The Duggar family has been hinting at courtships — more than one — in the family for a while now. With the new season of their reality show, Jill & Jessa: Counting On approaching, viewers familiar with the family know that this means a season of wedding planning and courting episodes, a wedding episode, and then pregnancy and babies.
However, the last time a courtship was announced, the Duggar family was somewhat less embattled than they are today. Sure, there had already been controversy over Josh Duggar being employed by an organization labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, and about Michelle Duggar’s work to prevent a law protecting transgender rights. Still, they were easily depicted as a fairly typical Christian family — just bigger.
Now, though, a large portion of the public has had enough. Last year, it was revealed that Josh Duggar had, as a teenager, molested multiple young girls, and shortly after, his name turned up on the rolls of a website devoted to extramarital relationships. As a result, the viewing public has contacted companies and asked them not to sponsor any Duggar-related television content, and many have agreed, pulling their ads.
In fact, the last Duggar courtship announcement — Josiah’s — was shortly before the news broke, and the new season of 19 Kids and Counting was expected to follow his courtship with Marjorie Jackson. After the show was canceled, his courtship broke off.
Then, of course, the Duggar family was granted a new reality show, and with the second full-length season approaching, they announced that Jinger Duggar was courting (something that had been hinted at before the last season closed) — and then engaged.
Now, the Duggar family and TLC are hinting that more than one sibling is in a courtship.
“…could John David, Joseph and Josiah be pursuing courtships?”
They’ve posed it as a question, rather than directly announcing that any of the boys are courting, but they’ve also made it clear that Jinger isn’t the only Duggar in a relationship.
“COUNTING ON returns with new courtships.”
Courtships — plural.
Last month, TLC released a new video with Anna Duggar and four of her sisters-in-law (Jana, Jessa, Joy, and Jinger) talking about courtships — or more specifically, giving the viewing public a hint that John is in one, with Jinger neatly paralleling the clip in which her own courtship was teased.
It’s not only the Duggar boys whose courtships have been teased. Joy-Anna Duggar, who will be 19 this year, has also been the subject of a courtship hint video.
There’s another reason to believe that Counting On will feature multiple Duggar offspring in courtships this season, and that the additional courtships will mean more seasons of the show. The promo images for the show have changed.
When the show was first released, images promoting it looked like this.
Jill and Jessa — whose names are, after all, in the title — and their spouses were the focus of most of the advertising videos and images.
However, TLC recently changed the advertising banner at the top of the show’s Facebook page. It now features seven of the nine Duggar siblings who are over 18 (as well as Jessa’s husband and son).
Of course, the viewers have been promised Jinger Duggar’s courtship, and there are hints of courtships for John, Joe, Josiah, and Joy. Jessa, of course, is married. Jana, the oldest unmarried Duggar sibling at 26, is the only sibling shown for whom a change in relationship status hasn’t been teased — she actually answered the question last season, saying there had been men interested in pursuing a courtship with her, but that none had been “the right one.”
The new promo images seem to hint that many more of the adult Duggar siblings will be featured in the new season, and with hints dropped about courtships for most of the unmarried over-18s, the Duggar family is likely gearing up to present their viewers with several courtships — followed by several weddings, pregnancies, and another generation of Duggar babies. That sounds a lot like more seasons of Jill & Jessa: Counting On to come.
[Image via TLC]