In February, Buckwild star Michael Burford was booked for a DUI. Just a few days before, Burford's co-star Salwa Amin was arrested following a drug raid that led to the discovery of Oxycodone in her purse. Four days ago, Amin returned back to jail after failing a court-administered drug test. And on Monday, MTV confirmed Buckwild star Shain Gandee was found dead in his car along with two other individuals after reportedly telling bargoers they were going off-roading.
Jersey Shore's Snooki might have gotten arrested for alcohol-fueled shenanigans, and Teen Mom's Jenelle Evans for domestic abuse, but with Gandee's death, Buckwild is now the most troubled reality series to hit airwaves since future murderer Ryan Jenkins starred on Megan Wants a Millionaire.
RELATED: Shain Gandee, 'Buckwild' Star, Found Dead
No doubt in the next few days, MTV will be fielding questions regarding whether or not the network has an adequate screening process. No doubt the next few days will lead to news involving Gandee's death and revelations about his past. And no doubt there will be pleas to not air Season 2 of Buckwild, which was ordered just days before Amin and Burford found themselves knee deep in non-West Virginia muddy waters.
But it's easy for viewers to judge a network that has yet to make a decision on the future of the series, despite the fact that Hollywood.com confirms filming on Season 2 was halted Monday following Gandee's death. After all, the alternative would be to judge themselves — the same audience that made Buckwild a hit in the first place. Yes, MTV took a risk centering a series on a group of hard-partying, ATV-riding youths, but TV viewers wanted to watch hard-partying, ATV-riding youths. Hell, the Season 1 premiere of the MTV series beat even Jersey Shore's series premiere, proving 2012 viewers were thirsting for a group of reality stars more, well, wild than the famous fist-pumping septet.
RELATED: Explaining 'Buckwild' To the Rest of America
So, no, MTV viewers, it is not MTV's fault that it aired a series starring a personality who would tragically meet his end less than one year after his father scolded him on camera for not being careful while riding a motorbike. Instead, it's your fault. You're the ones who laughed at Gandee's super-uncool father for demanding his son be safe. You're the ones who have an insatiable appetite for dangerous behavior. You're the reason we went from Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? to Survivor to Fear Factor. You're the reason we went from American Idol to The Singing Bee to Killer Karaoke. You're the reason we went from The Bachelor to Temptation Island to Megan Wants a Millionaire. You don't want reality TV to focus on normal people — otherwise, This American Life would still be on television, and would have 10 spin-offs (This American Life: It's Not Complicated).
Don't watch a trainwreck unless you want to see collateral damage.
RELATED: Reeva Steenkamp's Reality Show Will Air, But No One's Shocked
(Reporting by Christian Blauvelt)
[Image Credit: MTV]
You Might Also Like:Topanga's Revealing Lingerie Shoot: Hello '90s! 13 Most WTF Fan Tributes
A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.