Who is watching Buckwild on MTV? Believe it or not, millions are tuning in weekly to the reality show, and most of them are women.
For those of you who have been living in the woods, Buckwild (Thursdays, 10pm ET) is a cross between Jersey Shore and Jackass that has even upset a congressman representing the state. Nine West Virginians in their 20s ranging in jobs from a trash collector to two tanning salon employees have their weekly exploits filmed for our viewing pleasure. Fights break out, clothing is discarded, and there is a lot of hooking up (yes, even between the women).
And although some of us might be reluctant to admit it, it’s painfully hard to look away. The girls are attractive and the guys are wild (one dude named Shane even needs subtitles, because he’s so hard to understand). Whether it’s turning a dump truck into a swimming pool or 4-wheeling through dangerous terrain, we get a front-row seat to the mayhem.
And judging from Nielsen, which measures TV viewership, Buckwild is doing remarkably well. The premiere episodes since its debut have averaged 2.1 million viewers, and surprisingly 1.3 million of them were females. Among the coveted 18-49 demo, the show is averaging 1.4 million viewers, 60 percent of which again are women.
In our pursuit to find out more about why people are flocking to it, we reached out on Facebook to see who would go on record about why they are a fan. Much to our surprise, one of the first people we heard back from was Scott Kazem — a prominent attorney in the Washington, D.C., area.
What was it about the premise of Buckwild that enticed you to start watching, and was it what you were expecting or something entirely different?
When I first saw the commercials, my thought was that will be a train wreck. I set my DVR right away. The premise seemed like a replacement for Jersey Shore but a country version.
How would you explain this show to somebody who hasn’t seen it?
I would say it is a hillbilly Jersey Shore, the at-home edition.
Some West Virginians have complained that it sheds a bad light on the state. Has the show changed your perception one way or another?
No, I don’t think you can extrapolate the antics of a few reality TV participants to the population of an entire state. The show just happens to take place in West Virginia but could easily be in any rural area in the U.S.
Do you think any of the scenes or stunts are manufactured for TV, and would you stop watching if you knew it was?
I am sure that some of the things are set up by the producers in a semi-scripted way. It really does not change the appeal.
Would you recommend Buckwild to others and why?
I would. It is mindless TV-watching, providing a bit of an escape. I don’t sit around waiting for it to come on, but I do record it and watch it when I have some time at home.