TLC’s “The Sisterhood” premiered on New Year’s Day, providing viewers with a lens into the lives of five Christian pastor’s wives. Last January, TheBlaze covered the network’s plans to create a show surrounding these religious women. Now, 12 months later, the program, which is centered upon Atlanta-based faith leaders, has finally come to fruition — but not without some intense controversy.
According to TLC, “The Sisterhood” is a candid exploration into the lives of “devout yet fierce preachers’ wives.” As their husbands seek to run faith communities (or simply live faithful lives, as not all of the men run churches), these strong women tend to their families and come alongside their spouses to help meet the needs of congregants.
The program will purportedly show the women’s struggles as they, too, face life’s many ups and downs. From financial issues to marital struggles, some viewers may find the women’s problems highly-relatable, however many Christians are already lamenting the show for its negativity and alleged poor portrayal of religious women.
Rather than serving as a calm and collected look at the subjects’ lives, a Huffington Post description of the show seems to indicate that drama plays a prominent role:
If you’ve thought “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” could use with a little bit of scripture, then maybe “The Sisterhood” is for you. The new TLC reality series follows several pastors’ wives, but their proximity to their churches does very little to curb their outrageous behavior. It just means God is a big part of it.
In a review for the New York Post, an equally lackluster review was published by Linda Stasi. She summarized the show as follows: “Unfortunately, the first preacher-wife show, “The Sister hood,” premiering on TLC tonight, is nothing more — or less — than “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” but co-starring God.” Her overview continues:
On this show we have four African-American preacher’s wives, but like those “Real Housewives” who don’t even have husbands, here two of the four preacher wives are married to pastors who don’t have churches.
And like every tired “Wives” show that came before them, they follow the tried-and-true formula.
First, they all meet and then have a party to welcome the new woman to town so they can then fight and get catty and jealous.
And the negative sentiments don’t end there. Access Atlanta covers Tuesday night’s premiere, noting that drama has immediately become a staple of the show (be sure to also read the cast members’ bios):
In the first episode, we meet four of the five women. Three ladies clash almost immediately. Domonique Scott, whose husband lost his church after they hit financial straits, and Ivy Couch, a newlywed who was briefly in the group Xscape, go at it with Tara Y. Lewis. Tara is part of an interracial couple that came to Atlanta from Los Angeles but lost their jobs at a Dunwoody church after just six weeks.
Here’s a first-look at the show, in case you missed it:
Some of the reactions were somewhat harsh following the first episode last night. There’s already a petition circulating to have the show ended — and Twitter reaction was fierce. “How is anyone gonna follow a first lady after watching
#Sisterhood?,” Danita Ogandaga, founder of Orphan No More, tweeted. She added, “Media Whoredom has hit the church #Sisterhood makes me shake my head.”
Another user, Heather Lindsey, wrote, “Sisterhood is a fail for me TLC. Gossiping.. Envy. Discontentment [and] so worldy all while using scriptures.”
And Chris Hines, a pastor in Norfolk, Va., said, “I was offended for every real 1st Lady who carries the call with Grace & Discretion.” Here are some of his tweets about the show:
You can learn more about the show on TLC’s web site.
Did you watch “The Sisterhood?” If so, what were your thoughts?