The Television Critics Association summer press tour ends today, and while most of the big network announcements came last week, its final few days have focused on what’s in store on cable in the next few months. One of the most sensational of these new shows is TLC’s Breaking Amish, a reality series that has shamelessly ripped off the title of Breaking Bad and finds four Amish people and one Mennonite escaping the confines of their secluded communities for the bright lights and impossible rents of New York City.
As you might remember, rebellious Amish youth aren’t a new subject for reality TV: Back in 2004, UPN brought us Amish in the City. The difference is that while the kids in that show were on rumspringa, the Breaking Amish cast members have actually elected to leave the world of barn raisings and horse-drawn buggies forever. There’s already been some controversy among critics over whether TLC producers played too large a role in their subjects’ decision to move to New York, and as you’ll see in the trailer, there’s certainly a semi-exploitative “Look at these fucking Amish” vibe to some of the clips. And yet, we remain curious to learn about people who have had hugely different lives from our own. Click through to get a first look at Breaking Amish, and let us know whether your ethics will permit you to watch the show when it premieres, September 9th.