Scripted or unscripted? That is the question when it comes to TLC’s Welcome to Plathville, which just wrapped its fifth season in December 2023. The series follows former couple Kim and Barry Plath and their nine children: Ethan, Hosanna (who doesn’t appear on screen), Micah, Moriah, Lydia, Isaac, Amber, Cassia and Mercy. While the drama has only escalated over the years, fans are curious how much of it is actually real. 

What Is ‘Welcome to Plathville’ About?

The Plath family lives in a rural community in Georgia, and according to the series description at the time of the show’s debut in 2019, the kids “have never had a soda, don’t know who Spider-Man or Tom Brady is and have never watched TV.”

Some of the older kids, including Moriah, Micah, Hosanna, and Ethan and Ethan’s estranged wife, Olivia Plath, have since moved away from their family’s residence, beginning the journey into adulthood on their own terms – i.e. getting away from their parents’ strict rules.

Of course, tensions arise between Barry and Kim – who have since split after 24 years of marriage – and their kids as they navigate their own lives outside of the lifestyle they were raised in. 

“After considerable thought and discussion, we have decided to end our marriage,” the couple told People in a joint statement on June 28. “While this was not an easy decision, we know it’s the best choice for both of us. 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.”

Is ‘Welcome to Plathville’ Real, Scripted or Fake? 

Like most reality shows, there’s a good chance that Welcome to Plathville isn’t totally unscripted, and fans have pointed out numerous continuity errors on the show, leading many to believe that some scenes may have been reenacted.

“Moriah crying in her bedroom with dark roots acting all surprised by her ex and then crying in the kitchen with her brother with a full bleach and tone makes me wonder the time frame between those two shots,” wrote one Reddit user in a discussion of season 4 episode 6, to which another added, “And her nails – in the bedroom she had long, fake nails w/ black polish but in the kitchen her nails were short w/ chipped polish. Her nails also changed in the solo interview bits – from long and black, to short and polish -free, and back again.”

Another Reddit user echoed the above, writing, “Her nails changed a few times during talking with Ethan and Olivia about Max.”

Is Welcome to Plathville Real Scripted or Fake
Courtesy of Moriah Jasper Plath/Instagram

“At this point I’m starting to question a LOT,” another fan wrote in a different discussion. “Someone on this sub [Reddit] mentioned the continuity issues with the river trip and Ethan’s nose. I went back and rewatched that part of the show and sure enough before they left the house and on the drive to the river, Ethan’s nose was scraped. Yet at the river, Ethan’s nose wasn’t scraped.”

Additionally, fans have questioned the Plath family’s motives about having a show on national television, given their strict rules about social media, pop culture and more: “If they are so against their children using technology then why the heck are they on this show?”

What Has Cast Said About ‘Welcome to Plathville’ Being Scripted?

Olivia opened up on how much control the Plaths have regarding the production of the series in a December 2023 Q&A session on Instagram.

“Do you/the Plaths have any input/veto power re storylines on the show?” a user asked.

The wedding photographer confirmed they do and added, “They can’t film what you don’t do.”

“One common misconception for our show is that the producers are always scheming, plotting or forcing us into situations or having conversations,” she wrote in a lengthy response. “That is absolutely not true. In my opinion, the producing team that we work with is not only incredibly kind and fair, but they also have a high level of integrity.”

She seemingly hinted if fans see “inconsistencies in the show,” it is due to “certain cast not being honest/realistic, not the producers.”

Where Can I Watch ‘Welcome to Plathville’? 

Though TLC has yet to confirm whether the show will return for a sixth season, the first five seasons of Welcome to Plathville can be streamed on Discovery+, TLC, Amazon Video and more.

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