The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 4, 2012

W.Va. doesn't need this


The Register-Herald

— The reality television show Jersey Shore certainly didn’t help the citizens of the Garden State with their image.

And we’re sure the folks at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce aren’t shedding any tears at the series’ demise after a few more shows on MTV this season.

The partying and general troublemaking group of young Jersey-ites will have to do their drinking and carousing without the benefit of a TV camera following them from now on.

Unfortunately, the lens — and potentially millions of TV viewers, will be focusing on a group of young men and women in West Virginia next, with a new show titled Buckwild.

The former music video channel doesn’t make any bones about it, saying “MTV's ‘Buckwild’ Trades ‘Jersey’ Tans For West Virginia Mud” on its website.

For a state like West Virginia that has struggled with image problems, this is not good news.

And whether the young people involved realize it or not, it’s exploitive.

MTV is not looking for success stories and inspiring tales of achieving greatness through adversity.

No.

That wouldn’t make good television for its audience.

Instead, expect the cast of country clowns to be placed in embarrassing and compromising  situations.

For a supposed laugh.

At their expense, and all of ours too.

Buckwild debuts Jan. 3.

To its credit, the West Virginia Film Office denied tax credit for the production of Buckwild, foreseeing the inevitable negative stereotypes to come.

We need to encourage more film business, but not this type.

The 2004 film, “Win a Date With Tad Hamilton” was filmed partially in Fayetteville. Others had scenes shot in West Virginia down through the years, such as “We Are Marshall,” “Matewan,” “Super 8,” “Gods and Generals” and the Oscar winning “The Deer Hunter.”

But the small amount of income that may be generated by a MTV camera crew coming to West Virginia and following the Buckwild gang will not be worth it when compared to the disgrace it will potentially bring.

A press release from MTV sent this week promises plenty of  “drinking, swearing and fighting.”

It also says “They live their lives loud and proud without restrictions ...”

Loud, probably.

But proud? We hope not.

We certainly aren’t.

But instead, thankful for the remote.