Poet Sylvia Plath wrote, "I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again."
Lady Lazarus was probably of no relation to TLC’s newest reality stars, but they do share a similar mentality with regard to object permanence.
As far as the Plath family of southern Georgia is concerned, if they can’t see it, it might as well not exist!
Allow us to explain:
The Plaths are the stars of TLC’s newly-announced reality series, Welcome to Plathville.
Though it has yet to make its debut, the show is already generating controversy for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the ultra-sheltered Plath kids make the Duggars look like the Kardashians by comparison.
Basically, the Plaths decided to a long time ago to shut out the world and pretend its eternally 1947.
And it worked.
The Plath kids have never watched television or drank soda.
They’ve never heard of Spider-Man.
Son Isaac is "big on sports," but he’s never heard of Tom Brady.
You get the idea.
Some folks aren’t thrilled about the Plaths being given their own TV show, and not just because of the many strange ways in which they’ve raised their kids in a protective bubble.
Matriarch Kim Plath ran over and killed her 15-month-old son in 2008, and while the death was ruled an accident, there are those who believe it wouldn’t have occurred were it not for the Plaths’ backwoods ways.
Obviously, that’s not a fair claim to make, but we mention it to give you an idea of the kind of controversy that surrounds the upcoming premiere of Welcome to Plathville.
The Plaths are sure to be divisive figures — and TLC is hoping that division will result in big ratings.
It’s a marketing strategy that’s similar to the one the network adopted back in 2008 when another rural, fundamentalist family made their television debut.
We’re talking, of course, about the Duggars.
Jim Bob, Michelle, and their 17 kids premiered in what was supposed to be a one-off special, but they wound up attracting a much larger audience than expected and hanging about for another 11 years … and counting.
The reason for this, of course, is that the Duggars attract as many hate-watchers as legitimate fans.
Over the years, Duggar scandals have resulted in some legal nightmares, a number of terminated contracts, and even a new title for the family’s reality show.
Despite all the headaches, network execs would surely do it all again, and it looks as though they’re hoping to repeat that formula with the Plaths.
In recent years, the Duggars have begun to offer diminishing returns, as their controversies continue to mount, but not in a way that draws in viewers.
Ratings have been declining ever since the Josh Duggar sex scandals of 2015, and they seem unlikely to turn around.
Even in the midst of a full-blown Duggar baby boom, the show’s audience share has continued to dip.
The feeling among many fans seems to be that they’ve seen all this before.
The courtship-wedding-baby-more babies cycle has grown tiresome.
Add to that such ugliness as Derick Dillard getting fired from the show for bullying a transgender teen and its not hard to see why fans are checking out in record numbers.
The Plaths might prove to be every bit as controversial as the Duggars, but for now, at least, they’ll work cheaper — and the feeling at TLC seems to be that new controversy trumps old controversy any day.