Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD – One of television’s latest reality shows presents young West Virginians riding ATVs, fighting and pulling various stunts, but not all local West Virginians who watched the show’s premier were amused.
The first episode of “Buckwild,” a show on MTV, was broadcast Thursday evening. Like other programs dubbed reality TV shows, it follows the daily lives of several people; in this case, some young residents of Sissonsville and Charleston.
West Virginia residents shopping Friday at the Mercer Mall said the show’s portrayal of the mountain state’s residents was both insulting and inaccurate. Not all residents of West Virginia behave like the ones seen on “Buckwild.”
“Yes, I watched it last night,” said Arianna Bailey, 23, of Princeton. “I’m not real happy with it because we’re already portrayed bad enough in the media. It just seems like they would want to portray us in a positive light than pay people to do that.”
“We’re not all like that in West Virginia,” added her mother, Tammy Bailey. “I’m very sick of us being portrayed as stupid people with no education.”
Another viewer doubted that people would take the cast of “Buckwild” seriously.
“I’ve seen bits and pieces of it,” said Kimberly Smith, 25, of Bluefield. “I think it was a typical reality show and it shines a bad light on West Virginia, but I don’t think a lot of people will take it to heart.”
A Mercer County resident said he did not believe the show was a good representation of West Virginia’s residents.
“Yes, I thought it made us look like a bunch of idiots,” said Alex Mullens, 19, of Princeton. “They wanted to see how they could make West Virginia look bad.”
Some McDowell County residents disliked the image “Buckwild” presented.
“I didn’t like it,” said Dorothy Walker, 19, of Gary. “I think it made us look ignorant.
Her husband Chris Walker, 22, said the West Virginians he knows are hardworking people. He said he likes to drive his truck in the mud like other people, but he acts responsibly.
“It’s not what McDowell County is all about,” he said.
Polly Walker, 46, also of Gary said she has a garden and does not behave like people on the show.
Some viewers enjoyed the show and plan to keep watching it. One Mercer County man who saw the “Buckwild” premier said many of the images seen in the show can be found in country music.
“So is country music not acceptable in West Virginia any longer?” Jason Myers, 25, of Princeton commented on the Bluefield Daily Telegraph Facebook page. “Because I’m pretty sure most country songs are filled with drinking, the attempt for sex, young folks acting stupid, and everyone having fun.”
Myers added the some viewers “over think” the show.
“This show is for the 18-30 age group, and has what is required to keep them interested and keep watching,” he said.
Myers told the Daily Telegraph that he did not plan at first to keep watching, but now he would like to see how the season progresses.
“I think my favorite moments of the show were the kind of stunts they were doing,” he said. He could remember doing things like jumping off a bridge and into a river when he was a kid.
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