The ‘Sister Wives’ season 1 finale pushes TLC network to #1 rating for the demographics of women ages 18-49 and women ages 25-54 among ad supported cable stations. The regular ‘Sister Wives’ show ranked #2 for the three weeks prior to the season 1 finale according to TVbythenumbers.com.
The short series features a Lehi, Utah polygamist family with one husband, Kody Brown, four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn and their collective 16 children. 13 of the children are Kody’s biological children and the other three are stepchildren from Robyn’s first marriage to David Preston Jessop.
‘Sister Wives’ is a term that polygamist wives call each other for simplicity. It is difficult to explain to most people that do not understand or accept polygamy that your husband is married to other women. Bigamy is a crime in all 50 states. The Brown family is currently being investigated for felony bigamy although it is unclear whether or not they will be charged with any crimes. There are so many polygamists in the state of Utah that law enforcement normally only goes after the ones that are also committing other crimes such as fraud, sexual assault, rape, or child molestation. The case is currently in the hands of the district attorney.
Although, the family claims that they are happy about their situation, many issues come up on the show including jealously, secrets and hurt feelings. Most men have difficulty keeping one woman happy, it is hard to imagine how Kody Brown manages to keep four women happy. The simple answer is that he doesn’t.
Meri, his first wife, who he has been married to for 20 years, openly admits to her jealousy and hurt feelings over the addition to Robyn to the family. Meri has recently lost her job due to the airing of ‘Sister Wives.’ She seems to support the idea of multiple wives because she was unable to give Kody children early on in their marriage and has only given him one child. Kody has unsympathetically asked her to give him more children and offered to pay for in-vitro fertilization which Meri Brown refused.
Janelle, Kody Brown’s second wife and the only one that seems genuinely happy about the situation, works out of the home and leaves the child rearing and housework to her older children and sister wife, Christine.
Christine, Brown’s third wife, and obviously bitter partner, contends that she always planned to be in a plural marriage and wanted to be the third and final wife.
Robyn, Brown’s latest wife, was previously married and divorced. She has a son that has asperger syndrome which is on the autism spectrum. She claims that Kody is her soul mate. What this marriage situation gives her is impossible to know.
The family lives in a large home that is divided into three apartments, one each for the first three wives and their children. Robyn still lives in a separate home nearby.