‘Counting On’: Is ‘I Love Lucy’ a Duggar-Approved Television Show?

Joy-anna Duggar took several of her younger siblings for a little bonding trip over the weekend. They weren’t going far, though. Joy-Anna and several Duggar kids headed over to Joy-Anna’s new house to do a little binge-watching. The group enjoyed a few episodes of I Love Lucy, but the admission had some fans confused. Many thought that the Duggar family didn’t partake in the time-honored tradition of binge-watching. Strangely enough, this isn’t the first time the Duggar kids have referenced I Love Lucy. So, is the classic, black and white comedy Duggar-approved, and if so why?

The Duggar family has referenced I Love Lucy before

While Joy-Anna is the most recent Duggar kid to mention a love for I Love Lucy, she’s not the first family member to reference the show. It would appear that Joy-Anna and several of her sisters have seen more than a few episodes of the famed television show. In fact, it seems as though they’ve watched it from the time they were relatively young.

Amy Duggar has mentioned watching the show with her cousins in the past, and she even jumped into the conversation on Joy-Anna’s recent Instagram post, according to Inquistr. Jessa Duggar took to the comments section, too. She discussed her love of several classic episodes, like the episode in which Lucy is cast in a commercial, but gets drunker and drunker as she completes several takes for the ad. The cousins also discussed watching the show while Josie Duggar, who just turned 10 years old, was in the NICU in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Why is I Love Lucy a Duggar-approved show?

Now we know that the Duggar kids were allowed to watch some television shows. However, it’s clear that they didn’t watch modern shows, and they were not granted unfettered access to cable offerings. Joy-Anna explained that her family was allowed to view many older television shows, likely because they were considered morally acceptable. Why is I Love Lucy on the list, though?

Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo in 'I Love Lucy'
Amanda Milligan (left), as a Candy Dipper, and Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo in ‘I Love Lucy’ | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

At first glance, one would assume that I Love Lucy is pretty tame. Lucy and Ricky are married. Lucy doesn’t work, and Ricky brings home all of the money. The show doesn’t show public displays of affection, and the married couple doesn’t even share the same bed. Instead, Lucy and Ricky sleep in two twin size beds separated by a nightstand. All told, it seems really tame by today’s standards, but I Love Lucy was pretty edgy for its time, and several elements would be deemed objectionable by the Duggar family, fans would think.

First, Lucy is far from the obedient housewife that the Duggar family seems to put on a pedestal. She’s always trying to get into Ricky’s shows and some of her antics are a bit risqué by Duggar standards. Ricky also works in a nightclub, which, the Duggar family is likely against. After all, the family doesn’t believe in imbibing. Ricky also spends a lot of time around women who are single and working, something the Duggar family doesn’t think should happen. Does the family just not notice these factors? Or are they willing to overlook them because the crux of the storyline is pretty wholesome?

The Duggar family’s TV habits explained

The Duggar family ditched their TV right around the time Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar decided to join the Institute of Basic Life Principles, it would seem. According to Romper, the couple claims their relationship suffered while watching TV, so they got rid of it altogether. The kids, however, were allegedly allowed to watch some TV shows when the family deemed it appropriate.

Jim Bob and Michelle both seemed to find The Andy Griffith Show unobjectionable, and the family has met Kirk Cameron, who starred on Growing Pains. It’s uncertain if the kids were allowed to watch that particular show, or if they were limited to Cameron’s more recent, Christian-based acting credits. Clearly, I Love Lucy was considered an acceptable option, and one would think The Dick Van Dyke Show and Leave It To Beaver were probably regarded as acceptable, too. Current shows that depict single people’s dating tribulations are off the table, though. The family also rarely watches their own show, apparently.