Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What's the big deal? Some 'Buckwild' thoughts



Above is the trailer for MTV's latest reality series "Buckwild," which is basically a version of "Jersey Shore" set in West Virginia. And "Jersey Shore" was basically a more centralized version of MTV's "The Real World." Everything has already been done; one thing is just a different version of something else.

I first heard about Buckwild earlier in the year, as MTV was holding casting calls for a WV-based reality series. A few people I followed on twitter were attempting to get on the show. They didn't.

The show was in the news locally here last week after the trailer first came out. It then became national news after WV Senator Joe Manchin publicly decried the show and asked for MTV to cancel it.

My thoughts on this show are going to differ from most of my peers in West Virginia. I've lived in WV for my entire life and I won't be surprised if I never move out of the state. I have no problem with Buckwild and what it represents.

It's an exaggerated version of a small subculture of the state. Whatever you want to call them - rednecks, hillbillies, etc... they exist in West Virginia and this is what Buckwild is showcasing. While I've never seen anybody make a pool out of a dump truck or play around with a crane, I have seen a lot of people ride four-wheelers and shoot guns and drive big trucks and talk with ridiculous southern accents. That exists and that's what MTV is showing.

People are talking about how it gives the state of WV a bad name. Honestly, did WV have a good name to begin with? What reputation are we losing here?

And if your "reality" of a state and its people is based on watching a show on MTV, then you have bigger problems to worry about. Do I hate New Jersey because of "Jersey Shore"? No. There's a reason why people roll their eyes when saying "reality television." It's not real. It's people placed in dramatic situations to get television ratings.

If you want to be entertained by it, then check it out. If you don't, just think about how many cable television channels there are. Watch one of those. I couldn't tell you the last time I watched MTV, aside from occasionally checking out music videos at 4 in the morning. Yeah, they still play music videos.

I know it won't be that easy. Everybody in the state will watch and comment. My twitter feed will be inundated with "I can't believe they're showing this crap" on whatever day after the newest Buckwild airs.

I'll have to listen to my girlfriend complain about it. I'll say to her, "Why? Just don't watch it." And she'll say, "I just wanted to see how they're representing our state." And I'll say, "It's not a real representation, stop worrying about it." And then she'll keep talking about it. And I won't listen. And then she'll call me out for not listening. A fight will ensue. I just don't need that in my life.

The uproar over Buckwild is much ado about nothing. If you're upset about it, stop. If you're interested in it, watch it. It will likely be an entertaining television show, full of drama and comedy. It won't be an honest representation of West Virginia and Appalachia. So, stop being upset about it existing. It's just a television show based in the state.

Buckwild should begin airing in January. For more information about the show, check out the official MTV page with cast bios and more: http://www.mtv.com/shows/buckwild/cast.jhtml

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