Thicker Than Water

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Thicker Than Water
Thicker Than Water (Photo by: Mark Delong/Bravo)

Series Overview

Bravo’s “Thicker Than Water” dives into the lives of the Tankard family, offering viewers a candid and compelling look at the intersection of family dynamics, faith, and the challenges that come with being in the public eye. Premiering in 2013, this reality TV series quickly gained attention for its unique blend of heartwarming moments, spiritual exploration, and the larger-than-life personalities that make up the Tankard family.

The Tankard Family

At the helm of “Thicker Than Water” is the patriarch, Ben Tankard, a former professional basketball player turned gospel jazz musician. Alongside him is his wife Jewel and their five children—Benji, Britney, Brooklyn, Cyrene, and Marcus. The series provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of this close-knit family as they navigate the challenges of balancing faith, business, and the spotlight. Following is a list of the primary cast members:

  • Ben Tankard
  • Benji Tankard
  • Britney Tankard
  • Brooklyn Tankard
  • Cyrene Tankard
  • Diamond Tankard
  • Jewel Tankard
  • Shanira Tankard

Faith and Family Values

Its unapologetic emphasis on faith and family values sets “Thicker Than Water” apart. The Tankard family’s commitment to their Christian beliefs is the foundation for their decisions, discussions, and interactions. The series delves into the complexities of maintaining strong family ties while adhering to the Tankards’ deeply rooted religious convictions.

The Business of Faith

Beyond family dynamics, the show explores the Tankard family’s entrepreneurial endeavors in gospel jazz music and ministry. Ben Tankard’s career as a musician and preacher adds a layer of professional complexity to the series as the family grapples with the challenges of blending their spiritual mission with the demands of a music career in the entertainment industry.

Larger-Than-Life Personalities

“Thicker Than Water” has its fair share of colorful personalities. Each family member brings a unique perspective and flair to the series, contributing to the overall dynamic. Whether it’s Ben’s charismatic presence, Jewel’s no-nonsense approach, or the distinct personalities of their children, the Tankards make for engaging and relatable television.

Family Challenges

While the family presents a united front, the show doesn’t shy away from addressing the challenges that arise within the family. From disagreements about business decisions to navigating the complexities of raising children in the public eye, the series offers a balanced portrayal of the highs and lows of being part of a high-profile and close-knit clan.

The show also provides a platform for the Tankard family to discuss their faith and spirituality openly. Viewers witness their collective journey of self-discovery, spiritual growth, and the pursuit of purpose, adding a thought-provoking dimension to the series.

Production Company and Executive Producers

Sirens Media and John Doe Productions produce the Thicker Than Water series. The executive producers are Caroline Self, Darren Toon, Lucilla D’Agostino, Rebecca Toth Diefenbach, Renard Young, and Valerie Haselton Drescher.

List of Episodes

Season 1

The first season consists of eight episodes. All seasons are available to stream online at Amazon.com.

  • S1 E1 – Family Ties – A young man tries to court Ben’s daughter, Cyrene, to go to the prom. Brooklyn is running a marathon that happens to be on the same day as the prom. Britney and Brooklyn go out on a double date.
  • S1 E2 – Sibling Biblery – Ben stresses that you must be a millionaire if your last name is Tankard. Jewel promotes financial independence for women. Then, Brooklyn and Benji get into a fight.
  • S1 E3 – Southern Discomfort – Brooklyn crashes the family car and gets accused of illegal behavior.
  • S1 E4 – Not the Family Standard – First, Jewel plans his parent’s wedding anniversary after Junice screws up. Later, Benji has a surprise for Shanira.
  • S1 E5 – Kandi RocksKandi Burruss visits the Tankard family. Later, Brooklyn struggles with the challenges of being a working mom.
  • S1 E6 – The New F-Word: Forgiveness – Ben and Jewel are starting to worry about Brooklyn’s drinking. Next, Benji’s wedding plans may be too expensive. Then, only one sister is chosen to be a bridesmaid, creating tension and drama among the others.
  • S1 E7 – Sisters of No Mercy – In this episode, Brooklyn prepares for her next hair show. Meanwhile, Junice gets the family together for a little therapy session.
  • S1 E8 – Wedding Bells & Farewells – In the final episode of the first season, Benji and Shanira finally get married. Brooklyn makes an unplanned speech.

Season 2

There are a total of nine episodes in the second season of Thicker Than Water.

  • S2 E1 – Act Like a Sister – In the first episode of the second season, the family has a party celebrating Cyrene’s high school graduation. However, Junice decides not to attend. Marcus and his wife Tish move back in with the family. Britney lost 30 pounds during the off-season through a strict diet and exercise. Now, she tries to be a positive influence on the religious family. Later, the Tankards decide to visit Jewel’s sister Junetta in Baltimore. Unfortunately, the visit doesn’t get off to a good start.
  • S2 E2 – Pregnant Pause – The family starts planning a party to celebrate Marcus’s 30th birthday. But, when the party comes around, certain things fall apart. Later, Cyrene worries that the family might scare away her new boyfriend. Then, Tish has a huge surprise for Marcus.
  • S2 E3 – Making Amens – Marcus and Tish start planning their life as new parents. Then, Ben and Jewell try to convince them to live in Murfreesboro. Last, Britney talks to Cyrene about her problem with Marcus.
  • S2 E4 – Daddy Issues – Britney has a serious talk with Marcus. Then, Marcus reveals the pain he experienced when Ben was absent from his childhood. Later, Benji and Shanira try to get a family loan for a new condo.
  • S2 E5 – Lock It Up – First, Jewel’s attempt to redecorate goes awry. Later, Ben heads out on a guy’s trip with the boys. Then, special guest Phaedra Parks of RHOA visits Cyrene.
  • S2 E6 – The Ben Honors –
  • S2 E7 – Tankard Road Diaries –
  • S2 E8 – Hairy Situation –
  • S2 E9 – Empty Tank –

Season 3

  • S3 E1 – Still Thicker Than Ever
  • S3 E2 – Micro-Momager
  • S3 E3 – Hard Knock Life
  • S3 E4 – Oh Baby!
  • S3 E5 – Family Feuds
  • S3 E6 – Through Thick and Thin
  • S3 E7 – Love, Marriage, and Madness
  • S3 E8 – The Ties That Bind
  • S3 E9 – Secrets Revealed
  • S3 E10 – Family First

Watch the series trailer on YouTube

Critical Response and Awards

  • The series has a rating of 4.7 out of 10 stars on IMDB and 4.6 out of 10 on TV.com
  • The series did not win any awards.

Facts and Trivia

Following is a list of little-known facts and trivia about the show and its cast members.

  • Kandi Burruss of RHOA appears in the fifth episode of the first season.
  • Phaedra Parks, also of RHOA, visits the Tankards in the fifth episode of season two.
  • Dr. Heavenly of Married to Medicine pays the rich church owners in the ninth episode of season 3.

More Information

“Thicker Than Water” may have had a limited run, concluding in 2016, but its impact on Bravo’s reality TV landscape remains significant. The series offers a refreshing take on reality television by placing faith and family values at the forefront. The Tankard family’s unique journey resonated with audiences, providing a relatable narrative for viewers navigating their paths of faith, family, and personal growth.

In conclusion, “Thicker Than Water” is a testament to the power of family, faith, and the uncharted waters of reality TV. By offering an authentic look into the lives of the Tankard family, the series becomes a celebration of the bonds that bind us together, the challenges that make us stronger, and the faith that guides us through life’s unpredictable journey. Visit the Official Website to learn more.

Questions & Comments

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback about the series, please post a message below. While you’re here, check out our list of other Bravo TV reality series.

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