Counting On is unique among reality shows, in that while most stars and producers work together to dig deep in search of interpersonal drama that might lead to compelling television, the Duggars and their TLC bosses have decided to leave certain secrets buried.
It’s not uncommon that the family is embroiled in some sort of high-stakes tabloid drama in real life, while on TV, they seem to be troubled by nothing more consequential than an especially competitive scavenger hunt.
While most reality shows would mine events like the Josh Duggar sex scandals for ratings, the Duggars prefer to let nothing tarnish their reputation as TV’s most wholesome clan of fundamentalists.
Still, in the past, the show has acknowledged certain storylines that fans assumed Jim Bob would rather leave to the tabloids.
This has led to a situation in which fans are often left wondering which dramas the Duggars will choose to acknowledge, and which they’ll ignore.
It was announced last week that Counting On Season 11 will debut on TLC in late June.
And once again, there’s considerable curiosity over which recent developments will be turned into storylines for the show.
For example, most seem to agree that the the Duggars will not address the ongoing feud between Derick Dillard and Jim Bob, as it raises too many questions about long-lingering resentments and shady business practices.
And we can think of at least one other recent controversy that won’t be making its way to air:
We’re talking about the rumored romance between Jana Duggar and Laura DeMasie.
Back in March, a former employee of the family exclusively told The Hollywood Gossip that Jana is "in love with" Laura.
He added that many believe Jim Bob exercised his considerable clout to get an Atlanta design firm to offer Laura a job, thus prompting DeMasie to permanently relocate to a separate state, several hundred miles from where she once slept under the same roof as Jana.
“Jana, I feel sorry for her," the insider lamented.
"She’s gay, and she just doesn’t know she’s gonna admit that she’s gay, and she’s in love with her best friend.”
The source went on to say that Jim Bob appears to be well aware of the situation, and he even chaperoned Jana and Laura’s recent trip to Las Vegas in order to ensure that the bonding remained purely platonic.
"Even when they went to Las Vegas, Jim Bob went. Just the three of them. I guess he was like a chaperone," the insider told us.
Of course, as longtime Duggar fans know, rumors about Jana and Laura have been circulating for several years.
Aside from one sternly-worded denial from Jana in reply to an Instagram comment, the family has never acknowledged the reports publicly.
Will that change on the upcoming season of Counting On? Unlikely.
In the past, the show has acknowledged Jana’s decision to remain single as her siblings marry and start families of their own.
But never has the possibility of a same-sex relationship for any of Jim Bob and Michelle’s kids been suggested.
The Duggars remain vehemently anti-gay, which is another facet of life on the compound that they prefer not to discuss on camera.
TLC, of course, is complicit in this bigotry, as the network seems to have no interest in delving into the family’s homophobic beliefs.
The fact is, Jana would almost certainly be disowned by her family if she were to come out as gay.
We should note here that we obviously have no way of knowing the nature of her sexual orientation.
But the idea that she would be kicked out of her family for loving the wrong person certainly seems interesting enough for producers to explore.