Pioneer House (2004)
"Colonial House" (original title)

TV Mini-Series  -  Reality-TV
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 125 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

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Title: Pioneer House (2004– )

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
Jonathon Allen ...
 Lay Preacher's Servant Jonathon Allen (unknown episodes)


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Release Date:

17 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pioneer House  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Referenced in Kathy Griffin Is... Not Nicole Kidman (2005) See more »

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Commentary on the commentaries
29 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have found these programs to be very interesting and this is the 3rd or 4th that I have watched that deals with modern day people returning to another time. I did enjoy watching Colonial House but many viewers seem to fault the program for its lack of rigor in forcing the colonists to stick with 17th century laws. Overall I found the program educational but it really did teach more about 21st century views toward the colonial period than it did actual 17th century life. I remember when I was in history class, one of the first points for students to remember is that all contemporary views of history are clouded by your modern day perceptions. One can never completely understand how people of a different time thought because our views will always be clouded by our knowledge of the present and our present day beliefs. The show gives a somewhat good account of what it was like to come to a new, distant land with nothing, establish a community and the hard work that went into making it grow. What was distracting was the modern-day participants tendency to whine about the drudgery of daily life in the 17th century and their refusal to participate fully in the experience. Well of course, it would be like returning to a leper colony and being surprise that there are sick people there! So I also found it very annoying when the participants refused to participate in mass, accept subservient positions, accept male-female and class differentiations. All were accepted and unbreakable foundations of 17th century British life. The rules in the 17th century were enforceable due to the ability to inflict serious punishment and death on the offending individual. This of course would not be allowed in the modern day so the colonists are allowed to basically fall into a quasi-17th century colony with plenty of 21st century lifestyle choices thrown in. More like a camping trip with farming and bad hygiene. All in all, I found the program most interesting when it showed the construction of the colony, the work required to make it grow, and the narrator's accounts of how life would have been. I also found it very annoying to hear the native Americans account of "we know what our ancestors would have thought." Well are modern day people of a 21st century world. You would no more have known what people 400 years ago were thinking at any particular moment than I would know what a cave man was thinking. So the program sometimes tends to veer off into tedious modern day politicized rants. Back in the day, the people would have probably just settled such discrepancies with a good flogging and hanging. End of story.

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