Genre: Reality TV
TV Rating: TV-14
Other Choices: True Life, MADE, If You Really Knew Me
Available On: Online
Common Sense Says: Stereotypes, dangerous antics mark rural-style Jersey Shore.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that Buckwild is a reality series in the vein of Jersey Shore that features a group of young adults in rural West Virginia partying and participating in crazy stunts for fun. Stereotypes about people in the region are often used to justify engaging in fights, drinking, and doing things that can cause injury and property damage (like setting cars on fire). Expect some sexual references and occasional blurred nudity.
- Families can talk about reality shows and stereotypes. Why do shows like Jersey Shore and Buckwild rely on stereotypes about the casts' respective communities to make the show more entertaining? Why do you think people agree to be on these shows if it makes them and their community look bad?
- How realistic are shows like this? Do you think these folks engage in over-the-top behavior when the cameras are off?
- Do you anticipate that these folks will become celebrities like Snooki and Jwoww?
What's the story?
The MTV reality series BUCKWILD features a group of friends from rural West Virginia looking for wild and crazy ways to entertain themselves. The gang, which includes roommates Anna, Katie, and new girl Cara, as well as tomboy Ashley, Southern belle Shae, good-looking Tyler, and adrenaline junkies Shain and Joey, hang out in the Sissonville backwoods having pool parties in the back of a dump truck, riding forklifts like roller coasters, bodysurfing in mud, and enjoying lots of other crazy antics. Joining them when she can is recent college grad Salwa, who likes to party hard when she can get away from her strict parents. Problems with neighbors and relationship woes create some tensions, but overall, these folks are just out to have a good time.
Is it any good?
Following in the footsteps of Jersey Shore, Buckwild constructs a stereotypical image of young people from a specific community by characterizing their outrageous (and often inappropriate) behaviors as part of their overall cultural heritage. As a result, despite the fact that many of the cast members are hard workers and/or dedicated college students, it is hard to take any of them seriously after watching them here.Some viewers may find the endless array of stunts featured here humorous, but you have to wonder if these twentysomethings are acting this way in an attempt to make the show interesting rather than offering a real look into what life is like in the West Virginian countryside. But whatever the reason, the show succeeds at sending a distorted message about the young people who live there.
The Good Stuff
Messages: The series contains stereotypical characterizations of West Virginia's rural culture and community. It also demonstrates young people making potentially dangerous choices.
Role Models: Thanks to their silly and/or over-the-top behavior -- which includes drinking too much, acting out dangerous stunts, and fighting with each other -- it's hard to remember that these folks are students, college-grads, and hard-working folks.
What to watch out for
Violence The series comes with warnings about the dangerous nature of many of the stunts featured here. Folks shoot rifles, set cars on fire, and perform other stunts that result in property damage and minor injuries. Occasional fights result in punching, shoving, and hair pulling.
Sex: Plenty of sexual discussions and references to sexual acts and intimate body parts. Women are often shown in skimpy bikinis and extremely short shorts. Men are often shown shirtless; girls sometimes go topless (chests blurred). Lewd dancing, touching, and licking are sometimes visible.
Language: Words like "damn" and "hell" audible; curses like "s--t," "f--k," "t-ts," and other curses bleeped.
Consumerism: Ford and Chevrolet cars and trucks visible.
Drinking, drugs & smoking: There's lots of drinking (beer, hard liquor, gelatin shots), which sometimes leads to violent and/or dangerous behaviors.