TLC Silliness….

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SIGH, I remember years ago the TLC network used to mean “THE LEARNING CHANNEL” and it aired compelling documentary programming. Now I think it stands for THE LOONEY CHANNEL with their assortment of shows about the Gosselins, pit boss dwarfs, spiritual channelers, and OctoMoms. SIGH, now TLC has decided to pursue the trite, worn-out, meaningless act of taking some “Amish people” (not clear the ages) and plopping them into New York City settings to see how they cope.  This is silly on so many levels.  First of all, the press release makes it unclear whether they are Amish or Mennonite.  Doesn’t make a big difference, it’s still silly.  Secondly,  the Amish-Mennonite population is quite sizable…I’m sure you can find some people willing to participate in this exercise, but if a young Anabaptist is truly serious about their faith, I doubt they’d be participate in such a show.  If they are baptized adults, then they will likely face sanction from their church. Thirdly, the name of the show “Breaking Amish” just seems disrespectful, like TLC is trying to get them to leave their faith.  What would the reaction be if that title were used with any other religion, say, “Breaking Muslim” or “Breaking Baptist?”   Fifthly (is that a word?), the Amish are not “cave people.”   Some Amish are quite comfortable and competent with computers, many use cell phones and text…I was at a McDonald’s in Michigan once and saw a young Amish woman working the drive-thru window with its chaotic pace and computer system better than I could…..I just think the show is based on a flawed premise.  This isn’t to say that Amish culture isn’t very special.  I think it is.  But this show seems to focus on all the wrong reasons.  What do you think?

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The Discussion


  1. I am with you on this. TLC is no longer a learning channel and I find it ridiculous how everyone wants to exploit someone else or themselves. I know I will not be watching this but then I don’t watch much of anything on t.v. anymore.

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  2. I hear ya!! TLC isn’t what it used to be – now it’s like the weirder the better. Unfortunately (or fortunately) human nature fascinates me, psychologically speaking, so I know I’ll watch it out of curiosity, but the last thing I watched on whatever channel about the Amish teens who went over the England wasn’t good. They were exposing those kids to yes, things out in the world, but NOT things that most regular teens would even be exposed to or things ANY parent would want their teen to experience. I think they try and over-do it when they get people whom they perceive to be naive. You hit the nail on the head – silliness at its best. :)

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  3. What you said.

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  4. It reminds me of the “Amish in the City” show. Why do they need to put them in LA or New York to see how they “adapt” to the “English” world. The “English” world itself is different enough. They aren’t monkeys to put in a cage and watch their antics, they’re people. That’s how a lot of the TLC shows are now, among others.

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    • Mary Beth says:


      I remember the “Amish in the City” show a few years ago. I was prepared to be offended, but thought they handled the cultural dynamic fairly sensitively. Not surprisingly, most of the Amish kids didn’t go back to the Amish fold; they would have had to be leaning that direction to be on the show in the first place, IMO. But this new show sounds awful. The name is concerning (“breaking” Amish??) and they can’t even get the denomination straight. I’ll check it out with an open mind, but it doesn’t sound good out of the box.

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  5. RG Schmidt says:


    Well, I won’t decide until I watch an episode, but this seems on the surface to be a few more yards down the slippery slope to irrelevance for The Learning Channel. I guess we have to remember their target audience, teens and young adults, too many of whom think learning is watching a “reality” show (most of which have little to do with reality). Most of what I watch on tv is either sports or documentaries, and I find myself on TLC less and less as their programming evolves. Or perhaps I should say devolves.

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  6. Barbara Weber says:


    I’m surprised, no mention was made of the Duggers.What about “Toddlers and Tiaras”. Now THERE, is child abuse. I myself, love “The Little Couple”. I think they are fascinating. Non of the Amish shows,, even on “National Geographic” have been very good. JMHO

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  7. Connie Coberley says:


    I don’t know if I will tune in for this or not. I may just out of curiosity for a brief visit but don’t think it is a good program from your description.
    Don’t understand what TLC is thinking with many of their shows anymore. I used to tell my grandchildren they may watch TLC but in the last several years, I have to monitor that as well.
    Good luck to the folks dropped into NYC. That is one place I’d fight tooth and nail to stay out of.

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  8. Dan Dumont says:


    I don’t watch any reality television. Mainly because I think it is inane for the most part. And I don’t believe any true Amish would participate in such a show.Not to metion we all know THEY DON’T HAVE TVs. So why would they care. Maybe the people in the show are the same ones who sell heaters to Sears.

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  9. hhelen poust says:


    i like many of the shows on tlc.admire the little couple,the duggers,they do take good care of the children and teach them good morals.ithink the parents who push thier little children on those modeling shows should be charged with child abuse.

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