Amish in the City Recap 8/18/04 – Find An Organic Way To Do It
Welcome to this week’s recap of Amish in the City. Looks like all the kids in the house are still doing quite well and having a good time, because their worst problem is still cleaning up the house. Mose decides he will make a list of duties, and everyone can pick one duty themselves. Mose shares with us that his Amish background told him that slacking off is not an option. His list is met with disapproval as the city kids shrug off the list altogether, and just tell him they’ll clean up as they see fit. Whitney is especially annoyed at Mose’s list and continues hammering on her main theme at the house “If you have a problem with me, I’ll have a problem with you.” It’s interesting that now the Amish kids are mad at the city kids for not being the ones to clean up when the roles were reversed two episodes ago.
You Can Find Them Outside Airports As Well
Down the tube comes a message, and everyone is told it’s time for strange adventures in L.A. Their first destination: a Hare Krishna festival. Both the city kids and Amish kids are perplexed by what they see. We see images of men carrying a statue down the street, while a woman kisses some random patch of grass. Miriam thinks it’s “crazy” but Ariel makes an observation that the Amish and the Hare Krishnas are alike in that they dress differently and wear their hair differently. Not very insightful, but that’s coming from the same girl who believes cows come from space. Jonas has a conversation with a member of the Hare Krishna and he likes the whole “connecting with your inner being” aspect of the movement. Reese uses up-to-date urban lingo by noting that the whole thing was very “chill” and that he wouldn’t “knock it.” All in all, everyone seems interested in that “Great stuff! Now when are we leaving again?” sort of way.
Mose wants a one on one conversation with a member of Hare Krishna but settles by being the housemate’s official question-asker and spokesman as he grills a Hare Krishna member on religious matters. Now, I personally thought that answers such as “it’s part of a continuum” were either indirect or deliberately vague, but Mose seemed pleased with them and I could have sworn all his housemates sighed in unison when Mose stopped asking his questions.
Gimme Back My Blankey!
That evening, we are shown some bizarre behavior by Kevan. Ariel is apparently really cold and covers herself up with two or three blankets in bed. Kevan asks her if she has one of his blankets on. She responds with “get off” and he takes that response as a cue for him to take her blankets off. Nick decides to rescue the damsel in distress but not very directly, as he knows that he might not benefit from a scrap with Kevan who appears both deranged and pissed off. Nick tells Kevan that “it was pretty lame dude” and Kevan promptly dismisses him. Kevan puts the blankets back on Ariel and tells everyone that everyone is a bunch of babies. Ok, I don’t really understand where he’s coming from here, but let’s look at what he actually did: He took off Ariel’s blankets, walked around the room arguing, then put her blankets back on. I’ll give him “childish” at best. Nick shares with us that Kevan talks down to women and that if he keeps doing that, he….might say something to him. The whole Meagan/Kevan romance thing from a while back is brought to our attention again, and Meagan assures us that she is no longer interested in the jerk. I think that Kevan simply used the Reese method for showing someone he likes her, and instead of throwing a sock at Ariel he just took off her blankets.
Promiscuity Leads To German Trash-Talk
In a nod to Survivor’s editing style, we’re treated to the umpteenth transitory shot of a full moon since the show started. Reese decides it’s time to play “truth or dare” and the only person not playing is Kevan. Reese is extremely annoyed at that and resorts to the ultimate fallback insult: “I think you’re gay for doing that.” I didn’t know that was an insult gay people used as well. Kevan is pretty reasonable when he tells us that he doesn’t like it when people try to figure out who he is or try to get under his skin. It definitely feels like Reese has been trying to do that since the beginning of the show.
It’s Nick’s turn at the game, and he decides he’ll pick dare. The romantic tension in the house seems to be between Nick and Ariel and of course Nick is dared to kiss Ariel. Ariel is all smiles, so it looks like it’s not going to be one of those embarrassing and awkward kissing dares that have always plagued the game. Nick gives the standard “oh, I don’t know” vibe that you’re supposed to give so as not to seem desperate. Reese demonstrates a kiss on Ariel and Nick is convinced. After his kiss, Nick has a perma-smile plastered on his face for the rest of the evening. That night, Ariel and Nick cuddle a little in his bed until Ariel decides to go back outside to cuddle there.
After Nick follows her, Mose says something I never would have expected to hear him say: “What a bitch”. He tells Jonas and Ruth (all sleeping in the same room) that he lost all respect for Ariel because she is wrapping Nick around her finger and doesn’t act like a virgin. Maybe in Amish country, you lose your virginity from a cuddle and a kiss, because otherwise, I really don’t know how Mose knows Ariel lost hers. The three Amish roommates’ conversation is carried out in some German/English hybrid they call Pennsylvanian Dutch, and Ruth shares with us that when she doesn’t want to be overheard speaking with another Amish, she uses that dialect. The problem with that plan is that every now and then, you hear plain English words pop up (and they are almost always the important ones in the phrase) and so you might give away what you’re trying to say as a result. For example, what would you think if two Amish individuals were chatting next to you and all you heard was “*gibberish* *gibberish* *gibberish* guy *gibberish* behind you *gibberish* *gibberish* no morals *gibberish* *gibberish* straight to hell.”
Petals For Lunch, Taters for Dinner
Anyhow, Nick and Ariel continue to cuddle outside for most of the night. The next morning, Jonas asks Nick how the cuddling was and talks about “scoring”, which is odd coming from Jonas. Mose then asks Nick if he “found an organic way to do it.” I’m still trying to understand what he means. Is there a non-organic way to do “it”, assuming Mose is thinking about that same “it”? In any case, it’s tube mail time! The message tells the housemates they’re all going to Venice Beach. The trip to Venice Beach is pretty uneventful and everyone has a good time. Next on the itinerary list is the restaurant Ariel works at as a server. It is a vegan/organic restaurant and once there, the housemates are joined by Ariel’s mom and sister. Ariel’s sister wants to learn about the Amish and we are treated yet again to what Rumspringa is and what the Amish are like. Once the food comes out, everyone seems to enjoy it and Mose says he likes the rose petals (that surprisingly “taste like rose”). The show reminds us Randy is still alive, as we get a short blurb from him saying that the food he ate at the restaurant would be more fitting for cows or rabbits or other animals.
After lunch, everyone heads to the farmer’s market to buy ingredients for a big Amish meal that the Amish want to prepare for the evening. There, Mose gets instruction on how to use sage (the herb) properly. After he is told negative energy will leave his house if he walks around the house with the sage smoke, Mose does a double take on the sage as if to say “all that from grass?”
Back at the house, Ruth and Miriam begin to prepare the food and in a break from tradition, Mose and Jonas ask to help prepare the meal. As Jonas and Mose set the table, Jonas tells Mose to place the knives and forks a certain way (the way the city kids are used to) and when Mose tells Jonas that that isn’t what the evening is about, Jonas smiles and says he’s right. I thought that moment between the both of them showed Jonas’ character. He wasn’t afraid to say he’s wrong when he saw that he was, and displayed no feelings of embarrassment, let alone hostility, since he was immediately smiling and laughing. Whitney, on the other hand, has been generally negative since the beginning of the show, and now tells us that the Amish were taking too long preparing “pretty basic things.” Miriam reminds us that they spent a long time preparing the meal because they made everything from scratch. Kevan seems to be much more open and nice to the Amish kids, and he is seen helping them and talking to them. I wonder if that is related to his notion that the city kids are all childish, and that the Amish complain a lot less around the house.
The meal looks great and everyone loves the food. That evening however, some tension resurfaces between Reese and Kevan. Reese continues to say that Kevan is uncomfortable with his sexuality (and I continue to think Reese hopes that is true more than he thinks it is). Kevan calls Reese out and says that he thinks Reese wants him to be gay because Reese is attracted to him. He then tells Reese that being homosexual is against his beliefs. Reese shares with us that as a result, he can no longer hear a word Kevan says. I’m thinking the lack of communication between the two might benefit them both in the future.
Nick Is Boring
The next morning everyone heads down to a spa. Nick, who has been the more wary of the housemates when it comes to trying new things, immediately declares he will not enter the mud/clay bath, and despite Kevan’s best efforts to convince him, decides he’ll sit it out. Ruth also has second thoughts about entering the mud, but decides that since she’ll never have the chance to do it again, she might as well try it anyways. Nick tries to rationalize his decision by talking to Meagan about how he’d be more relaxed sleeping in bed, but Meagan doesn’t seem to agree with him. She tells him she’d be glad to enter the mud bath, but she recently got a tattoo and can’t. Poor Nick isn’t getting much support, so he decides to walk around, laughing at the housemates covered in mud. Kevan’s theory is that Nick is uncomfortable about getting in just swimming shorts, but I think Nick is simply hard-headed about what he’s cool enough to do.
Everyone then heads down to a body moisturizing place where they are painted with green lotion and are made to sit in a cave. Nick is still having issues with his decision not to participate in today’s activities and tries to rationalize with us, the viewers, that all they’re doing is soaping themselves up and washing themselves off, and that he already did that today – he took a shower. Even though I agree, I still think it isn’t a big deal and that his attitude is off the mark.
Next up, it’s Yoga class and guess what? Nick isn’t going. That means every housemate but him will get a yoga segment. You’re on a TV show, Nick, live a little! Did he sign up for the show to sit in a house, all alone? Anyhow, the Yoga class is uneventful and everyone has fun. That evening, all the city kids except Kevan sit around the patio and talk smack about Kevan. We are then shown a really nice shot of the city kids on the bottom patio and Kevan and the Amish kids above them on the balcony overhearing them. I’m not exactly sure how it didn’t go through at least one of the city kid’s heads that someone might be listening on them. Reese is especially bitter about Kevan and laughs at how Kevan covered his body everywhere but his newly created temporary tattoo, and how that looks ridiculous. I didn’t find it particularly funny – the guy didn’t want to ruin the ink job. But I understand that when you’re on a roll, and you’re trying to one-up those around you concerning what negative things you can think about someone, you’ll stretch anything to fit your needs.
The Cynic In Me Says They Cheated
The next day, Mose breaks out his invention box again. We revisit his beano stick, and Mose finally shows everyone his most prized possession – the tractor he made in the fourth grade. Reese, of course, enjoys laughing at Mose about his tractor and ridicules him in an aside to the viewers. It’s really odd how Reese can have so much empathy with the mentally handicapped kids where he volunteers, but not show one smidgeon of understanding when someone shares with others something he really cares about. Mose is told that he should mod his tractor to make it go faster, and the tractor has a close-call when it almost rolls off the balcony.
Tube mail then tells everyone it’s time to go have an intuitive reading session. This part really cracks me up because the entire experience culminates in having the person doing the intuitive reading tell you personal things about yourself and as the housemates are told these things, they are surprised by how much the reader knew. Didn’t they consider the possibility the producers might have had a little talk prior to their sessions so as to spice up the revelations? Miriam is told she is going through a lot of decision making at the moment and that reminds Miriam about the hard choice she has to make with Rumspringa. Mose gets the same reader and is told that he has a struggle to do the right thing. Mose, who is usually pretty bright, shares with us that he thought it was freaky that he was told things about himself that were so personal. I suppose if he shared with the viewers that he had doubt concerning the validity of his reading, the editors wouldn’t have left that in the show. Ruth is told that she should speak up a little more, which is true but slightly obvious. Nick gets a card reading and is told that he should make a move on some girl he is seeing. I suppose this show did need a little heating up in the romance department, how very convenient for the producers!
Back at the house, Ariel and Nick have a talk on the patio and Ariel tells him that he looks beautiful. Understandably, Nick doesn’t quite know what to say to that, and just responds with “thank you.” Nick shares with Ariel what the card reader told him, and they exchange looks as if they both wished it were true, when they can make it true in an instant. In the house, Jonas and Ruth have another conversation about whether to go back to the Amish or not. They are both still undecided, and Jonas makes what appears to be a promise to Ruth that if she will join the Amish church, he’ll be coming too. I’m not sure if that’s his way of stressing the point that they’re both undecided, or that he genuinely makes a promise that if she goes back, he will too, but before he gives more insight, the show ends.
I think everyone has settled in their comfort zone by now, and the housemates each know which other housemate doesn’t like them. Randy is practically absent from the show and is sometimes seen hovering over discussions while keeping his mouth shut. Mose delivers the show’s best sound bytes when expressing his surprise at the things he discovers around him. Without him, the show would be much more monotonous than it is now. Whitney continues to have a shield around her and doesn’t seem to be enjoying the house at all. Reese is his own catty self and continues to either mock or complain. I do not really understand Kevan. He seems reasonable in most situations, but every now and then has an incident like the blanket stealing one, where he acts particularly childishly. Miriam is having the most fun out of all the housemates, while Ruth is still soft-spoken and observant. I’ve begun to think that Ariel acts spoiled, even though she is open to trying new things. Nick is immature, but stays out of the house’s bickering, and that’s a definite plus. Jonas is still curious about his educational potential in the “city.” Lastly, Meagan is the most well-rounded of the city kids and even though she doesn’t really hang with the Amish too much, she is understanding and approachable when she does.
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