Let's stop and think about the premise of Sister Wives for a moment, shall we?
The TLC reality show centers on Kody Brown and his four spouses, all of whom interact frequently when cameras are rolling, talking about their complicated lives and relationships.
During actual episodes, the group gathers together on numerous occasions and speaks on topics that matters to all five adults.
For example, a number of installments last year focused Kody's much-criticized plan to build one large mansion inside of which he, Robyn, Meri, Janelle and Christine would all reside.
More recently, Season 15 centered a great deal on the family's financial struggles.
And that's the thing:
When a director yells ACTION!, all four women and Kody act like they're in this together -- debating living arrangements and bank accounts and coming across like one pretty well functioning polygamous uniit.
But then when a season wraps up?
Janelle just returned for a bit to Utah, without Kody.
Meri may be living in her native state and may even have found a new boyfriend.
The women rarely interact with each other and almost never upload any photos of themselves with their so-called husband.
Which brings us to another seemingly important point:
Kody is only legally married to Robyn Brown, having exchanged vows with her in 2014 in order to adopt her kids from a previous relationship.
It seems notable that Robyn posts the least of all the Sister Wives on social media and Kody, by all accounts, spends the most amount of time in her home.
In many ways, these two come across like a quiet and normal couple -- while Janelle, Meri and Christine sort of do their own thing almost any month they aren't receiving a paycheck from TLC.
And why shouldn't they?
Remember, they aren't actually married to Kody.
This entire arrangement has prompted an obvious question from many Sister Wives viewers, and it goes something like this:
What, exactly, are we watching every week?
Are we really meant to believe that Janelle, Meri and Christine are spouses in any legitimate sense of the word/term?
Doesn't it seem far more likely that they only see Kody in front of the camera and only pretend to be in any sort of relationship with him for the sake of the show? To keep it going? And to keep getting paid in the process?
We're not even judging the women if so.
They aren't hurting anyone. They're just making a living.
It's just worth exploring whether or not everything about Sister Wives is as phony as any attempt by Kody to not be a selfish and arrogant jer?
This is not the first time such an issue has been broached.
Janelle tried to quell chatter about the series manufacturing nearly every moment back in March 2020.
“We often forget the cameras are there,” the mom of six claimed during season 14, adding at the time:
“We have never scripted our show and occasionally things happen that get out of control fast. This was one of those times.”
Just a few months later, Christine’s daughter, Mykelti, perhaps came out andd said too much, admitting Kody’s marital struggles with Meri are “real but blown up” for television.
“But I don’t know their personal life,” Mykelti added.
“Between any of the siblings, individual siblings, individual parents or whatever, we really don’t know a lot of what goes on.
"We know what’s between us."
Then there was Kendra Pollard-Parra.
A close friend of Robyn's, she spilled quite a bit of tea to In Touch Weekly in 2016 about what takes place behind the scenes.
“Kody thinks of Janelle as more of a friend - she’s his buddy,” Kendra alleged to this tabloid.
“Christine is a problem to him. And Meri, Kody can’t stand her."