TLC‘s latest project, Welcome to Myrtle Manor, has faced a lot of accusations of being fake. Like Breaking Amish and The Hills before it, the series has been criticized for being a not-so-real reality show.
There certainly is a lot of information to back up this claim. Myrtle Beach residents have been commenting all over the Internet, including Crushable, saying “Myrtle Manor” is actually just a set at the back of Patrick’s Mobile Home Park. Another accusation is that some of the residents of Myrtle Manor didn’t even live in the trailer park before the show. That’s been confirmed by at least one cast member — Taylor J. Burt, the club promoter. Taylor explained in an interview with ListenUpMB.com that he was approached by Jupiter Entertainment to help scout locations, but was then asked to join the show:
“After a few days of meetings, they asked me if I was interested in living in a trailer park and being on the show….and the rest y’all will just have to stay tuned to TLC Sunday nights and see for yourself!”
Even Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes has called the show “fictional.”
If all this isn’t enough to convince you that this show doesn’t exactly capture the reality of trailer park life in Myrtle Beach, last night’s episode probably will. After doing a little research about the show’s level of reality, I decided to view the new episode through a more skeptical lens (not that I thought it was so real to begin with), and the show’s antics only confirmed how fake it likely is.
We should start with the urination investigation, which continued where it left off last week. Because someone peeing on a bed in a private residence is totally the entire trailer park’s issue. Was it Taylor? Was it his old dog Gus? Could it have been the hoses that went missing from both Anne’s and Peggy’s trailers? I’m just saying it seems to be quite a coincidence that two hoses went missing right around the time that Jessica found her bed soaked. And by “coincidence” I mean it was probably planned.
But let’s move on to discussing the top two contenders for winning the title of my “Favorite Character”: head of security Marvin and Wiener Girl Chelsey. I like them separately and I like them together, so when Chelsey volunteered to help Marvin with the nighttime watch, I got very excited. And I also got more convinced that this show is fake. Why? Because a girl who can barely sell hot dogs is now helping an already incompetent security guard do his job. And they experience a supernatural phenomenon while on duty. Nothing like a supernatural event in a non-supernatural show to convince you what you’re watching isn’t real.
You know what else made me Little Miss Skeptic? The behavior of the drunks on this show. Not only does being drunk in Myrtle Manor seem to dictate that you wake up in a beach chair somewhere (Jared’s was on top of his trailer, new Wiener Girl Amanda’s was next to the pool), but it also dictates that you act like you’re in an SNL sketch. And not one of the good ones. Also, I’m 99% sure drunk Amanda was wearing pajama pants with my alma mater’s logo on them. So… that was nice to see.
And last but not least, there was that inexplicably cruel boss of Jared’s at the mini-golf course. In addition to calling him “princess” over and over again (I’m also pretty sure she calls him Miss Daisy at one point, which makes no sense), she claims he’s not doing a good job before he even starts trying to do a good job. All for no reason. And then she fires him when he refuses to retrieve golf balls from the dirty pond using only a snorkel mask. If that plotline was real, I’m officially terrified.
But the question remains: Does believing the show is fake affect my ability to be entertained by it? And the answer is… not really. If you ignore the preposterous plotlines, the show is still really entertaining. And to be honest, believing that it’s not real actually helps me enjoy it more. Because if this stuff is real, I have no words.