Tonight was the premiere of TLC's Gypsy Sisters, a spinoff of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding. It featured the Stanley family, including matriarch Nettie, her out of control sister Mellie, cousin Kayla and sister-in-law Laura. It also features mom Lottie May, who gets released from a nine year prison sentence and Robbie, Mellie's fiance.
The first episode was a whopping two hours long, which was about an hour longer than it needed to be. Why? Well, the show is entertaining, but only in nice, bite-sized pieces. By the end of the two hours, I was bored of Mellie's outrageous antics, which are really the core of the show. Mellie strips, Nettie hates it. Mellie ruins a girls' day by drinking. Mellie gets engaged, but is afraid of love. Mellie evades cameras, downs a bottle of vodka and sees her mom for the first time in 10 years completely trashed. Mellie's a mess.
One notable thing about the show is that we now realize why Mellie is the way she is. We got to know her on My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, but didn't really know why she was hurting. Aside from her first marriage failing (I believe due to abuse), Mellie was clearly devastated by her mom leaving her at age 13 to go to prison. At that point, she probably felt sad and abandoned, leading her to 10 years of bad choices. That explains part of why she's afraid to love anyone (and her fear of committing to Robbie) and why she needed alcohol to see her mom for the first time in 10 years. She's so lost! And can we blame her? No! Absentee parenting can take a huge toll on someone, and it clearly did on Mellie.
Will I be watching Gypsy Sisters? Absolutely. But be aware - it lacks the glitz and glamour that made MBFAGW so awesome. However, the drama keeps us entwined, so it's worth following this at least through season one.