Some of you may remember the "My Amish Reality" ebook installments I wrote a couple of years ago (stay tuned, the installments will be offered again soon!). Yes, for newcomers here, I got roped into the Amish reality TV machine for awhile. My Amish Reality was my ebook account of the experience. Nothing came of it, but during the summer of 2012 I was a popular guy with reality TV production companies who were all clamoring for a piece of the popularity that the Amish were exuding. Ultimately, I wanted a respectful show (which production companies translated as "boring") and they wanted something more sensational, so we parted ways.
Reality TV goes in "flavor of the month" cycles. Now the craze is Alaska. Has anyone noticed how many reality shows are airing that focus on Alaska. It makes sense. With the dramatic landscape and remote location the state itself becomes the star. In the weeks after Aster was born, when I had some middle-of-the-night rocking-her-to sleep sessions I plead guilty to becoming slightly addicted to the show Alaska State Troopers. But there are shows on HGTV dealing with Alaska, the Animal Planet, Discovery, etc. Everywhere it's Alaska. Most of these shows seem so heavily scripted. Which brings us back to Amish Mafia. That show still hangs on, but hopefully not much longer. The Lancaster New Era, a newspaper in Lancaster, PA, recently rebuked the show in an editorial. Click here to read it. The premise of the show was always absurd. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Amish Mafia = complete, total fiction.
As an aside, it's frustrating the obsession with "reality programming." When I turn on the Weather Channel, I want WEATHER. When I turn on CNN, I want NEWS (not an Anthony Bourdain series)...when I turn on MTV, I want MUSIC (I long ago quit turning on MTV because they did away with music a gazillion years ago). Even channels like the Animal Planet have veered off course and now offer shows like Railroad Alaska that have very little - if anything - to do with animals. And remember when AMC used to be American Movie Classics. Good luck finding a classic movie on that channel! Does anyone agree with me, or do you prefer these pseudo-scripted shows?
I'm with you Kevin! Like you, I became discouraged with MTV and gave up. And I've been very upset with AMC and have often wondered when some of the movies they show became "Classic". My husband has turned Amish Mafia on a few times when there wasn't anything else on (how many channels do we have now, and there's nothing to watch??) and I did find myself shaking my head. I kept thinking the characters on this show can't be for real, can they? Thank you for posting this!
Thanks Barb, it's Amish Mafia is total garbage. If you watch it i
As just a fun fiction show, kind of like you watch Star Trek then it can be perfectly entertaining, but there is absolutely no documentary value to it
Kevin, you are so absolutely right! So-called reality programming is offensive, full of foul language from adults and youth alike, while it glorifies offensive, rude and illegal behavior, and for the life of me, I don't get it. Are the ratings that good? Are there really that many viewers tuning in to that offensive drivel? And then we learn that some of our favorite programming is being cut, ie, one of my favorites, The Mentalist on CBS, to name one that, to the best of my knowledge, has not had offensive language, very little blood and guts, or gratuitous nudity, just Patrick Jane and his crew tricking suspects and solving mysteries. Personally, I am offended when I see a teaser in the side bar of a news website for a news story about Kim Kardashian's thong and butt cheeks, with photo! Why is this being crammed down all our throats, it's abhorrent! I choose to remove that website from my approved list and I make sure the company knows. I believe that is how we get anything to change, by making our voices heard, for both the bad stuff and the good stuff!
Well said Sharon, they do seem to keep the garbage on TV and not the good stuff!
Couldn't agree with you more Kevin. I think putting Amish and nafia in the same sentence is ridiculous. Let alone make iit a TV show. And all these celebrity "reality" shows. If their life is remotely like the commercials, then they all have my sympathy. If you had ever gotten a show on TV to do with the Amish, I would have happily watched it. Keep up your good work and I'm sure we all appreciate your efforts.
What a black eye Amish Mafia is giving the peace loving Amish. Anyone who is not acquainted with the ways of the Amish may believe that garbage that is shown on Amish Mafia. I wouldn't mind so much if they just admitted it was fiction, totally scripted and made up but since they portray it as reality, it really makes me mad. Keep setting the record straight, Kevin!
Carol Crowe Phillips
I totally agree with you. If the channel is called the WEATHER channel, it should be weather, etc. I think Hollywood has an obsession with 'reality' tv --most of which is anything but reality. I much prefer the way things were before these shows.
Thanks for stopping by, carol , sigh I miss the early Weather Channel!
Kevin, It makes you wonder, will "Honey Boo Boo" go Amish and be put on the "Amish Mafia" hit list? LOL
You are doing a great job. Love the pictures of Astor. What a darling. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for the kind words, Shirley. Let's hope Honey boo-boo doesn't go Amish. And I'll try to post an Aster picture on Easter, I'm sure she'll look cute!-)
I was so disappointed in the Amish shows. I suspect the disconnect with what is on the "reality" shows and the real experience is comparable to how Italians vs Mafia, and any of the other type casting people endure. ??? Lets just hope audiences are getting a bit more discerning with time.
Because of all the changes I got rid of my cable years ago and switched to antenna and streaming box. I can pretty much watch what I want when I want and most of it is free or very low cost. I think production companies have switched to "reality" shows because they are much cheaper to produce. No expensive sets or stars. The genre has been out long enough now that people are coming forward and admitting that a lot of the "reality" is scripted and conflict is encouraged.
Kevin, I hope that someone picks up your concept and produces it. Maybe a travel channel would be interested.
Keep up the good work. I always enjoy the articles.
P.S. Your daughter is adorable!
Patti - thank you! And you brought up another topic: "cutting the cord." I'm sure my wife and I are going to get rid of our cable in the very near future....just a matter of figuring out how to access various things online at low or no cost! - Kevin
The only "reality show I watch is Dancing with the Stars and at times I am sure it is scripted as are many of the others. Even worse than Honey Boo-Boo would have to be the Amish Mafia series! Oh please people how gullible can you be? I am blessed to live in north central Indiana where I am close to Berne, Topeka, LaGrange and Middlebury, all with large Amish and Mennonite populations that certainly do not act like those fools on the series!
I have been blessed to meet many of the families over the years when I worked with the Red Cross Blood Services because there are many, many of the families that not only donate blood but volunteer to help with the blood drives and yes feed the staff and donors! They sure will not be found skulking around a barn waiting to break someones leg with an ax handle!
You were fortunate to have been dead by the Amish. They are very civic-minded when it comes to blood donating. But, yes, Amish Mafia is the complete absurdity as a program
At least Amish Mafia has little Wayne, can not be much more real than people of Wayne's lack of stature. Look at all the shows featuring these folks now a days, there's reality for you. Whats worse Amish Mafia, or Matt, Zack and the pumpkin family, or The 7 little whatevers,or that Couple in Texas. Anyway reality TV lives in it's own universe, unlike those of us who live week to week for a pay check and pray each night that we wake up the next morning.