A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Paints violent picture of Appalachian ginseng trade; stereotypes about Chinese buyers.
Positive Role Models
Some folks play fair; others engage in illegal activities.
Violence & Scariness
Guns, knives visible; fires set in retribution. Stealing common. Chinese gangster references.
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"Ass," "hell," "damn," "piss," "bitch"; stronger curses bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
Ford trucks. Coffman's Metals logo.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Moonshine traded, consumed.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the reality series Appalachian Outlaws is all about the rough-and-tumble ginseng business (that's right, the bitter root) in rural Appalachia. It features violently competitive behavior, from threats to shooting, burning property, and running people off roads (no one gets hurt). Stealing, retribution, and making profit at any cost are themes. There's lots of salty vocab ("piss," "bitch"; stronger curses bleeped) and moonshine drinking. Stereotyping of the end buyers, businessmen in China, happens often.
Is It Any Good?
The series offers a look at what the ginseng business is like in West Virginia, which has become a highly profitable area for the trade thanks to minimal government regulations and the high demand for the herb. But the show's entertainment value come from long-standing family feuds, territorial strife, and business rivalries that lead to car chases and burning down property.
Though the competition for ginseng may be real, the narratives presented here often seem contrived and, in some cases, completely fabricated to generate a greater sense of conflict. The stereotyping of people, including Chinese businessmen, sets the foundation for some of this drama. You may find this unique slice of American business entertaining, but it's definitely hard to separate fact from fiction.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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