Faith & Family Media Blog

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Aug 8, 2020

TLC’s 'Doubling Down With the Derricos' Is a Refreshingly Normal Look at Big Families

Catholics and other Christians who are open to life, and who embrace the command to be fruitful and multiply, are sometimes viewed in a strange light in our modern society (to put it mildly).

And let’s face it, whether we like it or not, we sometimes come across looking pretty weird to the rest of the world. Needless to say, we don’t see this type of people too often in TV these days.

But the pilot episode of the new TLC reality series Doubling Down With the Derricos is about a large Christian family with multiple multiples. And it accomplishes the rare feat of making this lifestyle look kind of cool.

The Premise of Doubling Down With the Derricos

Karen and Deon Derrico have 11 children, most of whom were multiples. They conceived these multiples naturally, even a set of quintuplets (which is considered a medical miracle).

Both parents always wanted a big family, and they agreed from the start of their marriage that they would be open to however many children God gave them.

In the pilot episode, Karen is 24 weeks pregnant with another set of triplets.

The show introduces us to daily life for this unusually large and very ship-shape family (like seriously, these are some really well-behaved kids!), as they prepare for Karen’s upcoming weeks of hospital bedrest and the arrival of the new triplets.

There Are a Lot of Positives to Doubling Down With the Derricos

I love that big family life is getting a very mainstream, normal treatment in Doubling Down With the Derricos. The kids go to private school, dress and talk like most kids, and enjoy things like dance parties.

Another high point is that the parents are very Christian and mention God multiple times in the pilot episode. They pray together with their kids, both before meals and at bed.

We also see the parents working to spend one-on-one quality time with their many kids, which is a great counter to the common criticism that parents of big families can’t give their kids enough attention.

As a parent myself, I also really enjoy the look at practical ways that a family of this size makes daily life work. It’s very interesting and even potentially helpful for parents in families of all sizes.

A Couple of Minor Cautions

Though the pilot of this show is pretty clean and family-friendly, there a couple things to watch for.

The parents do mention in vitro fertilization (in the context of, "We didn’t do in vitro at all"). It’s only a passing mention a couple of times, but it could raise some questions from kids if you’re watching as a family.

There is also one use of a mild profanity.

Though I’ve only seen the pilot episode, the show seems like it will skew towards mild-PG, content-wise. Of course you never really know these days, but the level of family-friendly (and even family-positive!) content in the pilot looks pretty promising.

Doubling Down With the Derricos Looks Like a Good Bet

I’m not typically a huge reality-show fan, but this one is pretty interesting.

Hopefully it will stay clean and maybe even start to show the rest of the world that, oh look, big Christian families really aren’t that strange after all.

Doubling Down With the Derricos premieres on TLC at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Tuesday, Aug. 11th. Episode one is available to stream online for cable TLC subscribers.

 

Image: TLC

Adrienne Thorne is a Catholic mom, blogger and screenwriter.

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