Author’s Note: The tentative plan was to have this post up on Friday after the show premiered Thursday night, but I think a combination of disbelief at what I had just witnessed and the contact hangover I had from watching these people dump booze down their throats made me unable to comment until today.
If MTV’s BUCKWILD wasn’t bad enough, the next group-of-idiot-rednecks reality show comes to us in the form of PARTY DOWN SOUTH on CMT. We have all seen what fame and fortune did to the cast of BUCKWILD, and I doubt that the cast of PARTY DOWN SOUTH’s brush with misinterpreted superstardom is going to do any of them much better. To recap briefly, the end of BUCKWILD saw poet laureate in training Shain Gandee dead from muddin’, Salwa in prison for distribution of illegal drugs, and an awkward attempt at porn made by Shae and Jesse J. Not like I could feign surprise here, I would imagine this to be an average week in the ‘holler’.
Before I comment on the PARTY DOWN SOUTH, allow me to comment for a moment on the channel. This is probably the very first time I’ve ever turned on the CMT channel in my life. I knew it existed, much like that one girl in everybody’s high school that was able to grow more facial hair than you could… you know they’re there, but you wouldn’t dare pay attention. I don’t know what kind of baseline CMT has set for their original unscripted reality programming, but this one definitely lowers it.
Here is the deeply complex premise of PARTY DOWN SOUTH… round up a bunch of alcoholic bipolar hillbillies, put them in a JERSEY SHORE-ish house in South Carolina, give them a never-ending ocean of liquor and film it. Seeing as it is produced by the same folks that brought us JERSEY SHORE, they certainly have the “drunken 20-somethings in a house” formula down pat.
This cast is as follows: A little guns+bibles chick, a really tall passive-agressive chick, an obnoxiously bitchy chick, a funny looking chick who I have a feeling sleeps with alot of guys, a fat dude with a “5+4=10” tattoo on his foot, a goofy cross eyed dude, another dude who carries around a funnel and calls everybody “daddy” and a chucklehead that describes himself as “a cajun country-boy coon ass” and carries around a duck call. So there you have it. Come on, do their names really matter??
First episode synopsis: eight strangers meet for the first time, drink enough beer and Jack to inebriate a bar full of alcoholics, yell at each other, pass out and wake up the next morning not remembering anybody’s name. Yes, an entire hour of television was dedicated to just that.
Allow me to loop back around and introduce the cast. I find no more fitting way to do so than to present you their most quotable lines of the episode. In no particular order:
Mattie – The tall chick that looks like a poor man’s Megan Fox – “There’s no such thing as too many shots. You can take shots until your passed out. And if you don’t, your mom calls she wants her vagina back.”
Lyle – The chucklehead – “With all the drinkin’ we done tonight I might as well start my own recyclin’ business”
Tiffany – The loudmouth – “I come off like a bitch because people don’t know how to take my honesty.” Author’s note: Honestly, you come off like a bitch because you’re a bitch.
Ryan – The dude who calls everybody ‘Daddy’ – “I’m a diver, yea I breathe compressed air more than I breathe natural air, so I’m really part fish”
Taylor – The tiny chick who sleeps next to a gun and a bible – “God gave me this body, so I’m going to strut it for him”
Bonus Taylor Quote: “Duct tape and Jesus is like the best things in the world. Because prayer and duct tape can fix anything.”
Walt – The mildly cross eyed dude with the beard – “I have never met a salt water duck”
Bonus Walt Quote: “Holy hell, these girls aren’t even housebroken yet”
Lauren – The whore – “I’m not a whore, but when it happens it happens which when I’m drinkin’ most of the time it happens… but… it is what it is”
Murray – The ‘fat tatty’ – “I’m 6 foot 5, 300 pounds of twisted steel and MF’in sex appeal, J. Learn to love it and when it doubt whip it out.”
Bonus Murray Quotes: “[I’m from] Mississippi, flat land… you can watch a goddamn dog run away for two weeks.”
“This summer I’m probably going to have a lot of sex with myself, but if somebody else wants to join, I’m open to that kind of thing”
Not to call out their artistic integrity, but I’m pretty sure they were paraphrasing alot of Shakespeare.
Fun facts about the episode:
Number of times somebody said the word “Shots” or a derivative thereof – 29
Number of times somebody said “Daddy” – 32
Number of times Matty said “It’s Saturday Night” when crying about the fact that it was Saturday Night – 11
So I’m essentially watching this show as a joke just so I can riff on it the whole time. The cancellation of BUCKWILD left a snarky hole in my heart that only a show that glorifies trainwreck rednecks can possibly fill. While BUCKWILD reeked of incompetence and desperation, at least PARTY DOWN SOUTH is marginally funny and appears much more interesting. Admittedly, JERSEY SHORE was a guilty pleasure of mine in its first few seasons, and I think PARTY DOWN SOUTH might follow suit. If you are a fan of reality television, this is absolutely the newest JERSEY SHORE and is here to stay. Come back weekly for updates.