Well, season three of Amish Mafia is well underway, and one thing is clear this time around, the producers, writers, and directors of the show, have just stopped giving a fuck. If the ratings are any indication, viewers might have stopped giving a fuck too, and that’s unfortunate. This beautiful piece of exploitive entertainment is getting better than the WWE.
Season 2 saw the show carry a viewership of around 2.5 million each week. The first season pulled in slightly more than 3 million viewers for each new episode.
So far this season, the numbers seem to be continuing their plummet, with only 2.2 million watching the season 3 premier, and only 1.75 million watching the second episode.
Yeah, 1.5 million is a decent number when compared to other shows. The CW calls Arrow a runaway hit, and it drew 2.5 million viewers last week.
Discovery Channel has been on a roll lately. The cable network reported its best month ever in January, thanks in part to an original mini-series called Klondike.
In the first season, there was seemingly an effort to create a believable world where the Amish of Lancaster, Pa, were subservient to not only their lord and savior, Jesus Christ, but to a chubby guy name Lebanon Levi, whose buggy bears the brand of the Cadillac ranch.
The show even began with a disclaimer saying the Amish deny the existence of an Amish Mafia, and are very secretive about their culture, so recreations are used to supplement the story telling.
Right before the second season began, real news stories about the black amish guy, commonly called Schwarze Amish, facing criminal charges popped up, as did an increasing number of Internet resources pointing out the show is merely make believe. Season two dealt heavily with this issue, and Schwarze Amish’s dealings with rival Amish mafiosos from Ohio, Merlin and Wayne. Oddly enough, season 3 also kicked off with news about the real John Schmucker facing jail time after getting popped for driving without a license for the 10th time.
Sure, it was clearly off the rails in season two, but nothing like what’s gone on through just three episodes this season.
The crazy midget guy, Wayne, is now a guy with a lot of clout, and he’s got a non-Amish girlfriend, he has to stand on logs in order to kiss her on the lips, to prove it.
Levi is under close watch by the police department, and the brother of the trifling bitch who continually stirs the pot, Esther, is working with them to put Levi away for good.
This, of course, doesn’t stop Levi from sending his cockeyed giant, Big Steve, to the midwest to kidnap someone, sending his young punk foot soldier, Caleb, out to spray manure over Amish people who don’t pay what they owe, or allowing the Rambo of Mennonites, Jolin, to blow up a meth lab with propane gas and an assault rifle. Oh yeah, there is also an Amish guy who likes to wear dresses currently featured on the show as well.
Now there’s a fat Amish chick in Ohio who is the only person in the country who can lead Amish couples properly into the sanctity of marriage, by wrapping them up in blankets, and then having Amish dudes, put their Amish pricks, inside Amish poonany, but forbids them do the old in-and-out motion, in a ritual allegedly called soaking.
Honestly, I’m still trying to soak all of this in myself.
Amish Mafia, and the like, are just doing what exploitation movies have done from their beginning. I always like to go back to Mom and Dad, a sex education film that became one of the highest grossing films of the 1940s.
Mom and Dad was a film about a troubled girl who gets pregnant and has a baby. This sounds boring, and ultimately, it kind of is, but the magic of marketing made it exciting enough for the film to earn an estimated $63, for every dollar spent on production, for profits in excess of $40 million.
The company behind Mom and Dad created its own controversy over the film before they even brought it to town for screenings. When it did come to town for screenings, it was often limited to men-only, or women-only, screenings, accompanied by live, in-person commentary by an expert in the field of young girls getting pregnant.
The marketing technique is basically stolen from carnival barkers trying to get passersby to pay a quarter to see the headless woman, or to watch some geek bite the head off of a chicken. The pitch was far more entertaining and exciting than the product could ever be.
In the case of Mom and Dad, they exploited sex to put butts in seats. Rather than piquing curiosity with sexual titillations, Amish Mafia exploits public curiosity about a secretive culture by claiming outrageous acts are reality.
The pretenses the show is based in any kind of reality in Season 3, however, are gone, and it’s a better show because of it. We’ve got the bullshit behind us now. and we all know it’s fake, so now the creators are free to bust loose with the plot lines and characters.
it’s the kind of thing that would make Vince McMahon proud.
I used to complain about shows like Amish Mafia cheapening television standards, and lament over Discovery ditching its educational programming for crap like Amish Mafia and Moonshiners. Then I realized I was wrong –– at least when it comes to cheapening TV standards.
Cable television channels are just trying to find the cheapest ways to produce shows and get viewers. If those cheap shows are as good as Amish Mafia, then I’m ready go wild over the next clearance sale, as long as it’s clearly labeled as a real clearance sale, and not advertisements for regular-priced goods. I hate being lied to.
In other words, it’s time to stop trying to shill these shows as being based in any kind of reality, and just admit you’re making shit up for my enjoyment.
Links of interest:
Follow Amish Mafia on Twitter
And from the Internet’s candy store, Buzzfeed, 8 Hilarious Reasons Why “Amish Mafia” Is Fake
Esther Schmucker discusses a recent domestic violence attack, and Lebanon Levi, who just asked her to marry him in the third episode of season 3, had nothing to do with it (Sad story, really)
(And yes, we are aware the validity of any given Wiki post is questionable, but they are a good place to start researching a topic, provided the entry has sufficient source material to explore, and you are aware it all needs fact checked.)