TMZ is reporting that the MTV execs behind the trashy pop-culture phenomenon Jersey Shore are looking to cast "12 lucky guys and gals who are keepin' it country and want to party their asses off" for a spin-off reality show tentatively titled Party Down South. Yee-haw! The South will rise again! (Check out the casting page at www.partydownsouth.com)
Doron Ofir Casting, the agency responsible for drawing Snookie and The Situation from the middling, deservedly obscure existence that they continue to live in some alternative, more decent universe, is searching for fresh "talent" that appreciates "kegs, muddin' and cook outs." (I had to google "muddin,'" so I guess that means I'll just have to wait to hear back from the "Wicked Summer" casting people - www.wickedsummahcasting.com.) According to TMZ, Doron Ofir Casting will be driving through Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia in an RV, rounding up a crew of the most red-blooded-est, truck-drivin'-est, camera-whorin'-est rednecks in America.
How many different groups of ethnic or cultural stereotypes is MTV going to be able to exploit before this formula gets tired? So far we've got Jersey guidos, Mass-holes, rednecks, and rumored castings for shows about Asians and "Jewish American princesses." MTV's execs should probably be careful - there's a fine line between funny exploitation and offensive exploitation. Party Down South should be safe because it's poking fun at a commonly accepted (white) cultural stereotype that some southerners see as a point of pride, but it's only a matter of time before a show based around, say, Black stereotypes exposes how hurtful this formula can be if not treated properly. That being said, if you enjoyed Jersey Shore's trashiness (and I loved every episode), Party Down South promises to be another MTV guilty-pleasure masterpiece.