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 although this reality series about couples who plan eccentric country weddings is meant to be in good fun, some of the behavior plays into existing negative stereotypes about Southern living, and some of the featured folks come off as crass and uneducated. There's also drinking, smoking, gun use (mostly for hunting and target practice), and some strong language ("bitchy, "ass").
What's the story?
Hosted by Tom Arnold, reality series MY BIG REDNECK WEDDING profiles couples who embrace their country roots and plan over-the-top, country-western style weddings. The couples and their families proudly celebrate their love -- and heritage -- by getting hitched on horseback, exchanging vows with the help of ordained ex-cons, or hosting mud-wrestling competitions during the reception. There's no crystal on the tables or champagne on the menu, but baked beans, roast squirrel, and chicken dumplings make for finger-licking wedding-day meals. Family members and guests contribute by buying unique lingerie for the bride or organizing shotgun salutes.
Is it any good?
The series attempts to diffuse existing stereotypes about people from the South by using the term "redneck" to connote pride in one's Southern heritage. But the weddings here are presented as bizarre and eccentric and sometimes feature behavior that comes off as uneducated and crass. Instead of celebrating the fun, meaningful side of country-style weddings, the show actually perpetuates negative stereotypes about the South.
This, combined with extensive alcohol consumption and some salty language, makes it rough viewing for younger viewers, although it might appeal to teens and adults who enjoy this kind of guilty pleasure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the difference between dispelling stereotypes and perpetuating them. Can stereotypes ever be used to empower people? How? Can you think of any examples? Families can also talk about what defines "country living." Does wearing a cowboy hat or riding a horse automatically make someone "a little bit country"? What other assumptions do we tend to make about people based on what they wear or do? Does the media reinforce those assumptions? If so, how?
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