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Last night, MTV's redneck version of Jersey Shore, BUCKWILD, debuted and The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia it ain't. Nor is it Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Shit, the third season of Jersey Shore is Altmanesque compared to this drooled-out quarter-narrative. Set in Sissonville, WV, and Charleston, WV, it is stilted beyond the point of My Life as Liz, as it follows some girls thrown into a house (one of them talks like she's from Cali) and some guys who maybe know them and/or each other, whatever who cares. There are also some outdoor, countryish stunts thrown in, making the show behave like the most boring, least homoerotic Jackass episode that never was. There was a fight with a neighbor over noise that had uncomfortable and unexamined racial undertones, and it wasn't even like the party that caused it was that fun to watch anyway.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III publicly criticized the show in December after viewing some promotional footage, calling it a "travesty." I wish. This isn't a train wreck. It's barely a Slip 'n Slide mishap.
BUCKWILD barely has even pseudo-sociological pretensions in its openly constructed reality (at least throwing a bunch of East Coast kids in a shitty shore house has basis in actual culture). Where "authenticity" (or something like it) is concerned, Shain stuck out as the main purveyor. He explained his communicative practice of "hollerin'," enthused about his job as a trash collector (judge him all you want, how many people can say they love their job as much as he does?) and claimed to stays away from online culture. Perhaps this could be read as "backward" amongst cosmopolitan snobs, but I think he's refreshing. The show he's on, though, can only aspire to the level of same ol' same ol'.