My Turn: Is 'reality' television reality or just entertainment - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: Is 'reality' television reality or just entertainment

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I don't intend to be an avid viewer of the upcoming MTV show Buckwild, but I do have a passing interest in its failure.  It's being produced in the state where I grew up.      

If you haven't heard about Buckwild, it's a new "reality" show based on the crazy actions of young men and women set in the foothills of West Virginia.  Think Jersey Shore gone redneck and you get the picture. 

Former West Virginia Governor and now United States Senator Joe Manchin is trying his best to get this effort cancelled.  He makes a good point with the argument that if you're taking supposedly ordinary people in their normal setting and you add money, fame and coaching on what the director is really looking for, plus three or four takes to get it right, can you really call that reality television? 

I don't think so.  But that is not a reason that Buckwild or any other show gets cancelled.  It will live or die just like any other program, on the strength or weakness of its ratings. 

Call this what it is.  It's entertainment - entertainment produced by paying people to act out a cruel and implausible stereotype at the expense of the good and decent people living in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.  There really isn't any reality about it.     

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at


Emailed comments from viewers:

Heard your comments last night (Tuesday) and again just now (midday on Wednesday) on this subject.

I'm not sure I disagree with anything you said, but I'm not sure of the point of your commentary.

What was the point?  You say it isn't really a reality show.  But can you name any so-called reality show that is?  Aren't they all victims of the same criteria, i.e, ratings?  And don't you likely improve their ratings by making them the subject of your commentary?


I too am from West Virginia, while I have witnessed some crazy antics by my redneck buddies, I think it is shows like that that glamorizes terrible behavior.

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