Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Charlie Brooker's Screen burn: Amish: The World's Squarest Teenagers | Television & radio | The Guardian

When I'm done being Scandinavian, perhaps I'll be Amish:
This time round, five Amish teens are dispatched to the UK in a bid to prove that – hey! – people are kinda different and kinda the same and gollygosh whoodathunkit?

For the first episode, they're whisked to south London to hang around with a group of street dancers and the occasional ex-gang member. The Amish kids stand out a little in the hood, with their olde-worlde hats and stiff religious backgrounds. And that's the point.

The results are predictably amusing, but in unpredictable ways. Rather than recoiling in horror at the godless lifestyles on display, the Amish kids are largely perplexed and a touch disappointed. For instance, when the London lads sit around indoors playing videogames, their Amish counterparts quickly grow unbelievably bored. Why? Because they'd rather be outside in the barn, fixing tools and carrying out chores. "But there is no barn," they sigh.

In one excruciating sequence, the street-dance crew perform their act – a full-blown Britain's Got Talent number – for the benefit of the Amish, who stare at them with expressions of blank disinterest; not even unimpressed, they're merely confused as to why they've bothered. It's the best critique of street dance I've ever seen.
I admire their naive-hipster rejection of an exhausted pop culture.