I’m not sure if I’m the only TLC addict out here, so let me describe the basis of this show. “Breaking Amish” is a new reality TV show on TLC that follows 5 young adults as they leave the Amish life and try to assimilate into what they refer to as the “English” life (or what we may call regular, modern day life that we are accustomed to). Naturally, I thought this was an awesome (embarrassing, I know) concept for a show and I anxiously awaited the premiere earlier this month.
I have to say that the show seemed legitimate during the first episode. This episode showed the Amish cast members in their Amish habitats, for lack of a better term. The characters were featured in solo interviews with the camera during which they outlined their reasons for wanting to leave the Amish in search of an “English” life. Each character specifically pointed out that he or she would be shunned upon leaving, and the episode ends as they walk away from their homes, suitcase in hand, into the sunset.
I’ll admit that I didn’t think much of the accuracy of the show until I saw the second episode. It is in this episode that the 5 young Amish guys and gals are seemingly dropped in the middle of NYC with a bucket load of cash and standing reservations at a hotel, courtesy of TLC of course. They consequently roam around the city in search of the least-Amish things possible – sushi, tattoos, becoming models, and beginning relationships with each other just to name a few. One particularly disturbing scene is when one of the male characters crashes into all of the cones at his driving test because he is busy ogling a pedestrian’s behind (and seemingly believes this to be a normal reaction).
After watching 2 episodes of Breaking Amish, I’ve had enough. I decided this even before entering the show’s title into Google. The show honestly seems like TLC producers are aiming for the recently ex-Amish characters to fail (where do they get the money to get tattoos? To buy alcohol? To stay together at a hotel?) for the entertainment of viewers like me. Ethics of TLC aside, I honestly feel bad for how clueless the characters seem about city life. But…are they really all that clueless? If you enter “Breaking Amish” into any search engine, a wide assortment of articles questioning the authenticity of the show come up. In fact, many allegedly “close” family members or friends of the cast have come forward to reveal that these characters actually left the Amish years ago. Assuming this is correct, was it right/ethical for TLC to air this show under false premises? Is it right for TLC to encourage risky behavior, or is it the cast members fault? Discuss please!
Here’s a link to the trailer: