A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Gypsy Sisters has more mature content than its sister series. It features lots of wild behavior, including plenty of strong language, all-out brawls between women, and scenes of pole dancing (with nudity blurred). Drinking is excessive, to the point of throwing up. Addiction, criminal behavior, incarceration, child abandonment, and other difficult issues are discussed.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
GYPSY SISTERS, a spin-off of the series My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, follows a group of close-knit gypsy women from Martinsburg, West Virginia. Leading the show is matriarch Nettie Stanley, plus her troubled younger sister Mellie, their cousin Kayla, and Nettie's best friend, Laura. As the women pour motor oil on themselves to tan, go on road wild trips, spray-tan their little girls, and bling up outfits, they also cope with some difficult family issues, including incarcerated family members and substance abuse. Throughout it all, small details about their gypsy heritage and traditions are revealed.
Is it any good?
Gypsy Sisters offers limited insight into the Romani Gypsy culture, but most of the focus is on the wild antics these particular women engage in, as well as some of family conflicts that exist within the clan. A lot of the drama revolves around the very troubled Mellie, whose wild behavior and excessive drinking seem to be how she copes with her strained relationship with her mother, who was incarcerated for bank fraud after being featured on America's Most Wanted.
There are many troubling moments in the show, especially when Mellie is so intoxicated that reality camera crews have to step into the scene in order to handle the situation. Some viewers will have issues with the choices the women make for their children when it comes to dressing, dating, and marriage, too. But fans of the Gypsy franchise won't be disappointed with the outrageous behavior found here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about American Gypsy and Traveller communities. How does the media portray the members of these communities? Do reality shows like this one offer accurate portrayals of them, or are they based on stereotypes?
If you or someone you know has a drinking and/or substance abuse problem, what kinds of things can be done to help? Teens: Is there an adult family member or teacher in school you can talk to? Parents: What are some of the ways you can address these issues with your family?
Do you think Mellie should be on reality TV? When does reality TV become exploitation?
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