Oh boy–here we go again. Just as ‘Jersey Shore’ winds down, MTV plans to fill its time slot with 12 episodes of ‘Buckwild’ beginning in January. If you haven’t heard, this latest version of so-called reality TV will take place in the small town of Sissonville, West Virginia–and it will follow the time-tested MTV formula by encouraging young people to act like idiots. You may be shocked to learn that many West Virginia residents aren’t particularly happy about this development…but how will the public react?
As PR professionals, we know that business is business–and this particular brand of brainless entertainment has proven incredibly lucrative for MTV. However, as the novelty of watching drunk girls make out with strangers and punch their friends fades, the public has begun to question the costs and benefits of catapulting these shows into the cultural mainstream.
Sure, we know that these shows have little to do with “reality”, but no one really seems to mind. And this bothers some people, though; take, for example, one Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who wants MTV to refrain from airing ‘Buckwild’ because he believes it promotes a negative stereotype of West Virginians. And let’s be honest: it does. He’s only looking out for his constituents, which is his job.
But the rest of the public has a decision to make–either get behind ‘Buckwild’ or don’t. At least Senator Manchin is drawing a very clear line in the sand: you either find these types of shows offensive or you don’t. It’s your call.
We’ll be closely watching what happens to ‘Buckwild’ because the public will ultimately decide its fate. Have we had enough of these crass shows depicting young people as ignorant, hard-partying ciphers with terrible accents? If not, then how low can we go as a culture?
You tell us, dear Public: is America ready for a countrified version of Snooki and The Situation?