Recently MTV released it’s new series “Buckwild.” With the era of Jersey Shore coming to a close, MTV execs. sought out a new money maker. Obviously they needed a show that portrayed “ignorant,” “illiterate” people acting wild. I guess they found it.
Or perhaps….they created it.
Melissa Whitman of South Charleston, W.V. lives across the street from the production house. Whitman commented on how the production crew staged, tweaked and re-shot scenes.
The show’s production was chaotic and noisy, but Whitman said the worst thing was the language, which often turned profane.
“It got so bad, I’d leave the house and have to put my hands over my 5-year-old’s ears.”
Whitman said the neighborhood has a lot of young children. Nobody was happy about the disturbances, but there seemed to be little anyone could do about it.
“The police were up here,” she said. “They came up a couple of times to tell them to quiet it down, but the second the cops were gone, they went right back to it.”
That the cast and crew could continue shooting where they left off might underscore something Whitman noticed. For a reality show, a lot of “Buckwild” looked faked.
“Of course, it was made up,” she said. “All of this was coaxed, coerced, scripted or whatever.”
Whitman said she watched them re-shoot and tweak scenes.
She said, “The big moving-in scene was shot two weeks after the girls were already living there. They shot the scene with the kid throwing trash into the back of the garbage truck at the end of the street.
“The old people who live there have no idea what they were doing outside of their house.”
Some of the confrontations, she said, are also staged. In the show’s promotional trailer, a black woman with dark red hair is seen confronting the cast. Whitman said it was completely manufactured.
It is interesting that MTV executives are now tweaking old Appalachian stereotypes while infusing the never ending party mentality of the show “Jersey Shore.” To analyze this and put the depiction of Appalachia into context, I think “Buckwild” serves merely to satisfy the insatiable American appetite for reality shows in general. Each “reality” show since their beginning, have pushed the agenda. The past couple of years, Americans could enjoy what some label “Redneck Reality.” With shows like Honeybooboo, Swamp People and Duck Dynasty, it is hard to dispute that America…has a reality show problem. Wild and ignorant apparently is the new black. It is not at all surprising that film makers will ask for more extravagance, direct mischief, and encourage erratic behavior. To make matters worse television execs. pay for it, leading to a line of willing “cast” members. And Appalachia’s tie into all of this? Can you think of a better backdrop for show driven to be as crazy as possible in the setting of what is stereotyped as the wildest part of the country? One thing is for certain, most Appalachians in West Virginia do not care for the show’s allure.