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With all the shows premiering and wrapping up this week, we almost forgot about our favorite Amish experiment. Okay, our only Amish experiment. Amish In The City finished its tidy little season this week, providing moderate closure on the lives of our favorite city newbies. Unfortunately, none of the Amish folk proved to be bowling prodigies, and furthermore, none of the city kids accidentally “milked” a bull; but I guess not every Amish thing has to be a Kingpin reenactment. Still, the series had a pleasant season that mixed in enough petty squabbles with touchy-feely learning experiences that we actually felt both entertained and educated at the same time. Not bad, for a UPN show.Unfortunately, for reality shows that follow The Real World prototype (sticking a bunch of people in house for six months and letting them deconstruct), final episodes are often anticlimactic. After a whole season of escalating bickering and personal attacks, everything seems to go out the window as everyone kisses and makes up. Damn you people for suddenly acting mature and thoughtful! I’m trying to watch a show here! I don’t want to see Whitney getting along with Mose! I want to see them throwing Beano sticks at each other!
Oh well. I guess these people did have to live with each other. Then again, because these people did have to live with each other, you’d think they’d be civil and polite all along, you know, like any decent human being. Of course, not all of us are hard-wired like the committee of self-absorption that is Reese, Whitney, Nick and Megan; so we don’t know what’s it’s like to actually be incapable of compromise or common courtesy.
Reese, who had spent the season taking the gay rights movement back about fifty years, spent the final show doing… well, nothing. I guess that’s to be expected in the “nice” episode. He did finally have an overdue heart to heart with Kevan, which is just dandy, and he did babble about pursuing a career in art, but overall, this gay version of Norm MacDonald really ought to do us all a favor and go away for a very very long time. I swear, if I hear his buzzsaw voice one more time, I might throw a shoe at my TV (lightly, wouldn’t want to break it after all).
Also raising my ire was Nick, who spent the whole season being too cool for everything. No matter what the activity, he always had a faux-tough guy response that usually had to do with Boston. Regarding spas: “I’m from Boston, we don’t do that.” Regarding manual labor: “I’m from Boston, we don’t do that.” Regarding maturity and respectful communication: “I’m from Boston, we don’t do that.” Listen, Nick. We got your head shot. You can stop auditioning. We know you’re a “tough guy” from Boston.
Probably the best part of the finale for me was watching the crew hit up The Key Club in West Hollywood. In a random bit of staging, the club’s talent booker pulled Nick and Mose into her private office/old trailer (don’t ask) and asked questions about the East Coast music scene. Once again, Nick went into his usual routines of idiocy (“Music scene? W-w-what is that?? I don’t do music scenes”) which led the booker to call him an asshole. Fantastic. I’d been waiting all season for that.
Whitney and Megan kept things relatively low key in this episode also (again, this was supposed to be a sentimental, feel-good season finale, so there really wasn’t a lot of room for idiocy). In a lame attempt to focus on their futures after leaving the house, we learned about Whitney’s decision to become a nurse. Honestly, she’s just about the worst person I’d ever want in my hospital room. I can just imagine it now. Lying in bed, struggling to breathe, my heart monitor going crazy, and Whitney just saying “What are you trying to say? You’re weird. I don’t like you. Stop moving your arms around so much. Why don’t you breathe like a normal person?”
After the show, it appears as though Megan will be creating a lifetime of trauma for one very cute puppy. I mean, she won’t beat her dog, and she certainly won’t neglect him, but honestly, if I were a puppy and I had that scarecrow face coming at me every day, I’d probably run to the nearest pound.
Not every city kid was a suckfest though. Some were vegan. Ariel, known for uninformed PC diatribes, did try to gain some perspective on the entire experience. Instead of relating how the show had changed her, she was decent enough to talk about how the experience affected the Amish. That of course didn’t deter her from looking extremely bored during all interactions with the Amish. Ariel is an odd child, but I think she means well in a completely righteous, radical, and unresearched way.
While Ariel was content to keep her education limited to vegan lectures (apparently given by homeless conspiracy theorists), Jonas was determined to further his studies. He finally learned the results of his GED – he passed – which prompted a visit to a local community college. In all honesty, this entire storyline was LAME. Just kidding. It was actually very endearing, and I will argue that Jonas’s journey during this show has been one of the more interesting and even soulful stories to be told on reality TV of late. I mean, it wasn’t as thought provoking as watching someone on the Real World fight with their ex on the phone and then have sex with strangers, but I guess it will do.
I was most impressed with Kevan, and I’m not just saying that because he’s a TVgasm friend (whatup Kevan). Sorry, that was super lame. (I hate you Kevan) Does that make it better? Anyway, from what we could tell, Kevan seemed to really take Jonas under his wing and help him at a time when it would have been easier to chill out by the pool and enjoy the luxurious surroundings. Then again, it’s not like he had the option of chatting it up with Megan & Co. because that would have required him to override all brain functions in the realms of intellect and tact.
But Tuesday’s finale wasn’t about the city kids (much to their surprise, I’m sure). It was about the Amish. Would they or wouldn’t they go back to their families? Jonas opted to go to college, which was pretty much what we expected. Miriam said she might go back to the Amish, but for now, she’s gonna be a wild child. I guess she’s grown just too damn attached to zippers to go back to a world of buttons. I can empathize. Have you ever dealt with a button fly before? The worst.
Ruth, who will forever be remembered for her famous “I don’t care!” argument, said she’d follow her boyfriend – so we’ll take that as an anticlimactic undecided. Randy, who was clearly the star of this season with his outgoing personality and manly voice, decided to go back to the country to work in construction. Sometimes I wonder if the show could have gone on without him.
And then there’s Mose. Sweet, lovable Mose. When I think of my favorite digital-voiced reality stars, there’s really only one person I have in mind. Mose. Yes, the monotone voice loved by all finally had to make his big decision. Okay, it wasn’t that big of a decision. This guy is pretty much the definition of Amish. Oh, but wait. Mose threw a little curve ball at us. He chose to go back to the country, but not necessarily join the Amish. TouchÃ© Mose. Perhaps he’ll try to start up that Country Western career he revealed to us in the final episode, although, as much as I like Mose, I hope he keeps his crooning to himself.
Maybe Mose can open up his own toy shop. He spent the better part of Tuesday’s episode whittling toys for everyone which he hid around the house as part of a scavenger hunt. It was pretty funny watching some of the city kids trying to follow the clues to their bounty. Most of them just huffed and puffed and instead of using any brain power, reported back to Mose, saying things like “My clue doesn’t work” or “I’m a huge idiot with no attention span. Where’s my toy?” Of course Mose was in his element. After a whole season of trying to get people to play with his inventions (Beano Stick), he finally sparked some interest. He observed the activity like a proud father. To Mose’s credit, the toys were very impressive — he never did explain how he made that ship in the bottle for Jonas.
Eventually the group filed out of the house, ending a season, perhaps a show, that had much more charm than ever expected. The Amish kids really did have a major decision to make; so it sort of sucks that they had to base their opinions of city people on the likes of Reese, Whitney, Nick, and Megan. Actually, it sucks a lot. Still, they seemed to be thoughtful about every element of the experience which made this show stand out from other shallow culture clash shows. Plus, how can I discredit a show that introduced my favorite new term to the masses? RUMSPRINGA.