‘Preachers’ Daughters,’ you guessed it
Lifetime reality series exploits the myth of how fast they are
March 7, 2013
You know what they say about preachers’ daughters….Or maybe you don’t. Either way, you might expect that a reality show about them wouldn’t confine itself to the question of how slutty they are.
At least you might expect that if you’ve never seen a reality show. True to form, Lifetime’s new series “Preachers’ Daughters” is about nothing but sex. This focus is creepy in the case of two of its main subjects — who are 16 and 17, respectively — and sad in the case of the third, an 18-year-old with an illegitimate child.
Of course, most parents have a hard time with the issue of teenage sexuality, and there’s some comfort and comedy in watching other parents struggle with it. But by dwelling on the questions “Will she or won’t she?” and “What — and who — did she do?” and excluding all other aspects of the families’ lives, “Preachers’ Daughters” makes for ultimately unpleasant viewing.
Premiering next Tuesday, March 12, at 10 p.m., the show introduces us to three young women still living with their parents: Kolby, 16, divides her time between the North Carolina home of her father, a preacher named Nikita Koloff, who used to be a professional wrestler nicknamed the Mad Russian, and the Tennessee home of her mother, Victoria, who works at a pregnancy center and gives Christian-based talks on sex to teenagers.
Victoria’s sex talks naturally bother Kolby, who particularly objects to Victoria’s constant use of the term “penetration,” as well as her graphic terms for the various forms of sex. In order to get Victoria’s permission to date a boy named Micah, Kolby has to attend one of her presentations.
Like many mothers, Victoria evidently enjoys embarrassing her daughter. She insists on a sitdown with Micah, asking him what he thinks she means when she says, “Don’t touch my daughter.” When he says that she means there’s a bubble around Kolby, Victoria replies, “Don’t penetrate the bubble.”
Taylor, 17, who lives in Illinois, is rebelling against her strict father, who doesn’t want her to date at all. In an online video, she says that her “alter ego” wants to be a porn star. Both early and late in the show, we see her father saying, “God, please, don’t ever let my daughter become a porn star, amen.”
Without getting her father’s permission, she sneaks out to a public pool wearing a skimpy bathing suit. She and her friends meet an ex-boyfriend of hers, who grabs her butt while hugging her, and then we see them making out.
The sad case is Olivia, 18, who lives in coastal California. She says that the previous summer she partied a lot, slept around and crashed a car while on LSD. She now has an infant girl. Although she thought the father was a boy named Shawn, she has somehow recently learned that the father may actually be a boy named Jay.
The only serious drama in the episode is Olivia’s decision whether or not to tell her father. The suspense is enough to make viewers ignore the complete inappropriateness of sharing this moment with television viewers.
With Olivia at least temporarily out of the dating pool, the point of future episodes seems to be showing how the other two will test their limits. If all goes badly, they can always try out for MTV’s “Teen Mom 2.”
No matter what they decide to do, this is a private matter, and their parents, like Olivia’s, should have refused to allow them to do the show. Since we’re not their mommies, we should probably refuse to embarrass them further and stop watching. Whether the show is asking us to laugh at these girls or laugh with them — or is going for simple titillation — it’s not right.
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