Tuesday night reality TV: Amish Mafia and Tickle – send in the clowns

Cable TV’s reality show sinkhole continues to spread.

Photo: Discovery/Amish Mafia

WASHINGTON, August 13, 2013 —Tuesdays must be work release day at mental hospitals. Or at least it’s beginning to look that way, because basic cable has loaded up the night with reality TV characters that likely can exist only in the minds of a feeble few.

First it was Catfish chasing invisible people on the Internet for a series of “clients” who refuse to believe they’ve been pranked. Then along came Shelby the barefoot swamp man who is a living legend according to History Channel, describing, we’d guess, what’s passing for actual history these days.

SEE RELATED: TV tonight: ‘Catfish: The TV Show’ second season premieres on MTV

Now, with tonight’s addition of “Amish Mafia,” “Tickle” and “Doomsday Castle” to the Tuesday night lineup, it is officially time to cue “Send in the Clowns” and call it a night.

First off, who watches “Amish Mafia” anyway, since the Amish don’t own TVs? Are there people out there who actually think a substantial thug element of the Amish exists? And do such people really believe these alleged, wannabe, Amish-flavored Goodfellas—aka “Men in Black”— conduct their business out of a dairy barn? (Cue in a cool, period soundtrack.)

We’d guess it all makes sense if betting on a horse and buggy race is on the agenda. But what do the Amish wager, loaves of bread and fresh veggies?

But wait! There’s more! Pass me that Mason jar of hooch.

SEE RELATED: TV tonight: reality show Tuesday and the return of ‘Doomsday Preppers’

Just as ridiculous as the kinder, gentler Amish equivalent of “Murder, Inc.” is the notion that moonshiners can conduct their illegal business right in front of a live camera crew without getting caught by them dad’ gum revenooers after their first show airs.

But tell that to the producers of “Tickle” which, PBS fans, has absolutely nothing to do with Elmo. Tonight when “Tickle” premieres on Discovery, just keep in mind that no live corn was harmed during the filming of this show. If you really must watch it.

BTW, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has made a statement to the Associated Press stating that a crime is not taking place on the show because it is a dramatization, and no illegal liquor is being produced. Umm, so that makes “Tickle” a “reality” show, right? And we thought Washington types were the only folks quietly re-defining the English language to suit their nefarious purposes.

This brings us to that intrepid family that’s currently building an impregnable, siege-resistant castle where they can live comfortably after an electromagnetic pulse pulls the plug on the rest of the planet and the known world goes medieval.

Yep, “Doomsday Castle” is yet another example of the entertainment industry’s current obsession with the inevitable arrival of the apocalypse.

Meanwhile, we wait in vain for a reality show that—wait for it—makes fun of a big, cosmopolitan East Coast city that think it’s chic and fashionable to run a serial exhibitionist with a funny name for mayor and a serial philanderer as comptroller. As if.

Seriously now, folks, if National Geographic Channel wants us to watch something like “Doomsday Castle,” they should at least throw in some gnarly, flesh-eating zombies as extras to give that castle a real dress rehearsal, so to speak.

How else are we going to get rid of these annoying reality show characters?

TV tonight:

All times are EDT:

8 p.m.

ABC: Extreme Weight Loss: (New) Chris helps family man Mike turn his health around; Mike gets the chance to box Evander Holyfield.

CBS: NCIS: (Repeat) Ziva’s father unexpectedly arrives to visit his daughter, but she questions his motives and wonders if he is on a secret mission for Mossad. Meanwhile, the team investigates the link between a dead journalist and a Navy petty officer.

FOX: So You Think You an Dance: (Live) The top ten perform.

NBC: Hollywood Game Night: (Repeat) The celebrity players are Jason Alexander, Nick Cannon, Josh Gad, Niecy Nash, Al Roker and Will Sasso.

CW: Whose Line is it Anyway?: (New) Lisa Leslie; comedian Heather Anne Campbell.

8:30 p.m.

CW: Whose Line is it Anyway?: (Repeat) Kyle Richards appears.

9 p.m.

CBS: NCIS: Los Angeles: (Repeat) Kensi and Deeks are sent to Mexico to investigate the theft of a cartel boss’s body, after a DEA special task force brings the ruthless criminal down. Back at home, Callen and Sam look into whether there is a leak in the DEA.

NBC: America’s Got Talent: (New) Twelve more performers take the Radio City stage to prove that they have what it takes to make it to the AGT semifinals.

CW: Capture: (New) The team that destroyed the food supply is in the hot seat; one team views the entire playing field; the Hunt Team’s capture proves shocking.

10 p.m.

ABC: Body of Proof: (Repeat) Megan arrives at the scene of a young girl’s murder and finds Tommy covered in blood; as evidence piles up against Tommy, Megan tries to ignore her doubts and prove his innocence.

CBS: Person of Interest: (Repeat) Reese takes on an undercover assignment in a suburban neighborhood.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Pretty Little Liars at 8 p.m. on ABCFAM

Nine for IX at 8 p.m. on ESPN

Doomsday Preppers Bugged Out at 8 p.m. on NGC

Amish Mafia at 8 and 9 p.m. on DSC

The Haves and Have Nots at 9 p.m. on OWN

Dance Moms at 9 p.m. on Life

Covert Affairs at 9 p.m. on USA

Rizzoli & Isles at 9 p.m. on TNT

Airport 24/7: Miami at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Doomsday Preppers at 9 p.m. on NGC

Face Off at 9 p.m. on Syfy

Who Do You Think You Are? At 9 p.m. on TLC

Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis at 9 p.m. on BRAVO

Property Virgins at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on HGTV

Mythbusters 9 and 10 p.m. on SCI

Perception at 10 p.m. on TNT

Tickle at 10 p.m. on DSC

House Hunters at 10 p.m. on HGTV

Catfish: The TV Show at 10 p.m. on MTV

Doomsday Castle at 10 p.m. on NGC

Chopped at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Suits at 10 p.m. on USA

The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on History Channel

House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

The Godfather, Part II on AMC

The Notebook on ENC

Eye See You on FLIX

Dear John  on FXM

Step Brothers on FX

The Warriors on IFC

Blood Diamond on REELZ

Heathers on SUND

Girl Crazy on TCM

Later tonight:

Blessed at 9:40 p.m. on FLIX

Horrible Bosses at 9:40 p.m. on MOMAX

Prometheus at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

Tower Heist at 10 p.m. on HBO

W. at 10 p.m. on TMC

When Harry Met Sally at 10:10 p.m. on ENC

The Beach at 10:30 p.m. on HBO

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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