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March 19, 2013  | by: Kelly Hanelt
Twitter (@GSFamilyjewels)

Twitter (@GSFamilyjewels)

 

Papa don’t preach, I’m in trouble deep

Papa don’t preach, I’ve been losing sleep…

And that’s the magic of Madonna. 27 years after its initial release, her classic song “Papa Don’t Preach” is still a source of inspiration. Except maybe not in the way she meant it to be. Last Tuesday, Lifetime debuted its latest attempt to drag viewers in (kicking and screaming). It is called “Preachers’ Daughters,” and, as the title may suggest, follows the lives of three teenage girls with devoutly religious parents.

 

There is Taylor, whose overprotective dad is a total social buzzkill. Then there’s Kolby who has not one, but two preacher parents. And, my personal favorite, if for no other reason than being the Madonna song incarnate – Olivia, 18 and raising a baby with her parents.

While the show’s first hour did prove to be entertaining, that does not reconcile the fact that the program is, despite its most sincere efforts to appear otherwise, making a mockery of the Christian religion and its followers. These preachers’ daughters are obviously acting in a rebellious and defaming way, so let’s broadcast their behavior to millions of viewers. That’s my attempt at Lifetime logic. Make sense to you? Me neither.

What also doesn’t make sense to me is that the show operates under the premise that these parents are so out of touch with their daughters’ lives, yet the girls’ every word, action and intimate secret are recorded, edited together in the most scandalous way possible, and aired on national TV. Are we supposed to act like they still haven’t wised up?

The real issue with “Preachers’ Daughters,” as it is with an off-putting majority of reality television, is that it perpetuates a stereotype in an archaic and extortionist way. The way the program depicts preachers and their families plays into the running joke of hyper-Christian behavior in America. Despite focusing on three religious families, the show is practically begging viewers to mock their faith and its practices. This is just the same as “The Jersey Shore” letting millions of people think that its stars were the stupidest alcoholics the world has yet to know, and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” makes us think it’s okay to laugh at stereotypical Southern living.

While the shows are regarded as trashy and ridiculous, they usually manage to bring in a decent viewership and a meager supply of laughs. But at what cost? At the end of the day these shows just make American culture look shallow and bombastic. And that is not our best look.

Do you watch “Preachers’ Daughters” and have anything to say in its defense?

 

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