Will MTV’s ‘Buck Wild’ make West Virginia look wonderful?

November 22, 2011 by Brad McElhinny
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Let me start with some advice. Don’t do a generalized Google Images search for “Buck Wild.”

Especially not at work.

Do we want our MTV?

Next, I’m wondering what you think about a new MTV reality show by that name. Will “Buck Wild,” a 12-episode reality series filmed in West Virginia, be something we can be proud of?

This hits home with us because some of the filming apparently will take place around Charleston and Sissonville.

I’m still wrapping my little brain around what the show will be about. Here’s what Variety had to say:

Anthropologists studying the Jersey shore will soon have another quirky region to examine: MTV has ordered 12 episodes of “Buck Wild,” a series set in rural West Virginia among a group of friends who have just graduated from high school.

Series produced by John Stevens and Barry Poznick from Zoo Prods. and J.P. Williams of Parallel Entertainment. Series will track the exploits of the recently matriculated Appalachian denizens as they head off to college, work at local jobs or just struggle to get by.

“We know that showing unique slices of youth culture on MTV is something that resonates with our audience,” said MTV programming head David Janollari.

Who knows. Maybe the kids from “Buck Wild really will be a diverse group, going through realistic growth and conflict without reflecting poorly on the rest of the state in a stereotypical way.

This synopsis fromTV Guide sounds not entirely promising:

Janollari says there will even be a Jackass element to the show, as these budding adults take part in regional pastimes like mud racing, squirrel hunting and rope swinging. “They are definitely authentic with a capital ‘A,’” he says of the show’s stars. “These kids have the same kind of issues and goals and desires as we all do. They all want to find true love or have families. They just live in a world that’s really different that many of us live in.”

MTV could face concerns from some critics or area politicians that Buck Wild might ridicule rural America — a question that past reality shows like UPN’s Amish in the City (and CBS’ scrapped The Real Beverly Hillbillies) have had to address.

But Janollari stresses that the show “is so wholeheartedly not making fun of these kids… they have a great sense of humor, and you’re drawn to them and this world.”

West Virginia has some experience with this kind of production, of course. Members of Boone County’s wild White family practically have a cottage industry going now with their “shoot-outs, robberies, gas-huffing , drug dealing, pill popping, murders and tap dancing,” as their “publicity” touts.

Our state even has a representative on “Teen Mom 2,” another MTV show. Leah Messer is “a country girl who wears her heart on her sleeve, Leah is a former cheerleader from a small town and the mother of twin girls Alianna and Aleeah.” That reflects a lot of young people, and I want to make it clear I’m not being critical of Leah or teen moms here.

I’m just afraid ‘Buck Wild’ will help MTV make West Virginians look like jackasses.

How do you think this will come off?



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25 Responses to “Will MTV’s ‘Buck Wild’ make West Virginia look wonderful?”

  1. JeremyNo Gravatar says:

    I have to say, EVERYTHING ever filmed in WV makes us look like idiots. Whether it be Teen mom, wild wonderful whites, or lets not forget about wrong turn. I think its about time to make us look like we are human beings that have a head on our shoulders. Not every person in WV is an idiot. I am a successful man with my job. I am a very blessed person. And what we really need to show is how close our state is with one another. How we always find a way to stick together, not like some of these other states such as California or New York. We, as a state, trust in God, which is more than what I can say for the rest of this nation. We are good people that love one another. Lets show that instead of going and finding some dumb redneck that doesnt know 2+2

  2. elizabeth leggNo Gravatar says:


  3. ByGodWVNo Gravatar says:

    First: “Buck Wild” is for entertainment purposes, so I can guarantee there will be an idiot or two. =)
    Most people already consider us West Virginians to be Rednecks. It does not matter what is on T.V.
    Jeremy is correct when he says, “Not every person in WV is an idiot”, but how interesting would a show be if it was about a business man from WV? Hopefully they will show the struggles we go thru and how our small hometowns come together to help each other, but also how much fun we can have on them dirt roads!! ;)

    Jeremy, not every Redneck is dumb!! I am proud to be a Redneck! I go muddin’, rock crawlin, huntin, drink beer, watch NASCAR, keep my Christmas lights up all year round, and I live so far up a holler you have to pump the sunlight in. I also have a Bachelors Degree, work full time, I trust in God, and love everyone. So let’s HOPE that they show some Rednecks doing what they do best, but not making them look like “dumb rednecks” that dont know 2+2; because, not ALL of us Rednecks are dumb.

    I can not wait to see the show!

  4. bradmcNo Gravatar says:

    There was a comment I couldn’t approve because of some name calling — not because of the sentiment or logic. If it’s restated without the name-calling then I can approve it.

  5. glibglubNo Gravatar says:

    Set phasers on cringe.

  6. bradmcNo Gravatar says:

    I wish I could push “like” on glibglub’s comment.

  7. RebekahNo Gravatar says:

    The show should be called, “Buck Wild and lookin’ REAL Stupid!” These producers will find ppl who will act like complete idiots for ratings. Don’t be surprised if the “Wild and Wonderful Whites” make an appearance as well. This is all WV needs is a reality show…geez
    MTV needs to stay in NJ with Snookie and the gang!

  8. CBNo Gravatar says:

    They already made a show about WV’s coal miners. It was called “Coal” and it was set in a small company-owned coal mine near Welch in McDowell County. I believe the show is done airing now, but check on the network SPIKE, to see if there are repeats.

    Seriously, if you even slightly think that “Buckwild” will not exploit the stereotypes of WV, you will surely be disappointed. It’s on MTV, so the show will not last without some type of over-hyped stereotypical drama.

  9. BCNo Gravatar says:

    At least the Jersey Shore cast are all grown adults. I feel horrible that these kids are being exploited like this. Though they may see some short-term fame, chances are employment won’t come easy to them further down the road if this show is as slanderous to both their character and the state’s as I think it’ll be.

  10. StaziNo Gravatar says:

    -This is going to make us out to be what our stereotype already makes us look. We are not all “hee haw” and “toothless”. It’s ridiculous. I am from West Virginia but live out of state. People find out where I am from and this is what I get most often. “Did you marry your brother?”, “An A plus student in WV is a C student in regular America”, “How does the road kill taste?”..I could go on. I dislike the portrayal of this wonderful state. Each state has oddballs and the bad seeds. It does not help when people who have not even stepped foot into West Virginia make wild jokes.

  11. EmbarassedteenNo Gravatar says:

    I am literally embarrassed to live in WV when shows come on air about the stereotypical West Virginian’s. I am from a pretty well off family and the images depicted on TV of west Virginia make us all look like poor hillbillies. I hate hunting and country music. I play soccer not football and hate rednecks. Beckley is definitely not a hillbilly place to be and is up to date with everything any other place has. If this is another show depicting us as stupid rednecks, it won’t be pretty.

  12. LCNo Gravatar says:

    When did everyone start caring so much about how people “think” of them?? Who cares about how people think of West Virginia. We all know the truth and that’s all that matters. There are rednecks and hillbillies everywhere you go in this country. We are free and allowed to be who we want to be…that’s why we live in the USA. And to “Embarassedteen”: you can not drive around Beckley without seeing a jacked up truck with mud on the tires. Beckley is a wonderful town, but take away all the geographical tourist attractions and you have the same town as Charleston. Hunting is a way of life in the whole country, as well as football and country music. These are just different things people like and should not be stereotyped. I too do not care for country music, but I don’t care for rap either…and it’s definitely not my place to judge those who do. In my OPINION you sound like you have your nose up in the air a bit. I take it you are a TEEN, so once you grow up and find out what life is really about, don’t judge. Everyone is guilty of this. If you don’t like a show on tv, simply don’t watch it. Let’s be ourselves here and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing!

  13. WVPROUDNo Gravatar says:

    I’m sure the show will portray West Virginians in a poor light. But we just have to have a sense of humor about it. In truth, the fact that the entire country thinks and entire state is filled with one kind of people, shows the true ignorance. Every state is diverse in culture, educational backgrounds, and sources of entertainment. If its mudding, hunting, rope swinging, or going “corning” (only a few will know what this means)…it doesn’t make you dumb, it makes a person who grew up in small town having a good time with your family and friends. Some value wealth and status above all else. It is my observation that West Virginians value family, god, friends, high school and college sports, children (their own, and everyone else’s in their town), and living a good, fun, full life above all else. I live in the most beautiful state in the country and am so proud to be a MOUNTAINEER!

  14. ParkerNo Gravatar says:

    I do not agree with the airing of this show. West Virginia and the people from this state are not what others put us out to be. I can guarantee this show will only show the downfall on West Virginia. We already have a bad name and MTV is not making it better. Yes I go “fishin”, “huntin”, “muddin”, and much more BUT I can honestly say I am not “Buck Wild”. And I was not “Buck Wild” as a teenager because my parents did not allow me to go out and do these things. Not all of us Wes Virginians are like this. In fact, people from New York, Alabama, California, and other states have just as much “Buck Wild” teenagers if not more. Also, this how will put out that West Virginians are dumb or stupid. I completely disagree. I was an A honor in high school and I am an undergraduate in Psychology and I am currently working on my graduates in Psychology. The point I’m trying to make is that this tv show will film a group of teenagers doing various ridicule things and that will make everyone think the entire state of West Virginia acts like that which we do not. This show should not be aired in favor of West Virginia residents. And By the way, I don’t live in a holler or in the boonies, I say “y’all” and have a country accent but I am very well educated, I go huntin, fishin, muddin, etc. To have fun not to be an idiot. Come live here for a while and I guarantee you’ll have way more fun than in a big city. There’s a lot of talent, money and more that’s comes from West Virginia. I love this place!

  15. I didnt want to make my
    state to look bad but everyone got there own insight about it all but this is wat it is and we get it how we live thinwek wat yall want am not losen eny sleep over it it was fun to show mtv a little of how we live alitte bit so hope everybody likes it

  16. Is this gonna be a crappy new “reality tv” show by MTV? It is?
    Then this isn’t good for West Virginia, or anyone for that matter.
    MTV stands for MUSIC TV for a reason. I suggest sticking to showing stuff like that instead of stupid teeny boppy stuff they’ve been showing.

  17. Brian CarrNo Gravatar says:

    “elizabeth legg says:
    November 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Did you mean “coal miners”? “Minners (also known as minnows) are what people fish with in Boone County, LOL.

    Media outlets don’t make WV’ians look ignorant and uncultured, WV’ians do. For every educated and cultured WV native there are a thousand traditional Appalachian morons waiting for their turn to act like a fool for attention. I will watch, I will laugh, and when the show is cancelled after the first season I will move on as though it never existed. WV is exactly as it appears in the media. Being from Charleston doesn’t make myself a typical WV’ian anymore than being from Wheeling or Huntington does. The typical WV’ian is found in Lincoln County, Boone County, etc… the majority of WV is EXACTLY what is represented in the media. If you don’t like it then move, that’s what I did.

  18. stephanieNo Gravatar says:

    Ok, I am sure everyone has their own opinion on this new show. The truth is, I haven’t watched it yet but look forward to it. I am from WV, though i moved out of state for my job, I went to college in WV, and consider myself to be quite the intellect. In my opinion, it does not matter what people say/think about west Virginia, because someone who lives there or visited for a while knows the truth. Yes there are plenty of idiots but there are also plenty of intelligent people who just fly under the radar… what do people think they are doing when they try to put down WV, because truth be told you say the wrong word to someone from WV and they will probably tell you ” Opinions are like assholes, everybody has on and yours stinks.”

  19. MollyNo Gravatar says:

    This is not the WV I grew up in. Some of the people on here have commented on ‘not being embarrassed’. Here is the question I ask; have those people ever traveled outside the state? Have they ever seen another country? Because I have and no matter where I go, I am constantly faced with the “Buck Wild” stereotype of West Virginia. I’ve even gotten the comment ” You don’t look or sound like you are from West Virginia.” To me that is offensive. I have to constantly correct people about what West Virginia really is about and the incredible people that can come out of the state. Now to have a show that is just encouraging that uneducated stereotype, I’m absolutely sickened.

    When I correct those people I meet and tell them about why WV was really named “Wild and Wonderful” and occasionally invite them to my hometown, they are amazed at the geographic beauty of the state, the world class athletes that I’ve had the opportunity to know, and the incredibly classy and educated people.

    “Buck Wild” portrays a black hole stereotype of the state that has SO much to offer. This stereotype will never be one that I am proud of and I will continue to fight back at it.

  20. JimNo Gravatar says:

    I hate to see whate comes out. Why not hire Jesco from”The Dancing Outlaw” and be done with it. If you are going off the deep end go all the way.

  21. BeckyNo Gravatar says:

    I think we should wait and see I’m proud of where I come from and If your proud of where you are from iit should not matter what TV show put in your area let them do what they want to do it’s not going to stop a thing teen mom showed how Leah was a struggling mom just like a lot of us girls in WV so maybe the kids act like dumb asses but that is part od growing up show me one adult who didnt look like a jackass straight out of highschool!!!!

  22. ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    i have to admit that this show will possibly make us look worse than wild wonderful whites. but I went to Pennsylvania and went to eat at the burger king there, and the woman behind the counter asked about my accent. She said “You’re not from around here are you? I can tell by you’re accent.” I told her I was from West Virginia and she said “So am I, I came up here and now I miss being there… people down there are so nice… I hate the rude people up here.” and I thought that was kinda cool… so not everyone looks down on us, my town has a bad rep thanks to that thing on Doc Whittley, (Iaeger),

  23. timNo Gravatar says:

    being from WV I had to watch. I can say Mudding, using the big equipment, fighting, all struck true. I loved the guys when I accused of hooking up in one of the gilrs bed, “sorry”. I can’t see anyone with the dump truck pool though. Any self respecting West Virginian would just go the crick. If they did use a dump truck for a pool, they would have had a buddy from the fire department fill it cause the house the girls are living in is more than likely on a well and it would be hard pressed to fill a dump truck with water. And I don’t know any girl from west virginia that would be “stopped” by her friend from fighting. That neighbor that was all in her face about the loud party would have been taken down by any girl from wv I know sober, let alone when drinking.

  24. andreaNo Gravatar says:

    if your so worried that buckwild will make west virginia look stupid, think about how us people from new jersey feel. We were nothing like Jersey shore, I’m literally from seaside heights, and snooki and jwow and all them made us look like idiots. And to go to other states and everyones like “oh wheres your poof haha” and people making vacations to go see this “beautiful beach.” well i hope when you got there you realized you prob over spent your money on prob the shittiest beach in nj, only a beach that we loved because it was filled with childhood memories not because it was nice.. so im happy buckwild is out to keep all these bennies and shoobies away from us.. welcome to west virginia thanks mtv

  25. RobNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t understand the idea of MTV producing tv shows. They do not portray anything in a good manner. Reality tv is not reality and people are manipulated believing it portrays the truth.

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