If you know anything about the Duggars, you know this is a family that loves their rules.
There’s the Duggar dress code, the Duggar courtship rules — really, just about everything aspect of the Duggars’ kids’ lives is strictly controlled by their parents.
The boys endure this with the promise of freedom in adulthood.
Duggar girls, however, face a lifetime of servitude, as the right to make decisions about the direction of their lives passes from their father to their husbands at marriage.
That’s why Jinger Duggar began wearing pants shortly after her wedding to Jeremy Vuolo — her husband allows freedoms that her father did not.
It’s also why the unmarried Jana Duggar still lives at home and rises to at dawn for a full day of chores — for the women of her marriage is the only path to liberty.
But is the Duggar home as strict as we’ve been led to believe, or have Jim Bob and Michelle lightened up a bit with age?
It’s tough to say, as different Duggar kids have offered very different accounts of growing up in America’s most famous fundamentalist clan.
It appears, however, that like so many parents, Jim Bob and Michelle were at least slightly less strict with their younger children than with their older ones.
For evidence, we need look no further than the recent revelation that Joy-Anna was permitted to watch I Love Lucy while growing up.
Joy-Anna revealed on Instagram this week that she would be babysitting several of her nieces overnight, and that the group would be watching one of her favorite shows.
"Who else loves ‘I love Lucy’?!" she asked her followers.
When one of her followers pointed out that several Duggars have stated they weren’t allowed to watch TV growing up, Joy-Anna clarified the matter.
"We didn’t have Cable Television in our home when we were growing up, but we did watch old TV shows and movies on DVD or online," she replied.
Yes, secular entertainment is generally frowned upon by the Duggars, but it seems there are exceptions — like secular entertainment produced before 1960.
Joy’s cousin Amy Duggar recently welcomed her first child, and she revealed in the comments that she and Joy share the same favorite episode of Lucy (the classic in which Lucy gets a job in a chocolate factory).
"We would laugh and laugh at this episode!" Amy wrote. "Still sooo funny every time I watch it!!"
Of course, Amy grew up in a much more permissive household, so it’s possible she was the one to expose her younger cousins to the sitcoms of the 1950s.
It may seem strange that in the 21st century, these kids were sneaking downstairs at night to watch something as wholesome as I Love Lucy, and … well, it is. It is strange.