Amish in the City Recap 8/25/04 – The Wrath of Whitney
Welcome to this week’s recap of Amish in the City. The past few weeks have been...well…boring. All the kids went out to lots of fun little places where everyone said this or that was nice, but the show felt more like a Los Angeles tourism video than a reality show. This week’s preview hinted at some genuine confrontation between the housemates, so I was looking forward to recapping this one.
Trust Me. I Won’t Let Go.
The show begins with Mose making wood carvings to give to his housemates. He says that giving is very important to him and he hopes that by giving, everyone will leave the house as friends. I don’t think wood carvings will really help him out on that front, but I recognize that it’s the thought that counts.
The general mood in the house - at least as far as the city kids are concerned – is very hostile. Meagan, Reese, and Whitney just love to talk about people who are not present in a negative way and sure enough, we see Meagan talk badly about Kevan behind his back while Reese and Whitney laugh and agree. Nick is also present, but has a problem with the whole talking-behind-backs conversation, and leaves. Nick is intriguing in that I have seen him snicker and laugh at an oddball thing or two others have done (his rolling on the floor at Ariel’s cow comment for example), but gets annoyed when others do the same. Nick shares with us that he is growing tired of living in the same house with everyone else, and really wants to take a break from it. I agree with him, since I feel I’ve already seen them pass the time lounging around the house one hour too many.
First on the housemates’ agenda is the rock climbing gym. Ariel stays back because she feels she needs some time alone. As the others leave to the gym, Ariel clears her mind and practices yoga. She’s gone to every other event and has been really involved, so I don’t think it’s too big a deal that she doesn’t participate in this one. At the gym, everyone is paired up with another housemate, and since the person not climbing holds the rope that will be maintaining the weight of the climber in case he falls, there’s some level of trust involved between the two housemates. Miriam is really afraid and screams as she climbs up, but eventually makes it down alright.
Reese has a problem with the fact that he’s paired with Kevan. Their past conflict is apparently still fresh in their minds, and poor Kevan is the first to climb the wall. He asks Jonas to be there in case Reese doesn’t fulfill his duty to prevent his fall. As expected, everything goes fine (even though the show’s music implies something’s about to go terrible wrong).
Dying Fish Need No Words Of Comfort
That evening, Nick asks Kevan if he has made up with Reese and if he’s planning to. I always thought Nick was the “I don’t care, leave me out of all this bickering” type, but he apparently does feel the need to get at least partially involved in reconciling Reese and Nick. Kevan is reasonable about the situation and admits he might have gone a little overboard (though I suspect he is saying this for the camera, rather than for Nick).
The next morning, tube mail arrives and everyone is informed they need to pack their bags for a California beach adventure. Jonas is happy that they’re going to be camping out, because he says the Amish are used to the outdoors. The group drives to a helicopter at the beach and take off to Catalina Island. Mose is pretty scared about going aboard a helicopter. He holds on and winces his way to Catalina. We get the standard Amish “so excited/first time” talk through the ride, and they finally arrive at the island.
Once there, we are shown various shots of Catalina Island and I am surprised at how great it looks. I live in LA and have heard about (and seen) Catalina Island from my side of the water, but have never actually been there. I might actually take a trip now (this show really does feel like an LA tourism brochure). Everyone heads down a trail to a beach where there’s a camping area and kayaks awaiting them.
Tube mail tells them that they have to set up their tents and then head out fishing. There’s one tent for the girls, and one tent for the boys, but Reese wants to join the girls because he doesn’t want to sleep with the “stank ass boys.” Mose the inventor finds the instruction manual, reads it once, and puts the tent up in no time with the help of the other guys. The girls however, have a tougher time. We get a taste of Whitney’s horrible behavior as Whitney, frustrated by the lack of progress in assembling the tent, screams at everyone to take everything down and start over. Mose, being the helpful guy that he is, offers to help them but Whitney tells him to go away.
The girls finally put their tents up and off everyone heads off to catch fish in kayaks. Ironically, Ariel the vegan also goes fishing. Kevan and Jonas seem to have the most success out there (which means they caught one fish), and when they come back to shore, Ariel grabs the fish which is still alive, and pets it while saying she hopes he’ll give everyone good nourishment –everyone except her that is. I sometimes feel Ariel is putting on a show when she goes overboard with her “I’m one with the animals” speeches. Nick is really loving her performance and snickers and covers his face as he shares with us that nobody pets a fish to death except for Ariel *snicker* *snicker*. I think that’s the immature side of Nick coming out – he has the hots for Ariel and shows it by being overly entertained by her antics.
Reese decides to clean the fish and surprises Ruth, Mose and myself with his fish-cleaning skills. He did say earlier that his dad is an avid fisherman, so I can understand where he learned that. That evening, sitting by the camp fire calms everyone down; Randy tells us that the camp fire reminds him of Amish country. Tube mail (where’s the tube anyways?) then tells them that the next day they would have a race between the Amish boys/city girls and the Amish girls/city boys. Kevan then teaches Mose how to make a smore, but Mose thinks they are a little too sweet.
Don’t Breathe – You’ll Piss Whitney Off
It’s then time for Ariel and Nick to kiss and go in the tent. Ariel is extremely aggressive and offers to leave the tent because Nick doesn’t seem willing to talk. Maybe it’s the cameras and the housemates 5 feet away putting a cramp on his game. Of course, everyone eventually heads to the side of the tent to watch and listen-in. Ariel, the shy girl that she is, says: “You like it, you love it, you want some more of it” to Nick (and I’m sure to the cameras that she knows are listening in on her). As we see Reese try to peak through a hole in the tent to see what’s going on inside, he tells us “They’re like third graders. It’s quite sad.” He also says that Nick has no game. Does Reese realize just how catty he sounds?
The next morning, everyone immediately prepares for the race. The winning team will eat at a fancy restaurant, while the losing team has to pack everyone’s bags and carry them back to the house. Everyone has to swim to their respective boats, and from there navigate to a point on the other side of the island where they will run a short distance to the destination. On the first team’s boat, Kevan and Reese put their differences aside and work together to plan their route on the map. On the other boat however, there seem to be some problems as Whitney complains to us that no one was taking her advice. The way she has shared advice so far, I know I wouldn’t listen to her either. On the way, both boats take a break from the race while they run across a pod of dolphins. We get another “I feel connected/amazing to see” sequence from the housemates and then the race finally resumes.
The city boys/Amish girls team eventually arrives first and win the race, while the other team has to go back to the campsite. Randy is not happy at the situation and Mose delivers more of his Amish humor by saying “we can’t help it that Kevan knows about freaking oceans and geometry.” Meagan has nothing cute to wear out, so she’s not too disappointed about losing. Meanwhile, the winning team’s members are enjoying themselves at the restaurant (which isn’t so fancy). We get more words from Kevan about how he is trying to reconcile with Reese and how the dinner is going well. Reese still seems a little hostile, though (when is he not?). The camp looks like living hell for the Amish boys. Whitney tells Mose all he’s doing is boiling the burgers instead of frying them. She then tells Mose to turn up the heat on those burgers which results in burning one of them. Afterwards, Whitney tells Mose that he needs to clean the pan out (and tells Meagan that Mose gets on her nerves). So the Amish boys end up cleaning everything while Whitney tells them exactly what to do.
Old Feuds Die Hard
The next morning, everyone heads out in the ocean for some parasailing. Everyone has a lot of fun, while some kids are more scared than others. Whitney is happy about the fact that it’s “calm and peaceful” up there. Maybe that’s because she has no one to whine at. Back at camp, Whitney says that the team she was on lost (notice how she didn’t lose, but the team she was on did). It’s time to pack up but she apparently doesn’t know how to do that and gives up immediately. Meagan doesn’t feel like it, Ariel is hiding somewhere, so the Amish boys are left having to clean everything up by themselves.
When it’s time to go, all the Amish kids say they had a great time at Catalina Island and Mose even goes as far as to say that if he ever leaves the Amish, he could see himself retiring on Catalina Island. Back at the house, old hostilities seem to resume. The first thing Mose does is collapse on his bed without taking a shower. I do admit that I would never do something like that after a day of swimming in the ocean and walking bare footed, but I wouldn’t really mind if someone else did it. I suppose his odor could spread to others sleeping next to him, but I’m sure that would be fixed by his next shower. All the city kids are highly disturbed by it, however, and Jonas takes that as backstabbing. I think both the city kids and Jonas are overreacting in this case. Ruth, Mose and Jonas get together and discuss how they are annoyed at the city kids’ backstabbing, and Jonas suggests they should be the one backstabbing for a change to show to the city kids what that’s really like. That’s a recipe for disaster, but ok. Oddly enough, Mose sort of agrees with the plan.
Later on, Kevan tells Jonas that someone took Randy’s wet clothes from the drier and threw them onto Ruth’s bed. On another side of the house, the city kids have heard words of the Amish kids talking about the wet clothes (notice Kevan appears to be grouped with the Amish kids now) and are pissed off at that. Meagan tells us that she did it, but she just didn’t know. What she didn’t know, I don’t know myself. “I didn’t know” is a great multipurpose excuse. She then confronts Randy in the weight room, who didn’t seem to be doing that much talking (no way, Randy?) and tells him no to mess with her. Finally, Randy tells Meagan to get her “bi*** ass out of here” and I feel a collective sigh from all the housemates as they realize they’ve finally managed to get a rise out of Randy. Meagan herself doesn’t seem all that pissed, because she knows she’s the one who made it happen.
Mose and Jonas head out to the patio after all this happens. There, the city kids are obviously talking behind the Amish kids’ backs because as soon as Mose arrives he hears Reese say “the sad thing is…”, notice Mose is there and continue with “…and I can’t say it now”. Mose tells him to go ahead and come out with it but Reese just isn’t willing to air his grievances to his face. Reese then tells Mose that everything he’s said behind his back, he’s said directly to his eyeballs, a statement which completely confuses me. Mose wants to know what the problem is and Reese finally tells him his real problem: he wants Mose to take better care of himself. I would love to know just what sort of interest Reese has regarding Mose’s hygiene habits. Would he happen to be a control freak on top of being catty and bitter? Mose shows he’s run out of options when he shares with us that after trying to be friends with the city kids all these weeks, he is now considering if he should just break the relationship apart.
Thus, the show ends on a sour note. The previews have duped me, since they showed Mose’s very last statement and I assumed a continuation of that would occur on the actual show. The group dynamics in the show seem to be the following: Whitney, Meagan, and Reese are the conniving group that talk behind everyone else’s backs. Nick and Ariel generally stay out of the cattiness and just flirt with each other. The Amish kids and Kevan hang around together and have little to no conflict between themselves.
Since the conflict between the conniving three and the Amish kids has already begun, anything either side does will be exaggerated as a slap in the face and will lead to even more conflict. Something drastic might happen in the future, followed by a period of silence between the two that could last through the end of the show. This is a very bad scenario for the producers, because it could reduce the show to everyone just having their own fun experiencing the various activities while keeping to their little group. This is actually what’s going on now, but the current conflict is keeping the show alive and its viewers awake (mostly, I imagine). Anyhow, I look forward to seeing how things develop next episode.
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