Friday, November 23, 2012

Breaking Amish: The Final Interviews

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Well, this mess is finally over. I added quite a few remarks in the recap below, and I don't have much to say about it overall except for the fact that I didn't care for the moderator and I am glad that this show is over. Hopefully TLC will stop doing reality series featuring non-mainstream religious groups.
Walling McGarity/TLC
Breaking Amish "The Shunning Truth, Part 2" (Special): The first thing addressed is the internet controversy over how "true" the show is - they all say they weren't acting and that only ex-Amish are digging up dirt. [well, no. plenty of people with no Amish affiliation went searching to see if the stories of these young people were true.] The group then talks about how they had saved up money because they don't spend much on a lot of things - it certainly wasn't from the payout of this show, as Rebecca mentions that they received less than $50,000.

Jeremiah talks about how he has left the Amish multiple times and kept returning. [this is one of those fuzzy facts that could have been more clear. at this point it's become obvious that many sins don't shun you for life, but how (and why) does he keep coming back?] He explains that he has three children (ages 7, 5, and 3) with his ex-wife, Naomi Stutzman, who claimed he was abusive multiple times, though each instance was thrown out in court. He pays child support (though he didn't always do so), and, when he's in Ohio, he sees the children every other weekend; while he's living in Pennsylvania, he sees them once a month. [I'm still unclear about WHY he's living in Ohio. with Sabrina.] Naomi has left the Amish and is raising the children outside the community. He is also shocked that people believe the internet over interviews.

Sabrina talks about how her divorce is in the process of finalizing. She also explains that she's been using Sun-In forever so she hasn't been completely true to the Mennonite faith for quite some time. [holy cow! I had forgotten all about Sun-In!]

Kate says that she's in Florida now and has two more classes to take, then probation for her DUI, and she plans to return to modeling after all of that is over

Rebecca is asked about a pool party where she wore a bikini, and she says that she had snuck out. She also explains that her teeth were not pulled as punishment, but they were decayed and she had them pulled to stop the pain. [the fact that she had "no clue" how old she was when they were pulled was kinda unbelievable and disturbing. could she not figure out if the answer was "14 or 15" or "17 or 18"?] Rebecca also says that she and Abe were on Rumspringa together but she was dating someone else at the time, so they did know one another a little better than was let on during the early episodes. Abe and Rebecca are asked about whether they dated or lived together before the show, but neither gives a clear response at all. Abe even tells the host to stop asking questions about the baby and everyone but Kate jumps to the defense of Rebecca, saying she shouldn't have to answer questions about her child. Abe explains that he moved to Kentucky and did know about the baby, but he didn't know that Rebecca was married before. [just how common is it for these kids to move other places? and are there many Amish in Kentucky and North Dakota? and did Rebecca ride in a rental car or something all the way to North Dakota and back??]

Abe was arrested for underage drinking when he was 18, and his parents never knew. [the comment by the moderator that "they will now," was a bit odd... is she assuming that his AMISH parents are going to watch television?? or just that someone will write about that bit in a newspaper and they'll read about it?]
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