Is MTV's Buckwild The New Jersey Shore?

MTV’s new show, Buckwild debuted to big numbers. Huge. Bigger than the Jersey Shore debut back in 2009. Does this mean Buckwild is the new Jersey Shore?

Now that Jersey Shore has ended, MTV has come up with some new replacements to fill the void left in your train-wreck tv watching schedules. Buckwild, a new reality series follows a group of young adults, living together in a house in West Virginia. You know the type, thrill seekers, partiers, kids who want to have fun. Except this time, the housemates all knew each other before moving in together. And the show is set in Sissonville, West Virginia, a town with one stoplight to its name and plenty of ATVs to go around.

The show received hype before it even premiered when Democratic Senator of West Virginia, Joe Manchin III, called for a stop to the show, calling it a travesty and accusing the network of luring young people into shameful behavior. MTV responded by saying that the show is different than anything they’ve produced before, and that the appeal of focusing on kids from West Virginia came from their disconnect to social media and technology. One cast member doesn’t own a cell phone or watch tv (Shain). MTV wanted to showcase the different type of life that can be led in more rural areas of the country. These kids may be more wild and carefree than the cast of Jersey Shore because they’re not into surfing the web and keeping up with tv ratings, they are just out to have a good time.

As with any good TV show, and any good MTV show, the group is put in situations meant to cause friction and drama. And, in the episodes that have already aired, that drama was on full display. Amid the normal partying we’ve come to expect from shows like this, viewers saw guns being shot into the air during a party, car explosions, machetes, dump truck pool parties, and a whole lot of shenanigans.

The real question becomes, once the hype wears down, will viewers want to stick with these people? Jersey Shore was able to last for six seasons because it evolved as time went on (Snooki’s pregnancy), and put its cast in new and different situations and environments (Italy, Miami). There are also many more reality shows created in the same vein that popped up on our channels after the huge success of Jersey Shore. Some of Buckwild’s success will depend on how much viewers are getting from other shows, I’m looking at you Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and how much they miss the antics of the young that Jersey Shore filled.

Will Buckwild be able to buck the same trends that Jersey Shore did, or will it flame out as a one trick pony?

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