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American Gypsies

Where to Watch American Gypsies

9
My Big Fat Florida Wedding
2012-09-13
The first season comes to a close with Chris and Samantha's wedding in Miami. Before the ceremony, Bobby negotiates a dowry with the bride's family, and Tina performs blessing rituals while dealing with a non-Romani wedding planner.

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8
Shotgun Wedding
2012-09-06
Val and his girlfriend sneak off on a weekend getaway, sending his dad into a tailspin. Meanwhile, Nicky's wife wants him to quit drinking.

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7
Dueling Dads
2012-08-28
Bobby's and Nicky's sons celebrate their birthdays. While Nicky can't afford the luxury car he wanted to purchase for his son Justin, Bobby plans on buying his son, Christopher, an even more expensive car.

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6
Ritual Slaughter
2012-08-21
Chris has an idea for new business venture when he discovers a broken-down food truck in his brother-in-law's scrap yard. Meanwhile, Nicky brings a lamb home for a ritual slaughter in hopes of restoring his father's health.

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5
Love for Sale
2012-08-14
For decades the Johns men have run psychic shops, but when Bobby is inspired to break tradition and expand his business empire with an investment in his son-in-law John's scrap-yard, Nicky is outraged.

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4
South Beach Invasion
2012-08-07
Desperate for money, Nicky bullies his way into South Beach to open a psychic shop, upsetting Romani and Christine. Bobby struggles with being single during a night out with his brother.

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3
Sex, Lies, and Audio Tape
2012-07-31
The brothers deal with a rival; Bobby goes in for a checkup and gets some bad news; Eric's son, Val, is troubled by his family's orders to marry a Romani woman.

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2
The Gloves Come Off
2012-07-24
Rival brothers Bobby and Nicky take their issues to the boxing ring. Meanwhile, the arrival of Chris's baby forces Bobby to find a new psychic shop - and fast.

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1
Rivals at War
2012-07-17
In the season premiere of 'American Gypsies' we meet the Johns. A prominent Romani, or Gypsy, family from New York City, patriarch Bob's health is failing, prompting rival brothers Nicky and Bobby to start battling for leadership.

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American Gypsies is a unique reality documentary series made by National Geographic which aired in 2012. The show ventures away from the traditional nature and scientific explorations that are generally associated with National Geographic's repertoire. Instead, it plunges into the relatively unknown world of the rich Romani culture and lifestyle present in the United States, specifically within the vibrant setting of New York City. This eye-opening program introduces viewers to an American subculture that's rarely depicted on mainstream television and brings to light a fascinating juxtaposition of old-world traditions struggling to balance with contemporary metropolitan living.

The show primarily focuses on the achievements and tribulations of the Johns family, a well-respected and influential Romani family that have resided in the Big Apple for many decades. American Gypsies presents us the compelling story of this family as they strive to uphold Gypsy tradition while also trying to pave their own path in a bustling multicultural metropolis like New York City.

On one hand, there are the elders valiantly attempting to ensure that Romani customs and traditions are kept alive across the generations, while on the other hand, the younger ones seem eager to experience the freedom, opportunities, and challenges brought by the new world they're growing up in. This trend of internal cultural clash within the family forms a central theme of the whole series, offering many moments of deep introspection about tradition versus modernity, and identity versus assimilation.

The Johns family operates a prosperous fortune-telling business, which acts as the economic backbone for their luxurious lifestyle, featuring opulent residences, extravagant weddings, and flashy cars. This offers a captivating insight into the Romani profession of psychics and fortune tellers, enriching viewers’ understanding of this age-old occupation shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Their business, despite the skepticism it arouses among some sections of society, is shown to be conducted legitimately, providing an honest livelihood that supports the family.

One of the standout features of American Gypsies is in its human and personal representation of the Gypsy community, a demographic often misunderstood and stereotyped by general society. The series paints an intimate portrait of this hidden society by delving deep into the personal lives of its members, presenting them as regular Americans with the same dreams, goals, battles and predicaments that resonate with most viewers. This portrayal is a soulful exploration of the lives of people who have managed to retain their centuries-old customs and traditions, thus facilitating a connection between them and the audience.

The show's unique insight into a closed-off community’s practices, such as arranged marriages, the role of women, respect for elders, and authoritative dispute resolution, have been quite intriguing to viewers unfamiliar with the Romani way of life. Notwithstanding, American Gypsies doesn't shield away from controversial topics or conflict. It portrays the family’s internal disputes, disagreements over business, and inter-generational conflicts. The struggle to maintain cultural identity while integrating into mainstream society is a consistent undercurrent that runs throughout the show.

Nevertheless, the series is not bereft of those warm, amusing, and classic reality TV moments. There are numerous occasions of needless drama, family love-triangles, hilarious sibling rivalries, elaborate parties, and intense disputes that make this program highly entertaining. The Johns men and women, with their larger-than-life personalities and myriad ambitions, make every episode a compelling watch.

In a nutshell, American Gypsies offers a rarely seen glimpse into the lives of Romani people living in America, drawing back the curtain on their hidden culture, traditions, and life struggles. The series gives an unprecedented look into a world that exists within yet somewhat outside our own, touching upon the complex issues of culture, identity, family and tradition, while showing that the drive for self-discovery and the pursuit of the American dream are universal. It is undoubtedly both an educational and entertaining program. They might be called American Gypsies, but at the end of the day, their story is very much an American story.

American Gypsies is a series categorized as a currently airing. Spanning 1 seasons with a total of 9 episodes, the show debuted on 2012. The series has earned a mostly poor reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 4.1.

Channel
National Geographic
Rating
4.1/10
Cast
Anthony Pezzolanti, Denny Heide
American Gypsies is available on .