NATGEO American Gypsies

‘American Gypsies’ Premieres On the National Geographic Channel July 17

The National Geographic channel’s newest reality show, “American Gypsies” will premiere on July 17 and is produced by “Karate Kid” star, Ralph Macchio. The show will focus on the Johns family and the modern gypsy way of life in the United States. As with all reality shows, there will likely be drama and verbal barbs exchanged between the cast and those who cross the line in this NATGEO series will wind up in “Gypsy Court” and be judged by their peers. If you can not wait a few more days to see the show, a free premeier episode is available through an Itunes link on the NATGEO website for a limited time.

Hopefully the educationally-focused National Geographic channel will do the Romani culture justice and not merely seek to sensationalize the proud history of the often misunderstood group for ratings. The term “gypsy” is often thought of as offensive by Romani people. The phrase was a nickname for the Romani from centuries past when it was believed the group stemmed from Egypt, which they did not.

In preparation for the premiere episode of “American Gypsies” Natioanl Geographic posted a “Glossary of Terms” so prospective viewers could learn about the Romani culture and slang used by gypsies. A “Romani Facts” portion the website delves into the history, traditions and customs of the Romani people.

During a NATGEO interview with Macchio he noted that he began working on the idea for the series several years when a friend’s son shared raw footage from a film school project. Macchio stated he did not know such a gypsy community existed and he became “fascinated” with the characters and concept for a series.

Although unscripted shows are routinely referred to as reality shows, Macchio bills “American Gypsies” as a docu-series bringing a little-known subculture to national attention. The National Geographic series reportedly infuses some character elements which are reminiscent of “The Godfather” and “The Sopranos” as far as the “passionate family dynamic” is concerned.

NATGEO American Gypsies
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