Monday, June 30, 2014

Return to Amish ...... What?

  Last night's episode of Return to Amish was so ridiculous that I'm still trying to decide if I want to laugh or scream. The story lines they come up with might be okay if it happened in real life, but all the stupid things they get the cast to do has ex-Amish everywhere laughing and somewhat offended at the unreal portrayal of Amish life. I can't see how the actors even maintain a straight face at some of the things they are trying to sell as reality.

   I won't bother dissecting everything, but a few were so blatantly fake that I feel like talking about it.

   In the scene where Chester, Mary, and Katie Ann were going to church to make a confession and hopefully start being accepted again was all kinds of fake. They did choose to wear their Sunday clothes, but Mary and Katie Ann didn't wear a bonnet over their prayer coverings. Amish women wouldn't even dream of going to church with out one. Second if it is cold enough to need a coat to go to church Amish women will wear a shawl, unless it's really cold and then they'll wear a coat, but still wear a shawl over it.

 They arrived at "church" and went into the house. They needed some other people there, but uh-oh they weren't wearing the clothes the Amish in Punxsutawney wear. The voices from inside the house amused me greatly. It was no where near like an Amish church service, and the "confession" part also not at all like an Amish church confession.

  The Amish never welcome people by name at a church service, confessions have the bishop informing everyone what the sin was and then the offender has to go outside while the rest of the church votes which of the three levels of confessions will have to be made. Mary was questioning if she can continue seeing her children, another sign this was not a church service. She would not have been able to say anything except repeating a certain confession after the bishop.

   I could point out more, but I'm really hoping people are realizing if they want to learn anything about the Amish, that this show has almost zero reality.

10 comments:

Tanza said...

Hahahaha ....... and, to think that it was this show that actually got my own desire to learn more about AMISH !!! It just interested me so !!! That is how I found your blog actually a few years back !!! And, it is from you that I actually have learned the facts and reality of Amish people and churches ..... it is funny how we tend to believe so much on REALITY TV. And, it is always stands to confirm .... It IS ONLY TV, and, anything BUT reality for the most part ...... It is ACTING !!! Even the books I read, seem to be a little off base from the truth .... entertainment I guess it is .... again, I thank you for all the CORRECT information, and the answering of some of my questions to you !!! So helpful, and so interesting ... you always seem to answer something I am wondering about !!!
Gosh, hope you are feeling better too .. Prayers and wishes being sent your way my friend. Stay faithful, prayers lifted, and hoping this brings a happy day your way xo

jenann said...

I always find the term 'reality TV' funny! Most of it has so little to do with reality.
Never fear, Mary Ann, even across the pond in the UK, we know these shows deal in half truths, or less. We tend to see the 'let's watch the fake Amish' phase pretty much as we treat Fox News - light entertainment but not having much to do with the truth!
However, my 92 year old mother is upset because of the Amish use of the word English. Born in England, she is offended that the life-style that includes imodest behaviour and dress is thought of as English by the Amish! I've tried to explain why the term is used but, to her, British kids behaving like that in cities such as Brighton are being pulled into bad behaviour as a result of Americanization. I asked her what she thinks of as Americanization.... the answer came back ... burgers and parading around in beauty pageants! I do hope you are refraining from such terrible behaviour, heehee.

Simply Shelley said...

I don't watch TV so I haven't seen any of these amish shows, but my daughter tells me about them. Mostly ,sounds like a mockery to me. I really admire the Amish....its sad Hollywood does this all in the name of money and popularity. I can understand why you would be upset. Blessings friend

Marleen said...

In the Netherlands there is a reality show running on the Amish too. It's about boys and girls getting a break in New York before they decide to return to their own community. After seeing bits and bobs I've made up my mind: they must be all actors! Although I don't know much about the Amish and the way they live (apart from what you tell us) it comes across as total nonsens. Shame because I believe there are beautiful aspects in every form of religion or community!

Stacy said...

Between this show (and the episode you're talking about is the first one I've seen) and Amish Mafia...television is making experts out of everyone. I don't know a lot about Amish life, but sometimes I'll hear someone talking these days like they know all there is to know and all they know comes from these and the Amish romance novels they read. I want to laugh out loud at how ridiculous some of them sound. But I guess that's Hollywood for you....take anything that's a little unfamiliar and take great license with it.

nolefan ocala said...

My husband and I watched an episode of Amish Mafia. They showed the inside of a supposed Amish home and there was a painting of Jesus on the wall. I said, "Ooooooh, this is so fake, an Amish home would never have a painting on the wall!!!" My husband said, "You needed to see that to know it was fake!!" It is pretty obnoxious what some of these ex-Amish will do to get on tv. I am no expert on the Amish, but I have read such excellent books as Growing up Amish and Plain Secrets and there is enough in there to know that so much of these shows is fake. Maybe the producers of these shows should study up a little on Amish culture so they don't look so ignorant. Btw Maryann, I am praying for your throat and I hope you see a doctor soon. Sometimes the worrying is much worse than the actual problem.

dayna64 said...

I watch those kind of shows mostly for entertainment , LOL. Those reality shows are all scripted, and that is not reality.

E said...

I grew up around the Holmes/Wayne County Ohio Amish and I have much familiarity with Amish culture. I have to say that the Schmucker family is a bit similar to one particular Amish family near me when I was a teenager. The parents were shunned for something (I don't think I ever knew what it was). They had a boy who got heavily into drugs and never joined church... another son also did not join church and became "very English" (that's what other Amish neighbors called it). Return to Amish might have some inaccuracies (bonnets, portrayal of church interactions, etc) but the concepts of a family struggling with being shunned, and with children choosing against joining church, are very real. I think that the show is a bit comical at times but it's a "loosely accurate" portrayal of Amish life that probably is the most intimate exposure to the world of Amish that most people watching the show will ever have.

PS. I have always wondered if you watch the show and what your thoughts are. I no longer live in an Amish community- if I still did I would have asked them their opinion on it.

ladybug loves lilacs said...

Not only do they portray the Amish incorrectly but the English as well. In the beginning they act like all English run out to bars and get tattoos and live the wild life. I was very disappointed in this show and have not watched the Return to Amish. We have some very good Amish friends and so for some of us we know what is real about the Amish way and what is not. For those who don't know they may actually believe some of this stuff and that is sad.

Carolien said...

I have never seen a show like that. one year ago I saw a documentaire about Amish: The secret life.
Did you see that? I like that!