man from the newspapers, Alex is biologically capable of carrying a child. What will the couple do? You better hope that a second season gets picked up.