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"Sister Wives" launches its second season on Sunday (10 p.m., TLC), and it's a strange start.

Not because this is a reality show about polygamists, but because this feels like a repeat.

The first season of TLC's series about Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn Brown and their 16 kids was filmed before the show premiered. And then the cameras just kept rolling on Season 2 as Season 1 was airing.

(TLC will repeat Season 1 on Sunday from 4-10 p.m.)

So what we see on Sunday happened six months ago, when "Sister Wives" first hit the air.

We see the adults go to New York to be on "The Today Show," offering the flavor of local yokels in the big city.

We keep hearing about how this is their big coming-out party, even though they had done so almost two months earlier to a room full of TV critics. (And we were taking notes and writing stories and everything.)

What's most striking about Sunday's hour-long episode is what doesn't happen, as in — not much of anything.

A bunch of the kids go to public school for the first time. The family goes "ice-blocking," sliding down a hill on blocks of ice, which adds more yokel flavor.

The episode also gives Kody a chance to once again preach his message of openness, echoing what he has said repeatedly:

"The fundamentalist Mormon community and the polygamists have become secretive in such a way as to threaten the rest of America, even if it's in their minds. And so to be transparent, I believe, makes us more safe to them."

Ironically, the Browns have repeatedly refused to say to which sect they belong. (Before the show began, however, they did interviews identifying themselves as members of the Apostolic United Brethren.)

And then, in the last few minutes of Sunday's episode — cue the ominous music — the Browns learn that Kody is under investigation for bigamy.

Again, it feels like a re-run. Because, as has been widely reported, no charges have yet been filed. And the Browns eventually left Lehi and moved to Nevada, which we'll see later this season.

The hour is filled with mixed messages. The adult Browns decry the paparazzi that starts following their children, but they brought it on themselves by filming a reality TV show. Kody insists he "never did this out of any disrespect for the law," and yet he knew "Sister Wives" would bring attention to the fact that he's a polygamist. And polygamy is illegal.

Again, they brought the investigation on themselves.

It's hard not to like the Browns. They're very nice people, which comes across on TV.

But the show remains underwhelming. And it's hard not to wonder if Season 3, away from the threat of prosecution in Utah, will be even less exciting.

Scott D. Pierce's column appears Mondays and Fridays in The Mix. He can be reached at or 801-257-8603. Check out the TV or not TV blog at