Sorority Girls

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Sorority Girls TV Poster Image
Young women critique others in cross-cultural experience.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series shows some of the values of Sigma Gamma -- which include acting and appearing "appropriate," having fun, and giving to charity. But the substance of the series is based on young women judging other women on how they look, act, and dress.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Sigma Gamma sisters believe in their sorority and support the values of the organization, which tend toward a very traditional role for women. In the process of judging whether the British girls are good fits for the sorority, they can be harsh critics, though they do seem to make an attempt to be fair.

Violence

Initiation activities sometimes require pledges to be suddenly roused out of bed and participate in activities that seem scary at first, and girls are sometimes seen crying.

Sex

Some of the British girls wear skin-revealing outfits that showcase cleavage and partial butt-cheeks. This is not deemed appropriate by the sorority.

Language

Words like "pissed off" are audible; curses like "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Contains lots of drinking (hard liquor, cocktails, wine), but getting drunk and drunken behavior is not condoned by the sorority.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series features American sorority sisters judging British college students on issues ranging from dress, hygiene, behavior, and more. While the sisters try to be fair and maintain an objective stance toward the Brits, there is an overarching tone of criticism. Young women (and men) drink alcohol excessively (shots, wine guzzled from the bottle, etc.), and there are some mixed messages about the role of alcohol in sorority life. Expect some strong vocab ("pissed") and bleeped cursing. British candidates sometimes wear cleavage-showing and butt-revealing clothes.

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What's the story?

SORORITY GIRLS is a reality show featuring five American women seeking to launch Britain's first-ever fully initiated sorority. Sigma Gamma sisters Amelia, Arianna, Devan, Dominique, and Hannah travel from various American universities to Northern England to find young women at the University of Leeds who have the potential to join Sigma Gamma. Fourteen girls are chosen after participating in interviews and other activities to become pledges and move into the Sigma Gamma House. Once there, they must prove that they have the class, style, and leadership required in order to be fully initiated. Each week the pledges are put to the test, and those who fail to impress are eliminated. In the end, only five young women will become full-fledged sorority sisters, and be responsible for its continued success in the United Kingdom.

Is it any good?

The reality series offers a glance into the pledging and initiation process of American sororities. Outside of this, however, it's not clear what it is this show is trying to accomplish. While some of the values the Sigma Gamma sisters impose on the pledges are universal (like dressing appropriately or behaving respectfully), many of them seem to be focused on very American norms of behavior, and exclude some of the aspects of British culture that could make this exchange interesting.

The American Sigma Gammas are pretty dull, thanks to appearing overly rehearsed and stereotypically superficial. As a result, the show falls pretty flat. Those who appreciate the Greek system may still find the show fun or nostalgic enough to watch, but viewers who are unfamiliar or critical of it will probably take issue with the values being presented here. Some may also find the presentation of British women eagerly willing to embrace this very American university tradition in their own country a little problematic, too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fraternities and sororities. What are some of the stereotypes surrounding women in a sorority? Do you think this shows like this one challenge or reinforce these stereotypes?

  • What are some of the show's messages about different cultures? About female roles in society? About image and "appropriateness"?

TV details

For kids who love reality television

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