Fans of the WEtv docu-soap reality show “Love Thy Sister” know that drama follows the Rucker sisters like students surround the hardwood at Cameron Indoor Stadium, with fervor and completely.
The six-episode reality series debuted in January and offered viewers an inside view into their high-profile, high-energy and very high-volume – lots of arguing and squealing – daily lives. Originally from Lancaster, S.C., Ruby, Ellen and Ione Rucker now live in Union County.
Ruby (Cooper), a Charlotte attorney, is nicknamed the “Hothead.” She lives up to her moniker, frequently jabbing and bickering with Ellen (Carter) about her choice in men.
Ellen, known as a perfectionist, is a chiropractor and former UNC-Chapel Hill cheerleader. She married her college sweetheart, NBA star Vince Carter (they divorced in 2007). Her current beau, S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers, gets a lot of airtime on the show, famously removing a giant hairball from youngest sister Ione’s shower drain in episode 5 and popping the question to Ellen in episode 6.
Ione (Jamison) is the baby of the family and was married to NBA star Antawn Jamison for eight years. She spends much of her focus on the family’s nonprofit organization, The Rucker Education Scholarship Fund, and business ventures with her sisters, specifically their natural hair-care line, Rucker Roots.
“The show came about from initial inquiries about Ione and me appearing in (TVOne’s reality show) ‘I Married a Baller,’” said Ellen. “We turned that down but met the team from Bunim/Murray Productions who produce ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians.’ They convinced us that our opinions and the way we interact with each other would capture an audience and provide a full picture of who we are and the most exciting moments of our lives.”
Viewers have come to see that the women don’t hold back when sharing unsolicited advice with each other about choices in men, hair, motherhood and just about everything else. Still, their sisterly love prevails.
They indicated they have some editorial input, reviewing shows before airing and expressing concerns over scenes too personal or revealing. The sisters have no regrets, however, noting they wouldn’t change their approach or the intimacy created by reality TV.
“We are absolutely praying that season two gets picked up,” said Ruby. “We knew what we were signing up for with reality TV and knew that this production team would keep the focus centered on the family aspect of our relationships. We’re all excited to do it again.”
One thing that was surprising for the sisters was just how much effort goes into producing a one-hour episode.
“We filmed for almost eight weeks in 2013 and then follow-up in 2014,” said Ruby, who noted 20-person production crews would begin early in the morning and film until late in the evening. “I have a huge amount of respect for the artistic and creative minds involved in production. One of the aspects I’m most pleased about was how beautifully filmed Charlotte and North Carolina was done. We’re really proud to have the area featured for a national audience.”
And while their parents are supportive, their father isn’t a big fan of the show.
“That is perhaps the most difficult aspect,” said Ruby, “Our father doesn’t care much for the show. He’s a conservative, Southern gentleman and a great supporter of us. The show is simply not for him.”
About the Ruckers
▪ Under their Rucker Roots line, the sisters market a variety of locally made hair-care products using natural extracts including shampoo, conditioner and growth serum at www.theruckersisters.com/shop.
▪ The Rucker Sisters are attending a CIAA Tournament brunch open to the public, the Passport to 2015, Vision Building and Networking Soiree. 1-4 p.m. March 1, Vivace, 1100 Metropolitan Ave.; $25-$75.