Revisiting Reality Shows: My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding

Twice this past month, I’ve gotten a notification from the fine folks at WordPress that my “stats were booming,” ie: a significant spike in visitors. By like, 400 percent.

Since I have been pretty sporadic about posting lately, I found that a bit odd and did some digging.

And what I found out is that it’s the gypsies that are doing it.


The post that attracted hundreds of new visitors to the site for several days in July and August was this one from 2012: Reality TV Time: I Cannot Tear My Eye-Nipples Away from My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.

Now, I’d like to think it’s that snazzy title with the incredibly SEO-friendly phrase “Eye-Nipples” that has led to all this PoeLog discovery. However, I think it’s probably much more likely tied to the fact that a season FIVE (??? Is that right? How can that be??) of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding recently started up on July 17 on TLC, formerly “The Learning Channel” but which I rather affectionately call “Total Loose Cannons.”


I have to admit, I have not kept up with my white-trash cousins, the American Romanichal. Somehow, over the years, I’ve lost touch on all the comings and goings of wee little gypsy Priscilla (she’s now a professional wrestler!) and her ne’er-do-well pappy Pat Baby (not surprisingly, he did some time at what Teresa Guidice would call “camp”). I have missed out on probably hundreds of gaudy yet spectacular Sondra Celli dresses made for under-aged brides with more makeup (and disposable cash) than common sense.

But, with the Olympic-sized absence of Bravo-sponsored reality TV in my life last week, I decided to pour myself a goblet of wine, don my best butt-bedazzled velour house pants, and give my blog readers what they want: like an 80-pound gypsy bride in an 80-pound dress, I carefully maneuvered my way back into My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, ie: I watched the first two episodes OnDemand.

And wow, how I have missed this show. All of the essential trainwreck elements are still there: tangled family triangles (as well as quadrangles and any other geometric configuration you can think of), young girls with big dress dreams and impossible requests, young men who eskew normal wedding attire, fights – both the internal struggles against expected societal norms and actual drunken brawls. And divorce. Lots and lots of divorces, especially for a cultural group who insist that divorce is incredibly shameful and not an option.

Episode one (“Rotting Dresses and Candy Messes”) of this season involved two supposedly “nontraditional gypsy girls.” Eighteen-year-old Maquayla, has several jobs, including, alarmingly, as a makeup artist. Her would-be groom, however, has zero jobs. Maquayla, full of love in her heart, still intends to marry him and she wants a Sondra Celli dress made of real flowers.

Now, Sondra’s magical dress workshop is located near Boston. Maquayla lives in West Virginia. No way a dress made of perishable items is going to survive the 500-mile journey two days before the wedding. And, surprise, it does not. When the supposedly “refrigerated” truck pulls up in front of what looks to be the Days Inn, I can tell right away that that truck is not refrigerated and second, that that dress was not transported with love and care. The door opens to reveal a sad, wilted flower salad of a dress.

Maquayla calls Sondra Celli crying and Sondra Celli jumps into action, flying down to West Virginia with only one assistant and rebuilds the entire dress with only moments to spare. The wedding takes place in a literal field with cows and pigs in attendance. The groom and his groomsmen are wearing vests, ties, trucker hats and no shirts. Oh, and Maquayla tells us and her groom that she’s pregnant. So much for non-traditional.


Our other non-traditional gypsy girl is Yazzie and she’s celebrating her Sweet 16. The reason she’s non-traditional is that she’s secretly dating a gorger (a boy who is not a gypsy). His name is Anthony and it’s all really rather boring except for the fact that when Yazzie decides to honor her mother and her culture by breaking up with Gorger Anthony, she does it at a park. Then she skates off dramatically on a giant skateboard. It was pretty fantastic.

Favorite lines from episode 1:

  • “Everything was dead….my dream wedding dress was dead. And my dream gypsy flower wedding died with it.”–Maquayla
  • “My eyes wanted to cry and my stomach fell into my butt, but he was the picture of perfection.”—Maquayla
  • “I’ve never lost a dress and I’m not going to lose this one!”—Sondra Celli

Episode 2 (“Double Wedding From Hell”) cleared up for me why I had had so many visitors to that particular blog post—it was a catch-up with our old friends, Priscilla and Pat Baby.

We discover that Priscilla Kelly is now 18-years-old and is now a professional wrestler in Atlanta. She must be doing alright because she’s throwing herself a big, gypsy birthday party. But she’s torn on whether to invite her father, Pat Baby. Priscilla’s parents are recently divorced and cannot stand each other. Plus, Pat Baby has a way of acting out and she’s worried he’ll turn it into a “Pat Baby party,” which he totally does. He’s also pretty fond of embarrassing her in public, including at her wrestling matches where he becomes a creepy superfan.


She does not invite Pat Baby and makes it clear that he is not invited. However, he somehow takes this as an invitation to just show up anyway. And he gets drunk, hangs all over his daughter, yells at his ex-wife, tries to take over the DJ tables and gets kicked out.

Our other story is, believe it or not, even more unbelievably disastrous. Cousins Stefanie, 19, and Amber-Lynn, 22, are in love with gypsy boys, Mike and Dustin and plan to have a double wedding. The only problem is, Stefanie’s sister, Chassity. She also happens to be Dustin’s ex and has a child with him. When we first meet her, she’s practicing her bb-gun skills, so we know she is no joke.

Chassity objects to the upcoming Amber-Lynn/Dustin wedding and along with her mother (Amber-Lynn’s aunt), vows to ruin the big day. She tries to break up the in-love couple, making it clear that she’s available and forgiving. When that doesn’t work, Chassity and her mother don black garb and attend the wedding, glaring at the couple throughout the brief ceremony and through the ghetto reception.

The reception is where things really start to unravel. Amber-Lynn’s ex-husband shows up to declare his love for her. Although Amber-Lynn kicks him out, her new groom believes there is more there. He calls her a whore, pushes a pregnant girl, gets in an all-out fight with all the other attendees, and the cops show up to break the reception up. The episode ends with the news that Amber-Lynn has gone back to her ex-husband.


Favorite lines from episode 2:

  • “Nobody puts Pat Baby in a corner.”—Pat Baby
  • “My theme is 1920s Great Gatsby meets rave with a touch of gypsy bling.”—Priscilla
  • “She has no butt, no boobs. You’re going to get bored.”—Chassity
  • “Definitely curse this fucking wedding.”—Chassity






‘Best Funeral Ever?’ More Like Best Idea for a Reality TV Show Ever

Listen, I know I owe all of you a real post. I’ve even started a post on our last stop in Spain (the alluring San Sebastian). But it’s not ready, and I’m super-important and really busy, and it’s the holidays, and there’s lots of baking, and entertaining, and partying, and fancy dressing going on, and work is really busy this week, and I have to write like, 4 more articles today before I have to go to my 27th work-related holiday party.

I totally agree Grumpy Cat.
I totally agree Grumpy Cat.

Besides, there’s so, so much I love about this trailer for a new TLC show called, “Best Funeral Ever.”

  1. How wonderfully morbid is this?
  2. This funeral home is in Dallas. OF COURSE.
  3. Could this be the start of a new trend of Bereave-ality TV? (fingers crossed)

My friend Hilary sent me the link to this trailer and before I had even watched a single second of it, I wrote this to her:

Nooooo!!! I totally want to be on this show. Maybe I could play the role of sassy cadaver makeup artist, or crier-for-hire for funerals where they don’t really have a very good turnout. Or, maybe I could be the go-to funeral flower arranger, who’s designs just get bigger and better with each new gig.

Speaking of awesomely bad reality TV, two words: Amish. Mafia. It’s HORRIBLE. Like, Syfy movies horrible. Except, those movies know their horrible, but Amish Mafia has no idea.

Then I watched the trailer. Here was my response.

Crap. Just watched the promo. Clear this up for me….am I African American?

I sent that response over 30 minutes ago and have not heard back from Hilary. Is that confirmation that I am, in fact, qualified to appear on this show? Because I really, really think I”d be an excellent addition to the cast. I’d even bring my own hanky.

By the way, Phaedra Donkey Booty is going to be TICKED. OFF. that Bravo Andy did not come up with this amazing vehicle for her first.

Kate Plus 8 Minus TLC: 15 Other Career Options

Boo hoo. Krazee mom Kate Gosselin got herself canceled. After 150 episodes, TLC has finally pulled the plug on the child-exploitation show. I’ve never seen an episode, I’m pleased to say, but that hasn’t kept the Gosselin off my radar. She’s invaded my US Weekly and E! News. So of course, I feel entirely comfortable giving Bad Hair Kate some career advice. Here are 15 career options for our newly unemployed uber-mom.

1) Open a day care facility and employ all your former nannies you’ve scared off over the years.

2) Get on VH1s Famous Food.

3) Become a national spokesperson for hand sanitizer (If Kris Jenner can do it for Poise pads, Kate can do it for hand sanitizer).

There’s not enough sanitizer in the world to cleanse the Jon out of your life.

4) Open a tanning/nail salon.

5) Take acting classes.

6) Become a  hairstylist. Specializing in the Kate spike.

7) Go to work on Lifetime’s Dance Moms teaching that horrifying dance to Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” that she did on DWTS.

I don’t need acting classes. Look at me acting like a paparazzi-chased zombie celebrity.

08) Become a singer, ala every Real Housewife in the franchise.

9) Become the next Bachelorette and/or appear on the next Bachelor.

10) Take over Divorce Court (is that show still on? Apparently so.)

11) Rent out that silver fox bodyguard.

Don’t touch my man or I will spike you with my porcupine hair.

12) Two words: Marriage counselor.

What is it about my body language that makes you think this isn’t working?

13) Join Steven Seagal’s Law Man.

Katie, let me show you the way of the Seagal.

14) Start her own Twitter and Facebook campaign to get her show back.

15) Team up with Octomom and take over the world.