THE PLATH FAMILY, standing, l-r, Ethan, Olivia, Moriah, Kim and Barry; sitting on the tractor, Cassia, Micah, Mercy, Amber and Lydia; and standing on the tractor is Isaac. (Photo credit: TLC)
For many people in Grady County, the Plath family of Cairo is known for their musical talent and nine blonde children. In less than two weeks, we will join the nation in getting to know more about the family through a reality TV show on the TLC channel.
The television network has announced “Welcome to Plathville” as its latest family reality show, promoting it as a show about a family that shuns technology, including televisions and social media, and whose children have been shielded from many modern experiences.
“Wow, we were immediately sucked in by the Plath family and their commitment to maintaining this fairytale-like bubble amidst our fast-paced, always-connected culture,” said TLC President and General Manager Howard Lee. “With TLC’s family series, we love giving viewers the chance to dip into a world so different from their own, but at the same time, offer those relatable, recognizable elements, in this case, the universal joys and challenges of raising a family.”
Information from TLC contends Kim and Barry Plath have raised their children, ages 6 to 21, by their own rules.
“The Plath kids have grown up running free and barefoot, climbing trees, catching bugs and finding the most creative ways to have fun together without the influence of social media and the outside world. The Plath kids aren’t familiar with Lebron James or Justin Bieber, but according to their parents, they are more connected to each other and real-life than the average kid raised on television and mobile devices,” states TLC information.
It does not appear that the Plath’s oldest daughter, Hosanna, 20, will be featured prominently in the program, if at all, since she has married and is now living in Ohio. However, her older brother Ethan, 21, has also married and his wife, Olivia, appears to be a foil in the show, bringing a more modern take on life.
Information from TLC states, “Kim and Barry created this protected environment to shield their children from the chaos of the modern world and to instill the traditional values they hold so dear, especially regarding hard work, charitable morals and family roles. But recent changes to the family dynamic have challenged the Plath’s preservation of their conservative lifestyle in today’s modern world.
“The Plath children were all raised under the same roof with the same values, but just like any family, no two kids are alike – they differ in temperament, from pious and dutiful to adventure-seeking and fun-loving. Almost a year ago, the oldest Plath, Ethan, married Olivia, whose open perspective and worldliness helped establish a contrasting set of rules for their household. They allow sugar, television, alcohol and social media, and are more exposed to different lifestyles and viewpoints. And while Ethan is enjoying being introduced to new things daily, it has resulted in tension between the households as this more modern lifestyle is influencing Ethan’s siblings.
“The older children are starting to find their independence. 18-year-old Micah can come and go as he pleases, and he often visits Ethan and Olivia with 17-year-old Moriah, who has always craved more freedom and feels like the outcast of the family. Moriah finds a friend in Olivia, who is happy to widen her horizons. Both Moriah and Micah want to experience what the world has to offer, especially after seeing the life that Olivia and Ethan have created for themselves. Kim and Barry are challenged with trying to maintain a connection with Micah and Moriah while still protecting their younger kids from any outside, disruptive influence. But as they see the more modern world moving in, they’re forced to deal with the consequences of a family that’s changing faster than it ever has before.”
“Welcome to Plathville” premieres on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 10 p.m. on TLC.