No, no folks. Those stellar shows are already featured on the network.
The latest show is called Breaking Amish and it features five young men and women who are either Amish or Mennonite and wish to leave their families and their way of life to travel to the outside world of New York City.
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think young people wanting to go outside the norm of their family life is something that is rare. That desire to explore the "outside world" whatever it may be is a common part of growing up. And obviously, someone who has grown up in the Amish community has given up a lot of material comforts and conveniences. I think it would only be natural to sometimes wonder what life on the outside is like.
My issue with the show is two-fold:
Although I am not Amish, I do think that in the long run, they may be better off eternally than many in the "modern" world. What they sacrifice now, for whatever reason, pays off. They certainly wont be slaves of the government or the grocery story should times get hard. They stick together and mind their own business. They work hard and serve God to the best of their knowledge. Their life, though certainly not perfect (nor is anyone else's) is a rich life.
2) Is the TLC channel truly giving these young people a taste of "reality" when they bring them to NYC? In some of the promos, it looks like they live in a nice place, go out and do fun things and party often. One of the girls has a modeling session wearing a bikini (I think she gets a DUI at some point in the show) and another of the young men takes driving lessons. My question is, who is paying for their stay and activities? I am guessing the young people didn't save up all their money for a few years to fund this journey, so the TLC channel must be paying for everything and then paying them as well to appear on the show.
Is that real? The cost of living in New York city is extremely expensive. Who could come off an Amish farm and foot the bill for that kind of living? Is that really fair to the young people? For certainly, if they leave their families for good and move to the city, they won't be able to live that kind of life. It's not reality at all. (that would be like saying that The Bachelor dating show is a lesson in real relationships and dating. Yikes).
People probably find Breaking Amish fascinating because it gives them a small glimpse into a simple, hidden life that is rarely seen. But I am guessing it also fills people with dread of "oppressive religion" and they feel inclined to encourage the young people in a life of "freedom." So.....freedom being drinking, partying and hooking up? Is that the fulfillment of modern life?
I guess my heart goes to the young people as real people. What will be their final destiny? The TLC channel will make their money but what happens when the cameras stop rolling? Will the young people be shunned by their families? Will one of them get pregnant? What are they going to do for a living? Will their hurts be healed?
Although these young people are consenting adults and are free to do as they choose, I just wonder if something like this is in their best interest. And at what cost will their "freedom" come?