Although Seeking Sister Wife sounds very similar to TLC’s already existing show, Sister Wives, the two series are actually quite different. Sister Wives debuted in 2010 and has since been giving the world a peek at polygamous marriages. It features Kody Brown, his wives, and their many kids. While plural marriage is an uncommon practice often shunned by the average person, Kody and his family attempt to go through life as normally as possible. Similar to the program, TLC also released Seeking Sister Wife in 2018, which displays a multitude of families who embrace plural marriage.
Sister Wives follows Kody, who has engaged in polygamy since 1993. The show began production in Lehi, Utah, but soon relocated to Flagstaff, Arizona to escape the anti-polygamy laws. 52-year-old Kody has four wives: Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn and they have a combined total of 18 children (three by adoption and three from Robyn’s previous relationship). Though Kody didn’t grow up religious or in a polygamous household, he became interested in both at a young age. While he has a legal marriage with Robyn, he sees his relationship with his other wives as “spiritual unions.” They believe that when they die, they’ll be married forever within the highest tier, called Celestial heaven, which is why they don’t need to be legally married on earth.
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Where Kody and the Browns have an established relationship, the families on Seeking Sister Wife are looking to expand the members of their household. The show presents them finding, dating, and trying to integrate new women into the home using methods like online dating and social media. Though they sometimes find a perfect match, some families have undergone the grief of rejection or the realization that the potential wife was not a good fit.
Similar to how Seeking Sister Wife shows families bringing another woman into their lives, Sister Wives began with Kody and the Browns welcoming Robyn to their family. Because Sister Wives has documented one family for the last ten years, it goes far deeper into the lives of the cast. Kody and his wives have been involved in plenty of drama, including favoritism, disobeying COVID-19 guidelines, and Kody’s disrespect towards his wives. Viewers have become familiar with the Brown family’s personal lives, whereas those on Seeking Sister Wife are not nearly as well-known to the public.
One of the biggest differences between these programs is that Seeking Sister Wife focuses on multiple families and their pursuit of a relationship, whereas Sister Wives focuses on a single polygamous family unit. As Mormons, the Browns engage in polygamy as part of their religious beliefs. Part of the Apostolic United Brethren church, all wives, excluding Janelle, were raised by polygamist families. Contrary to popular belief, many of the families on Seeking Sister Wife don’t have plural marriages for religious reasons.
While the Winder family uses polygamy to strive to be like God and the Merrifield family claim God called them to that lifestyle, others were simply interested in having more than one spouse. The man of the Alldredge family wants to share his love with multiple women. For the Snowden family, polygamy is a beautiful representation of family. The two programs share many similarities, but each show shows different stages and sides of plural marriages. While Sister Wives will continue to feature Kody and the Brown family, Seeking Sister Wives changes families seasonally. If and when the couples find a permanent addition to the household, maybe TLC will consider giving them their own show.
Next: Sister Wives: Could Kody Brown Be Looking For A Fifth Wife?
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