'Buckwild' not nearly as wild and woolly as real thing

December 12, 2012

Teenagers are stupid. This amazing bit of news comes to us courtesy of the reality TV geniuses who are now filming a new show to be set in West Virginia, which will be very similar to “Jersey Shore,” but with more groundhog.

Seeing as how MTV is now talking about my homies, I figure I better represent them in a way that will convince the public at large that this show is, in actuality, about as far from reality as you can get. Speaking for myself and my friends, we were never, ever, that genteel.

The new show “Buckwild,” is set in Sissonville, W.Va. I called up the trailer for “Buckwild,” while recalling my own West Virginia boyhood. And instead of being appalled, I found myself going through a mental checklist: Yup, we did that. Yup, we did that. Yup, we did that. When are they going to get to the shocking stuff?


Heavens, if I had a dime for every time I heard the words, “Here kid, smoke this cigarette or I’ll hit ya” I wouldn’t care about the fiscal cliff.

Matter of fact, we probably could teach these naive reality show actors a thing or two. For example, did they ever play “Chicken,” a name elegant in its simplicity? This is because you would set the woods on fire and the first boy to put it out was the Chicken. Everyone in eighth grade had a jeans jacket with a faux lambswool lining, scorched black from snuffing out flames.

I saw nothing in the trailer about souping up cars. Apparently actor-boy doesn’t know the first thing about strapping a jar to the engine compartment and filling it with nitrous.

I saw no one sprinkling Skoal on his food. I saw no science fairs where every boy’s entry is some variation on the theme of fruit juice and yeast (sure there were some explosions, but even Newton had his setbacks). I saw only one scene with a gun, and all they’re shooting is a pumpkin. That’s original.

Gee, jumping off a low railroad bridge into a river? Whoopie. Playing with a tractor tire and yelling at your girlfriend, is that all you got? Driving through mud that doesn’t even reach your front axle? We would have been bored to death.

The one scene that I clearly want to disassociate myself from as a West Virginian is the one where the kid is performing some trumped-up stunt WHILE WEARING A HELMET. Eww, hope you don’t get any dirt under your fingernails, prettyboy.

I want a show that depicts the real West Virginia. I want America to see the West Virginia childhood of black powder, tennis-ball cans and Windex. And I guarantee you, every West Virginia boy out there reading this right now (which, come to think of it, is almost assuredly zero) knows exactly what I’m talking about.

The scene in “Buckwild” with the backhoe did bring back some fond memories, I grant you. Without going into excessive detail — well, suffice to say that the makers of earthmoving equipment never thought to fit the machinery with childproof locks. That’s how a bulldozer got driven over the breadth of the Shepherd College campus in the late ’70s.

The trailer also shows a kid taking a candy-armed swing at his rival. If MTV wants to see reality, it should take its cameras to a local Toughman competition where you’ll see a bunch of rawboned boys from Sir John’s Run beating the living snot out of all the musclebound cases from Gaithersburg.

I read where Sen. Joe Manchin is outraged at MTV, and wants “Buckwild” to be canceled. Me too. Stop sugar coating it, MTV. Fire all your actors and take your cameras back into the hollers and show what growing up as a boy in West By God Virginia was really like, y’all.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at

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