I’m starting to think Preachers’ Daughters should be renamed Preacher Parents. Or Preachers’ Daughters Whose Preacher Parents Don’t Understand Teenagers. Okay, that last one might be too long. But what I’m trying to say is that I can’t decide whose behavior Lifetime wants us to focus on when we watch this show. Or more specifically, whose behavior should we be groaning about? Because that’s why we watch reality shows, right? To groan at ridiculous people’s behavior? Am I wrong about this?
The show has been the subject of some controversy, because a lot of real-life preachers’ daughters are upset that people will
know their secrets think they’re as stereotypically rebellious as the girls on this show. But the thing is, these girls aren’t really that rebellious. With the exception of 18-year-old Olivia Perry, who already has a daughter and isn’t sure who the father is. But even she chooses to tell her parents the truth about the paternity issue, and she wears the promise ring they gave her without complaint.
At this point in the series, 17-year-old Taylor Coleman seems to be more rebellious in her mind than she is through her actions. Sure, she says she’s considered becoming a porn star, and she aspires to wear skimpy outfits, but so far in the series she hasn’t exactly acted on these desires, and her parents become well aware of them, which should enable them to guide her to making the right decisions.
Oh, I’m sorry, did I say guide her? I meant fail to actually discuss it with her and choose to pray about it instead. Because that’s how the preacher dads on this show deal with their daughters’ rebellion. Taylor’s dad allows her to storm off and then goes into the other room to ask God not to let his daughter become a porn star. Even he admits that he made mistakes raising his older children, so you’d think he’d realize that praying isn’t going to prevent him from making the same mistakes again.
This is also the tactic Olivia’s dad uses to deal with difficult parenting problems. In the middle of a family conversation, during which Olivia’s older sister admits to smoking weed and starts crying, the dad throws his head back and asks God to bless his family’s conversation. Maybe you could have a little bit of control over how the family conversation goes? Just an idea. Mr. Perry also chooses to use prayer to deal with Olivia’s paternity revelation. He resigns himself to the fact that they’re going to get a paternity test done, then places his hand on Olivia’s head and prays some more. I don’t think the praying worked to prevent her from getting pregnant, so maybe a different tactic would be better this time?
The only family about whom I am 100% certain who to side with — at least at this point — is the Koloff family (above). Kolby Koloff is a sweet 16-year-old girl with a crush on a guy named Micah. She likes him so much she’s not even embarrassed to share with him that she brushes her teeth with baking soda. It’s that serious. Both of Kolby’s parents are preachers. Her father is an ex-wrestler, and her mother works at a pregnancy center and teaches teens about the dangers of “penetration” (her favorite word) and “finger sex.” Also I’m pretty sure she would think brushing up against someone on the subway counts as sex. Kolby has enough respect for her parents to ask their permission to date, and Micah seems like a nice boy, even though he showed up ten minutes late to his meeting with Kolby and her mom, which she sees as unforgivable. Instead of having a pleasant conversation and setting up a curfew or something typical, Kolby’s mom gives Micah an application to fill out, forces him to compliment her beauty, and uses phrases like “finger sex” again. Poor Kolby. Poor Micah. Don’t mess this up for yourself, Kolby. I’m on your side!
The thing that confuses me is that I assumed from Lifetime‘s commercials for the series that these daughters would be out of control and the parents would be trying desperately to control them. It made it look like we might sympathize with the parents, and if not sympathize with them, at least be exasperated watching the daughters’ behavior. But I was more exasperated watching the parents fail to properly deal with their daughters’ behavior. But this is the same channel that tried to make Liz & Dick (still not over it) look legitimate by selectively quoting negative reviews to turn them into positive statements. So I don’t know why I expected an accurate marketing campaign.