CAPTION: courtesy DIY Network, Vanilla Ice with his host John Schlabach.
Set your DVR for 10 p.m. Saturday for the premiere of “Vanilla Ice Goes Amish”, a show that Las Vegas Weekly called “a little dull” after watching a screening. Whoops, actually that is a signal to me that this show many actually be GOOD and worthwhile. Some of the other Amish garbage on TV isn’t dull, but it is also not reality. The reality about Amish life is that it doesn’t lend itself very well to serialized TV because quietude, family, and faith don’t necessarily make for ratings-grabbing TV. Although I guess the Waltons did well in its day. But typically reality TV production companies are seeking screamier, more action-packed fare, something that just doesn’t capture Amish life.
Personally, I felt a twinge of envy because the project Vanilla Ice is working on is the type of show I worked on putting together through most of 2012. But – and I don’t say this bitterly, just realistically – when you have deep pockets and name recognition, it is easier to get the job done. Those are advantages I lacked. The producers of Vanilla Ice’s show didn’t scour the hills of Holmes County like I did, they simply called the local visitors bureau who deemed the project worthwhile. That actually makes me feel better, anyone can call the local visitors bureau. I would have been really bummed had they simply parachuted in and got this done independently.
By the way, if I had to guess, the show is being filmed with members of the New Order Amish Fellowship. They are a horse and buggy church, but one that is much less averse to publicity than other Amish orders. And John Schlabach, the Amish gentleman in the above photo, looks like he could be a member of that church. Beards are usually trimmed a bit more neatly and crisply like in the photo. But this is just a guess, I’ll be interested to watch the first episode!