Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets premiered on Prime Video on June 2. The four-part series focuses on the Duggar Family from the popular show 19 Kids & Counting. The gripping episodes highlight how the family came to be, their belief system, and uncovers the controversies that the father Jim Bob seemingly side-stepped for so long.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are a married couple who hail from the state of Arkansas. They captured the hearts of viewers worldwide with their many children and what seemed like a simple life. When the first show 17 Kids & Counting aired on TLC, you could often find the kids tending to a long list of chores or looking into how grocery shopping gets done for a family that size. Everything was seemingly simple, innocent, and more than anything, “happy”.

The two things that frighten me about people touting their Christian faith to an extreme are how it affects those closest to them and how it looks to nonbelievers. Like any subject, taking bits and pieces of information instead of delivering it in its entirety can often lead to partisanship and manipulation. Not just cults like the Branch Davidians or the Peoples Temple, but a select collection of scriptures were used to promote slavery and sustain it. You’ll hear about movements such as Quiverfull, Joshua Generation, and most commonly, the Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP). All of these groups were founded and based on a sole section of scripture, some even down to a single verse.

Fans of the Duggar parents will claim this to be a hit job or a smear campaign, but in fact, the series focuses more on IBLP and the business side of the family. Yes, it does address a myriad of questions, concerns, and controversies, but firsthand accounts and testimonies regarding “other” things are equally as important.

Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets gets an 8.5 out of 10. This is a solid, binge-worthy series that will make you want to do further research once it ends. You’ll see a handful of trigger warnings onscreen before they move into any sensitive discussions and with parental supervision, shouldn’t be too bad for children.

Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets is available now on Prime Video

-Jon Jones

Photo: Courtesy of Prime Video

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