Tonight’s new Lifetime TV docu-series premiere of Preachers’ Daughters was met with much anticipation from viewers as well as critics. Even before the show aired, many different news outlets were praising, deriding, condemning, or otherwise commenting on the new series. Because we like to judge a show only after we have actually seen it, we held off on making judgments until after the premiere. What we found was that Preachers’ Daughters showcased a variety of different relationships between preacher-parents and teenagers and didn’t conform to traditional stereotypes. We have already been introduced to the characters; now let’s see how they were portrayed on the season premiere.
The first teenage daughter we meet is 16-year-old Kolby Koloff (I love the alliteration in her name.) She’s the product of not one, but two preachers. Her mother Victoria Koloff is a preacher as well as a faith-based radio show host. Her father is Nikita Koloff, and before you assume that you would never take any man with the name “Nikita” seriously, consider that he is an ex-professional wrestler. Kolby’s parents are divorced and she has to drive seven hours to get from her father’s house in Kannapolis, North Carolina to her mother’s house in Tennessee, which seems like a terrible custody arrangement.
Kolby’s dad tells her he’s okay with her dating, but doesn’t really think she “needs” to, which is true in the sense that no one really needs to date anyone. He tells her she can date but he is not getting her a car, which miffs Kolby’s mother, who now has to deal with the fact that not only will she be supervising Kolby’s sex life, but she will also have to chauffeur her around as well. The fact that Nikita is pretty relaxed about his daughter dating is refreshing considering her mother is completely freaked out by the idea. Victoria makes Kolby attend her sex seminar where she humiliates her with her constant talk of “oral, finger, and backdoor” sex, and refers to sex as “penetration,” a word that makes Kolby and viewers alike shudder in disgust, and asks Kolby’s potential new boyfriend, Micah, to write, in 50 words or less, what “Don’t touch my daughter” means to him.
Kolby’s parents aren’t the only parents on the show whose opinions about dating and boys differ: 18-year-old Taylor Coleman’s parents find themselves at odds on the season premiere. Taylor’s father Ken Coleman is a pastor for City of Refuge Pentecostal Church of Lockport, Illinois. Taylor is his youngest child and he wants to avoid the “mistakes” he says he made with his older children (he kicked her half-sister out of the house when she became pregnant out of wedlock at age 20); in other words, he’s intent on controlling her sex life. Taylor’s mother, Marie, worries that Ken’s strict rules will push Taylor to rebel. Taylor can’t even make an innocent joke about becoming a porn star without her parents going ballistic, but their strict restrictions don’t prevent Taylor from wearing a glittery monokini to the town pool and taking up with a boy who admits to smoking weed.
The last girl featured on the show is Olivia Perry, an 18-year-old teen mom whose father, Mark Perry, is a pastor at Everyday Church in Oceano, California. Olivia was a wild child as of a year ago, doing acid and partying all the time, and got pregnant. Her parents insisted that she have the baby instead of having an abortion and so Olivia gave birth to baby Eden. The only trouble is, she doesn’t know who the father is and feels she now has to reveal that awkward fact to her parents. In what we all probably expected to be a cringe-worthy, anger-fueled scene, Olivia’s seemingly-conservative parents, Mark and Cheryl, are more than understanding and say that they forgive her for not revealing this information sooner. This isn’t the only time we see them handling things coolly and competently; Olivia’s sister randomly confesses to her parents that she’s smoked weed since she moved out, a confession that was completely unnecessary, because she lives in LA and is an adult. Her sister is terrified that her father just “knows”; apparently pastors are omnipotent. However, it seems that Olivia’s parents might be the most laid-back of the preacher-parent bunch.
All in all, it seems like Preachers’ Daughters are proving that there is no cookie-cutter example of a daughter’s relationship with her religious-leader parents. It looks like it will be an eye-opening season that will provide a glimpse into a world that few know.
Photos: Lifetime / Stuart Pattican