WASHINGTON, March 6, 2013 —There are reality shows like “Duck Dynasty” that are structured but reality based, and there are shows like “Amish Mafia” that are so laughably contrived their creators should be treated like annoying paparazzi. Any opportunity to grab and smash their production cameras should be acted on and applauded as a public service.
True Amish value rural life, manual labor and humility. They are known for simple living, plain dressing and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology. The Amish also seek to maintain a degree of separation from the non-Amish (English) world. Amish church members practice nonresistance and will not perform any type of military service.
Doesn’t sound much like Jersey and the Sopranos, does it? If Tony Soprano had a pacifist in his crew, he was a well hidden one. One business owner who lives near where “Amish Mafia” is filmed is so sure the show has no basis in reality that he’s offering a tour service to prove it.
The new tour will probably do well riding on the heels of the newfound notoriety of the Amish, but it isn’t necessary to take the tour to debunk the ridiculous representation of Amish portrayed on Discovery Channel. Just watch one show, and it quickly becomes obvious “Lebanon Levi,” (The “Don Corleone” of the goof squad) is about as scary as an angry Pekinese.
The whole premise that there’s a secret organization that can be called on to do the dirty work of the clean-handed Amish community is a low point, even for reality shows. What’s next, Boca Raton Bob and his crew of angry senior citizens red tagging unsafe golf carts and monitoring expiration dates of tapioca?
If networks insist on following ordinary people around with cameras all day, at least make sure the people they follow are interesting. “Duck Dynasty” is the perfect example. Sure it is structured, but the people are likable as well as entertaining. They rarely take themselves seriously, and most important of all, they know how to have fun.
As for “Lebanon Levi,” he should stop mocking his faith and practice it more by helping his community in real ways. Help build a barn or plow a field or something. It would certainly be more entertaining than watching him and his little friends play mafia in a dairy barn.
All times are EST:
ABC: The Middle: (Repeat) Frankie worries Mike is tiring of her as their 20th anniversary draws close; Sue tries to get Axl and Brick’s help planning a party for their parents; Axl spoils the end of a book for Brick.
CBS: Survivor: Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorities: (New) A medical emergency threatens to end one castaway’s ability to continue in the game.
FOX: American Idol: (New) Las Vegas round two. Ten singers perform.
NBC: Whitney: (New) Whitney’s half-sister visits Chicago, and RJ deals with a difficult break-up. Natasha Leggero guest stars.
CW: Arrow: (Repeat) Oliver suspects Diggle’s mentor of robbing armored trucks, but Diggle thinks Oliver’s way off base. Elsewhere, Thea believes that Moira and Malcolm are having an affair; and Tommy, Laurel and Malcolm share an uncomfortable dinner together.
ABC: The Neighbors: (New) Marty offers to teach the Bird-Kersees how to drive; Amber regrets opting for lessons from a driver’s Ed teacher when Ms. Porsche (Sandra Bernhard) turns out to be very unconventional.
NBC: Whitney: (No description available) A romantic-comedy series that charts the humorous highs and lows of an unmarried couple.
ABC: Modern Family: (Repeat) Jay and the family plan to celebrate New Year’s together at a hotel in Palm Springs, but the hotel doesn’t meet their expectations; Alex and Haley are faced with challenges as they try to watch the kids back at home.
CBS: Criminal Minds: (Repeat) The eighth season begins with a search for an escaped serial killer in Texas who sews the mouths of his victims shut. Meanwhile, the BAU members welcome a new linguistics expert.
NBC: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: (Repeat) A successful S-and-M romance author is sexually assaulted by a TV-show host, and detectives try to persuade the author to press charges. However, an investigation into her background yields an explosive secret, which may ruin her career and the case.
CW: Supernatural: (Repeat) Mrs. Tran and Kevin create a demon bomb to use against Crowley. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean are shocked when Castiel appears and tells them that he escaped from purgatory.
ABC: Suburgatory: (New) Dalia tries to help Mr. Wolfe recover from his breakup with chef Alan; George and Dallas are caught in the crossfire when Noah becomes convinced that Carmen is the love of his life.
ABC: Nashville: (Repeat) As Rayna settles into the tour, she learns that Deacon has joined Juliette’s band; Juliette wants to make a change but her team disagrees; Scarlett receives an offer from Gunnar.
CBS: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: (Repeat) The 13th season begins with Russell searching for his kidnapped granddaughter.
NBC: Chicago Fire: (Repeat) Peter begins to have doubts about his future as a firefighter after he comes across a young victim’s body at the site of a train accident. Elsewhere, Dawson and Shay deal with an abusive mother; Severide saves a heart-attack victim, aggravating his own injury in the process; and Shay sends Clarice back to her husband.
New episodes of:
Amish Mafia: The Devil’s Cut at 8 p.m. on DSC
Haunted Collector at 9 p.m. on Syfy
Hoarding: Buried Alive at 9 p.m. on TLC
Feed the Beast at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on Travel Channel
Full Throttle Saloon at 9 p.m. on truTV
Duck Dynasty at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on A&E
Weed Country at 10 p.m. on DSC
The Americans at 10 p.m. on FX
Stranded at 10 p.m. on Syfy
Cheese Paradise at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel
Psych at 10 p.m. on USA
House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV
Lords of War at 10:30 p.m. on NGC
For movie lovers:
The Shining on BBC
Absolute Power on ENC
Hellraiser: Inferno on FLIX
Blow on FMC
Signs on IFC
Once on SUND
Family Band: The Cowsills Story on SHO
Coach Carter on BET
Hall Pass on CINEMAX
The Descendants on HBO
Collateral on HBO
Underworld: Awakening on STARZ
War Horse at 9:30 p.m. on SHO
The Hills Have Eyes at 10:15 p.m. on IFC
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at 10:31 on AMC
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