My Big Redneck Vacation

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
My Big Redneck Vacation TV Poster Image
North meets South with stereotypes, but friendship, too.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series shows how people from very different backgrounds can learn from each other and get along despite their differences. Contains lots of exaggerated stereotypes about rural Southerners and upper-class Northerners.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The family from the South is close and loving, though they exhibit stereotypical behavior. The Hamptons families show a range of reactions to the outspoken, fun-loving Southerners, but ultimately folks get along.

Violence

Rifles and bows and arrows are used to hunt and for recreational purposes. One scene shows a bat being used to hunt frogs (but no blood is visible).

Sex

Sexual innuendo ranges from mild asides to comments about women's breasts. Nudity featured on artwork is blurred; one episode features a stranger flashing her chest to  the men (also blurred). Lots of bathroom humor.

Language

Words like "crap," "damn," and "hell" audible. Occasional curses (like "s--t") are bleeped.

Consumerism

High-end vehicles like Mustangs and Rolls-Royces visible. Food product logos like Kraft and Country Kitchen are partially visible. References are made to things like Hoover vacuum cleaners.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer, cocktail, and champagne drinking is frequently visible at social events. Some of the family members smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series contains lots of stereotypes about people from the rural South and wealthy people from the North, but also highlights how they can still get along despite these differences. The language can be salty ("hell," "crap"; stronger words bleeped), and occasional nudity (bare breasts) is completely blurred. Rifles and other weapons are used to hunt or compete. Drinking is visible, as are logos for things like Mustangs and Kraft foods.

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What's the story?

MY BIG REDNECK VACATION is a reality series featuring the Clampets, a down-home Louisiana family who spends a month-long summer vacation in the exclusive New York Hamptons. The members of this close-knit extended family, who have spent most of their lives in the deep South, find themselves out of their element when they move into a posh $4.5 million rental in the exclusive village of East Hampton. In-between etiquette classes and wine tasting events, the down-home gang shows the upper crust some rural Southern hospitality while demonstrating how they loosen up and have fun. Throughout it all, host Tom Arnold offers his thoughts using his unique brand of humor. There are lots of awkward moments, but the experience gives the Clampets and their upscale neighbors the chance to open their minds to new experiences, embrace their differences, and make new friends.

Is it any good?

The show offers a voyeuristic chance to see how people from a very different cultural background make sense of (and slightly adapt to) a community where wealth and class is central. It relies on stereotypes about the rural South and generalizations about the Hampton community for laughs, but also manages to show the willingness of the Clampets and the people they meet to learn from each other.

There are some funny moments, but unfortunately, none of them come from Tom Arnold, whose role as host seems completely unnecessary.  But if you can get past this,  you'll find that the series is entertaining. It also has some surprisingly positive moments.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the term "redneck". What stereotypes come to mind when you hear the term? Do shows like this one reinforce or reject these generalizations?

  • How realistic do you think this show is? Are the Clampets exaggerating their behavior to make for good television?

TV details

For kids who love reality television

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