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Watch American Gypsies


American Gypsies is a documentary series following the lives of a Romani, or Gypsy family in New York's Manhattan. The nine episode first season was commissioned by the National Geographic Channel and produced by Stick Figure Productions; the reality TV documentary has proved controversial because of its representation of the Romani family.

First airing in 2012 after a long time in preproduction American Gypsies was pitched to a large number of networks by co-executive producer Ralph Macchio before National Geographic commissioned a nine episode season. The Reality TV series follows the Johns family, who run a fortune telling business in Manhattan; Increased competition in the family's business brings tension as the family attempt to keep growing their business. Throughout the season the family also fights to maintain their Romani culture and traditions alive in the face of living amongst the many vices and temptations of Manhattan.

American Gypsies was commissioned on the back of a successful group of reality shows based on the lives of Romani people around the world. In the U.K. the Channel 4 series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding began the trend for Romani culture based shows. Following the success of the British show on the TLC network a U.S. based version of the show was produced and shown on TLC.

National Geographic's American Gypsies series has faced criticism in both the U.S. and U.K. because of the portrayal of the John's family, headed by Tina and Bob Johns. Critics claim the series promotes stereotypes of the Gypsy culture and does not provide a realistic view of life in the Romani culture.

Tuesday 10:00 PM et/pt on National Geographic
1 Season, 9 Episodes
July 17, 2012
Documentary & Biography
4.5/10
Cast: Anthony Pezzolanti
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American Gypsies Full Episode Guide

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. Back in New York, Bob Sr. is rushed to the hospital following a stroke.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. Old-school Nicky wants to stick to tradition, but Bobby wants to integrate with American society and allow his daughters to take part in a local acting recital. When a rival family encroaches on Nicky's psychic shop turf, he calls his 4 brothers into a violent confrontation, landing the whole family in Romani Court.

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American Gypsies is currently available to watch and stream on National Geographic. You can also buy, rent American Gypsies on demand at Amazon, Vudu, iTunes online.