Mostly negative buzz on proposed docu-soap
Due to a production error only a portion of a story about a proposed docu-soap appeared in last week's print edition. The story is reprinted in its entirety this week.
In the interim, many readers read the story in its entirety on The Martha's Vineyard Times website, mvtimes.com. If the majority of the more than 20 comments posted to the story are any indication of wider public sentiment, Islanders are not about to embrace the storyline.
The following comments, edited for spelling and punctuation, reflect general disdain with the perceived exploitation of the Vineyard.
A reader identified as Island female wrote, "I feel like the island will be entirely misrepresented. Like, look how beautiful the people are on Martha's Vineyard, look how lavish the parties are, look how functional everyone is. When really if you took a cross-section of the TRUE island, the people who were born and raised here, it's not that pretty and its not that perfect. I wouldn't watch it."
Adam urged town officials to take a close look at other shows in the same genre. "They are reality programs," he wrote, "that provide a semi-ironic window into the lives of over-privileged and usually obnoxious white kids. Viewers get sucked in because of the 'train wreck' effect - characters so out of touch with the world around them, with values that would make most good people cringe... Exploitation at its worst. The people that really keep the engine of the Vineyard moving, 12 months a year, deserve better representation. I'm all for a little fun, but at not at the expense of my island."
An unidentified commenter wrote, "It sincerely bothers me that 700 people are attention-deprived and desperate enough to exploit themselves, their friends and what once was a protected and special island to us all."
George Stein called for more realism. "Oh my, little Buffy or Biff on the Vineyard. They should have started filming at the PA Chili event if there was any intent of actual Vineyard life."
Scott took an analytical approach. "It's the nature of the TV beast: nothing is interesting without conflict, at least not to the simple minds that thrive on this stuff. Since interpersonal conflict drives a segment of the TV shows these days, it's a no-brainer to copy a working format and retool it for a new locale... Fluff TV, made to sell crap to kids and perpetuate the same tired format over and over, only now on the Vineyard."
Whitney just does not like it. "This idea blows. Please don't do this. If this turns out to be anything like the Hills, I'm seriously moving off this island."
But not everyone thinks it is a bad idea. Several posters emphasized the possible economic benefits to Martha's Vineyard. One unidentified poster wrote that people needed to be more open minded. "You've all missed or somehow overlooked the part in the article where they say they are not only casting for summer visitors, but they are also casting for locals. As a young islander, born and raised, I know it's not all a pretty picture. However, I do know that in the summer it is the most beautiful place in the world and you should be proud to share that beauty with the rest of the world," he wrote. "Even if it takes a little drama to get the boom that the island so badly needs right now. It is not 'YOUR ISLAND.'"
JLB also took a positive approach. "I think the show is going to be great. Take it with a grain of salt, people. It will be all about the cast. Hopefully they choose people who know the island and can represent the VIBE of the island well. Hopefully it will bring a lot of well needed biz to the island too. Keep an open mind people."
And Den was of the view that even bad advertising is good advertising in a troubled economy. "I am in no way supporting snobby rich people or one day tourists who [could] care less about the Vineyard but think again. What is Martha's Vineyard without them? Construction, tourism is our revenue. That says it all. Good luck with being in denial and complain about stores and eateries getting closed."