First Look: MTV’s Controversial New Appalachia Show "Buckwild"

The Appalachia-set reality show has drawn some controversy from a West Virginian senator. Here’s an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the show.

Remember how much Gov. Chris Christie hated Jersey Shore? Sight unseen, that is how much Sen. Joe Manchin III, a Democrat from West Virginia, hates MTV’s upcoming show Buckwild, which is set in his state. Earlier this month, Manchin wrote a letter to MTV asking the network to pull the show. “Instead of showcasing the beauty of our people and our state, you preyed on young people, coaxed them into displaying shameful behavior…” he wrote in part.

Shameful behavior? Where?! Count me in! In the wake of Manchin’s criticism, MTV opted not to send out the premiere for journalists to watch. MTV did offer BuzzFeed this exclusive behind-the-scenes footage introducing the cast discussing their romantic yearnings. It’s not Jane Austen. But it’s (perhaps uncharacteristically) quite sedate here, and if Shain isn’t the the breakout star, then I have never seen a reality show (and I’ve seen many):

With Jersey Shore coming to an end, MTV is certainly looking to replace that phenomenon, which along the way brought linguistic innovations, record ratings for the network that made broadcasters jealous, a baby for one cast member, and rehab for another. Buckwild is also the latest installment in the “redneck reality” trend that’s taking over certain segments of cable television (Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty, and the like), which, interestingly for these times, is also steeped in guns and hunting culture. (There looks to be a shooting scene in the Appalachia-set Buckwild trailer, and one of what I’m told is a potato launcher.)

Jersey Shore meets its maker Thursday night; long live Jersey Shore in Buckwild? It debuts Jan. 3 at 10 p.m., airing two half-hour episodes for six weeks.

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Kate Aurthur is the chief Los Angeles correspondent for BuzzFeed News. Aurthur covers the television and film industries.
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