The primary antagonists are the three daughters of the preachers: Kolby, Olivia and Taylor. Although they deal with some common issues, they have distinctly different personalities.
Taylor freely admits that she will never be the "good girl" that they want her to be. Part of this is rebelliousness, but she sees herself as part of the larger society in which she lives. She has "church friends" and "regular friends". On a daily basis, she does not seem to be trying to live up to her parent's standards; she is just trying to deal with them. Her father remembers the ungodly behaviors he engaged in when he was a young man (before he saw the light) and wants to protect her from all guys, because he is sure all guys think and act like he did.
Olivia genuinely wants to live up to the Christian standards that her parents advocate. Interestingly, she is a single mother--the result of her partying ways that she used to embrace, but now rejects. So, she is an adult who lives in her parents' household with her baby.
Kolby's parents are divorced. She lives in her mother's household, but both parents are strong influences in her life. Both are preachers. She seems to be totally in the thrall of their expectations for her, but she also projects a strong ability to reason, even if she often subordinates that ability to the wills of her parents.
What makes the show worth watching, in my opinion, is its unpredictability. The parents are "carved in stone", so don't expect much change in them. Their personalities and ideas only serve as backdrops for the lives of their daughters, which are wild cards. The girls are presented with the trials of all young people and the need to grow and to find out how to best live in the world. Will they toe the line completely and never learn to design their own lives? Or will they branch out, make their own mistakes, and create lives that are truly their own? The parents' value systems start with the Christian premise that Man has a sinful nature. This is because we all have free will. Therefore, they try to restrict the free will of their daughters as much as possible. Taylor's mother is the only one who seems to realize that this approach is nonsense. Olivia's father says, "I believe in you", but you know he really does not.
You have to admire the willingness of the "actors" to put their lives out their for inspection. Maybe the parents think they are modelling Christian principles for viewers. Regardless of their motivations, like most good reality shows, Preachers' Daughters provides insights into human nature. And they are all human, even if they hold themselves to higher standards.
For me, the real star of the show is Kolby. With a Jessica Simpson-like vulnerability, she projects an open, cheerful personality. Her statements to the audience show that she is a kind person who is genuinely searching for truth. If she finds it beyond the values of her parents, it will not be because she is simply rebelling. I find myself rooting for her to open herself to all the ideas and philosophies that the world can offer, so she can make informed decisions using her own native intelligence.
The preachers, at first, come off as nice guys. They definitely care about their families. But everything that comes out of their mouths is nonsense. They are woefully lacking in parenting skills if you believe that one of the primary roles of parenting is to produce offspring that can think analytically and think for themselves. Much of the time they speak as if they are preaching to a congregation. One girl says that they are required to have "happy faces" for the congregation. The images they project are more important than them or their emotions. Rules are important, not thinking.
One father says "God placed it (a decision) in my heart". He can't just own his decision. This mystical approach to living is akin to tarot card reading.
Their family life suffers from what I call the Walton Syndrome--the belief that interference in the lives of family members demonstrates love.
All of the adults believe that men are bad. They could give their daughters valid reasons for being cautious without promoting fear.
They also undermine the self-esteem of their daughters by insisting that they always know what is best for them. They imply that the girls are ignorant. Yes, parents have more experience and they should pass on the benefit of that experience to their children so that they can have that knowledge and use it when making decisions. But these parents prefer not to let the girls make decisions, if possible.
Perhaps the parents will learn from their parenting mistakes, but they seem to grasp for homilies rather than think through problems. I root for them to learn as I root for the girls to become their authentic selves.