TLC's newest show Welcome to Plathville seems to hit all the network's reality show check box: it features a Christian family (check) with lots of kids (check) that live much more sheltered and secluded than the average person (check). But after learning that the Plath children have never had soda, use little much technology, and rarely leave their 55-acre farm, people have one big question: Is Welcome to Plathville fake? As it turns out, a few of these claims may be a touch exaggerated.
TLC has been known to, shall we say, embellish the backgrounds of its reality stars in the past. For example, in the 2012 show Breaking Amish where four Amish and one Mennonite leave their respective communities, the cast was portrayed as a group of strangers who had never ventured outside their secluded communities before. But in reality, some of them had left the Amish community years ago, and, in fact, two of the cast members had been dating for quite some time, according to The Huffington Post. Although the premise of Welcome to Plathville may not be as obviously misleading, there are a number of questionable elements that deserve a closer look.
Do the Plaths really live on a secluded farm?
In the premiere episode of the show, audiences are introduced to the Plaths' home, a 55-acre farm in rural Southern Georgia where the children can run and play outdoors away from the influence of modern society. Dad Barry calls their farm a "piece of heaven on earth" that they "retreat to." Although the show makes it seem like this is the Plaths' one and only home, it appears that this may not entirely be the case.
According to entertainment gossip site Soap Dirt, the Plaths don't actually live at the farm full-time. In fact, the Plath's farm house that's featured on the show is listed on Airbnb for $100 a night.
So where else do the Plaths live then? Well, turns out that Barry and his wife Kim purchased another house back in 2017 in a more suburban area of Cairo, Georgia for $55,000, according to Soap Dirt. The home is far from secluded, with plenty of major stores and restaurant chains nearby such as Walmart, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut.
Have the Plath kids really never had soda?
One of the biggest claims on the show is that the Plath children don't have anything with processed sugar, including soda or ice cream. Although Kim and Barry's oldest son Ethan (who is now married and no longer lives with his parents) says he didn't try a Coke until he was 20 years old, it appears that some of the younger kids have gotten a taste of the good stuff. On the show's third episode, Kim and Barry head out of town to celebrate their wedding anniversary and the kids are pretty quick to head out to the store and pick up some ice cream, soda, and bubble gum for everyone to have while their parents are away.
Although the kids themselves didn't explicitly say if this was their first time having ice cream or soda, it's hard not to notice how easily they picked out the items from the store and even knew enough to put a few serving bowls in the freezer before they scooped out the ice cream to stop it from melting.
Do the Plath kids really not use technology?
The Plath parents proudly state their their children have had very limited access to technology, never having spent much time watching TV or playing video games. But have they really been able to avoid the ever-present pop-culture, technology, and social media use that's out in society?
According to 18-year-old Micah, he grew up without a TV and says “I don’t think I need one.” Well, that might be because Micah has his own cellphone and is clearly using it to get out on the internet, because he has his own Instagram account. And he isn't the only one. Moriah, 16, also has her own cellphone and an Instagram account where she often posts about her recent move to Michigan and distancing herself from her parents, which has lead many fans to believe she got emancipated.
Welcome to Plathville airs on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on TLC.
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