Have you ever seen Buckwild? Like most MTV shows, its newsworthiness lies not in the quality of the content, but in the sheer raunchiness of the show, which leads to controversy that the media covers. It’s like MTV’s marketing strategy is as follows:
1) Create show that scrapes the absolute bottom of the barrel
2) Antagonize traditional values (or just common sense) in the culture and society
3) Sit back and giddily wait for people to become offended, thereby giving MTV free press exposure—yee-haw!
This theory is more than plausible when you consider that MTV—whose parent company, Viacom, gave more money to Democrats than Republicans in the 2008 and 2010 elections—is the channel that brought you such classy hits as Teen Mom 1 through 3 and Jersey Shore (fist pumping, anyone?!).
As far as Buckwild goes, it’s really, really hard to find any redeeming factors in what it shows. Maybe I should back up a bit: The show intrepidly chronicles the lives of young adults (I’m guessing early 20s or thereabouts) in the Democrat-though-usually-traditional state of West Virginia. Put simply: You’ll be shocked/embarrassed/horrified at what these young people do 24/7 even if you’re socially liberal.
For starters, none of these men and women care about higher education, getting a degree and starting a well-paying career. In other words, they’ve got no ambition to speak of whatsoever! Right there, MTV should’ve stopped bothering with them, but in its infinite wisdom, the network promotes their dead-end lives by glorifying them.
Oh, don’t misunderstand me. It’s not like the Buckwild cast has absolutely no ambition at all. They’re extremely fond of drinking (getting drunk), partying, staying up the whole night, having casual sex with their circle of friends as well as anyone who moves (the girls really enjoy going topless), physically assaulting people they can’t stand, and imitating the self-destructive stunts that the Jackass crew made famous more than 10 years ago. The only thing I haven’t seen yet, but I bet it’s coming up in a future episode, is recreational drug use (too bad the show’s not set in Washington or Colorado). Crossing my fingers, though!!
Understandably, the backlash against this show has been fierce, with even one of West Virginia’s senators, Joe Mancin, demanding MTV cancel this orgy of debauchery disguised as a TV show. You can sympathize with Mancin, can’t you? After all, if you live in West Virginia, people are now thinking that the state’s residents simply stand for debauchery, self-destruction and acting more out-of-control than Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan at a frat party.
Clearly, the immoral producers of Buckwild have to be telling these young men and women what to do. I doubt that even one scene in this Dukes-of-Hazards-meets-Girls-Gone-Wild show unfolds naturally. The series thus far hasn’t exactly been ratings gold for MTV, with the first episode getting 2.4 million viewers, but with subsequent episodes dipping beneath 2 million viewers. Still, the ratings have improved in the last couple of episodes.
Personally, I think MTV started to suck ever since it stopped airing music videos, which it did a long time ago. Music Television? Today, the network’s more like Miserable Television.