The only word that comes to mind when I think about the series premiere of Buckwild is atrocity. And then still I don’t know if that word’s strong enough for I witnessed happen on my TV last night. If MTV’s goal was to surpass the horribleness of Jersey Shore, well then congrats, they did it! They officially have a new show that will make me want to hand in my internet subscription and go live off-the-grid. Maybe raise a few chicken, knit a scarf, lobotomize myself. Typical off-the-grid stuff.
When I first started watching the show last night I initially thought to myself that it wasn’t so bad. It’s just a bunch of fun-loving teenagers having a good old time doing country things.With the exception of Cracker Barrel, I hate country things. But I don’t hate people who feel otherwise. As someone who watched Dance Moms recreationally, I can’t really tell someone that mudding is stupid. Would I find joy driving a truck in a muddy swamp? No. But to each his own.
So the actual country bumpkin aspects of the show didn’t bother me. What bothered me is that MTV so clearly wants this to be another Jersey Shore — another group of trainwrecks who will inevitably turn into ironic pop-culture heroes. While I do believe these people — Shain, Anna, Ashley, Shae, Joey, Cara, Tyler, Katie, Salwa — all exist, I also believe that they’re being egged on to maximize the show’s potential.
Scripted romantic drama aside, they’re relativity normal human beings. Sure they have accents and sure they probably enjoy different activities than people raised in other areas of the country, but they’re not the inbred West Virginia freak shows that I think they’re supposed to be. Instead I think they’ve watched other reality stars rise to fame through their ridiculous antics and they’re now going to try to replicate that same pattern.
People who act like human beings rarely get spin-offs. And they even more rarely get offered the chance to develop branded scents. (I’ve smelled Snooki by Nicole Polizzi and I haven’t been able to unsmell it since.)
That’s why we saw the boys literally throwing furniture around last night in response to the girls getting evicted from their “city” house. It’s also why we heard Shain say things like “I don’t have none of that internet stuff” and “we ain’t got much, but we have fun with what we got.” That already sounds like the title of his inevitable self-help book.
We Ain’t Got Much, But We Have Fun With What We Got: The story of how one sanitation worker metaphorically (and occasionally literally) turned dump trucks into swimming pools.
Maybe I’ve watched too much reality TV or maybe I’ve swam in one too many power plant swimming pools, but I just don’t think these Buckwild kids are as backwards as we’re supposed to think they are in this show. Shain’s questionable mustache aside, I’m pretty sure they’re all completely aware of how they’re branding themselves and they’re completely aware of how they have to act to become famous.
The scariest thing is that I think they will be — and that’s the atrocity I mentioned earlier. I think we’ve just met our new favorite people to make fun of online Only the joke’s going to be on us in a year when they’re making millions of dollars endorsing weekend mudding adventures and we’re still stuck at home watching them on TV.