Thursday, March 6, 2014
Recent reports suggest CMT’s “Party Down South”, the reality show that filmed along the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk, could be filming their next season in Pensacola. A few residents like the revenue and publicity a reality show can bring, but the overwhelming outcry from residents has been negative. We expect a big sigh of relief.
The fears were that the show would be little more than “Jersey Shore” with a Southern accent. After viewing several episodes that is pretty much what it turned out to be. Heavy intoxication and the misbehavior that goes with excessive alcohol is the primary storyline.
To be fair we do note that the editors rarely, if ever, mention Murrells Inlet. The businesses that supported them do get a good bit of publicity, as they should. We are grateful for this editing and think any negative effect on Murrells Inlet’s image will be negligible.
Southerners in general may have been done the greatest disservice. We cringed while watching at times, just as we imagine many New Jersey residents cringe when Jersey Shore airs.
Too bad, it could have gone another direction.
There are other cable shows that feature strong, supportive and successful families, pride in Southern heritage, outdoor lifestyles, no intoxication and somehow are still a lot funnier. At least one such show has become a top-rated cable program. It has had its share of controversy too. But we kind of like the idea of a show that ends each episode with grace being said over a table filled with Southern food and surrounded by family and friends.
Murrells Inlet and the other communities of the South Strand are great settings for all sorts of film projects. Aside from Party Down South, our experiences with the film industry in Georgetown County have been positive. We welcome more projects and some are coming our way.
In the meantime we wish the Party Down South cast and crew well. It may not be smooth sailing though. There are already signs of rough waters as Pensacola spokespeople also view their town as a family-friendly destination and would want a show featuring their community to reflect this. Party Down South will have a hard time passing this test.
We guess there are two ways things will work out if the show continues. They will find a community looking to promote themselves as a spring break-type resort, or they will craft the show into something more. Something where young Southerners are smart, resourceful, insightful, caring and proud while being funny as heck.
Just as many of our young people are.