What is “Welcome to Plathville”?

The TLC reality series “Welcome to Plathville” premiered in November 2019, and is produced by A. Smith & Co. The protagonists of the show are the Plath family, which is made up of patriarchs Barry and Kim, their four eldest children Ethan, Micah, Moriah and Lydia and their youngest offspring. Hosanna Plath, their firstborn daughter, only appeared in the show during its first episode.

Barry and Kim Plath chose an unconventional and extremely conservative upbringing for their children, raising them on a 55-acre farm in Georgia, and not introducing them to technology or modern entertainment. Things went pretty well during season one, with all the single children living at home, but the cracks in the family’s façade became more and more evident in the second season, when Micah and Moriah moved out into a rental home and Ethan and his wife Olivia cut ties with the whole clan.

Cast Members: Part One

As the heads of a fundamentalist Christian family, Barry and Kim shocked thousands of viewers with their separation announcement in June 2022. The couple were born in March 1968 and August 1972 respectively, and tied the knot when Kim was just 16 years old. They have ten children; their fourth son, Joshua Samuel Plath, sadly passed away at just one and a half years old.

In a joint statement to People magazine, the couple said: “After considerable thought and discussion, we have decided to end our marriage. While this was not an easy decision, we know it’s the best choice for both of us,” continuing: “We have been through many highs and lows in our 24 years of marriage, and as we navigate this new chapter in our lives, we will co-parent our amazing children.”

During a June 2022 episode of “Plathville”, Barry and Kim spoke about the state of their marriage, revealing that they’d been living separately for a while. Kim was staying in a rental property and told Barry that she was unhappy, while he felt betrayed by his wife of over two decades. In a confessional, Kim added that whenever she’d tried to discuss marital issues with Barry in the past, he ignored their problems.

“Now it’s gotten to the point where I’m ready to leave the marriage, he cares. But I feel like if I was really worth it, he would have listened earlier,” an unrepentant Kim said. While she lived in the rental property, Barry took care of the couple’s younger children.

As of late 2022, the couple still hasn’t officially announced their divorce, which some fans find suspicious. Although it’s possible that the divorce proceedings are quietly taking place behind closed doors, a few netizens think that the separation announcement was little more than a publicity stunt to help boost ratings. However, others argue that the writing was already on the wall for Barry and Kim.

For example, Kim began pushing back against her conservative beliefs by inviting male family friends to the household. She also met a guy at the gym, and invited him around for dinner before being seen having drinks with another male later on. Barry didn’t take kindly to these new friendships, but it was obvious that Kim felt unappreciated with her husband, and was seeking attention elsewhere.

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“Plathville” fans often joked that Barry is robotic, and unable to show empathy. The patriarch’s signature smirk has remained the same throughout four seasons, and even when he fought with his son Ethan during a particularly explosive episode, his facial expression never changed. When Kim tried to discuss her true feelings in season four, Barry remained as cool and detached as always.

The third possible sign that the couple were headed for divorce is that they never had time to put their marriage first, as practically all their attention went to their children. From Moriah’s rebellious phase to Ethan and his wife moving out and cutting the family off, Barry and Kim were almost always dealing with problems when it came to their offspring, and their marriage clearly suffered as a consequence.

Cast Members: Part Two

Ethan Plath was born in May 1998. The classic car fanatic has been married to Olivia Meggs since October 2018, and although their union has also seen some hard times, they managed to work through the rough patches. Ethan currently works as a mechanic, whereas Olivia is a wedding photographer with a thriving business.

Since “Plathville” aired, Olivia and Kim have had trouble seeing eye to eye, with the matriarch going so far as to suggest that her daughter-in-law had been possessed by evil spirits. Meanwhile, Olivia feels misunderstood and thinks that Kim tried to change her. Surprisingly enough, Olivia knew Kim long before she began dating Ethan, and even considered the TV star a mother figure. The pair would call and email each other every day and had a great relationship, but it seems that everything changed when Olivia and Ethan became serious.

Tensions reached a boiling point on the day of Olivia and Ethan’s big day, with Micah explaining: “I think a lot of it was my mom trying to make it her wedding almost… She probably went a little overboard and Olivia definitely felt that way.” The stress from Hurricane Michael was also a factor, as there was no power until an hour before the wedding.

In an October 2021 episode of “Plathville”, Olivia told Ethan she would be moving out so both of them could grow as individuals. The couple almost hit rock bottom while living apart, and Ethan blamed his parents for Olivia’s decision. When Olivia and Ethan were in the dating stages, his parents would criticize her for the most absurd reasons, such as the brand of toothpaste she used or the food she ate.

When Olivia couldn’t handle any more pressure, she decided to remove herself from the situation. Ethan and Olivia cut off his parents for a time, but have recently began talking again. Fans hope that all parties involved can work through their issues like adults, but so far, Kim isn’t exactly making things easy for her son and daughter-in-law.

Micah Plath was born in March 2001 and is currently working as a model in Los Angeles. During season one of the show, the blue-eyed blonde was settling into his role as the oldest child still living at home after Ethan and Hosanna moved out. However, in season two he and his younger sister Moriah were effectively kicked out by Barry and Kim, who deemed them bad influences on the rest of their children.

Making the best out of a difficult situation, Micah and Moriah lived together until the season three finale of “Plathville”. At the time, Moriah was dating a guy named Max Kallschmidt, and fans loved to see the bond between Micah and his brother-in-law. In the aftermath of Moriah and Max’s breakup, Micah supported his sister and her musical career without becoming involved in her messy love life.

When Moriah decided to move to Florida and live with Ethan and Olivia, Micah relocated to California in search of his big break as an actor in the entertainment industry. On the show, Micah was seen having sessions with a dialect coach so he could neutralize his accent while going to auditions. The model also shares his love for fitness with his younger brother Isaac, as the pair are often seen at the gym together. Despite his charming personality and good looks, Micah has yet to be romantically linked to anyone, and is said to be keeping his options open.

Moriah Plath was born in August 2002, and was the lead singer of the Plath Family Band until she moved out. As all the Plath children are musically talented, Barry and Kim decided to form a travelling band and sing gospel music, with Moriah providing most of the vocals for their recorded songs.

It’s perhaps unsurprising that Moriah and her sister-in-law Olivia get along so well. Having grown up without a TV or electronics, Moriah was fascinated by Olivia, who enjoyed a much less sheltered childhood. Moriah, who has always been considered the rebel of the family, made clear from a young age that she wanted to spread her wings and see life outside of rural Georgia, and she did just that when she and Micah moved out.

Fans of Moriah were particularly pleased to see her fall in love for the first time with Max Kallschmidt. Max first appeared in the show’s second season, proving that he was serious about the relationship when he gave Moriah a promise ring in season three, and spoke about moving in together. Although some people were concerned at how seriously Moriah was taking her first relationship, most were approving. Sadly, the relationship didn’t pan out, and in February 2022 Max and Moriah confirmed their split.

While speaking to Micah during an emotional May 2022 episode, Max confessed that he was enjoying a few drinks at his friend’s house when said friend invited a woman over. “I was trying to be his wingman,” Max explained. “I took things a little too far… I was just flirting with her, and that led her to think that it was OK to try and kiss me, which she did.”

The messy incident took its toll on Moriah, who admitted to feeling worthless after her boyfriend crossed so many boundaries with another woman. These days, she’s focusing on her budding music career and has no intention of dating in the near future.

Scandals

From cryptic social media posts to full-on family feuds, the Plath clan has been through it all. In August 2022, the tables turned for Ethan and Olivia as several of the Plath kids refuted the claims she had made in recent episodes of the show. Olivia sensationally alleged that she’d seen Kim use Ethan’s credit card to make expensive purchases, without his permission, blaming the incident on her strained relationship with her mother-in-law, as Kim didn’t repay the money. Olivia and Ethan chose not to comment on his siblings’ united front.

Next up are the tragic circumstances behind Kim and Barry’s son Joshua. In October 2019, news outlets began reporting that Kim accidentally ran over Joshua when he was just 17 months old; Kim herself revealed this on the Plath family website, perhaps to avoid other sources from breaking the story first.

The incident occurred while a pregnant Kim was transplanting fruit trees, and didn’t see her son behind the car she was driving. For the next few months, she was so affected by Joshua’s death that she mentally checked out of her marriage and family. Kim credits her faith in God with eventually helping her work through the grieving process in a healthy way, but of course, Twitter netizens weren’t so sympathetic, with one irate user writing: “So @TLC is giving these nutjobs in true TLC fashion their own show. THE WOMAN KILLED ONE OF HER KIDS. Welcome to Plathville I guess.  TLC really steering towards cultish people.”

At the time of the season one premiere, other social media users questioned why the Plath family are on TV, and have their own website and social media accounts, when they themselves claim not to use technology in their day-to-day lives. Kim was also arrested on a DUI charge in October 2022 following a car accident in June of the same year, which further contradicts the morally upright lifestyle the family lives by.

Last but not least, the Plath clan’s tenuous ties to the famous Duggar family have also been discussed at length. The Duggars are the stars of “19 Kids and Counting”, and their eldest son, Josh, made headlines for all the wrong reasons when he was accused of molesting his sisters, and was later convicted on child pornography charges. Ironically, the Duggars are also deeply religious fundamentalist Christians who believe in modesty, and the Duggar children all had a strict upbringing, just like the Plath kids.

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So, how are the two families connected? Hosanna Plath is close friends with Anna Duggar, Josh’s faithful wife and the mother of his seven children. Despite his child pornography convictions, Anna is standing by Josh’s side, and providing her steadfast support throughout his legal woes. In 2020, Hosanna’s best friend Nurie Rodrigues also tied the knot with Anna’s younger brother Nathan Keller.

Although no official release date has been provided, we can confirm that “Plathville” has been renewed for a fifth season. It remains to be seen if Kim’s DUI arrest and her possible divorce from Barry will be discussed in the newest episodes.

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