15/02/2011

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding - Disappointing Finale...

Bridget and her bridesmaids
I thought this week was supposed to be about Romany Gypsies??? Potentially it was, but the title 'Bride and Predjudice' should have alerted me to the fact that Romany culture wouldn't be the main focus. Once again, the outlandish weddings and not the actual culture, was the focus of the episode. 

So, basically, more ridiculous Disney/hooker inspired dresses, 4 ton wedding cakes and explanations of why wedding venues had to be kept secret for fear of cancellations. Side note: I struggled to feel sorry for Thelma, who lost the cost of a flight when one family lied to her about the real date of their wedding. Despite her persistent refusal to disclose it, you get the feeling that cost of one of those dresses could cover the national debt of a small South American country. Cut to Bridget and what had to be the pièce de résistance of all of the garments we've seen to date i.e. the worst bridesmaid dresses of the series...Bridget's, brother's comment on her outfit for her hen do, succinctly described pretty much every dress we've seen so far: "Your making a holy show of yourself." Indeed...

The programme briefly touched on the racism gypsies experience, but not deeply enough to make the uninformed viewer feel sympathetic to their plight. (Good thing I've been a devotee since Day 1 and thus need no persuasion). Some time was spent on the importance of the Appleby horse fair and its importance to Gypsy culture. There was a bit of a spotlight on mistreatment of  Gypsies by the police at the event, culminating in the Gypsies marching to the local police station to demand the police behave themselves. The police, wisely, bearing in mind there were cameras everywhere, decided to do just that and so did the Gypsies. You had to wonder of the outcome would have been the same in a normal, camera free, year....

Romanies did get a look in, in the form of John, who was undertaking a 2 week journey in a traditional caravan to the Appleby fair. His wife wasn't allowed to come with him, because as with most things that look like they might be a bit of fun, women aren't allowed to join in. (Deep, deep sigh). Practically half an hour into the trip, he decided he fancied some home cooking and calls his wife to get down to where he is with some food, which of course she did - albeit late. So nothing there to dispel the stereotypes already reinforced by the series, or to make us think Romanies are any different in that respect from Irish Travelers...

So in summary: No in depth discussion about the difference between Romany gypsies and Irish travelers; No ability to probe issues of domestic violence and general mis-treatment of girls; Nothing about how the Gypsy men actually feel about the overly macho culture; Nothing to give the casual viewer any reason to change whatever view they currently hold of the Gypsy people. A real wasted opportunity.  That appears to be it for now and if the number of complaints to OFCOM, from Gypsies who feel misrepresented by the series, are anything to go by, forever...

1 comment:

  1. that isnt bridget it is charley bird from 2 shoes and one of the bridesmaids is the other one from 2 shoes. look carefully

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