WILLIAMSON — According to the latest poll results from the Daily News’ website, most people feel that MTV’s “Buckwild,” a reality show about wild, young West Virginians portrays the Mountain State negatively.
The poll ran for just under a month, and once the votes were tallied, the results were overwhelmingly against the show.
In total, 57 percent of readers believed that “Buckwild” portrays West Virginia negatively, whereas 21 percent believe that its a harmless show. Another 12 percent had no opinion while 10 percent actually saw the show as a boon to West Virginia, believing it was positive for the state.
The 57 percent of readers aren’t alone in their dislike for the show. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) led a small crusade against the show.
In December, the senator asked MTV to cancel the show, saying it profited off “poor decisions of our youth” and portrayed ugly, inaccurate stereotypes.
However, MTV stated that “Buckwild,” which is largely filmed in Charleston and Sissonville, has been pulling in an average of 3 million viewers per episode since its premiere last month and is the No. 1 original cable series on Thursday nights among 12- to 34-year-olds.
The half-hour, 12-episode series has been following nine hard-partying friends who find sometimes frightening ways to fill their free time beyond clubbing in Morgantown and four-wheeling in the mud. They’ve turned a dump truck into a swimming pool and, for the series finale, built their own water slide and a ramp to catapult them into a lake.
The executive producers are Zoo Productions and J.P. Williams of Parallel Entertainment, a native West Virginian best known for creating Blue Collar Comedy.
The West Virginia Film Office denied tax credits to the producers over concerns the show would negatively portray the state’s young males, and the premiere was met with a number of harsh critiques. While some have called it irresponsible, others simply found it wasn’t entertaining.
Many West Virginians also responded with resentment, having been made fun of before.
In 2002, public outcry prompted CBS to drop plans for “The Real Beverly Hillbillies,” which was to feature residents of rural Appalachia plunked down in the middle of Beverly Hills. A year later, the horror film “Wrong Turn,” shot in Canada, was set in a hypothetical West Virginia, where cannibalistic mountain men terrorized lost tourists.
And in 2008, state leaders responded vehemently when a casting company looked to West Virginia for extras to play inbred degenerates.
On a more positive note, though, West Virginia has also been the stage of some more generally liked films. The Paramount Pictures blockbuster “Super 8,” directed by J.J. Abrams, was set in Weirton. The same town was used for some scenes in the classic Vietnam film “The Deer Hunter.”
“Buckwild” clearly has a following, though, successfully filling the time slot previously occupied by the cast of “Jersey Shore.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.