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[P]
New "Hillbillies" Show Spawns Controversy

By leviramsey in Media
Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 11:02:14 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

In what could become the latest salvo in the "reality" wars on American television, CBS one of the main American networks, has been developing, on an on-again, off-again basis, a program tentatively titled "The Real Beverly Hillbillies". As in the classic sitcom (which was also broadcast on CBS), the idea is to take a poor family from Appalachia (map) and transplant them in the ultra-rich enclave of Beverly Hills, near Los Angeles.

The proposal, however, has caused no small amount of controversy. It has even been mentioned on the floor of the US Senate.


The Center for Rural Strategies has blasted the concept, with the president of the Center, Dee Davis, saying "We intend to lessen their comfort zone and make them re-think this premise."

The Center contends, in an advertisment it ran in several newspapers, that "there are lots of things CBS could show us about rural America. Some things, like the reality of poverty, unemployment, and environmental degradation are painful to talk about, challenging to hear. Others... might actually teach a thing or two to privileged entertainment executives."

Not all in the region are as vehemently opposed to the proposal as Davis. In Davis' hometown of Whitesburg, Kentucky G.C. Kincer, owner of a local radio station, recorded CBS' advertisement looking for suitable families to star in the show. To Kincer's mind, this is almost a type of reparations for years of damage: "The damage was done when the first coal company came here and stripped the land and never put one dime back into it and then took off."

The legacy of the coal mining, an industry that has declined in recent decades remains with Appalachia. Former miners suffer lung disease and many wells and streams are polluted. With the primary industry gone, a population that was never prosperous has descended into poverty. In many respects, you can find a Third World nation an hour's drive west of the richest county in the US (Montgomery County, Maryland).

On February 25, Senator Zell Miller (a conservative Democrat from Georgia) delivered a statement on the floor of the US Senate:

I'd like to say a few words about [the proposed program] as a United States Senator who happens to be a "hillbilly".
I can call myself that, but don't you call me that. For hillbilly is a term of derision that was first coined in April 1900 when the New York Journal had an article on "Hill Billies" with this description: "A free and untrammeled white citizen who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it and fires off his revolver as his fancy strikes him."
My neighbors and I have lived with this ridicule and overdrawn stereotype all our lives, as did our parents and their parents before them. My roots run very deep in the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia where I was born, raised and always have made my home. It is where my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren live. My ancestors were among the very first mountain settlers. They were descendants of the Scotch-Irish who were driven out of Northern Ireland by the Stuart Kings.
They developed as extreme, rugged individualists who never closed their doors, had inherent self-respect, were honest and shrewd, knew no grades of society and had unconscious and unspoiled dignity that was utterly without pretension or hypocrisy. And then, when the Civil War came along, it was this area of the South that opposed secession. For there were no vast plantations in the mountains of the South and very few slave owners among those poor people. Some even fought on the side of the Union with families sometimes divided over the terrible conflict. Later when the wars of the 20th century came along, it was the families in the mountains of the South that sent a disproportionate share of their young men who volunteered to fight in distant lands far away from their peaceful valleys. And when this country was threatened to be torn apart over Watergate, it was two great members of this senate from opposite parties but the same part of the country who helped keep this nation on an even keel: Democrat Sam Ervin from the mountains of North Carolina and Republican Howard Baker from the mountains of Tennessee.
Now in the enlightened 21st century, there are plans under way for a new hillbilly minstrel show, using the same old stereotype, denigrating, laughing at and ridiculing this group of people.
They know the only minority left in this country that you can make fun of, demean, humiliate, put down and hardly anyone will speak up in their defense are hillbillies in particular and poor rural people in general. You can ridicule them with impunity.

In response to the controversy, CBS, a part of the Viacom empire has only said that the show is in the planning stages and that there are no firm plans to ever produce the show. Kincer, however, doubts that the controversy will be what stops the show before it starts. "They're not going to be able to do that show because they'll never find the family they're looking for. That family does not exist."

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Related Links
o CBS
o sitcom (which was also broadcast on CBS)
o map
o The Center for Rural Strategies
o We intend to lessen their comfort zone and make them re-think this premise.
o there are lots of things CBS could show us about rural America
o Not all in the region are as vehemently opposed
o Zell Miller
o delivered a statement on the floor of the US Senate
o Viacom
o Also by leviramsey


Display: Sort:
New "Hillbillies" Show Spawns Controversy | 109 comments (92 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
A better idea (4.71 / 14) (#1)
by Betcour on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:11:53 PM EST

It would have been funnier to send a group of Texas bible-thumpers-creationist to live in the red-light disctrict of Amsterdam (above a coffee selling pot).

Now that's something I'd like to watch :)

I'd probably pay to watch that... (5.00 / 3) (#25)
by gordonjcp on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 03:26:54 PM EST

... and I don't even watch terrestrial TV.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
You're not missing anything. (5.00 / 3) (#76)
by ti dave on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 06:51:40 AM EST

Martian TV is even worse.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Last time I was in Amsterdam (5.00 / 4) (#32)
by AtADeadRun on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:04:52 PM EST

I saw something very much like what you describe: a Southern Baptist (or possibly evangelical) on a street corner in the red light district, preaching about the evils of sex, drugs, and alcohol to all comers. He was doing so with a Dutch translator, which was adding insult to injury, since most Dutch speak better English than I do.

-------
Pain heals. Glory is forever. Keep running.

We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
[ Parent ]
oh my god... (5.00 / 1) (#86)
by Oxymoron on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 03:14:05 PM EST

That would have been the funniest shit ever... you could have made some people laugh by taping that and putting it on the net for the rest of us to laugh at.

hahahaha, thanks for the funny thought of that.

Fighting the war, on drugs.
"Yeah, girls smelling like oranges is always a recipe for trouble. They'll invariably end up getting thrown on the floor
[ Parent ]
Yeah. (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 05:12:26 PM EST

So you mean to say that sex, drugs and alcohol are good for you?

Say what you mean, please.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

I'm not so sure they won't find someone... (4.75 / 8) (#3)
by graal on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:16:23 PM EST

...who either fits the bill or is willing to fit the bill for the purposes of TV. On the one hand, any person who agrees to do this of their own free will, having been advised of what's going on and duly compensated, really has no reason to complain. Having said that, parents who make the decision to include their kids in the spectacle really ought to have their heads examined.

On the other hand, if any other group placed in a similar fish-out-of-water situation for Big Laffs, you'd have to imagine that the outcry would be easily 10 times as furious. There'd be boycotts, marches, the works, whether the participants were willing or not. Such a show would be unlikely to even make it off the drawing board.

As for me, I think the whole idea is stupid, and would probably not watch it anyway. I'm tired of hearing about the networks continuing to up (lower?) the ante with regards to moronic, endlessly derivative programming.

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)

"Look at the funny Negroes!" (5.00 / 11) (#40)
by rusty on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:36:02 PM EST

On the other hand, if any other group placed in a similar fish-out-of-water situation for Big Laffs, you'd have to imagine that the outcry would be easily 10 times as furious.

Don't count on it. If you've watched any TV recently, you've probably been bombarded by ads for new movies which basically rest on the premise "Black people in traditionally white settings are high-larious."

In Bringing Down the House Queen Latifah turns Steve Martin's life upside down as her funny black-person antics throw his stodgy white life into disarray. Martin and his friends learn funny underclass slang like "Who dat!" and "It's all good, homie."

Then there's Head of State where Chris Rock throws the stodgy Halls of Government into disarray when he's suddenly appointed a replacement presidential candidate. He's down with whitey, sho nuff, but can da Man adjust to having the trash talking Rock all up in the joint?

The good old fashioned minstrel show is far from dead. The only difference today is that actual black people are playing the minstrel roles.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I agree (5.00 / 1) (#53)
by jcolter on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 07:10:00 PM EST

Most black sitcoms seem to work the exact same way.  I wonder what people will think of the current era of "black television" in twenty years?

[ Parent ]
I'm just waiting for... (5.00 / 2) (#57)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 07:40:11 PM EST

...a resurrected and appropriately postmodern ironic rendition of The Amos and Andy Show to hit the WB. Oh wait...

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Speaking of minstrel shows... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 07:34:37 PM EST

...have you seen Spike Lee's Bamboozled? I thought it was a rather interesting take on the ironic/not-so-ironic self stereotyping of so much of today's popular black entertainment.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
No (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by rusty on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 07:39:21 PM EST

I should really see more of his movies. I'll see if netflix has it.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
I'm definitely not... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 07:44:49 PM EST

...Spike's biggest fan, but he has made some really good films. Bamboozled is one of his better ones. Oh, and see Crooklyn as well. That's the one that caused me to change my mind about him.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Both added to netflix queue (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by rusty on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 07:55:00 PM EST

I'm always glad to get movie recommendations. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Have you seen "Do The Right Thing?" (5.00 / 2) (#95)
by amarodeeps on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 01:38:39 AM EST

I'm figuring you might have, as that is one of his biggest, but I have to emphasize, that is one of the greatest. I would say it is one of the great movies, period.



[ Parent ]
Hollywood out of ideas? (5.00 / 2) (#68)
by it certainly is on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 11:04:15 PM EST

How about another black-guy-meets-white-guy comedy?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Out of ideas? (5.00 / 3) (#69)
by rusty on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 12:19:04 AM EST

Hardly! Obviously you didn't even read my post. I mean right there you've got examples of a white-man-meets-black-woman movie and a white-political-establishment-meets-black-man movie. Why, if anything I'd say that this just shows us Hollywood is in it's true creative golden age!

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
I think it is more complicated than that. (5.00 / 2) (#93)
by amarodeeps on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 01:33:38 AM EST

Look, first of all I think there is a lot of truth to what you are saying. But there is also the fact that people of color are only now starting to be in positions of power and influence that had not been available to them 50 years before. And one of the complaints that you often hear (although more in the past I think) from the African-American or Latino community is that there are fewer images of themselves in the media. That being said, it starts to make sense positively that Chris Rock would put himself in a film playing a president and explore the humor of that. Because we've had, how many, uh...no black presidents? Just because it is funny doesn't mean it can't make serious points. It's possible Chris Rock pretending to be president will be more interesting and meaningful in the end than Morgan Freeman pretending to be president. And I for one am excited to see the movie with Chris Rock as he is one of the most astute comics that's come around in years, and I don't find that he's generally been too tame about pointing out the inconsistencies and quirks about class and race. So, rather than slamming it I think you might want to give it a chance and see what it's going to be all about. Just because it's about race doesn't mean it's a minstrel show. In fact, it could be the exact opposite.

However, that Queen Latifah/Steve Martin flick looks kinda retarded, and makes me sad because 'The Jerk' is one of my favorite movies, and ironically skewers some racial stereotypes itself (admittedly in a clumsy way at times) *sigh*...oh Steve...but then again, who knows...

Listen, the fundamental issue is this: people of color historically haven't been involved with parts of the macro-American culture, and that's been due to a lot of sub-cultural, class and race sorts of things. Bringing these issues up can be funny as well as serious. Sometimes dealing with these issues in a funny way is a more effective way to present them and change minds at the same time.

Perhaps most importantly, there is an implicitly problematic assumption in your post, and that is that the only audience for these films are white people. What's more screwed up, the idea that hollywood is giving us updated minstrel shows, or your assumption that hollywood isn't aware of all the people of color paying for movies these days?



[ Parent ]
Yeah (5.00 / 2) (#94)
by rusty on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 01:37:22 AM EST

It's always "more complicated than that," and I was only considering one side of the coin. I obviously haven't seen either of the unreleased movies yet, and these black-guy-meets-white-guy movies can break either way. There has been rather a rash of them recently, though. If nothing else, the formula is getting way old.

I quite liked "Die Hard: With a Vengeance," if that alters your perception of my comment any. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I certainly didn't mean... (5.00 / 1) (#96)
by amarodeeps on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 01:40:51 AM EST

...to belittle your point, just to say, "wait a minute and see," that's all.

On the contrary, I think for, dunno, 85-90% of the crap that comes out of Hollywood, well, that's just what it is, and it only reinforces the stereotypes we have at its best.



[ Parent ]
Addendum: (5.00 / 1) (#97)
by amarodeeps on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 01:41:48 AM EST

Blade was pretty fucking kick ass. Shitty movie overall though. But that's what I expected.



[ Parent ]
Ha! (5.00 / 1) (#101)
by rusty on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 02:31:46 AM EST

I loved Blade. And, for that matter, Blade II (though I'm probably one of two people in the world on that one -- my wife being the other). But I'm totally a sucker for vampire movies anyway, so it probably doesn't count.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Nah, I enjoyed Blade II, too (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by epepke on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 03:40:47 AM EST

It just wasn't quite as memorable as Blade. I think that Blade has some directing that will eventually be studied in film classes, specifially the opening "Blood Bath" sequence, and the closeups of the Japanese businessmen interposed with medium-long shots of the rapping girls in school uniforms. It also laid down the mythology extremely well.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
That was quick (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by rusty on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 01:54:42 AM EST

No belittling perceived. You are right, my original comment was polemic and polemic is always only half-right at best.

Actually, I'm a notorious movie junkie, and will happily watch virtually anything. I'm fine with movies that are essentially crap but only seek to entertain, as long as they do in fact entertain. The only kinds of movies that actually bother me are ones that sneer at their audiences. One flavor of this is the "I'm too much of a genius to be entertaining" variety, like latter-day Kubrick, Gosford Park, or Mulholland Drive -- movies that could openly care less if the audience is even there, and were made primarily to satisfy the ego of the filmmaker. The other is the "they're too stupid to notice" variety, like the Planet of the Apes remake, which was so pathetically riddled with plot holes it was clear that Burton thought we'd all be so wowed by the special effects and his brilliant directing thast we wouldn't notice the movie made as much sense as screen doors on a submarine.

Many of the black-guy-meets-white-guy movies fall into the second category, plastering cheap platitudes on top of what amounts to a string of racial jokes, in the hope that we will leave the theatre thinking that we just saw a moral lesson, not 90 minutes of exploitation. Some of them don't, so judging beforehand is always dangerous.

I don't recall what my point was, so this comment will just end rather abruptly, before

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Speak for yourself... (5.00 / 1) (#100)
by amarodeeps on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 02:26:48 AM EST

No fair though, you probably have it set up somehow that your cell phone rings when someone responds to a post.

Anyways, to further digress, I think you can see I agree with the 'crap in the service of entertainment' based on my addendum above. And I generally agree with you about movies which belittle, although I can be a snob myself. My father actually teaches film so that doesn't help; he's force-fed me every weird foreign/avant-garde/old hollywood film he gets a thing for since I was little. And, well, *sniff* I've developed a taste for only the finest in film. Of course, speaking of Planet of the Apes, he actually paid to go see it, so that probably says something about me too.

I think I agree with you about latter-day Kubrick; I tried to watch part of Eyes Wide Shut and had to walk out of the room I was so irritated. I'm off and on with Altman, but I didn't see Gosford Park so I can't say. Had a feeling I might not have liked it, but can't tell until I see it. However, I respectfully disagree with you about Mulholland Drive; I thought it was wonderful, it created a certain mood that I find few other directors are capable of, and I appreciated the mind-game sort of plot. The only thing that really mystified me was the two miniature old people at the end, but hey, that's what you're in for with David Lynch, who I admit I'm somewhat of a sucker for.

I've been really into Werner Herzog lately, he and Klaus Kinski put together some amazing flicks. Have you seen any of his stuff? I don't know if you'd like it or not, but I think it is worth watching. Notable are Fitzcarraldo, Aguirre the Wrath of God, and Stroszek...I dug those.

Anyways, to bed...



[ Parent ]
African-American Comedies (5.00 / 2) (#102)
by epepke on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 03:34:22 AM EST

And one of the complaints that you often hear (although more in the past I think) from the African-American or Latino community is that there are fewer images of themselves in the media.

I find it interesting that almost all of the sitcoms starring African-Americans that have actually been funny and somewhat relevant have been on the Fox network, widely viewed as ultraconservative. Before that, in the 1970's, there were the "A New York Jew Looks at Negroes" comedies like Good Times, The Jeffersons, and Sanford and Son.. (Speaking of which, the July 2002 issue of Mad has a piece on "What if Cris Rock Performed at a Bar Mitzvah?) In the middle, there was the wildly popular Cosby show, which was widely criticized as being unrepresentative of the lives of African-Americans, mosty by white liberals. And there was that show a bit later that actually had some bite--I forget what it's called, but it starred the guy who was also in Alien III. But at the same time, the Fox network has done dozens of sitcoms starring African-Americans, many of them very good.

Anyway, it's been rocky. It's really very hard to do a show with minorities without being criticized for something. It's either too much this or not enough this. At best, the criticisms tend to push the writers in the direction of bland characters that don't make for good drama or comedy.

Just because it's about race doesn't mean it's a minstrel show. In fact, it could be the exact opposite.

Which means that it will be nailed just as bad. The Goodies did a show about South Africa, which was about as surgical an attack not only on Apartheit but on racism and racialism in general as I have ever seen in my life. This at the time when the BBC, in all seriousness, had a variety show called The Black and White Minstrels. Yet a compendium on The Goodies claims that the BBC has labeled this episode "Do not show--racist."

However, that Queen Latifah/Steve Martin flick looks kinda retarded, and makes me sad because 'The Jerk' is one of my favorite movies, and ironically skewers some racial stereotypes itself

It's ironic that, many years ago, Queen Latifah got into controversy by making a number of rather racist comments. I haven't seen the new movie, but I found it interesting that she was in Chicago in a totally race-irrelevant role. (When I saw Chicago on Broadway in the 1970's, the Mama character was white). She did quite a good job, even though her voice was surprisingly soft, but as I pointed out in my diary, maybe that's why they cut my favorite song from the movie, which would have been a duet between her and Catherine Zeta-Jones and requires very brassy singing. Maybe they filmed it, and it will be in the DVD. But anyway, I digress.

Due to the nature of being a minority, if you're in the public eye, you're always going to be someone's symbol of something. And, since so many people are so incredibly stupid, it's gotta be a simple symbol of an easily understood concept, or it's bad, and if you're dancing around trying to please anybody, you can't make art for shit.

Which is why I'm glad that the Queen Latifah/Steve Martin movie has been made. Maybe it will be for shit, but you have to risk making movies like that, or else the art is never advanced.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
I think you hit the nail on the head. (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by amarodeeps on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 12:02:35 PM EST

Don't know what more to say really.

Except maybe a bit about Queen Latifah...I've always had a lot of respect for her, I think she's a good rapper and I like some of her music. If I recall correctly she had a good role in one of Spike Lee's earlier movies, maybe Jungle Fever, where she plays a waitress or something who chastises Wesley Snipes for being in an interracial relationship...I think? I could be totally mangling that. But I think she had some good lines about race in that movie.

I'm kind of rambling though, so let me cut it short.



[ Parent ]
Excuse me? (4.00 / 2) (#66)
by Subtillus on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 10:07:35 PM EST

Was I the only one who watched fresh prince of bellair.

[ Parent ]
Different (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by Souhait on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 01:43:54 AM EST

Will Smith went to live with his rich uncle.  It'd be a different thing if his uncle had been a stereotyped WASP with a stick up his ass.

[ Parent ]
But you'd be delusional (none / 0) (#79)
by leviramsey on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 10:02:06 AM EST

...If you tried to claim that a substantial portion of the comedy on that show was "black guy from the hood in upper-class white society"-based.



[ Parent ]
The difference (5.00 / 2) (#81)
by graal on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 11:37:44 AM EST

...is that Fresh Prince was fiction.

An inner-city analogue to the Hillbillies concept would place some poor family from a project in Queens or the south side of Chicago and put them into a social context so far removed from what they've known that Wild Hilarity ensues as we watch them and the neighbors interact.

I take rusty's point about the minstrel shows, but by and large, they're fiction, and are supposed to be taken as such. The high-concept behind the Hillbillies is that it'll feature Real-Life Slackjawed Yokels flailing around the high-falutin'.

Now maybe, just maybe, the point will be that the Country Folk will be shown to be the real heroes, and it's the Hollywood-types that'll come off like loons. Either way, I won't watch. I've got too much to read to piss away what little TV time I spend with reality (and I use the term loosely) dreck of this sort.


--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

So what happens when the show is over? (4.40 / 5) (#6)
by Edgy Loner on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:59:42 PM EST

Do the billies get kicked out in the street, sent back to Kentucky, get put to sleep, what? I would think that going back to their old life would be pretty fucked after the show. It's one thing living on the low end if you don't know anything else. Something else once you have something to contrast it to. Maybe a reciprocal show: some rich white family from Beverly Hills gets sent to live in rural Appalachia and work in the coal mines. On the one hand I can't wait until this genre of shows dies out, on the other I'm terrified of what will take it's place.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
IIRC (none / 0) (#7)
by leviramsey on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:02:41 PM EST

CBS would just send them back to where they came from, presumably with some coin.



[ Parent ]
Better than nothing (5.00 / 1) (#10)
by Edgy Loner on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:29:49 PM EST

Depending on the coin. Still unless the people were pretty enlightened might really fuck their lives. Maybe I shouldn't give anybody ideas, but what about doing shows based on psych experiments? Like the conformance to authority experiments, or the prison simulations? That should provide great lashings of the human ugliness these shows seem to feed on, and the viewers can feel all superior to the contestants. I'm guessing that the newtworks would be somewhat less contrained by ethics than researchers.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
Well... (5.00 / 1) (#78)
by epepke on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 07:36:11 AM EST

Depending on the coin. Still unless the people were pretty enlightened might really fuck their lives.

I guess if it is within the realm of consideration that they might be actual human beings or something, d'ya think that after 13 weeks of free celebrity on prime time, one of them might get an agent?

Maybe I shouldn't give anybody ideas, but what about doing shows based on psych experiments?

Or maybe like that old Star Trek show, "Bread and Circuses?"


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
BBC show based on Stanford Prisoner experiment (none / 0) (#109)
by xmedar on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 07:37:02 PM EST

Prisoner: The Experiment

[ Parent ]
Anecdote (5.00 / 13) (#8)
by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:18:55 PM EST

The people featured on this show will know what they're getting themselves into, right?

Don't bet on it.  If someone involved in the media tells you that the sky is blue, look outside to make sure.

I appear in film footage taken at this reenactment event which the organisers were assured was going to be aired as part of a small local news piece about the event, basically a "What's on in your area this week" filler for the local news.

What the footage actually featured in was a national report about racism, specifically anti-Anglo racism by Scots.  My image was used in that context, without my permission or knowledge, with no right of refusal or reply, or any attempt to determine whether that was true for myself or anyone else present.  The report did feature interviews with completely unconnected parties, who happen to also be involved in Scottish reenactment (of the "Braveheart was a documentary" variety) who were barred from this event for just that reason.

Sure, we considered legal action after the fact, but it's simply too expensive to mount, when as a non-profit organisation, we can't show damages.  So they got away with it, and now we have to disclaim the allegations.

( As another aside, you might be inclined to infer that I actually am a racist of the Scots nationalist variety, but as with all things, you have to consider the context .  Not that the film crew even bothered to check the text, let alone the context. )

In short: don't appear on film unless you're getting well paid for it, and/or if have editorial veto.  And never, ever believe the story you're fed about why you're being filmed.  Weigh the coolness factor against the worst possible way that you could be portrayed.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs

Other than hype.... (4.00 / 2) (#9)
by thekubrix on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:20:47 PM EST

....I don't see this show going very far. Granted they may choose a rather undeducated family whose not use to some basic functions/services that many of us take for granted, but how far can that really go? What made the original show exclusive was that the family was genuine in its innocence and ignorance, not to mention a good sense of humor. I think at best this show will evolve into what the Anna Nicole show is, that being a rather mind numbing stupor of a show making fun of those who are acting like rednecks for the producers or are truly maleducated.

How about this (4.83 / 12) (#14)
by KWillets on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 02:20:23 PM EST

Take some Beverly Hills residents, and transplant them to Appalachia.

They did this with 'Frontier House' (4.66 / 3) (#17)
by graal on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 02:47:26 PM EST

...though I would have liked to see the families actually try to make it through winter.

(And it wasn't Appalachia, it was out in the western bush - Colorado, I think)

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

Frontier House ruled (5.00 / 2) (#36)
by rusty on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:21:37 PM EST

I think one of the families actually was from Beverly Hills. The one with the guy who lost all the weight and made the moonshine still, wasn't his family from either Beverly (Hills, that is) or someplace very similar?

Anyway, if anyone reading hasn't see Frontier House and has a chance to, watch it. It's very good.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Malibu, if I recall. (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by graal on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:25:04 PM EST

He was an exec with some pharmaceutical company. I could have easily watched a whole season, as it kicked that much ass.

Oddly enough, the folks from Tennessee didn't fare too well, as they had too much livestock to care for. The experts predicted a long, tough winter for them. Best odds for survival went to the couple with no kids.

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

Youth (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by cam on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 06:50:17 AM EST

Best odds for survival went to the couple with no kids.

Didnt the experts fail them all and the only reason the young couple was given best odds was because they were young. The Florida family were best at whining and the Kentucky couple had some family friction which the experts thought would have shrunk their cabin to a postage stamp in a winter.

cam
Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]

As I recall it was youth... (5.00 / 2) (#80)
by graal on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 10:43:03 AM EST

...and a pretty minimal set of needs. They didn't have much in the way of livestock, so they didn't need to store winter feed. It was just the two of them - no kids to worry about. We'll never know who would've made it.

Like I said, I would have liked to have seen them make a go of getting through winter. I would also liked to have seen them able to hunt for game, which was sort of off-limits for them.

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

Winter (5.00 / 1) (#88)
by rusty on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 03:38:05 PM EST

If there is a God, someone will do another version of that show where they have to try to actually survive a winter. I really wanted to see that too. There's no reason at all it would be dangerous, as you can always have rescue standing by.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Green Acres remake (5.00 / 1) (#28)
by NotYetMeasured on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 03:50:13 PM EST

I think they are considering doing just that, again remaking a sitcom as a reality show.
E! article

[ Parent ]
Wasn't Green Acres (none / 0) (#30)
by leviramsey on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 03:55:04 PM EST

... an indirect spinoff of the Beverly Hillbillies (by way of Petticoat Junction)?



[ Parent ]
I'd watch that n/t (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by jcolter on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:35:19 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Wait a minute (4.57 / 7) (#15)
by gbd on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 02:21:47 PM EST

"They know the only minority left in this country that you can make fun of, demean, humiliate, put down and hardly anyone will speak up in their defense are hillbillies in particular and poor rural people in general," Miller said.

They are? I thought the only minority that you could get away with making fun of anymore was fundamentalist Christians. Or homosexuals. Or war protesters. Or homosexual fundamentalist Christian war protesters. Why is it that everybody who gets made fun of woefully proclaims that they are "the only group left that is still acceptable to make fun of in this day and age?" This self-aggrandizing martyrdom gets a bit old after a while.

Hoo-ee, Thelma! I say let them go ahead and make their show. If you think the idea is stupid or offensive, then don't watch it. (I know I won't.) If the show tanks, then CBS will take it off the air. This is how television has worked since the dawn of time.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.

almost (5.00 / 2) (#38)
by borful on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:31:03 PM EST

It's fat, stupid homosexual fundamentalist Christian war protestering Frenchmen

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.
[ Parent ]
No homosexuals (4.20 / 5) (#52)
by godix on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 06:48:21 PM EST

You can't make fun of the homosexuals, you'll end up with a rainbow parade in front of your house and thousands of men wanting to hit you with their purses. Christians and war protesters are fair game though, as long as they follow the 'stick tab A into slot B' line of sexual thinking.


Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
- Psalms 137:9[ Parent ]
Protests, huh (5.00 / 8) (#16)
by wji on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 02:37:35 PM EST

I guess next we can expect organizations for the mentally disabled going after The Osbournes and sex trade groups protesting The Bachelor. And they can both be angry over Joe Millionaire.

But seriously, K5 is one of my few sanctuaries away from reality TV. Please, stop talking about it. I'm of half a mind to think CBS bought that Senator's speech for cheap publicity.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

interesting (4.66 / 3) (#21)
by tps12 on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 03:06:29 PM EST

K5 is the only place I ever hear about reality TV.

[ Parent ]
How Is This Different? (4.50 / 2) (#24)
by Hellraisr on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 03:25:29 PM EST

How is this show different than Bumfights? Less violence?

Character development (n.t) (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by bigbtommy on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 02:38:58 AM EST


-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up
[ Parent ]
Not quite the Osbournes (4.00 / 3) (#26)
by dmt on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 03:42:53 PM EST

Isn't the net result of this that more people will hear about Appalachia, and be exposed to people that they wouldn't outside of Cops? For instance this very discussion was provoked by the programme.

This is cynical exploitation on behalf of the programme makers and ethics have had nothing to do with the programme.  But you wouldn't be discussing Appalachia without it.

Have you ever heard of Hari seldon? <nt> (4.33 / 3) (#67)
by Subtillus on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 10:25:43 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Senate floor huh? (3.50 / 2) (#31)
by jabber on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:02:18 PM EST

Surely, this must mean that Reality TV is no longer "cutting edge", and that it has passed so completely into the mainstream as to be uncool. Kill your television, people. There's nothing between the commercials anymore. Reality TV is the broadcast equivalent of the Hot Topic store chain.

There is nothing even remotely "reality" about some doofus having to lie to women while they compete for his attention. There is nothing "reality" about the Survivor brand of "color game". The only "reality" about "Profiles from the Front Line" is the fact that it will desensitize the viewers to the realities of war. And the "reality" of the upcoming "The Family" is that Stanley Milgram style psychological experiments, while too unethical by today's Academic standards, are perfectly acceptable on Family Television during "prime time".

It's all absolutely banal, and it all strips the last shreds of humanity from the ugly bags of mostly water on the screen faster than that Simon guy strips the last vestiges of dignity off of "American Idol" casualties.

-1. Please make it stop, already.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

I'd say that... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
by leviramsey on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:07:37 PM EST

some doofus having to lie to women while they compete for his attention.

...is quite realistic.

Never been to a singles bar, or a college party, have you?



[ Parent ]
Hah! I missed that. n/t (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by jabber on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 06:04:07 PM EST


[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

ummm... (4.66 / 6) (#33)
by ucblockhead on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:04:52 PM EST

So it's a show just like "The Osbournes", except that these people are poor and not famous, and therefore could actually use the money?

How awful.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

The show is proof that... (4.50 / 4) (#35)
by artsygeek on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:13:04 PM EST

The show is proof that "reality" TV continues to sink to newer lows.  It seems that schadenfreude is the mainstay of our TV themes.  It wasn't that bad when it was confined to Jerry Springer and "The Real World", but now it's gone too far.

Gone too far (5.00 / 2) (#45)
by kphrak on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:56:26 PM EST

"Reality TV wasn't so bad before, but now it's gone too far!" You, of course, mean that as a bad thing, but potential viewers might view that statement differently. "You mean, they might actually show the lady with her clothes off? Someone might die on the set? It will be dirtier and more outrageous than the last series? Sign me up!"

Of course it's gone too far. And you can bet that it'll go a little farther in the next season. It involves ratings, which seem to have an inverse relationship to the depths that a reality show will go to in order to satisfy its jaded audience. There really is no limit to the entertainment people can get out of a debased or vile spectacle, and if you don't believe that, read about one of the two things the Roman emperors used to keep the populace from rebellion.

My prediction: You think it's bad now? You ain't seen nothin' yet.


Describe yourself in your sig!
American computer programmer, living in Portland, OR.


[ Parent ]
fucking hillbillies (1.54 / 11) (#41)
by turmeric on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:44:23 PM EST

i dont suppose there was anyone ALREADY LIVING in those mountains in georgia before they got there? and i reckon they just welcome all the escaped slaves on into their cabins?

Same as anywhere. (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by cdyer on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 12:00:20 PM EST

That has nothing to do with hillbillies. That's america, through and through.

s/appalachia/manhattan/g

i dont suppose there was anyone ALREADY LIVING on that island in New York before they got there? and i reckon they just welcome all the escaped slaves on into their city?

Still works.

Cheers,
Cliff



[ Parent ]
Well, now... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by Apuleius on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 12:04:28 PM EST

You have a point. And clearly a reality show is not enough. Time to round up those hillbillies and send them to labor camps!


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Fucking Ignorant (5.00 / 7) (#89)
by Mr Badger on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 04:25:28 PM EST

    Actually, most Appalachian land holdings were purchased in transactions between European individuals and Native American tribes. This was true in many cases wherever Europeans developed colonies in the East, with the notable exceptions like the Plymouth Colony and its satellite colonies. For religious reasons, the Puritans did not feel they needed to deal with the native population. (Before this becomes a "those damn Christians" thing - the Quaker colonies in Pennsylvania and the pan-Christian colonies in Rhode Island both felt that Christian ethics demanded they treat the Native Americans fairly and equitably.) The real conflicts over stolen land didn't start `till Europeans got West of the eastern mountain chains - including the Appalachians, where individual farmers had to cut deals with the Native American nations already there in order to prove their land claim.
    This doesn't mean that there were not plenty of non-land based conflicts and wars sparked by greedy European land speculators who ignored the rule colonies set for themselves, but the real land battles started after Americans had passed the Appalachians. After that, all hell broke loose.

    As for the runaway slaves, many Appalachian communities did take them in. Most notably West Virginia, which seceded from Virginia after it joined the Confederacy. The West Virginians began Reconstruction years before the rest of the South and well before the end of the Civil War, freeing all slaves in its territory and providing shelter for countless runaway slaves.
    The leadership of wartime West Virginia was unable to get African Americans the vote, a measure that failed in a public referendum. To be fair, at the same time similar movements to give African Americans the vote failed in every Northern (or un-Hillbilly) state that tried it.
    This is not to claim that the Appalachians were an Eden of racial harmony (or that they are models of multi-cultural unity today), but it seems odd to hold them to a uniquely high standard.

    For more information on these and other interesting historical topics, I recommend you visit you local library. There you'll find many fascinating books on America's varied and complex history. If you are unable to read, many larger libraries sponsor adult literacy programs.


[ Parent ]

Partially true (5.00 / 2) (#106)
by epepke on Sat Mar 01, 2003 at 01:35:47 AM EST

This was true in many cases wherever Europeans developed colonies in the East, with the notable exceptions like the Plymouth Colony and its satellite colonies. For religious reasons, the Puritans did not feel they needed to deal with the native population. (Before this becomes a "those damn Christians" thing - the Quaker colonies in Pennsylvania and the pan-Christian colonies in Rhode Island both felt that Christian ethics demanded they treat the Native Americans fairly and equitably.)

The Plymouth colony was originally settled by separatists, not Puritans. They didn't call themselves separatists, though. They called themselves "saints." By all accounts, they largely respected the natives. For one thing, when naming places, they found it easiest to ask the natives what they were called. A number of English words, such as "squash" and "raccoon" date from this time. However, by less than a hundred years later, the original separatists were completely outnumbered by Puritans who indeed started not caring much about the natives.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Reminds me (4.50 / 4) (#42)
by jcolter on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:48:05 PM EST

A couple of years ago I was invited to a white trash theme party.  The people hosting this event were friends of mine, so after work it went.  It didn't sit right with me though.  I suppose watching people in a Manhattan penthouse make fun of how they thought poor rural whites behaved  bothers me in the same way that racist humor does.  

Do people need to have it explicitly spelled out for them that it is not ok to make fun of minority groups?  Did CBS never consider this?

The thing about freedom of speech ... (5.00 / 3) (#74)
by vrai on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 05:58:46 AM EST

... is that people will frequently say things you don't like. When this happens you have two options: disagree with the speaker, or ignore the speaker. CBS have every right to produce this show and the viewing public will make their own judgements. If it p*sses a lot of people off then viewing figures will be low and CBS will lose the ability to sell advertising space - they would also suffer damage to their public image and so lose even more advertisers.

As to your question, if the answer is 'Yes' then by all means try to bring CBS over to your way of thinking - via protests, letter writing campaigns etc ... Just don't try to get the show banned/censored by the authorities, that sets a much more dangerous precedent than some low budget 'reality' TV show ever could.

[ Parent ]

I really couldn't care less what CBS does (5.00 / 1) (#85)
by jcolter on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 01:46:39 PM EST

Frankly I hope they throw it up and see what happens.  CBS always cares about popular speech because they are a commercial speech provider.  Certainly I wouldn't want the government telling them what they can and cannot show. (putting aside the issue of public ownership of the airwaves)

If people hate the show, CBS will cancel it.  They have almost no commitment to free speech other than how it generates them money.  Either they learn the hard way with this example or they don't.  Honestly I couldn't care less.  It is not like anyone looks to them for moral leadership anyway.

[ Parent ]

What is humor? (5.00 / 1) (#105)
by Gooba42 on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 07:48:21 PM EST

Any humor which has made a point of being inoffensive has typically come out flavorless and just not funny. Are we so screwed up that we actually think it's okay to not "take a joke" under any circumstances?

Let them air the show, if it's funny, but in bad taste, it's still funny and let them that don't like it not watch it. If someone is sensitive about an issue typically it's a matter of a) they don't like it about themselves or b) they don't understand it. If they don't like being made fun of for being rednecks, they can stop being rednecks. If they can "own" their redneck-ness then they shouldn't have to concern themselves with what jokes other people make. Same goes for being any stereotype.

Racism is so insidious because it's not something about which you can do anything. That distinction makes this a totally different issue.

[ Parent ]
Zell Miller is ashamed of his ancestry (4.33 / 3) (#43)
by borful on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:49:50 PM EST

He says of his people: "...had inherent self-respect, were honest and shrewd, knew no grades of society and had unconscious and unspoiled dignity..." but does not want such people put on prime time national TV. Why? If they are such examplars of what it means to be a good person, how could it be bad for America to see them?

He claims that the TV show will make fun of these honest and shrewd people. How could that be? Are they not so honest and shrewd?

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.

Maybe he doesn't trust them (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by spacejack on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 05:20:45 PM EST

"Reality TV" is anything but. They'll edit it to portray whatever the average viewer expects to see.

[ Parent ]
Nobody trusts them (5.00 / 1) (#49)
by borful on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 05:34:34 PM EST

"Reality" TV shows have been around long enough for everybody who watches TV to know about editing and context. Honest, shrewd, and dignified people do not have to worry about such things. Could you imagine, for example, having Billy Graham and Jimmy Carter and Walter Cronkite in a reality show? It would be boring because those guys would not get all nasty in public - especially in public. And everything in a "reality" show is "in public". If Miller's folk are as great as he says, they need not worry about this show.

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.
[ Parent ]

Obviously (3.50 / 2) (#65)
by vile on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:28:42 PM EST

You have not seen the show.

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Zell Miller is a waste of skin [n/t] (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by epepke on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 02:02:50 AM EST


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Unfortunately for the Senator, (4.00 / 3) (#48)
by JChen on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 05:25:07 PM EST

his little speech will have the negative side effect of giving the hick show a lot more publicity than it actually has. Of course, he is also obligated to represent those who live in his state, so it presents a dilemma: damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Let us do as we say.
good gawd (4.33 / 3) (#54)
by circletimessquare on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 07:28:11 PM EST

we have all lost our sense of humor.

didn't this sort of politically correct hypersensitivty go away with the last decade?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Well (4.66 / 3) (#59)
by regeya on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 07:46:57 PM EST

My grandpa lived close to Jackson, KY. It's just down the road from Hazard.

I've been there a few times, and the people there aren't so much dumb as poor and poorly-educated. And I'm sure a few readers are aware of legendary stories of people being shot for going down the wrong road, or getting too close to a whiskey still. Those legends are more or less true.

Hell, if some good old boy/girl wants to go make a fool of him/herself on national/international TV, that's fine by me. Go for it! However, I have to echo a couple of sentiments from the story; first, if the CBS producers hope to find the Clampitt family, they're in the wrong state. You'll find more Clampitts in Missouri and Arkansas. ;-D Secondly, if they hope to find a family as backward as the Clampitt family, they'll probably not do so well hanging around places like Whitesville. Perhaps the town I mentioned above, Jackson? Though I would recommend that they stick close to town; driving down the wrong country road can be hazardous(heh) to one's health. Too many stills, pot patches, and goofs running stuff like Oxy to make a nice country drive anything but deadly (or at least unfomfortable when they're approached by guys with shotguns in the middle of a road.)

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

Nah, not Missouri (5.00 / 2) (#73)
by mold on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 03:34:08 AM EST

We're a bunch of meth addicted rednecks. There aren't really any hillbillies here.

As to Arkansas, I can't say.

---
Beware of peanuts! There's a 0.00001% peanut fatality rate in the USA alone! You could be next!
[ Parent ]

referring to the real family ;-D (5.00 / 1) (#91)
by regeya on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 07:59:59 PM EST

The bookkeeper where I work is named Clampitt. Seriously. And she's from Missouri. My impression from her is that it's a big family. It was a private joke, really. :-D Oh, and southeast Missouri really IS a bunch of meth-addicted rednecks. ;-D

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Really her name? (5.00 / 1) (#99)
by mold on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 02:20:57 AM EST

That must have made going through school... Interesting. ;-)

And I sometimes think all of MO is meth-addicted rednecks, except maybe in the cities, where they have access to the more classic drugs, like coke and heroin.

---
Beware of peanuts! There's a 0.00001% peanut fatality rate in the USA alone! You could be next!
[ Parent ]

It's already been done... (4.66 / 3) (#61)
by Talez on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 08:14:24 PM EST

Johnny Knoxville (of Jackass fame) comes from Knoxville, TN and he's been transplanted into LA by MTV.

I think the results speak for themselves.

Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est

Totally missing the point (3.60 / 5) (#62)
by SleepDirt on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 08:19:07 PM EST

I've never watched a reality show in my life but my understanding is they pretty much take advantage of everyone. I don't see why they think hillbillies are somehow exempt from it.

Anyone dumb enough to watch TV (especially reality TV) won't be making fun of these people because they won't be much smarter than the hillbillies.

"In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity." - Hunter S. Thompson

Hillbillies (and TV producers) aren't so stupid... (4.85 / 7) (#64)
by bsimon on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 08:48:02 PM EST

It's interesting to see that there were similar arguments when the original Beverly Hillbillies show first aired in 1961.

Social critic David Susskind was [so] alarmed by the subject matter of the show that he called upon "the few intelligent people left" to write their congressman and complain. [Source]
However, pretty soon, critics began to realise that the show was a little bit more subtle...

"Folks who look down their noses at TV's number one show have it all wrong. In truth, it mocks pretension - a spectacle the great American public has always enjoyed," - The New York Times Magazine, November 17, 1963.
TV Viewers might enjoy laughing at people who they see as less sophisticated than themselves, but they like mocking the pretensions of the self-annointed upper classes a whole lot more. And I'm sure the producers of the new reality TV show understand this.

So no doubt the plan is that them thar country boys will teach the city folks a thing or two about life and show them how the real hillbillies "had inherent self-respect, were honest and shrewd, knew no grades of society and had unconscious and unspoiled dignity that was utterly without pretension or hypocrisy"

Of course, life doesn't always imitate art...

you have read my sig

Alan Sherman put it best (3.00 / 2) (#77)
by epepke on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 07:19:04 AM EST

Little David Susskind, shut up! Please don't talk. Please don't talk.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
they are a cold, hard reality (4.00 / 2) (#84)
by ibbie on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 01:18:30 PM EST

living in (but not from) tennessee, i have to deal with enough yokels as it is. i think i'll pass on a television show, as it would hit far too close to home.

*shudder*

--
george washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but he also admitted doing it. now, do you know why his father didn't punish him? because george still had the axe in his hand.
'bout them hillbillies. (4.75 / 4) (#87)
by Apuleius on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 03:17:03 PM EST

Ever wonder why when American airline pilots go on the intercom, their enunciation drifts to a West Virginian hillbilly accent? (And it is a WV accent. If you don't believe me, go rent Silence of the Lambs again, and listen to Jodie Foster's accent real close.) Chuck Yeager's why. It's a habit that developed among his trainees in what is now Edwards Air Force Base, long ago. They started picking up his drawl, and Yeager's from a very up-hollow village in WV. Ironic, isn't it, that for all the contempt Appalachians get in popular culture, it's their dialect that pilots adopt when they aim for a professional demeanor?

Just thought I'd point that out.




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
Whatever. (3.50 / 2) (#92)
by amarodeeps on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 01:07:21 AM EST

We're all fools anyways aren't we? I'm sure there's some poor Appalachian family that would be glad to get the chance to be on the show, just like there's plenty of us poor slobs who would watch the show too. Nobody really cares who's dignified or not because the only people who are wouldn't give a shit one way or the other about the show, methinks, whether they be the so-called 'hillbillies' or not.



Isnt' this show already running? (5.00 / 1) (#107)
by Bernie Fsckinner on Sat Mar 01, 2003 at 04:11:33 PM EST

It's called the Anna Nicole Smith Show.

Even better idea (5.00 / 1) (#108)
by xmedar on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 07:28:42 PM EST

Transplant some religous mullahs from Iran into Beverly Hills, give them Amex cards, free cable pr0n and an endless supply of call girls, drugs, alcohol, and burgers, the show will be called "Mullah Time!"

New "Hillbillies" Show Spawns Controversy | 109 comments (92 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
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