“Amish In the City”

Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

In the right hands, this new reality show could be an interesting and educational social experiment about what happens when cultures collide.

But it’s on UPN, so what are the chances of that?

The show takes 5 young Amish people and places them in a Hollywood Hills mansion with six-non Amish roommates.

Now, the Amish people taking part in this show are free to do so — they are not violating any of their cultural traditions (the article above explains why). And of course, the Amish people selected for the show ARE good looking (because NOBODY on reality shows, even Amish people, look like REAL people).

But isn’t the whole idea somewhat demeaning? The whole catch is that they are Amish — implying that being Amish IS a catch. It’s like, "Hey America — let’s see what those freaks are doing THIS week!!! Watch the hilarity as we see those poor dumb Amish deal with a parking meter. Drool as the shy Jessica tries on her first bikini" . . . and so on. You get the idea.

I say, leave them alone. The Amish people strive to be quiet, simple and dignified. That’s pretty rare in America these days. Let’s not turn them (not to mention their beliefs) into a spectator sport. Or if you do, make sure the audience actually learns about the Amish culture, rather than how the Amish behave when ripped from their culture. I don’t trust UPN to do that.