Sweet Home Alabama TV Poster Image

Sweet Home Alabama

(i)

 

The Bachelorette with a Southern accent.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The emphasis is on finding lasting love, but the format hardly gives the bachelorette enough time to really know her suitors. The show also furthers some negative stereotypes about Southerners (and "city boys" alike). In addition, there's gender stereotyping when it comes to the idea of what a "Southern belle" and "Southern gentleman" should be -- particularly that, for belles, "finding a man and getting married is the dream" and that "it's not very ladylike to ask a boy out on a date."

Positive role models

The bachelorette seems genuine in her search for a good, honest match and appears to make thoughtful decisions based on more than just looks. When a suitor doesn't measure up to her standards, she gives him the boot.

Violence

Some brawling with a little blood.

Sex

Light kissing, etc.

Language

Very light, with rare words like "whore."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking. Lots of iced tea.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this CMT series plays a lot cleaner than other reality dating shows, thanks in part to the show's focus on "Southern" morality. Language and sexual content are extremely light, but there is violence in the form of brawling between contestants that produces a little blood. You'll also see social drinking -- and lots of stereotyping.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Split into rival groups of \"country boys\" and \"city boys,\" 20 hopeful suitors compete for the affections of certified Southern belle Devin Grissom, a student at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa who’s never strayed far from her SWEET HOME ALABAMA. Contestants range from a Southern gentleman who rarely removes his cowboy hat to a Jersey Shore bachelor who briefly dated Snooki.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Putting a Southern spin on the now-familiar premise of reality dating shows like The Bachelorette, Sweet Home Alabama mixes the mystique of the Southern belle and the Southern gentleman into a doubtful recipe for fairytale romance. And, as many such shows have proven in the past, it hardly ever turns out right.

Of course, that doesn’t keep fans from watching, which is fine since it’s mostly harmless fun. But Devin's strict (though seemingly heartfelt) adherence to the Southern code in this case subtly takes away a lot of her power. After all, she can't even ask her own suitors out on a date, putting the ball squarely -- oh, so squarely -- in their court. What would Scarlett O'Hara have to say about that?

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the show's handling of stereotypes. What types of generalizations does the series make about Southern women? Southern men? City folk? What's the difference between a generalization and a harmful stereotype?

  • What are the success rates of reality shows that purport to help people find true love? (And is the premise even possible?)

  • Do you think the bachelorette's suitors are really looking for romance -- or their 15 minutes of fame? What about the bachelorette herself? Why would someone agree to try and fall in love on national television?

TV details

Premiere date:July 14, 2011
Cast:Devin Grissom, Kash Kiefer
Network:CMT
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Sweet Home Alabama was written by

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Kid, 11 years old July 30, 2011

Sweet Home Alabama

If you have ever seen The Bachlorette the it's just like that but toned down on the kissing. Fights break out between "the country boys" and "the city boys" about who's better, there is strong launguage used between some of the guys when they are fighting but are bleeped out and they sometimes drink beer, alcohol etc.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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