My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding

Common Sense Media says

Voyeuristic look into the world of the American Gypsy.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series highlights the conservative and patriarchal culture and traditions of the American gypsy and Traveller communities surrounding gender, courtship, and marriage. Stereotypes and stigmas faced by these communities is sometimes discussed.

Positive role models

Parents are loving and protective of their children, but demonstrate this differently based on their gender. They are also committed to teaching their children about their culture and preserving their way of life. Characters are sometimes quick tempered, critical, and occasionally violent.

Violence

Rivalries between families lead to threats of violence; occasionally fist fights break out at social functions. The series subtly notes that Romanichal men have explosive tempers and a history of violence against women.

Sex

Features continuous discussions about the importance of perserving a young woman's virginity; most girls are kept in the dark about sex, pregnancy, and related issues until after they are married.

Language

Curses like "f--k" are "bleeped." Words like "slut" and "skank" are used.

Consumerism

Swarovski crystals are frequently discussed. Logos for Party City and other businesses visible. Sondra Celli's dressmaker shop logo is visible.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Men are shown smoking and drinking; unmarried women are forbidden from doing the same.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this spinoff of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, featuring American Gypsy and Traveller communities celebrating weddings and other ceremonies, includes discussion of issues like premarital sex and domestic abuse. It contains some bleeped language ("f--k"), as well as some sexually oriented insults ("slut"). Drinking is occasionally visible at celebrations, and many of the young men smoke cigarettes. Some folks may find the cultural traditions of these communities to be sexist and out of touch with mainstream expectations, while others may find it interesting to see how they are able to hold on to their ancient way of life while embracing middle-class American values.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

MY BIG FAT AMERICAN GYPSY WEDDING is a reality series designed to introduce viewers to American Romanichal Gypsy and Traveller communities. Like its British sister series, cameras follow select Gypsy families as they plan elaborate weddings, baptisms, communions, and birthday parties designed to impress. Designing and creating the lavish dresses for these events is Boston dressmaker Sondra Celli. It shows how planning and enjoying these over-the-top celebrations form part of their private and conservative ancient traditions. Viewers also get to see how these communities are holding on to their way of life despite the influences of American mainstream culture. But while they blend into an American middle-class way of life, they must cope with the continued stigmas that surround their communities, and deal with the tensions created when the rules governing their communities conflict with local, state, and federal laws.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding offers a voyeuristic look into the lives of American Roma and Traveller communities, whose ancestors were shipped from Europe to American southern plantations as slaves or who arrived Stateside during the immigration waves in the mid 1800s. But unlike their European counterparts, many of the families featured on the show have chosen to hold on to their traditions while blending into a mainstream middle-class lifestyle.

While most of the show's focus is on how wildly extravagant their outfits are and how wild their behavior can become during celebrations, it also underscores many of the cultural practices that sets them apart from other American ethnic communities, which range from extremely patriarchal ways of thinking about women to dealing with the many stereotypes used to define them. Viewers may find their way of life out of touch or extreme, but they may also be surprised by how they are able to hold on to these values within mainstream American culture.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the stereotypes that exist about Gypsies and Traveller communities in America. Where do these generalizations come from? Why are they often negative? In what ways does the media perpetuate them?

  • Do you think appearing on reality shows like this one will help break down stereotypes, or add to generalizations? After watching this show, Is there anything that you learned about these American communities that surprises you?

TV details

Cast:Sondra Celli
Network:TLC
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written bySR71 May 4, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Look but don't Touch !

The over the top fairy tale dresses catch your eye first...they are outrageuosly magnificent. It is AMAZING that parents can have that much control of teenange girls in 21st Century America. In an odd way they're similar to the Amish...but blinged up ! Interesting cultural discussion.

Parent Written byfuschia May 6, 2012
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Pass

This show is full of drinking, cursing, and very trashy women. It is another show featuring objectification of women and very immature behavior. The women are slutty and the men treat the women and each other badly. There is lots of immature behavior, yelling, cursing, smoking, partying, and women with almost nothing on. The people seem to truely practice very little of their traditional views except for sexism which makes it a bad teaching tool.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written bySummerGaal May 29, 2012
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Ahem.

Personally one of my "have to watch" shows, I would be careful with exactly who watched it.
There are alcoholics and heavily intoxicated people on some episodes, fighting erupting amongst family members and others, talking about what happens on a honeymoon(Nothing graphic.), outfits leaving nothing to the imagination (On one particular episode, a 14 year old is seen wearing a bejeweled bra, super mini skirt, and sky-high heels.), and some dance in a way that would make a rap video dancer blush.

Half of the time, my parents have me closing my eyes or looking away -- despite my age -- or I do it on my own.
It all depends on what you mind your children seeing.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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