Naomi Watts stars in the new Netflix series Gypsy as a therapist who is a bit of an antihero but, like any protagonist, is on a journey to find herself. To say that she gets emotionally involved with her patients, as the Gypsy trailer suggests, would be an understatement. So why does Gypsy have that title? It's not referring to anything or anyone on the show in particular, but serves as a reference to a song that heavily informed the show's dark and reflective tone.
According to Entertainment Weekly, creator Lisa Rubin outlined the pilot while listening to Fleetwood Mac's "Gypsy," which she had not heard at the time. "The tone felt so right," said Rubin in an interview with EW. "I looked up the lyrics and what it meant and it resonated, all of that longing and feeling, it felt fitting for the show, so it became part of the fabric."
The song was written by Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks — who incidentally recorded a new solo version of the track that will serve as the show's opening credits.
“It suggests this idea of grounding yourself in who you used to be and the different versions of yourself," continued Rubin in that same interview. "There’s melancholy in it, but something that also feels romantic." Check out Nicks' new "cover," if you can call it that, below.
So it's not a reference to the 1959 Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, and Arthur Laurents musical by the same name about the rise of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee. Nor is the title specifically in reference to a person of Romani descent, in this instance, or a veteran of the Broadway chorus/ensemble life.
It's simply named after a song that inspired the show's creator, and speaks to what she is trying to achieve with this character. The idea of trying to get back to another version of yourself, and living vicariously through others — that's what Gypsy is all about. The song, and the shared title, makes for a perfect fit.