“Amish Mafia” Reality Show Premieres, Causes Controversy

Discovery takes a leap forward to present a reality show like no other

By Elena Gorgan on December 11th, 2012 08:01 GMT

Some people would do anything to be on a reality show but the Amish are definitely not amongst them. Even so, Discovery is stepping on almost virgin territory with a new reality show, “Amish Mafia,” which aims to depict a group of vigilantes within the community who don’t really play by the rules.

A trailer for the new show is embedded below, at the end of the article, together with a brief explanation from an industry insider about why such a project stands to make a killing in the ratings.

Amish-focused reality shows are not new, since at least two other similar projects aired in recent months, including one on Discovery’s sister network TLC.

However, “Amish Mafia” is unlike them, if only for striving to portray a group within the community that breaks the rules whenever possible, not to mention act as a sort of Batman for the Gotham of Lancaster, Pa.

The stars of the show are Lebanon Levi and his gang of vigilantes, Jolin, John and Alvin, who not only use guns and whatever other means necessary to fight crime, but also indulge in a little TV watching, computer games, movies, the works.

In other words, the series shows these men doing all those things the Amish are known to be opposing since forever.

Faced with criticism from various sources that the reality show is far from a “reality” show but rather a scripted, completely fake series, Discovery has included a disclaimer in each episode.

Some of the events presented onscreen are reenactments, it says, but the stories are true.

As it so happens, critics don’t believe it, Inquisitr writes.

“When I first saw the trailer [for the show], I thought maybe it was a Saturday Night Live skit on reality television because it was so far fetched. My sense is this Amish mafia is about as real as the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in The Office,” Donald Weaver-Zercher, a professor at Elizabethtown College and expert on the Amish, says.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that people won’t be tuning in to see it. On the contrary actually, one might speculate.

Discovery intros new reality show, “Amish Mafia,” many say it’s fake
   Discovery intros new reality show, “Amish Mafia,” many say it’s fake
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