April 10, 2013

MTV executives thought that "Buckwild could fill a void left by one-time juggernaut Jersey Shore."

I have heard that those without religion have a "God-sized hole" in their lives. But imagine having a Jersey-Shore-sized hole.

"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...

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. 
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.

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?

Nah.

The brand. The brand.

73 comments:

Hulk Smash said...

LIVE FAST
DIE YOUNG
LEAVE GOOD LOKING CORPS

The Drill SGT said...

I spend a fair amount of time in WV. The firm I work for has its HQ there. Whatever demographics Buckwild may have worked for, it didn't sell well in WV. Beverly Hillbillies made fun of both the Rednecks and the city folk. Buckwild, just made fun of ignorant teens.

bpm4532 said...

Juggernaut. That's a good for it.

kentuckyliz said...

Buckwild sightings are a sport around here, especially in the Williamson WV area (which borders my county).

The photos make it look like the truck sunk quite a bit in the mud, but not over the roof. They were too drunk to realize they should turn off the engine. There were three who died, but only one Buckwild cast member.

This is my world. I live in it, but am not of it. I am Margaret Mead in Samoa.

kentuckyliz said...

Honey Boo Boo is sort of in my area too.

Hillbilly porn is the most popular amateur porn right now.

Hillbilly is hot.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

But imagine having a Jersey-Shore-sized hole.

Growing up, I spent my summers on the Jersey shore. I don't get down there anymore.

I don't have to imagine.

chickelit said...

Shain Gandee was like the canary in the coal mine for MTV.

wyo sis said...

Hulk
I see what you did there! ;)

Hulk Smash said...

WYO: HEH

edutcher said...

The Blonde and I go down to Wheeling every now and again and her mother's family was from WV.

They're nice people down there.

Lem said...

Hi Kentukyliz...
Thanks for your helpful comments, on the last tread, on early development.

I had a commitment and had to step away... but, I knew you knew something about it.

SteveR said...

I really hadn't had a chance to ignore it properly.

Richard Dolan said...

Ann's "what if" assumes that the show has some point other than generating ad revenues by attracting eyeballs. But for the "series insiders", ad revenue from eyeballs was its only point. The "brand" includes not just this (insignificant)slice of not-so-reality TV, but more importantly of the team that put it together -- and will put together the next one with an appropriate change of scenery. The focus on the culture of the same (how to put it delicately?) bottom quintile of the social class scale will, of course, remain the same, Nostalgie de la boue being TV's hot ticket.

heyboom said...

Never watched the show, but curiosity led me to google one of the participants. Found out she is an actress from Cincinnati. Seems to be another scripted "reality" show.

AprilApple said...

MTV is about as depressing as it gets. Enjoy the decline set to music. Did I say music? no sorry-- not music -- Enjoy the decline set to empty self indulgent reality shows.

Nomennovum said...

I suggest a reality show where parents speak ten million words a year to each of their children. It's sure to be an intellectual Smörgåsbord.

AprilApple said...

Scripted reality show is right. They are all scripted. All of them.

Bob_R said...

I've only seen a few clips of these shows, but it's like they are chasing me.

I grew up in NJ. I wasn't really a "shore" person (I really dislike the beach in the summer), but I had enough contact be be able to recognize some reality in the clips I've seen. (I need to extrapolate from 1975 to 2011, but there are some commonalities.)

Now I'm living in SWVA, less than an hours drive from WVa. I'm teaching the (slightly) smarter brothers and sisters of the Buckwild cast.

MTV's business model is to make fun of poor white people and hope they die (or do something more embarrassing) on camera. (His failure to die on camera is Shane Gandee's great sin. )

I've become so much more libertarian as I've grown older. When you look at the level of commerce that constitute running MTV it's pretty easy to see that open air open air heroin markets would raise the level of civil society.

Shouting Thomas said...

Andrew Zimmern does a nice job of respectfully documenting hillbilly culture in his Bizarre Foods program.

I think he did a show on West VA.

He recently did a show on Arkansas, which was great.

Hulk Smash said...

Y NOT CHICAGO REALTY SHOW?

KISS KISS BANG BANG

MUG SHOPPRS ON DA MILE

BE PREZ ONE DAY

Rick Lee said...

The show takes place a few miles from where I live. I never watched it, but I think Drill SGT is wrong... it sold just fine with average West Virginians, but was despised by some who continue to pine away for a day when West Virginia sheds its hillbilly image. I'm pretty realistic about that possibility... not in my lifetime. I had a conversation a few days ago with a friend of mine who watched the show. He said that he didn't think the show could survive the loss of Gandee because of the unique and central position of his character on the show. I figure that was the main reason for the cancellation... not any moral concerns about the dangerous activities they got up to.

virgil xenophon said...

Wyo sis/

Are you sure HULK isn't just betamax3000 on vacation?

Chip Ahoy said...

I like Swamp People and Duck Empire and one of the swamp people brothers died. Fell on his boat.

Tim said...

"I have heard that those without religion have a "God-sized hole" in their lives. But imagine having a Jersey-Shore-sized hole."

By any measure, a "God-sized hole" is infinitely larger than a "Jersey Shore-sized hole."

Tim said...

"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?"

No one with a brain watches MTV for meaning.

Its best show, "Beavis and Butthead," totally understood and mocked the living shit out of the core MTV audience.

If you're watching MTV because you think you might learn something, you're a Grade A moron, doomed to vote Democrat for life and, if you're lucky, an frequent user of EBTs while collecting the all-too-familiar UI check. If you're unlucky, it's welfare, food stamps and intermittent vacations in the state prison for petty felonies.

MTV execs no doubt know this better than anyone; why bother wasting air time on opening a new door of meaning? What new meaning does the 4-20 crowd possibly want from MTV? The newest ad for the Doritos Loco at Taco Bell?

Hulk Smash said...

MY FIST LEAVES FIST-SIZED HOLE

machine said...

The GOP had a reality show?

Missed it...

Paco Wové said...

So, what happened to "Jersey Shore"? Cast all dead or in prison or something?

Lem said...

I hardly watch any television anymore.

But while looking for something to catch my attention I watched a snippet of a scene where some good old boys? went into what looked like a representation of a Starbucks... a fancy coffee shop.

It was very funny.

There was a video but YouTube took it down.

garage mahal said...

I caught this show once and it didn't look to me they were doing anything different from the stuff we did as kids. I was just talking to an old friend who asked me if I remember riding down Hogsback Hill on old car hoods. [waxed of course]. A near half-mile glorious romp with 6-8 hysterical kids under no adult supervision. Under the right snow conditions you could really fly.

Lem said...

This is not the scene I mentioned just now... but these are the guys.

Patriot Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Hogsback Road, garage in Washington County? Been on it many times on the back of a Harley going fast, when young and foolish, great fun, glad I survived.

Lem said...

So, I take it a black version of this is unthinkable?

garage mahal said...

@Inga
No this was in Oneida County. Where I grew up.

Patriot Dan said...

I enjoy reading your blog...but, of course, I don't always agree. Your blog keeps me in touch with my roots (Home is Beloit, BS from UW (no pun intended).

You said, "I have heard that those without religion have a "God-sized hole" in their lives."

I believe the "god-sized hole" comes from Pascal:
“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”
- Blaise Pascal, Pensees


Pascal seems to indicate it is not those without religion but those without God who are incomplete and unfulfilled.

I agree with Tim, "By any measure, a "God-sized hole" is infinitely larger than a "Jersey Shore-sized hole."

Thanks for your continual sharings..

Jay Vogt said...

Honest to God, if we had ala carte cable/satellite purchasing options only about 7 people on the whole f**king planet would actually want to pay to get MTV, and we could rid ourselves of this embarrassing hazard to life and dignity.

Nonapod said...

Hey Hulk, I value you're opinion on movies and video games.

chickelit said...

Inga recalled: Hogsback Road, garage in Washington County? Been on it many times on the back of a Harley going fast, when young and foolish, great fun, glad I survived.

Inga road hogs?

traditionalguy said...

They are developing The Lakes of Dane County, which is a romance about baby boomers trapped in the Gulag called Madison.

They do a West Wing like segment about a dangerous ( he is a Christian Extremist) Governor at war with the secular University community, with a subplot about violent secret love at the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The cast includes a Con Law Professor played by Dolly Parton. Between singing 9to5 and Bob Dylan's Dream, she teaches a Landscaper from Indiana the ways of Higher Education, while he teaches her all about lead dogs.

Tim said...

"Inga road hogs?"

Having raised hogs, I can reasonably surmise, to the extent something like that may have actually happened, (not saying it did, but...) the hogs would have been doing the riding, if you know what I mean.

And I think you do.

EMD said...

Its best show, "Beavis and Butthead," totally understood and mocked the living shit out of the core MTV audience.

Mike Judge is a genius.

Shouting Thomas said...

Its best show, "Beavis and Butthead," totally understood and mocked the living shit out of the core MTV audience.

"Beavis and Butthead" morphed into Hank Hill, which is one of the great animated cartoon series.

Hank Hill is a compassionate and funny portrayal of a redneck good old boy.

garage mahal said...

Wouldn't be a normal day at Althouse without wingers expressing their bestiality fantasies.

Shouting Thomas said...

Wouldn't be a normal day at Althouse without wingers expressing their bestiality fantasies.

garage, is there a moment in your existence when you do not wallow in this partisan brutality?

Lyle said...

I don't think the show made fun of anybody. It was more of a celebration of being young, not in college, and living in the hills of West Virginia.

The stuff they did wasn't even that "hard".

Gandee was the show though, hands down. He was the most country. He was the funniest and the most genuine of the lot. He actually made the show different than the Jersey Shore, i.e. less fake and less hard.

Tim said...

"Mike Judge is a genius."

So true.

Lem said...

If you want an abortion, do you have to register and do a background check?

Just wondering.

SOJO said...

Kaching, you know.

Still, I'm from the MTV Reality Show days of Pedro Zamora and his struggling with AIDS that the Real World documented in a touching way, so it is a big generational change even within the MTV/Reality TV era.

SOJO said...

@kentuckyliz

I could be wrong, but it may have begun with a MTV guy (don't have time to Google) doing a documentary on the Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia and Jesco White and clan. That was horrifying, and yet really really great, IMO. It wasn't long after that that all this started showing up - kind of a tame, child's meal version.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"I have heard that those without religion have a "God-sized hole" in their lives. But imagine having a Jersey-Shore-sized hole."

Have you heard that from someone I don't have to use a search engine to find?

If so, you are advertising, and God bless you for that, as there are multitudes of ways to spend your time otherwise not nearly so Reaganesque.

And make no mistake, Reagan is rising and to be on the cusp of that is no hole of any sized, much less the idiocy of a hole the size of William F. Buckley Jr.'s redeemer, God.

To be nearly whole I would search definitions for "hole" and "size" to start.

Then progress.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Old pirates, yes they rob I.

Stole I.

This is a song of Redemption.

wholelottasplainin' said...

At least he died for a noble cause --- fattening the wallets of MTV "executives".

I mean, what do "executives" enjoy doing more, than killing off redneck in West Virginia??

Smilin' Jack said...

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?

What if it even led some of them to read The Origin of Species?

Nah.

cubanbob said...

I rarely watch these so-called 'reality' shows. From what I have read and heard about them and confirmed by what I have seen is that they are generally divided in to three categories. The rich and asshole. The poor and stupid and the trashy and worthless.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

20 miles NW of Madison, Wisconsin, I did a lot of mudding growin' up.

So did people who could.

Because there was, and is, no supposedly about the "fun" aspect no more than wondering why some like The Great Gatsby.

Most important of course is your "Everybody's Buckley" which you (the Royal you) haven't written.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"as·pect [as-pekt] Show IPA
noun
1.
appearance to the eye or mind; look: the physical aspect of the country.
2.
nature; quality; character: the superficial aspect of the situation."


I am frightened and sad; please don't explain this to me as I should as·pect [as-pekt] Show IPA
noun
1.
appearance to the eye or mind; look: the physical aspect of the country.
2.
nature; quality; character: the superficial aspect of the situation.

Carl said...

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...blah blah blah

Oh ferfuxsake. This is television we're talking about. The boob tube. Lowest common denominator. Mental masturbation. When reading Harlequin Romances is too much mental effort. The thing you flip on when you get finished with an 8 or 12 hour shift fixing your eyes on the reality of the consequences of this and that...after eight hours in the patrol car, seeing young people destroy their lives with meth. Or 12 hours in the ICU, having to hold a mother who's hysterical with grief because she's trying to decide whether to turn off life support on her 17-year-old. Or even just 8 hours slinging burgers and smile smile smiling when jerks give you shit about exactly half the cheese not left off like they asked, or try to hit up on you and make what they think are screamingly funny and original jokes about your nametag, bra size, whatever.

People don't come home, pour a stiff two fingers of Johnny Walker, and pop on the tube so they can open a new door of meaning. They want 30 minutes of yuks and distraction, maybe laughing at some idiot doing funny things no actual real sensible person would do.

Thank God the people in actual charge of pop culture are shallow greedy idiots, who will shovel out the cheapest possible crude poke in the eye humor. If TV shows were designed by plonkingly humorless professors who wanted to drive into our tired brains the cheap Made in Taiwan ersatz maudlinism that passes for philosophy these days, after a full day cutting their lawns and sobering up their alcoholic adult children, I'd just cut my throat in despair.

Dante said...

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.

Does anyone believe this?

Dante said...

The idea that a tail pipe was "stuck in the mud," and caused CO poisoning of two people defies belief.

First, if the tail pipe is completely occluded, the engine will shut off. And if not, it will take some time for any appreciable C0 to build up.

Even if drunk, the fumes would cause them to roll down the windows if the tail pipe were partially occluded. And then, why should the CO enter the cabin?

The only reasonable explanation is they were murdered.

Mitchell the Bat said...

"The Jersey-Shore-sized hole in the MTV viewer's life doesn't yearn to be filled like that."

It would seem that Althouse is unacquainted with the award-winning and universally acclaimed MTV Afterschool Special.

Hulk Smash said...

JUGGERNOT?
I MET JUGGERNOT ONCE
HE TALKED ABOUT FISTING, SO

I POUNDED HIM INTO THE GROUND
ONLY TO FIND
HE MEANT SOMETHING ELSE

NTTAWWT

Rusty said...

cubanbob said...
I rarely watch these so-called 'reality' shows. From what I have read and heard about them and confirmed by what I have seen is that they are generally divided in to three categories. The rich and asshole. The poor and stupid and the trashy and worthless.

Word.
Orange County Choppers-How not to use shop equipment by people who are extremely lucky to still have all their own fingers and eyeballs.
Gold Rush-Wander around the wilderness after somebody shows you where the gold is and still fuck it up.

I just watch HBO and mess around in the garage with my toys.

The Elder said...

"The brand. The brand."

Is it really so hard for us to see that shows like "Buckwild" and "Jersey Shore" are a descent into our modern heart of darkness?

Scott M said...

When the bar is set so low, how can you not but succeed?

Shanna said...

They were too drunk to realize they should turn off the engine.

Ah. Yeah, I know tons of people who have gone mudding and never heard of anybody dying like this but that makes sense.

There is no 'supposedly' about it being fun though.

WV seems to be the place east coast folks most like to make fun of. I went once and thought it was gorgeous.

viator said...

A Snooki sized hole?

Mark said...

maybe someone already said.
It's "God-shaped hole", not "God-sized". And nothing here or on MTV seems remotely either.

Baron Zemo said...

"Buckwild" is "Girls" for a different demographic.

Baron Zemo said...

The producers on reality shows induce a lot of this behavior. They have contempt for the people they are filming when in fact they are the most contemptible people you will ever meet.

Baron Zemo said...

The original producer and the woman who came up with the idea of "Jersey Shore" was an Italian girl who spent her summers just like Snookie and Jwow.

She knew what buttons to push to get the guido's to act like knuckleheads.

Baron Zemo said...

The producer of "Mob Wives" is the sister of Rene the main bimbo in the show. They stole the idea from someone else and ran with it.

rhhardin said...

Fills a much-needed gap