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Amish: Out of Order
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Amish: Out of Order is a documentary series featuring ex-Amish members as they assimilate into a mainstream lifestyle, which sometimes includes drinking, swearing, and other iffy behavior. It features some occasional salty vocab ("hell," "ass"; curses like "s--t" are rare and bleeped). Some episodes contain violent elements like slaughtering farm animals for food, mixed martial arts cage fighting, and car accidents. The ex-Amish, some who are teenagers, occasionally drink beer or smoke cigarettes.
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What's the story?
AMISH OUT OF ORDER is a documentary series that follows individual ex-Amish members who have chosen to leave their communities and transition into the mainstream world. It features Mose Gingerich, an ex-Amish man known for mentoring ex-Amish community members of all ages who are now adopting an \"English\" way of life. While they enjoy much of what their new lives have to offer, like getting a driver's license and participating in activities like mixed martial arts cage fighting, they also struggle to build lives for themselves without an extensive education, a credit history, or their families for support. While they figure out their place in a new world, non-Amish folks also turn to Gingerich to learn more about their former way of life.
Is it any good?
The series offers a sensitive look at the journeys of people who have chosen to leave their Amish communities for a life that they believe is better suited for them. While these folks don't openly disparage the Amish way of life, they reveal some of their feelings about needing to separate themselves from a community that they characterize as being loving, but overly-strict and narrow-minded.
It's both interesting and voyeuristic, but it offers some interesting insight into the unique challenges the ex-Amish face every day. It is also a show that helps the viewer understand a little bit more about the inner-conflict they experience when they leave everything they know in order to be part of the larger, secular world.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the history of the Amish in the United States. Why are they called Pennsylvania Dutch? Why do they choose to live without modern conveniences like cars or electricity? What is the meaning behind the clothes they wear?
How does the media portray the Amish? What are some of the stereotypes that exist about Amish people? Why are people so fascinated by the Amish culture?