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TV review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Gypsy TV Poster Image
Flat psychological thriller mixes therapy, sex, and lies.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The doctor/patient boundaries are definitely blurred here, and the results are not positive.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character is a sociopath who toys with human beings for her own needs.


Discussions about becoming suicidal over an ex.


Discussions about infidelity. Sex scenes include partial nudity. Discussion of a child's gender identity being a problem at school.


"F--k," "s--t," "dammit" used often throughout.


Alcohol brands mentioned and seen on-screen.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Pervasive social drinking, discussions of types of alcohol (including hard liquor), use (perhaps misuse) of Clonezapam. Main character gets drunk at a social party, asks husband to take her to the train so she can go into the city. Cigarette smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gypsy explores the powerful effect of the unconscious mind through the life of a troubled psychotherapist. Dr. Jean Holloway (Naomi Watts) has a seemingly normal life but a hidden drive to secretly mess with her patients' lives. Holloway seems to be the perfect therapist when she's in the office, but she has "raw, dark, and deeply shameful" desires that drive her to do things that are most definitely not within the boundaries of professional ethics. There's sex with partial nudity (bare breasts) and lots of swearing, including "f--k," "s--t," and "dammit." Expect lots of social drinking, prescription drug use/abuse, and some cigarette smoking.

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What's the story?

GYPSY begins in the therapy office of Dr. Jean Holloway (Naomi Watts), as she sits empathically listening to her patients' complaints. Soon, however, we see another side of her. She secretly involves herself with a patient's ex-girlfriend (Sophie Cookson) by pretending to be a journalist named Diane, near-stalking her at the coffee shop where she works and then showing up drunk late one night at her concert. She shows up at another patient's daughter's hair salon for unknown reasons. She lies to her husband (whom she fears is attracted to his secretary), worries about her possibly transgender daughter, and seems to have an alcoholic drink or a pill in her hand whenever she's outside the office.

Is it any good?

The what-will-happen-next tension that's at the heart of this show's storyline isn't enough to cover the show's flat emotional vibe. Gypsy's Dr. Jean Holloway is the most common sociopathic character. On the surface, she's a perfectly appropriate, dressing-on-the-side kind of woman, wife, mom, and professional. But the deep, dark reality of who she is seeps out after hours. The problem is, so what? There seems to be no conflict of conscience in Jean, no internal struggle in which she questions herself. She just goes full throttle into bad behavior with seemingly no regret. Why should viewers care about a sociopath who doesn't care about anything?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the main character in Gypsy, Dr. Jean Holloway. What could make a character behave in this way? What does it mean to be a sociopath?

  • Talk about the ongoing drinking in Gypsy. This show depicts drinking alcohol as something done at every meal, every social event, and every stressful moment. Learn more about how to talk about alcohol abuse here

TV details

For kids who love dark drama

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