The Duggar family has become one of those sordid political and social moments that synthesize the zeitgeist. Aimee Semple McPherson, the celebrity Pentecostal evangelist whose purported kidnapping turned out to be cover for a drunken sex romp in 1926, provided an early example of media’s power to both make and break religious celebrities. But we also live in a time when cultural memes and expressions are no longer under the control of editors, legal departments, and other filtering forces. Social media sharing is the ideal of our age, but exploitative linkbaiting is the reality.
And as always, sex sells, so the question isn’t whether TLC will keep milking their cash cow, but how. For instance, there’s always the spin-off concept, emphasis mine:
While the network has yet to announce whether or not 19 Kids and Counting is officially canceled – and full episodes of the show as well as promotional materials remain on the network’s website – a source close to the Duggars says a new plan may shift focus away from the large brood headed up by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and instead focus on newlyweds Jill and Derick Dillard, and Jessa and Ben Seewald.
“The show had begun to focus more and more on the next generation of Duggars, anyway – mainly Jill and Jessa and their marriages and babies,” says the source. “That’s when the show got its highest ratings.”
But moving to the new show concept of Umpteen Grandkids and Counting may not be so easy for the Duggar family after all. Sure, the Duggar daughters are trying really hard to outbreed the godless liberals of America, but what of those nagging stories about Josh? Questions about the family’s close relationships to other sexual abusers just increase the “gross factor” a hundredfold. How do you make this family popular again, and therefore acceptable to advertisers?
The answer, of course, will involve a sex tape. The only question is when will this sex tape emerge, and who will be in it.
Sex tapes have launched careers. Pictorializations of prosthetic penises have restored other careers. If the shiny veneer of wholesomeness has been scratched to a dull milky film, then why not “go all the way” and show the world the sexual benefits of the Duggar family lifestyle?
Of course, I’m not suggesting that Josh shoot booth scenes while holding little girls in his lap and cracking incest jokes. In fact, I doubt viewers will ever see his face again. But with the Duggar daughters marrying and breeding so routinely nowadays, it is only a matter of time until the unthinkable becomes thinkable: Why not produce the world’s first family values-oriented sex video and show us what the ‘missionary position’ is really all about? Why not capture that Millennial Generation energy and speak of sexual purity to American youth in their own internet-driven visual language? These proposals may fall on shocked ears within the Duggar household, but sooner or later a Duggar daughter or son may go for it. I think it will happen sooner rather than later.
What do you think?
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