Friday, December 07, 2012

W.Va. senator objects to rural reality show about nine young adults having wild times in his state

The cast of 'Buckwild' (MTV photo)
After seeing a few promotional snippets, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is objecting to the latest rural reality show, one set about 15 miles north of the state Capitol where he was governor.

"Buckwild," which premieres Jan. 3 at 10 p.m. ET on MTV, follows nine young adults in and around Sissonville, just off Interstate 77 north of Charleston. It will replace "Jersey Shore" and has been dubbed "the 'Jersey Shore' of Appalachia" by ABC News. The show features "a lot of riding down hills inside giant tires, driving trucks dangerously through mud, tearing up the trails on ATVs and motorcycles, drinking, body licking, fighting with neighbors, and doing 'Jackass'-y stunts," Dan Snierson of Entertainment Weekly writes.

"They represent an exaggerated image of the lives of rural people who deal with their hands," Ted Ownby, a Southern-studies specialist at the University of Mississippi, told ABC's Paula Farris.

Manchin told MTV in a letter, "I am repulsed at this business venture, where some Americans are making money off of the poor decisions of our youth. I cannot imagine that anyone who loves this country would feel proud profiting off of ‘Buckwild.’ Instead of showcasing the beauty of our people and our state, you preyed on young people, coaxed them into displaying shameful behavior — and now you are profiting from it. That is just wrong.”

The show's executive producer, John Stevens, told Lynette Rice of Entertainment Weekly that the show “celebrates” the six women and three men, and predicted that viewers will “watch the show and wish they could be them.” He added, “It’s not like looking at a train wreck.” For more from The Washington Post, click here.

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