"Buckwild" was a reality show with fun-loving young people in West Virginia, but then its best character, Shain Gandee, died. The cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning, apparently a consequence of one of the supposedly fun activities, "mudding" — driving off road. You don't want the tailpipe of your vehicle stuck in the mud. Poor Gandee was only 21. And now the show is cancelled.
After several days spent weighing the implications of moving forward with the reality show, MTV brass ultimately decided it would be imprudent to do so...The brand. It can't include struggling with the death of a young person. The Jersey-Shore-sized hole in the MTV viewer's life doesn't yearn to be filled like that.
According to one series insider, internal conversations were had on the day of Gandee's death about potentially "softening" the show, which has focused on such behavior as off-roading, tire roll-downs and hard partying. But doing so likely would prove incongruous with the show's brand -- and potentially turn off viewers in the process.
What if we actually let Gandee's death open a new door of meaning? What if we fixed our eyes on the reality of the consequences of endless wild fun and let the sadness of Gandee's fate transform us and bring new dimension to the lives of young people who are hurting and longing for some depth, something to hold onto in this world that seems so heartless sometimes?
The brand. The brand.