The overwhelming vote in the Coal Valley News online poll question is that the show is “bad” for West Virginia.
With over 43,000 views and counting, 69 percent said the show is bad, while 23 percent said it is harmless and 2 percent called it good. Six percent voted that they had no opinion either way.
The show premiered a few weeks ago, putting West Virginia back in the national spotlight.
The show, set in Sissonville, has seen its fair share of criticism.
Senator Joe Manchin wanted producers to pull it before it aired because he said it portrayed unrealistic stereotypes.
Kirsten Williams, a 12th grade student at Sherman High School in Seth, wrote a letter to the Coal Valley News about the show.
“I am writing this letter concerning the new reality TV show "Buckwild" that displays the young people of West Virginia in a terrible way,” she said. “Growing up in West Virginia you meet many young people who are troubled by the stereotype the rest of the country has given us. You focus on the teenagers who party, have sex, fight, and represent West Virginia in a limiting, inaccurate way.”
Williams went on to write the MTV shows never display a successful story.
“MTV never shows the true success of our state,” she said. “Emily Cochran from West Virginia who is only 15 years old has skipped a grade, taken both the SATs and ACTs twice and has had amazing scores. And this is only one example of the intelligence and determination you can find in West Virginia. So please, take another look and maybe you'll see the real West Virginia.”
Christina Rhodes, a 10th grade at Sherman High, also wrote the newspaper.
“I feel that the TV show “Buckwild” does not give even the slightest bit of true representation to West Virginians,” she said. “The show makes me angry because I know the actors and actresses were paid a lot of money to act like they did. I know for a fact that a couple of them don't act remotely close to how they act in Buckwild. The show presents a narrow image of young people in West Virginia -- and does not reflect the hard-working, smart and diverse people here.”
A collection of social media reactions on Coal Valley News’ Facebook site to MTV's premiere of the controversial "Buckwild" television were also mostly negative, with many sounding off about the unfavorable image of West Virginia portrayed through the show's country shenanigans.
Politicians and tourism officials have expressed worry recently that the show will feature negative portrayals and stereotypes of West Virginians.
When the trailer was released in November, Charleston Convention and Visitor's Bureau President and CEO Alisa Bailey told the Charleston Gazette it was "just most unfortunate."
And Melissa Whitman, a South Charleston resident, had told the Gazette that scenes for "Buckwild" were shot last spring in and around a yellow house just across Beechwood Drive from her home. A lot of the filming looked faked, she said, adding that she watched the cast and crew reshoot and tweak scenes.
Debbie Springston posted, “I feel kids will be kids no matter where they are from…what bothered me was they made West Virginia look so dark and dirty and we have one of the most beautiful states. Looks like it was taped in the summer, so why didn’t the show our trees and flowers and streams lakes and rivers?”
Patty Hager posted, “Why they have to get young foul mouthed drinking kids to do this show is beyond me? Not worth watching and down grading West Virginia.”
Wanda Whitney posted, “I think people should be ashamed to make a show like this. They are only making the teens look uneducated and showing no respect for their families or for God. I am from Boone County, but have been gone about 53 years. Things have changed all over.”
Navonna Browning posted, “Kids may be kids but why can't they be respectful kids? Kids can be kids by doing fun stuff. There's way more out there to do than this. This is just easier and society is making this behavior more acceptable, especially by putting it on TV. I agree with Miss Springston, where is the beauty in West Virginia? Well, unfortunately, that's not what gets ratings. Would you want your kids acting this way? I wouldn't. I think it's showing our kids that it's O.K. to drink, use foul language and have sex. It's showing our kids, ‘O.K., act any way you want and we'll make you famous for it.’ Where are the parents?”
But not all the reactions were negative. Some Facebook posts showed signs that more than a few young viewers appreciated the country antics.
Crystal Lynn Dickens posted, “It’s just a show who cares how they are its not who you are, there just some young adults having fun.”
Amber Police Browning posted, “I loved it! It made me feel like I was living out my early 20s again. People take these things too serious. It's a bunch of young adults doing what they want and having fun!”
More episodes are scheduled to run at 10 p.m. Thursdays.
About 2.49 million viewers watched last Thursday's premiere, according to “Hollywood Reporter.”