Monday, October 8, 2012

Breaking Amish: Trying New Things

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

By now you have probably heard that Breaking Amish is incredibly contrived. This site, in particular, has drawn a lot of attention (you may have visited it after it was shared in the comments section of last episode's Breaking Amish recap) in sharing discrepancies that illustrate just how much of Breaking Amish TLC is making up versus what could possibly be true.

So, many have turned away from the show because it's fake. But, then you have to ask yourself why you had tuned in from the start. Did you want to experience an educational moment or be entertained? Either way, you can still succeed, though you'll have to ignore the fact that TLC stood fro The Learning Channel at on point in time...

Those points aside, I'm planning to stick with the actors (because we can't really call them "characters," per se) through the end of this season, but I wouldn't watch the series again, whether it be the same folks or another set. The one improvement I did notice, however, is that the change in music and the insertion of mangled Bible verses breaks it up a little better. Otherwise, this is a mess. TLC should know better. 

Breaking Amish "Breaking All the Rules" (S01E03): They all go to get sushi, and later meet up for fireworks. Rebecca and Kate search for modeling agencies online, find one, and go interview after shopping for English clothes. [Rebecca buying lingerie is a bit of foreshadowing, don't you think?] They get their measurements taken, they meet the owner of the agency, walk around in heels, and then face a problem. When they're asked to wear swimsuits for pictures, Rebecca speaks up about their modesty and they are allowed to wear bikini tops and jeans instead. the "gorillas" comment was awkward, I thought.] In the end, Rebecca is too short and is let go, though Kate has potential, as long as she gets in shape/loses weight and clears up her skin. [I would have guessed that clear skin would be a deal-breaker.]
credit: TLC
Jeremiah: He gets a tattoo of a heart, a cross, and the names of important people in his life. Then he goes into a clothing store and picks out some jeans, a shirt, and a hat. [how did he know how to do a handshake like that?] He runs into a bachelorette party, then pops into another store, deciding that he wants some pants that are baggier... except the store employee puts him in really tight pants. [he got kicked out of the Amish three different times??] He goes to Queens to take some driving lessons, figuring that he wants to try being a cabbie. [he grew up New Order Amish and has secretly drove on country roads before. Oh, and that's a big ad for Ena's Driving School!]

Abe: His mother shows up in NYC and wants to take him home. When she realizes that she can't, she reminds him to keep up with his prayers, stay away from drugs, and to wear Amish clothes only, but he says that he's planning to dress to fit in. [why is Jeremiah in the room for this?] They go to a cafe to chat, and he tells her that nothing beats her cooking. [LoL!] When Jeremiah takes him shopping, Abe tries different hats and button-down shirts that aren't too different from the Amish clothing anyway. He really doesn't like t-shirts but decides to give it a try for a few days. He asks out Rebecca and she accepts.

Rebecca: Her grandfather shows up in NYC but she convinces him that she's fine. [it seemed incredibly fake that they looked at a periodical stand and bought their first newspapers. odd music playing when Abe asks out Rebecca. And, awkward that she doesn't care what kind of food they have.]

Kate: Kate isn't a fan of the others' tipping attitudes. She buys a red jacket even though that's a color they're not supposed to wear.

Breaking Amish "New Beginnings" (S01E04): The group goes cell phone shopping - Sabrina and Kate get advanced phones, but the others are just into talking and texting. [Be not deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals." 1 Cor. 15:33] so this is where the whole idea came from that being near bad kids influences you, LoL.] Everyone goes bowling, which is new because Amish don't believe that you should spend money to have fun. [so how do they buy those trampolines?] Then Abe, Rebecca, and Sabrina talk about staging an intervention for Kate, who is having extreme ups and downs (and, in secret, feels left out). After all, they're going to be together for four more weeks. The group also goes to a lively Christian church.

Rebecca: Her dentures hurt so she goes to the dentist because she wants better-fitting teeth. Her Amish dentist had no training and pulled all of her teeth when she was 19 - there are no cleanings in her background. [omg!] It will cost her almost $3,000 to get new dentures, but after hearing her story, the dentist decides to do the work pro bono, and Rebecca loves the results. [I bet!] Then, she meets Abe for a date - he just tells the cab driver to take them to the best Mexican restaurant in town (though, somehow, they wind up at a Chinese place!). Abe asks her about her schooling - she passed 8th grade but is only good at reading and spelling. He dropped out in 5th grade or so, but he says he's good at math. Then they go to Little Italy to listen to some live music. [so were they eating at the one non-Italian restaurant in Little Italy?] 

Jeremiah: He goes to his second driving lesson, which includes parallel parking.

Sabrina: She wants to get in touch with her Puerto Rican roots so she asks a bunch of strangers where to go, and then takes the subway to Astoria (in Queens), where she applies for a job as a waitress. She gets along well with a couple of the girls and they go to a hair salon, which is a first for the Mennonite. She also has her makeup done, which she really enjoys. Then they go shopping and Sabrina gets some cowboy boots [did they go to Manhattan to shop or are they still in Queens?] She talks to a detective about finding her biological parents, but all she has for him to work with is the county where she was born and one of her grandmother's names. Later, she asks Jeremiah about his relationship status, and kisses him while drunk.

Kate: She goes back and forth from being happy to fearing that she'll be shunned for life from her family. We also see that she's experienced at pole dancing.

Breaking Amish "What is Really Happening?" (S01E05): The kids go to see Stomp, as they're not used to seeing live shows, plus music and paying for entertainment aren't for the Amish. Rebecca and Sabrina aren't fans of that part of town, and after going to dinner, the others agree that there are creeps in this neighborhood. [I *believe* Stomp plays in the East Village.] Then they talk about problems in the Amish culture (incest, sexual issues, etc.), but Kate defends the community. Another night, everyone goes to an Italian street fair, gets massages, and goes out to eat. Sabrina and Kate order a bottle of wine, get rowdy, and start wailing on Jeremiah, who winds up in pain. Another day, they all go to see the Brooklyn Bridge, and they experience some rude people. Next up is time for Rebecca and the guys to try a laundromat, where Jeremiah thinks that he can get a woman to do his work for him, while Abe believes that he wore the clothes, he can wash them. [no Kate and Sabrina?]

The girls go for a day of pampering, with manicures, pedicures, and waxes. [it was a bit odd that Sabrina didn't seem to mind the waxing.] Then, they get makeovers, and Sabrina begins to wonder how much Mennonites are wrong after talking with her gay makeup artist. 

Abe & Rebecca: They go for a carriage ride in Central Park, and Rebecca likes the smell of the horses because it reminds her of home. Later, he decides that he wants to marry her, but he needs to get a job so he goes to a stunt school to get some information. [how did he even come up with that ambition?] He finds out that he can work for two days as a stuntman and make the same as he would in a month as a construction worker back home. [interesting to hear him talk about the Amish's three occupations: farming, construction, and masonry.]

Jeremiah: he takes Abe to a strip club, and although Abe leaves right away, Jeremiah stays, thinking that Abe should put friendship before respecting his girlfriend. Abe says that he would be in there if he was single. Then, Jeremiah goes to Queens for his road test, and the instructor thinks that Jeremiah is rough with the car, as her water bottle keeps falling off the center console. [odd test.] He passes. Later, he tells Kate that he hasn't liked her "from day one," and she tries to smooth things over with an apology. He also admits that he wants to stay in New York.

Sabrina: She has her first day of work, where she's told to study the menu, practice saying things in Spanish, and serve customers. But she wasn't taught the computer system or where to find supplies (like utensils), so she struggles left and right and winds up crying in front of her manager. [poor girl.] Part of her wants to go back home.

Kate: She goes shopping for a bikini, says that she wants to go someplace else, and some paperwork arrives about her upcoming trial.
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