Preachers’ Daughters Makes Me Question Everything About My Beloved Lifetime
2:45 pm, April 3rd | by
I don’t even know where to start. When I started seeing the constant promos for Preachers’ Daughters on TV (I watch a lot of Lifetime, okay?) last month, I thought it couldn’t possibly be as bad as it seemed. Even as I watched one of the eponymous Preachers implore God to “not let [his] daughter become a porn star,” I assumed the show would be a pretty harmless hybrid of an obviously scripted, producer-and-marionette show like Big Rich Texas, crossed with with a dash of Duggar weirdness thrown in for color. And while it’s definitely all of those things, it’s also so, SO much worse. The PTL Club
I wanted to keep an open mind, so I thought I’d watch the show for a few weeks before weighing in. After seeing the first two episodes I had to stop because I was feeling too much. I’m going to try to sort through some of that here.
1.This is Nikita, one of the Preachers.
He's the father of Kolby, one of the Daughters, and the ex-husband of Victoria, who is also a minister, radio host and head of two pregnancy centers. Oh, and he used to be a pro wrestler. Here he is putting a boy in a headlock while he chats with Kolby about using baking soda to whiten her teeth.
2.This is Taylor, one of the daughters.
At some point the wires got crossed in her brain and she began to equate "personal freedom and agency" with "becoming a porn star." This comes up repeatedly in the pilot episode. Despite this fantasy, Taylor is committed to abstinence until marriage.
3.But neither of these gals can hold a candle to Olivia...
Who tells us that after a summer of partying, which included being on acid, crashing a car and getting pregnant (and her parents taking in the baby and forgiving her for these transgressions), she's maybe a teeny tiny bit unsure of who the baby's father might be.
"Wow, that's intense," one of her two older sisters says in response. I'll say.
4.The title cards look like something out of Charmed...
Which is actually pretty great.
5.Kolby spends most of her time with her mom.
Victoria thinks Kolby is generally a good kid, for several reasons including a lack of "whoring around." Are you picking up the theme here?
6.Taylor is being pressured to have sex by her ex.
I don't know, he seems like a charming guy.
7.Perhaps it's this pressure bearing down on her from all sides...
That has led her to decide the only way she'll be free is to become a porn star OR a stripper. It's not that those jobs
don't allow one to be free, necessarily, but there are OTHER OCCUPATIONS.
8.Kolby is 16 and wants to start dating a guy named Micah.
Kolby's mother arranges for Micah to meet her and Kolby at an ice cream parlor, where she produces an application, which includes a list of 8 (simple?) rules for dating her daughter,
cribbed from the W. Bruce Cameron book of the same name. I guess plagiarism is not nearly as big of a sin as premarital sex?
At the end of the meeting, Victoria shakes Micah's hand and says "pleasure doing business with you."
9.See, it's a tale as old as time.
The attitudes of these Preachers toward their Daughters are that their daughters' bodies actually belong to them, the Preachers, and they are in charge of what happens to those bodies. It's great, because each Preacher gets to commodify his/her little girl's sexuality, first by taking their agency away from them ("
I am not going to let you do anything that might lead to having sex") and then by allowing Lifetime to use that "product" as the basis for a buzzy, ad dollar-generating reality television show. Everybody wins! No one wins. Absolutely no one.
10.In the second episode, Victoria's older daughter drops a truth bomb.
"This is how your mind gets warped when you grow up in this box," she says of her teenage belief that she could get pregnant from kissing a boy. Her mother, Victoria, is a Christian sex educator.
11.The major crisis of the second episode...
Is that the same daughter, Teryn (Kolby's older sister), wasn't a virgin when she got married. She asks her husband if she should admit it to her family, which elicits a big fat "NOPE" from him. She gulps her wine.
12.Olivia's dad cops to some bad behavior in his youth.
In fact, Olivia's father, Taylor's father and Kolby's father (the male preachers) all admit to living less than pure lives when they were younger (Victoria got married for the first time at 16, which she also cites as the basis for her overprotective attitude).
"[Growing up,] I smoked weed every day before school," Olivia's dad admits. Perhaps his daughter's troubles are "the sins of the father" coming back to haunt him. Even in her rebellion Olivia is given zero agency. This seems healthy.
13.Meanwhile, at Teryn's 30th birthday party...
Kolby and Micah, when they aren't being harassed by Kolby's sisters or her mother about making eye contact with each other, affirm that they both want to wait until marriage to have sex. These two are totally going to have sex. And now I've just speculated about the sex lives of teenagers. This show has successfully turned us all into creeps.
14.Teryn decides she's going to come clean.
She's truly tormented about lying to her family.
15.When she explains that she wasn't a virgin when she got married...
Even though she is THIRTY YEARS OLD and MARRIED WITH A CHILD and obviously turned out fine, her mother makes this face.
16.And then everyone starts weeping
I mean, really.
17.There you have it.
Female sexuality is evil and must be tamped down and controlled...but not so evil that we can't build a reality television show entirely around the premise of whether or not a group of dads (and one mom) will successfully be able to keep their minor daughters from losing their virginities. #2013 #WeDidIt