First of all, TV and the Amish don't have to be bad. Amish: Out of Order, Devils Playground, and even the infamous Amish in the City have been relatively well-crafted and at times even poignant shows. But TLC's latest offering, Breaking Amish, just didn't do it for me. For one, I found myself bored. I'll watch almost anything, but I found my eyes glazing over after 15 minutes. This show is basically a retread of the show Amish in the City which aired about 10 years ago on the now defunct UPN network. Amish in the City basically worked the same concept: put a group of young Amish people in a luxury-soaked loft in a big city and watch them experience it. The "fish out of water" concept is nothing new to TV. Because it is not a new concept if you're going to do it you need to really offer something compelling, otherwise it'll be boring. And I was bored.
PHOTO: The cast of Breaking Amish
Almost every cast member is what I would call an "outlier," meaning their life experience isn't typical of most other Amish. That wouldn't necessarily be a horrible thing, but it skews reality a bit.
Some of you may have noticed the name "Elizabeth Coblentz" in a China cabinet in one of the girl's homes. It was some sort of knick-knack/family keepsake. No, there is no connection with the original Amish Cook. In some communities the name Elizabeth Coblentz is fairly commonly.
Some viewers immediately pounced on the fact that they are on TV at all as evidence they are "not really Amish" and I don't think that is the case. Views about photography and film vary widely among the Old Order Amish so it's not a stretch to think the producers were able to find some Amish willing to participate. The biggest problem with the show, again, in my opinion, is it was just boring. I'm sure these are real people with real stories, they just aren't all that interesting of stories or representative of the overall Amish experience. What did you think?