Breaking Amish: Brave New World

Common Sense Media says

Spin-off features more drinking, strong language.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While there are some nods toward messages of tolerance, what comes across more strongly is the disrespect the cast members show to their former community and their family and vice versa.

Positive role models

Members of the Amish community are accused of being close-minded and discriminatory against the cast. They don't always get a long, but the cast attempts to find support in each other because of their unique circumstances. Cast members don't take responsibility for some of their inappropriate behavior. Abe and Rebecca have a daughter, who they keep away from the cameras.

Violence

Arguments lead to yelling, screaming, and crying. Both Amish and non-Amish insult and/or threaten cast members on camera; one keeps a hunting rifle near her door out of fear that people who disapprove of her choices will try to hurt her. One cast member's boyfriend is in prison for assault. One cast member has a bad temper, and has a history of being violent.

Sex

Scenes from Breaking Amish include conversations about sex acts. Words like "ho" are audible. Cast members discuss "hooking up" with each other.

Language

Words like "hell," "ass," "piss," audible; curses like "f--k" and "s--t" bleeped.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking (beer, wine, mixed drinks) and cigarette smoking visible. Cast members sometimes get drunk; references are made to one person being an alcoholic.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the reality spinoff Breaking Amish: Brave New World features the now ex-Amish and ex-Mennonite cast trying to create new lives for themselves in the secular, world. Like the original, it contains some sexual references, strong language, and lots of drinking and drunken behavior.

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What's the story?

The reality spin-off BREAKING AMISH: BRAVE NEW WORLD stars the original cast of Breaking Amish, who have now left their Mennonite and Amish lives behind and are struggling to adjust in the secular world. Months after Sabrina, Rebecca, Jeremiah, Abe, and Kate went their separate ways following their New York City experience and Abe and Rebecca's wedding, they come together again to take a road trip from Pennsylvania to Sarasota, Florida, where many Amish and ex-Amish have settled. While they sightsee and enjoy each other's company, they also share the individual struggles they are facing as they try to build new lives, like being harassed by members of their former community, and being unable to find work in their hometown. Adding to the fray is Abe's 18-year-old sister Katie Ann, who is thinking about leaving the Amish, and wants to join the gang and see what the outside world looks like before she makes her decision. It's an adventure, but one that opens old wounds and creates new conflicts.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Brave New World attempts to continue its parent series' original narrative by revealing how each cast member is struggling to adapt to the culture of the English (non-Amish) world and gain a sense of belonging, while quietly holding on to what they love about their former communities, who no longer want anything to do with them. But most of the focus is on the soap opera-like relationships between the members of the group, most of what appears obviously contrived to create lots of voyeuristically entertaining moments.

Much is made about the intolerant acts members of their former Amish/Mennonite communities have committed against the cast since they left their homes. While this is troubling, some viewers may also take issue with their failure to take any real responsibility for the on-camera behavior that has inspired this hostility, like drinking heavily, engaging in casual sexual encounters, and in some cases, openly disparaging the Amish and Mennonite way of life. As a result, rather than being inspired by their courage to find their own way, you are just left feeling disappointed by their antics.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how faith-based subcultures, like the Amish and the Mennonites, are portrayed by the media. What stereotypes exist about these groups? Do you think the representations of these communities in the Breaking Amish franchise is accurate?

  • How real is the cast's partying behavior on the show? Why do you think the cast has chosen to behave the way they do on camera, even if they know that it hurts, insults, and offends the people they love in their former communities?

TV details

Cast:Abe Schmucker, Jeremiah Raber, Kate Stolzfus
Network:TLC
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Breaking Amish: Brave New World was written by

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