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Do you want Counting On to be cancelled...


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CaricatureQualities

Thank you @Edhelfin for starting this thread. It's an important question to ask and I think a lot of good points have been made regarding they're paymant, their platform, the kids being on reality tv, jumping to another station like UP, their presence on social media. There is a lot to discuss here.

In the interest in answering your question honestly I'm going to say that deep down part of me selfishly doesn't want the show to be cancelled and when 19KAC was cancelled I was a bit let down...just because I wanted to watch them. But these are selfish reactions on my part and I am admitting that. (Why I actually want to watch these people ?? is another story and I don't have the answer but that's beside the point.) I'm not proud of it and I wont defend it but in the interest of being honest, I'll admit I just selfishly wanted (want) to watch the show.

That being said, overall I was glad that 19KAC was cancelled because it was the biggest show on TLC at it's peak and their platform and sphere of influence was expanding really fast. I think it's good that came crashing down.  I might like to watch them but I really don't want to contribute to their positive image and influence.

I did worry that the camera crew would not be there because I too thought maybe the TV cameras helped. That's kind of crazy. I typically don't believe it is good for kids to be on reality tv or growing up in front of cameras is a healthy thing...but with the Duggar's I think the opposite. I really don't know what way would be better as far as the kids are concerned!

I also don't know if the show being cancelled would = media presence dying down. I'm sure it would eventually a bit but like others have said they could move to Up with the Bates, they have social media, could produce their own videos...and they're still taking the circus around the world for IBLP conferences and autographing their books and that had nothing to do with TLC or counting on.

If the show being cancelled was in fact the overall best thing that could happen in terms of the children's well being and their influence over people being minimized then yes, I would want it to be cancelled. I just don't know if it would be the overall best thing, I really don't.

 

 

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Yes, I think Counting On should be cancelled. I find it hard to believe that the show is making that much money, especially when so many sponsors have bailed (unless they’ve quietly returned). The Dug

The show is as boring as watching my aunt's vacation slides circa 1985.  I just dont see how this can continue much longer. The show itself isnt a "ministry" anymore.  They dont harp their BS hom

One of the slightly amusing problems that hardline patriarchy has faced with its poster families is the fact that in almost all cases, the DAUGHTERS have been more appealing than the SONS.   It's

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Cleopatra7

I don’t think the Duggars have been very influential in the sense of spreading Gothardism. ATI/IBLP has contracted significantly since the early Duggar special started in the mid 2000s. Clearly, the Duggars’ TV presence hasn’t convinced enough people to make Gothard’s empire solvent again (I have no doubt that some people were influenced by 19 KAC, but I don’t think it was as many compared to those who saw the pre-Joshgate Duggars as benign weirdos). Gothardism appears to have peaked as a Christian fad in the late 80s/early 90s, and now it’s out of style. The same seems to be true for the wider Christian Patriarchy Movement, given how so many of its brightest lights have crashed and burned in the last couple of years. Soft patriarchy/complementarian will continue into the future, unfortunately, but the kind of hard patriarchy peddled by Gothard and VF seems to be on the wan aside from a handful of true believers. Basically, I think being on TV has done wonders for the Duggars’ bank counts, but it has failed in being a front group for Gothardism, which I think was always the main goal (at least in theory).

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Georgiana

One of the slightly amusing problems that hardline patriarchy has faced with its poster families is the fact that in almost all cases, the DAUGHTERS have been more appealing than the SONS.  

It's hard to continue to push a model that keeps daughters down when the daughters are the ones that the viewers care about.  John-David isn't doing half-bad as a fundie son, but you don't see too much of that because no one really cares.  Viewers want to see Jessa and Jinger and Joy!  Even Joe's storyline was VERY focused on Kendra and her relationship with her future SILs.  

Somehow, these families who INTENDED to preach patriarchy found a viewership that doesn't really care about men or male-centered stories.  It's difficult to testify to how superior men are when they're essentially relegated to supporting cast members.  You can do it lipservice, certainly, but when the daughters are the stars and the sons are second-tier...there's definitely some dissonance there.

And, I would posit, that if the Duggars/Bates were REALLY loyal to their values, they never would have allowed their daughters to take precedence over their sons.  But $$$, so of course, they promoted their daughters endlessly while telling their sons to just find whatever jobs they could scrounge up. 

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TheMustardCardigan

Yes, because money = control for JB and Michelle over their adult children. I think Jessa, Jill, etc. would all be more inclined to break away from the cult if the TLC money they get for toeing the line stopped. Like, think about Jessa's life-- her house was essentially given to her by her family and she gets to be a stay at home mom to her two kids. Her husband is a young man still in school (and I forget, he still has a JB sponsored job like mowing lawns or something right?). Take the TLC money out of the equation and Jessa might have to work to make ends meet, Ben might not be able to afford school, and they'd be renting a small apartment or something. They're comfortable how they are, understandably so. Even if they think some of JB and M's rules are bullshit they probably look at what they're getting in exchange for doing a few things they don't like, and feeling suddenly like those things are 100 percent tolerable.

 

From a personal standpoint, I'd also just be curious as to what the Duggars would do next for notoriety/income without the TLC show. Would some of them start their own Youtube channels? Hawk the fundie equivalent of Fitness Tea on Instagram? Start a mommy blog? Maybe Joy and Austin would try to get a home renovation show on HGTV. 

 

 

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albireo

I admit I don't watch the shows (tried to hate-watch BUB but made it five minutes in because Gil was giving me the creeps). It's possible that being on TV has exposed these families to the wider world a bit more and moderated them, but honestly what has that gotten them? Pants? "Worldly" husbands? I'd say the young kids are probably not much better off with or without the show.

Getting rid of the shows would end the gravy train and advertising, and we can snark on them perfectly easily without a show anyway. Plus as others have said there's plenty of snark to go around. It won't stop fundamentalism, but ending the shows will reduce their platform. They should go.

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CaricatureQualities

It's interesting to think that the women have more earning potential than their headships because of the show and the fact that there will always going to be more interest in their story lines. When most of the seasons revolve around weddings and the typical Duggar dude response to weddings is "it's a girl thing, whatever the girl wants", that's not  too surprising.  And before CO, there was way more interest in Jill and Jinger courting and marrying than there was for Turd (also not a surprise)...but there will be always be more interest in the daughters and daughters-in-law than the sons...they birth the babies and wear the wedding dresses and now it's arguable that they bring home the bacon too (as far as social marketing). Hmm. If Anna gets on a CO future season she(and her kids I guess) could bring home more income than Josh...(or Jill could if she wasn't off the show in solidarity with D-wreck). I wonder what that does to a headships self-esteem.

Hypothetical question: If Anna actually left Josh and pursued her own reality show (hypothetically titled "Anna does it all by herself! ") as a means to pay her and her kids way on her own after getting out of the marriage...would that  outweigh the shitiness of putting her kids on tv and having them earn money for the fam that way?  Anna wont leave Josh ever IMO and doing so she would be breaking from culture itself so it's a fantastical thought but suspend your disbelief for a moment and consider if it did happen... what would you guys think of that show?

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TheMustardCardigan

Being on a show about breaking away from fundamentalism would be better than being on a show promoting fundamentalism, I wouldn't fault her at all if she agreed to do a show like that and put her kids on it. 

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snickers34
10 hours ago, Buzzard said:

The show itself isnt a "ministry" anymore.  They dont harp their BS homeskooling, skirt wearing, anti-tv shit that they used to. 

Yes! Before it was entertaining to see these crazy people doing their weird things and talking about their weird lifestyle - buying ridiculous amounts of processed food at Aldi, etc. I enjoyed voyeuring.

Now it's just a lame and ridiculously fucking boring attempt to make them seem fun or normal through fancy editing, which they literally can't do because, again, they're so fucking boring. At least before I enjoyed watching the crazy.

ETA - Yes I also definitely want it to be cancelled...

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Beermeet

I want it cancelled.  When it briefly was, I was happy.  Mainly the reasons as stated already but, also because it will toture Pickles.  :evil-laugh:

Reality TV isn't reality and it's only harmed society at large, imo.

ETA:  The hypothetical Anna breaks free.  Still no.  Write a book girl, go on speaking engagements. 

Edited by Beermeet
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gameofunbeknowns

Yeah. I’m actually incredibly bothered by the fact that they don’t delve into the details of the religious beliefs the way they used to on 19kac. A new viewer would find them almost indistinguishable from many other people.

I want them to say that premarital sex is like drinking a cup of spit on the show. Wishful thinking, I know.

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Beermeet

@Georgiana.  Good point.  I wonder if the fascination with the girls is because virginity than lack thereof once married.  Gross.  But, I do wonder that.

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LiLSeaWitch

Counting on is my guilty secret. I went to an IBLP seminar in the 80s with my future in-laws, they bought into it all, fortunately their kids were grown. Honestly, I’m not sure why my husband (BF at the time) and I went with them but the whole seminar with the umbrella of authority thing just made me mad.  Every time I see a Duggar daughter in pants it makes me happy, knowing Jessa wears the pants in her family even though she wears dresses also makes me smile. Even back in the 80s watching Gothard from the nosebleed section of an auditorium, he gave me the creeps!  Just any step away from his teachings I look at it as a victory for the girls.  I never saw them as influential, just living a weird lifestyle.  

I think the girls are showcased because that is where the viewership lies, it’s sorta like Say Yes To the Dress. I’m not sure the adult kids have that much money, JB holds all the land and assets, and I’m sure he hold onto all his money.  They probably did not get any TLC money until they got a new umbrella. 

I agree with others that being in front of the cameras has been good for the younger children in that they don’t have to sneak food into the closet and they were not blanket trained at least on camera. If you look at the first special the children were like robots all lined up with a smile and yes ma’am and yes sir, all doing a chore and being perfect children. The younger kids, below Joy, are rambunctious and yelling, acting like more normal children. 

At some point they will no longer be on TV and I will find a new guilty secret to watch but I’ll still be hoping for that one Duggar child to break away and write a tell all.  Should it be cancelled? I guess I’m indifferent, I don’t think they are influential, I have never heard anyone, even at my in-laws church, say “I wish my family was like the Duggars”.  In fact I’ve never heard them mentioned in my daily life at all.

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Beermeet

I don't think the Duggars, per say, are influential.  However, they are.  In the political forum these sorts snuck up on us.  The tea party folks have been planning their attack for years.  We laughed at them, but, here we are.  Getting tea bagged.  Fundamental Christians have been purposely breededing and voting and getting elected.  While we laughed.  Until, we didn't.  : /

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gameofunbeknowns

@Beermeet you make a really good point. I still have election fatigue and trauma so I’m not as up to date politically as I usually am but I wonder if the Duggars and the show matter less politically than we thought.

I don’t want to turn this into the politics forum but though there was a lot unpredictable about Trumps election, the evangelical vote wasn’t one on those things. They were never going to vote Democratic and they were never going to vote for a woman.

I’m just not sure that the two camps are related or that correlation equals causation here.

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MarblesMom
3 hours ago, snickers34 said:

Yes! Before it was entertaining to see these crazy people doing their weird things and talking about their weird lifestyle

I have said it before, and I will say it again: I literally started watching back at 14 because I wanted to know how to she did the freaking laundry.  I only had 3 but I swore the neighbors were dropping off clothes - the laundry was never ending.

THEN I find out it is just not friends helping, but a Gramma (who might have even lived in the laundry room, who knows?!)

Kinda like K+8.  "Poor me" but have an army of assistants.

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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

Yes, I would like Counting On to be cancelled. I would have been happy if the Duggars' "television ministry" had ended after 19KAC was cancelled. I don't know the exact effect a cancellation would have on their lives and their media presence, but I would be happy to find out.

On a purely selfish note, TLC cancelling their show would make me feel okay about watching TLC shows like Who Do You Think You Are? again. I have broken my personal rule to never watch TLC again by watching WDYTYA?, but I felt so icky about it. :(

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gameofunbeknowns

Also...just mathematically...if IBLP membership and influence is down and Patriarchy is being replaced by Soft Patriarchy, exactly how many actual converts are they amassing? The Duggars are an oddity, and while they vote Conservative it’s my opinion that they’ll do so even while abandoning Gothard, using birth control, and sending their kids to real schools.

I’d sooner see My Big Fat Fabulously Weepy Life canceled because she cries too much, paints a false picture of PCOS, and I can’t fall asleep to her the way I do the Duggars.

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Edhelfin
6 hours ago, CaricatureQualities said:

Hypothetical question: If Anna actually left Josh and pursued her own reality show (hypothetically titled "Anna does it all by herself! ") as a means to pay her and her kids way on her own after getting out of the marriage...would that  outweigh the shitiness of putting her kids on tv and having them earn money for the fam that way?  Anna wont leave Josh ever IMO and doing so she would be breaking from culture itself so it's a fantastical thought but suspend your disbelief for a moment and consider if it did happen... what would you guys think of that show?

She doesn't have many ways of earning an income so I would not criticise her for putting her kids in front of the camera, it looks like the most feasible option. Shots that may embarrass the kids in the future should be limited though. As long as she became aware and vocal about the negative aspects of her upbringing (deprived of a career, choices and education) and the cult she married within, it would be a productive step towards challenging fundamentalism. I don't even have a TV but hypothetically  it would be the first reality show I would watch and support.

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neurogirl

If Anna had a show about breaking away, 1. I think it would be a huge hit 2. FJ WOULD watch the hell out of it, I might too 3. I think breaking away from the Duggars and Josh would be good for the children so in that case I would approve of the show. Hopefully 80% of the content would be Anna though - Anna reunites with her "fallen" siblings, Anna applies for a job, Anna leaves her kids with a non-family member for the first time, Anna tries on jeans. Man now I wish that show WOULD happen. 

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JoiseyGoil

If Anna did break away, though, wouldn’t her political/religious beliefs be generallly the same? Would it really be better if she became a “moderate” conservative  working woman (ex. Tomi Lahhren or whatever her name is, Ivanka Trump, Sarah Palin)?

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kachuu

I really don't think she has the balls to break away, unfortunately. She's super involved & close to the intense Duggar World. I just don't see it realistically happening. 

 

She used to be quite spunky! :(

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justoneoftwo
36 minutes ago, JoiseyGoil said:

If Anna did break away, though, wouldn’t her political/religious beliefs be generallly the same? Would it really be better if she became a “moderate” conservative  working woman (ex. Tomi Lahhren or whatever her name is, Ivanka Trump, Sarah Palin)?

I think it would be better.  Its one thing to believe that its better to have kids and stay home, but be able to work, its another to believe G-d will punish you for being outside someone else's authority.  Ivanka Trump isn't under anyone's umbrella, I may not like her, but its her I don't like, its her who makes choices and she isn't teaching her kids they are nothing but baby machines.  They may be told it would be great if Sarah Palin stayed home with the kids, but actions speak louder than words.  

I wouldn't want everyone to believe as I do, but leaving fundamentalism they have more of a chance to grow, and their kids do too.

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Cleopatra7
18 hours ago, gameofunbeknowns said:

Yeah. I’m actually incredibly bothered by the fact that they don’t delve into the details of the religious beliefs the way they used to on 19kac. A new viewer would find them almost indistinguishable from many other people.

I want them to say that premarital sex is like drinking a cup of spit on the show. Wishful thinking, I know.

But I don’t think the religious issue was ever fully explained on 19KAC. Gothard was the Grey Eminance throughout the series, but he never physically appeared on the show. That’s why you couldn’t talk about Gothardism in detail on TWOP without being banned, because he was alluded to, but never shown. The Duggars have always been disingenuous about their beliefs to the secular media. They tend to say they are “just Baptists,” which would lead the average viewer to think that they’re Southerners Baptists or some other conservative but mainstream denomination l, when they’re actually IFB. They claim to not be quiverfull, which is clearly a lie, and there were responses on a message board from ages ago where Michelle admitted it (not to mention blanket training). Their belief in beating infants has likewise been alluded to, but not mentioned, and neither has their use of a rod to beat older children. The fact that the kids end their formal education around 14-16 to do gender-assigned work is also not discussed, although Joe was shown to be working with JD when he was still a young teenager. Gothardism is the kind of belief system where you have to slowly be initiated into its mysteries, otherwise it all seems super extreme. This is also why there is all of the secrecy about the materials you get at the seminars. The Duggars must know this on some level, which is why they aren’t transparent about what they really believe.

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BlessingsVonFundiePants

Idle speculation bus!  I see them embraceing the YouTube and podcast world. Derick is totally heading in that direction IMO. I suspect he signed a time limited non-compete clause when he left counting on and as soon as that expires he’s going to be a hard core fundie vloger and podder. I suspect that’s why he is a deliberate fundie f*ckwit on Twitter - he’s keeping himself on the conservative social media radar until he can go off the chain. 

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