Sorority Girls (2011– )

TV Series  -   -  Comedy | Drama | Reality-TV
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Sorority Girls is a reality series in which female students from England compete to become members of an all new American sorority. The show follows five American sisters (Amelia Smith, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Dominique Kruse ...
 Herself - Standards Chair (8 episodes, 2011)
Amelia Smith ...
 Herself - President (8 episodes, 2011)
Arianna Kjos ...
 Herself - Philanthropy Chair (8 episodes, 2011)
Devan Lockhert ...
 Herself - Social Chair (8 episodes, 2011)
Hannah Hagler ...
 Herself - Entertainment Chair (8 episodes, 2011)
Nicholas Guy Smith ...
 Narrator (8 episodes, 2011)
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Storyline

Sorority Girls is a reality series in which female students from England compete to become members of an all new American sorority. The show follows five American sisters (Amelia Smith, Arianna Kjos, Devan Lockhert, Dominique Kruse, Hannah Hagler) has they set up the first sorority in Leeds, England. Written by AC

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8 November 2011 (UK)  »

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(season 1)
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Featured in Chelsea Lately: Episode #6.24 (2012) See more »

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Contrived, salacious, and a Spectacle
6 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The show begins with a narrator explaining that five of "America's finest sorority sisters" are coming to Leeds (England) to begin "England's First Sorority." Let's dispel a few myths there.

1. This television-created "sorority" is not the first sorority in England. There are a number of both local and Inter/nationally counciled Greek organizations in the country.

2. The "sorority sisters" all belong to different sororities at home, attending different schools. Three of them belong to different chapters of the same I/National sorority, while the other two each belong to different organizations at their own schools. All five of them belong to sororities belonging to the National Panhellenic Council (NPC), the umbrella organization governing 26 I/National Social Women's Fraternities and Sororities. FOR THE SAKE OF THIS REVIEW, I am speaking from an NPC mindset.

3. Though stereotype would lead you to believe, not all sorority women spend each day wearing sun dresses, heels, pearls and white gloves (I would bet that the one "sister" who is wearing white gloves as she wheels her matching pink suitcase off the plane in the promos has maybe worn white gloves once in her life, perhaps for a religious ceremony or perhaps at a formal event like a prom.) On some campuses, people tend to dress up for class; at others, wearing jeans or sweat pants to class is perfectly fine.

4. Hazing is illegal in the United States. Activities like kidnapping, blindfolding and putting hoods over their heads, being left somewhere unknown forcing you to find your way back - likely not having the proper footwear or clothing to prevent injury or effects from the temperature/weather, being forced to hold ice to your skin, being deprived of sleep, being forced to do an embarrassing activity like performing a suggestive dance number in your pajamas in public (at a bar, no less) for the "sisters'" enjoyment - these are not acceptable practices in US sororities.

5. The pledge process as depicted (actually, that's an antiquated term. The correct phrase is "new member period") - which consists of putting half the group on "Social probation" and subject themselves to weekly "pledge cuts" - is way off.

Social probation is in the US is usually reserved for one of two things: A. The campus administration holds responsible the sorority as an entity for breaking rules. For example, recruitment infractions (things they did during "rush week like giving people special attention or info), sponsoring a party that served under-aged drinkers, etc., can lead to sanctions like not being allowed to have fraternity mixers, or sisterhood events, having to pay fines, etc. It's punishment from doing "social" things.

B. The other way that "Social Probation" might be used is as a system within a particular sorority (or even chapter) itself. For example, some sororities assign points to every sister - if you go to a chapter meeting, if you participate in a charity project, you pay your dues, or you spend some hours at the library, you can earn "points" - all designed to encourage sisterhood bonding, service and scholarship. If you don't have enough points, you might be disallowed from attending a particular social event the next week.

6. In NPC sororities, there are no voted-upon weekly "pledge cuts". Once you've received and signed your bid, as long as you complete the new member education, you will become an initiated member (unless you decline/quit, you've broken a serious rule, or didn't meet basic university expectations like a certain Grade Point Average).

7. We don't all sound like robots. The stilted speaking manners of the "sisters" is really distracting. It's like they are reading off cue cards. Their contrived acronyms and catch-phrases just make it worse. How can somebody be "So Not Sigma Gamma" when "Sigma Gamma" is a made-up group? There ARE no standards, no history, no real sense of who they are. So how can they expect any of the "pledges" to know what they should be striving for? 7. At the end, what are the final five chosen going to do next? Continue with chapter meetings? Hold recruitment events? Create "real" reasons for existence other than the game show they are currently playing? In the last episode, one of the sisters said "This isn't a game." Um, yes, honey, it is.

8. Lastly, I wanted to reiterate that aside from what is shown, every Sorority chapter, whether it's local to just one school, or it has a few regional chapters, or has a hundred chapters at as many different schools, will likely have a mix of personalities, looks, interests and beliefs.

-------------BEGIN-SPOILER--------------- These five women who are supposed to be in "Sigma Gamma" can't even agree what standards to hold their pledges to. One week, someone is criticized for holding two drinks; the next, they are all accused of being fake for not drinking more than a few sips. Thankfully, most groups get it. They know what they are looking for an let you know what is expected of you.

-------------END-SPOILER---------------

Though every chapter of any one the 26 National Panhellenic Council sororities organization share certain things, you'll find differences from state to state and even school to school.

So the "typical American sorority girl" really isn't the "typical" for every American sorority girl.

I know that this is entertainment, but I fear that people in the UK may think that every American woman in a sorority is like the show promotes.


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