Reality shows about eccentric families are nothing new.
When USA’s Chrisley Knows Best premieres in March, it will be entering a crowded field. But there’s something special about this series, which chronicles the lives of Atlanta-area millionaire Todd Chrisley, his wife Julie and their five children (plus two grandkids).
Todd rules his roost with southern charm and an iron fist. Think Kris Jenner (whom Todd admires for the “wonderful job” she’s done with her family) with a Georgia accent and short temper. You’ll have to watch the clip below to see his inimitable parenting style firsthand, but for now, here are five things that set Chrisley Knows Best apart from the pack. Catch the official premiere March 11 at 10 p.m. ET on USA.
1) Todd Redefines Helicopter Parenting
You thought your parents were strict? Todd keeps tracking devices on all his kids’ cars: When 17-year-old son Chase missed curfew, Todd shut down the vehicle straight from his laptop. After some more bad boy behavior, Todd arranged for a boot to be placed on Chase’s Range Rover for a week. Todd also approves every outfit his children wear, a routine that rankles Savannah, 16, when she wants to wear short shorts or low-cut dresses. Though these tactics may seem outrageous to some viewers, Todd defends his hands-on attitude.
“My parenting style is just very consistent,” he told PEOPLE at a promotional event Wednesday evening. “I think sometimes it’s construed as a little bit over-the-top, but when you have children that need to be met at a certain place, then I need to be at that place.”
2) His Scolding Is the Stuff of Legends
USA bills Todd as a “patriarch of perfection,” but he’s really the king of biting come-backs. Some of his best zingers? While disciplining Chase and Savannah for sneaking out of the house, he warned, “You know what happened to Bonnie and Clyde? They both died.” After Chase grumbled, “You need help,” Todd replied, “You can’t offer me the help I need. This right here is beyond couch time.” Shocked by Savannah’s revealing outfit, he remarked, “She goes from Virgin Mary to Stripperella.” And when oldest child Lindsie, 24, got a boob job, disapproving Todd welcomed her home with a cake shaped like breasts: “Look at the new members of our family.”
3) The Drama Is Real – And So Is The Love
Speaking on a panel hosted by E!’s Alicia Quarles on Wednesday, Todd promised there’s nothing fake about their show. “You couldn’t stage our crazy,” he quipped. Besides keeping teens Savannah and Chase in line, Todd locks horns with his son-in-law, who eloped with Lindsie without his permission. There’s also son Kyle, 23, the rebel of the brood. After catching Kyle having an affair with a married woman, Todd shipped him off to Samoa for charity work. But the Chrisleys stick together through thick and thin. “Once you get into the show, you’re going to see a real family that loves each other very much,” Todd tells PEOPLE. “There’s a lot of heart in the show, a lot of compassion for each other and the fact that we’re all for one, one for all.”
4) They’re Raising The Stakes
The Chrisleys made most of their millions through real estate, and their lifestyle is certainly lavish. But Todd is steering the family toward a new venture: fashion. Todd and Julie are planning a department store, Chrisley & Company, and investing a huge chunk of their net worth into the project. Why gamble their gold? “I’ve always had an interest in fashion, always loved clothing. I love beautiful things – that’s one of the reasons why I married my wife,” Todd told PEOPLE. “I wanted to be able to build something my children have an interest in that we could work in together.”
5) The Baby of The Family is a Hoot
We’re rooting for 7-year-old Grayson to steal the spotlight. The pint-sized Chrisley looks innocent enough with his blonde hair and toothy smile, but he’s got some adorable antics up his designer sleeve. In one clip, he declared, “I wanna go to Hooters! I wanna see some hot girls!” Like father like son, Grayson also didn’t take parental criticism lying down: “Watch who you’re talking to. I’m an adult!” He may be small, but he holds his own amidst the craziness. Oh, and he’s also on Snapchat.