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Buckwild: Just Entertainment, or Representation?

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Culture has walked miles from where it used to be. Shows have become more about reality, or what we think reality may be. Stereotypes show up too. MTV recently aired the season finale of their new show, Buckwild. Since this show has started playing, the people of West Virginia have hated the way the stars on Buckwild have represented their state. Truth is, I don’t think these shows should be taken that seriously. Anyone who watched them would agree that the people on those shows aren’t, as you would say, normal people.

Buckwild is a show about country college kids in West Virginia. The stars of this show are Cara, Ashley, Anna, Shae, Katie, Salwa, Joey, Shain, and Tyler. This show is full of warnings from the producers and directors, telling the viewers that the stunts pulled on this show should never be tried at home. This reality series is very similar to the old show Jersey Shore. Jersey Shore was another MTV-produced show with a similar situation as Buckwild, although these people were all put together in one house for the whole summer. Famous stars of this show include Snooki, Jwwow, and ‘The Situation’. Jersey Shore is no longer on TV, and it has been replaced by spin offs, in which one of these is a show called Snooki and Jwwow. Buckwild is not a spin off, but I think it is a country adaptation of Jersey Shore.

The premiere of Buckwild started controversies in West Virginia, and folks there are saying that the show gives a redneck stereotype of their state. The West Virginia Senator Manchin called MTV and told them to cancel the show. According to cbsnews.com, a waitress, Samantha Markos, argued against the stereotypes, "You would find a lot of hardworking people that provide for their families." Other interviews with normal West Virginians showed that the citizens thought the show was far from reality, with one exception. Some of the recreation, mudding and potato guns, are true facts about people in West Virginia.

I think that Buckwild and Jersey Shore are just entertainment. The Senator made too big of a deal about the making of Buckwild. Every reality show is filmed somewhere, half of it is scripted, along with the most outrageous people MTV could find. The stars of these shows need to be treated as individuals, not a representation of where they live. One of the girls in Buckwild, Cara, isn’t even from Virginia. Every person is different and come from different backgrounds. One of the stars, Shae, defended her and her friends after Senator Manchin called and demanded to end the show, “I'm not representing anyone but myself. Like even my best friends on the show, if they do something to embarrass themselves, I don't feel like they represent me... I definitely can't represent the entire state of West Virginia.”

Reality TV has become increasingly demanded by viewers over the past few years. With this trend, we need to keep in mind that reality TV is just for entertainment and not meant to represent. These shows are not put out there to be taken seriously; they’re put out there for fun!



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