Reality shows take over TLC

Kimberly Williams, Entertainment Editor

Breaking Amish

“Breaking Amish” is about five young Amish and Mennonite men and women who decide to leave their communities to experience life in New York City. The five main characters have allowed cameras to document their lives in this journey. The show documents them as they experience the culture shock Manhattan offers. With a whole new world come poor decisions, several of which are shown. Certain characters display unwise actions, such as drinking and driving or hookups.  Each week offers a new episode which presents challenges to the five young men and women. At the end of the series, they must make a decision: they can either return home to their communities or risk being shunned by their families and friends while living their new lives as “regular Americans.”

Abby & Brittney

Perhaps one of the most unique programs to air on TV is a reality show about Abby and Brittany Hensel, a set of conjoined twins. At age 22, Abby and Brittany have defied the odds of doctors’ expectations- they are alive. The girls are attached at the chest, but each has their own set of organs. They each control the arm and leg on their side of their body, meaning that simple coordination and walking has been quite a different learning process than the typical human. The series focuses on the girls living their lives as normally as possible, whether it be the girls’ discussions about college or boys. The girls have spoken about how much they love being conjoined and wouldn’t want to be separated. This show is truly an original series, and Abby and Brittany Hensel are one-of-a-kind.

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

The best-known new TLC show is none other than “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” This controversial show follows Alana Thompson (Honey Boo Boo) and her family’s unusual personalities. Thompson rose to fame as a contestant on TLC’s controversial program, “Toddlers & Tiaras,” which has been criticized for showcasing little girls in the world of beauty pageants and their demanding stage moms. Reviews and reception of the show have varied; many people believe TLC is exploiting Alana and her family. Others believe the show is harmless and gives America the chance to see another side of the stereotypical beauty pageant contestants. The characters of the show have openly stated they do not care what people think of them and they are just living their lives. No matter what they think of the family, ratings have proven America is addicted to Honey Boo Boo.

Big Tiny

In another one of TLC’s newest reality shows, cameras follow the lives of the world’s smallest siblings. Brad and Bri Jordan are primordial dwarves, meaning their bodies are proportional, but have been unusually small since before birth. They have earned the world record of the shortest siblings in the world. Twenty-one year old Brad stands 38 inches tall, while his sister Bri, who is 23 years old, stands just 28 inches. The show captures the daily struggles they face due to their lack of height. With such severe dwarfism come health problems, and this series showcases all the medical issues Brad and Bri currently face or could possibly face in the future. The family focuses on living in the moment and tries to not let all the health concerns get them down. Brad and Bri prove being different doesn’t mean they can’t accomplish what they want in life.