Ok, so I'm a total poser when it comes to reality TV. I like to front and be all "I never watch reality TV. " I'll brag that I have never seen an episode of Survivor or the Bachelor or Big Brother. But the truth is I am a total reality show whore, as long as the reality show features fashion, cooking or the Amish.
What Amish, you might ask? Amish in the form of a magnificent little gift from the heavens called "Amish in the City". Oh, you don't remember it? Allow me to recap:
In 2004 the UPN aired a reality show where the premise was to put a half dozen Amish kids on rumspringa in a house with half a dozen non-Amish. Rumspringa is an Amish rite of passage where kids leave the Amish community and experience the outside world. If they choose to go back to their families, then they get folded back into that world, no questions asked. If they choose to stay among "the English" their families shun them for the rest of their lives. Sounds like the makins of some mighty fine reality TV, right? Guess not. It lasted only one season, but I thought it was one season of heaven.
There was this one dude called "Mose" who whittled toys out of wood and smoked a corn cob pipe. As the oldest of the Amish kids (he was 25, I think), he was the most awkward and set in his Amish ways. The rest of the Amish kids wrestled with how to dress slutty, how much to drink without passing out, how to relate to modern music and had some truly moving experiences, like seeing the ocean for the first time. I thought the show brought the drama. How can you deny the dramatic tension between a girl who whittles her own buttons out of a hank of bone vs. a club girl whose biggest decision each day is whether or not to wear a skirt short enough to expose her pantyless cooter. I demand a recount!
But alas, Amish in the City was not even a blip on any one's radar but mine and my friend Mare's. Even back in '04 when it was running on UPN if I dared to throw out a "Hey did you see . . . " at the water cooler, people looked at me like I had a turd between my teeth. . I am guessing a gang of two does not blow up the skirts of the Neilsen folks and it ended up a one season wonder.
Nowadays, just like before there was an Amish in the City, I get my Amish fix in the actual Amish Country. I am anxiously awaiting a family trip to Lancaster PA next month. Every time I have gone to Lancaster in the years since Amish in the City, I find myself staring extra hard at every young Amish adult to see if they are from the cast of the show. It's silly, I know, but it's not my most shameful reality stalking. There was this one time when I searched the corners of San Francisco for Puck from the Real World SanFrancisco. . . . .
Watch Mose get his mullet cut here: