HOLLYWOOD—I have been quite entertained watching the TLC reality series “Welcome to Plathville.” Sometimes you stumble upon a series that just hooks you, which is what this series has done. The series follows the Plath family led by Barry and Kim Plath. The family lives in rural Georgia where they are raising their eight children. There is actually nine, but the oldest daughter has not appeared on the series.
To say the family is sheltered would be a slight understatement, as Ethan, the oldest son, is journey into adulthood with his wife Olivia. Olivia is not seen by Barry and Kim as a ‘fit’ for their son and there is apparent tension between them from season two and season three. Ethan and Olivia live solo, but not that far from Ethan’s parents.
Ethan and Olivia have had major and I mean major tension in their marriage. Last season, it almost felt like Ethan and Olivia were headed towards divorce, but managed to improve on their relationship. As we enter season four, their marriage is still not perfect, and hiccups are apparent. Micah and Moriah, the next two eldest children have gone against their parents and their upbringing and were living together in a home not far from their parents’ property. Some might argue that Moriah is the wild child of the bunch, but I don’t see it that way. She was simply expressing herself through her clothing, her hair styles and her music.
Micah, who is deemed the model in the bunch, he is an actual model people, is utilizing his looks to make a living, but also at the same time was placed on ice from driving most of season three after an incident with state trooper led to a license suspension. Much of season three the viewers witnessed Micah without driving privileges, but that did not stop him for repairing his relationship with his parents and his siblings.
The Plath family dynamic is quite interesting because they grew up practically on a farm, cut off from the world to a degree. They did NOT watch TV growing up, no social media, very limited internet usage, not versed in pop culture or music. It is eerily scary, but this is how some parents raise their children people. They were almost cutoff from the rest of the world. None of them went to public school, they were home schooled by their mother. We don’t know much about Kim’s work history, Barry works, but precisely what he does is still an enigma if you ask me.
As their kids aged, especially Lydia the third oldest daughter, you see changes. Lydia was conversing with another teen via text message that she is found of and she is quite religious like her parents, praying and asking for the bond between her siblings and parents to be repaired. She is an interesting player in the reality series as she appears to be the voice of reason when it comes to her parents and older siblings who don’t always see eye to eye.
I mean some of the antics between Barry and Kim, when it came to Ethan and Olivia’s relationship was just down right ridiculous. At the same time, Moriah banning her parents from coming to see her perform was also ludicrous because it led to Kim and her children sneaking into the venue and hiding out in a strangers car to get a glimpse of Moriah singing on stage. In another instance, Ethan and Barry had a brief scuffle which is something you never want to see between family, especially parents and their children. Moriah has been dating Max, where their relationship has had some highs and some lows. He got her a promise ring, after they initially broke up, but got back to a good place.
As season three culminated the audience saw Micah, Moriah, Ethan and Olivia planning to move together to Tampa. However, as season four noted, Micah moved to Los Angeles, Moriah, Ethan and Olivia moved to Tampa, but guess who was missing: Max!
Max did something that caused major heartache for Moriah and their relationship ended as a result. She has been sulking in her bedroom and performing little to no chores around the house causing tension with Ethan and Olivia in the process. Her guard broke down a bit when Micah made an impromptu visit to celebrate Thanksgiving with his Ethan, Olivia and Moriah. Micah got to the truth about what transpired with Max and Moriah that led to their relationship fracturing.
With all this chaos happening, it looks like Barry and Kim’s marriage has hit a major bump. Kim has expressed to the audience she is NOT happy, and Barry can sense it, but does not fully know it. She has opened up a dance studio and is doing something that was important to her during earlier in her life. It almost feels like Kim is having a midlife crisis and is actually doing the things now that she enjoys, even though she wanted to ensure her children weren’t exposed to such things.
I’m intrigued as a viewer to see how season four plays out as it seems Ethan and Olivia’s marriage will be hanging by a thread, even though both believed moving from Cairo, GA to Florida would improve things. Moriah and Max are done, but does that mean they might reunite in the future? Who knows, but after discovering he simply kissed another girl, but immediately put the brakes on things, I was like really? All this tease from the show for the big reveal to be a kiss c’mon!
Watching Micah navigate his life in a big city that is foreign to him after being sheltered a vast majority of his life should be entertaining. Not to mention what is going to happen with Kim and Barry’s marriage? Things don’t look good and Barry seems to realize that. To find out watch new episodes of “Welcome to Plathville” Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on TLC.