MTV’s “Buckwild” burst onto the scene this week, bringing the fightin’, muddin’, and cussin’ residents of Sissonville, West Virginia to the national stage … and introducing the term “Redneck MacGyver” into the pop-culture lexicon.
Yes, in just two short episodes, “Buckwild” has become a bit of a sensation, an unapologetically unrefined ode to the Mountain State and all its splendor. Part “Jackass,” part “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” it may have some of West Virginia’s elected officials up in arms, but we can’t stop watching, even if we’re not sure whether we’re supposed to laugh or cry while we’re doing so.
In short, it’s already managed to capture a chunk of our cold hearts, and we suspect we’re not alone in that sentiment. So just in case you missed the premiere of “Buckwild,” here’s our handy guide to the MTV’s newest smash … everything you need to get up to speed before the next episodes air on Thursday.
Let’s start with the show’s unquestionable breakout star: Shain Gandee, aforementioned “Redneck MacGyver,” ATV enthusiast, and appropriator of Wooderson’s moustache from “Dazed and Confused.” He works as a trash collector, constructed a swimming pool out of a dump truck, and still found time to dispense wisdoms like “Wolf Pen, West Virginia: One way in, one way out … You don’t know your way around? Stay the f— out.” He is quite possibly inebriated at any given moment, refers to himself as “the Gandee Candy” and every time he speaks, you need subtitles to understand him. Needless to say, he’s amazing.
His best friend is Joey, a good-time dude who goes by the name of “Justin Beaver” for reasons that we don’t need explaining here (though he does a fairly succinct job of doing just that in the opening credits). They are both very much taken by the new girl on the scene, Cara, a redheaded firecracker who frequently displays poor judgment … like when she slept with heartthrob Tyler, the self-described “Pretty Boy” who seems more interested in barbecue chips than the feelings of his various conquests.
Then there are Cara’s best friends, Anna — possessor of a microscopically short fuse and a widescreen array of petty jealousies — and Ashley, whose sole contribution to the show at this point seems to be “sitting on couches.” There’s also Shae, the “Spicy Southern Belle” who is actually about as spicy as a Chic-fil-A sandwich, Katie, the “College Girl” (we don’t really remember her being in the first two episodes), and party girl Salwa, who gets topless within the span of about five minutes and may quite possibly be the only person of Bengali descent living in West Virginia.
Based on the first two episodes, conventional wisdom seems to hold that wherever Anna is, trouble is sure to follow. She brawled with her next-door neighbor — a woman with Cinnamon-candy colored hair who just wanted to put her kids to sleep so she could “go do what we do” — during a housewarming party, causing the girls to get evicted.
Then, Anna got angry with Cara when she wouldn’t come clean about her relationship with Tyler — which producers seem determined to make a main storyline of the show, even if Tyler could care less — and got apoplectic when she discovered the two had boned in her bed, since it was “disrespectful.” She then confronted Cara about the indiscretion, which led to a truly epic scene where Cara fled the scene whilst cooking chili and Anna hung over a balcony shouting “You’re not a good friend!” and “F— You!” while everyone laughed. It’s a good thing this show takes place in the woods, miles away from the tender ears of children.
“Buckwild” takes place in and around Sissonville, West Virginia, an unincorporated census-designated place in Kanawha County (thanks, Wikipedia!), near the state capital of Charleston. It follows the life of nine twentysomethings who party down, hook up, and basically keep Natural Light in business. Some of them are students, others merely working for the weekend, but all are entirely amazing. There is plenty of property destruction, some fights, and wanton truck abuse. No mudhole goes unexplored, no rope swing un-swung, and no, we cannot believe this show is on TV either … though we’re eternally thankful that it is.
Are you hooked on MTV’s ’Buckwild?’ Let us know in the comments below!