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"Return to Amish": Can Mary let go of English world for her family's sake?

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Fans of really crazy, drama-filled reality TV are going to love the new TLC spin-off of “Breaking Amish,” which premiered last night. On the new series, “Return to Amish,” fans of the TLC franchise will recognize all of the returning players: Abe, Rebecca, Sabrina, Jeremiah, Kate, Mary, Katie Ann, and Andrew. And, in this series, Mary’s husband Chester, Andrew’s girlfriend Chapel and Abe & Rebecca’s daughter Kayla are introduced, as well.

The group cannot seem to get together without reliving old slights, so it was no surprise last night when Mary’s Christmas dinner for the entire lot did not go well. Not only did Andrew, Chapel and Jeremiah end up in the front lawn screaming at each other, pregnant Sabrina cried uncontrollably upon seeing everyone and Rebecca, also pregnant, ended up on the couch with false labor contractions. It was not exactly the textbook Christmas.

On top of all the usual petty arguments and problems, it looks like a big center of this new series will be Mary’s position as a shunned Amish woman trying to remain Amish while also flirting with the outside world. Amish rules seem pretty clear: Our way or the highway. But, Mary has two children who are now “ex-Amish,” and she has no intention of giving them up. However, she herself says she wants to remain Amish. Can she go back and forth between the Amish world and the English world and not do herself, her husband and her youngest daughter, Katie Ann, irreparable harm? Kicking off this new series, she seems little concerned with the welfare of either Chester or Katie Ann, but no doubt her recklessness will be challenged by her husband as they go forward this season.

Is it fair that Mary may have to choose? Fair or not, if one wants to live in Amish society, it seems that following the directives of the church is the route that must be taken. So, will Mary have to finally make the same choice her sons had to make: Amish or English? Chester seems pretty clear that there is no choice to make for him: He is Amish. Katie Ann is looking for an Amish boyfriend--which is being hampered by Mary’s status as “shunned”--and she seems more confused than anything; Mary’s attitude does not seem to be helping her find her way at this point. So, there will absolutely be much more drama forming around the Schmucker household this season.

Follow the drama on “Return to Amish” this season on TLC on Sunday nights at 10/9c.

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