(Editor’s Note: This is the fourth and final article in a four-part series about the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s reality show.)
WILLIAMSON - After the highly anticipated debut last Thursday night of the “Hatfield’s and McCoy’s: White Lightening” reality series on the History Channel, the Williamson Daily News took to the streets to ask Mingo and Pike County residents how they felt about the show and to report on their comments.
The newest History Channel reality show is based on the tale of Hatfield and McCoy descendants who attempt to stop their bickering and fighting and put the violent history of their ancestors behind them in order to form a company together making and selling white whiskey, “aka” moonshine.
The first episode featured a drag race between the patriarchs of the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s and the beginning of talks concerning the business venture. The colorful cast includes several well-known local residents and a few that may not be as familiar, but all of them bring their own special talents and quirks to the screen.
This is what the general public who were interviewed about the show had to say:
Beverly Staton of McAndrews, Ky. is a descendant of the McCoy clan, and told the Daily News that she figured that both Randal McCoy and Devil Anse’ Hatfield were rolling in their graves, seeing what nonsense and foolishness people kin to them were doing and saying on national television.
“I’m a member of the McCoy family and I can assure you that none of us act like that,” said Staton. “I have family members that are married to Hatfields, the feud has been dead for a very long time. We live beside of a Hatfield, we go to church with them, heck – we’ve even been on vacation with them. I feel this show is making a mockery out of us and just giving the entire nation another reason to think we’re nothing but stupid hillbillies. I pray they don’t make any more seasons of this show, one is plenty enough to cause us a lifetime of embarrassment.”
Jeannie Childers of Turkey Creek, Ky. agreed with Staton to a certain point, but said that she’s hoping that everyone will be smart enough to realize that these reality shows are blown completely out of proportion and they try to come up with a theme that will keep the public interested and make them want to watch the next episode to see what’s going to happen.
“Like it or hate it – I think people will tune in just to see what’s going to happen this week,” commented Childers. “My husband hated it, said it wasn’t anything but an older generation of “Buckwild’ cast members stereotyping us as pure idiots in front of the world, but I have to disagree with that.”
“I think that if a distillery can actually become a viable business here and help our town, then I will glsdly suffer through everyone thinking we’re hicks. Williamson is dying right in front of our eyes and we need to accept every hand that is extended to us that can keep us from becoming nothing but a ghost town.”
Norma Wiley, an 84 year-old resident of Delbarton, said that she could have probably watched the show and got a few laughs out of it, if it wasn’t for the constant use of vulgar language that she took great offense to.
“I can’t figure out for the life of me why they think people have to curse and take our Lord’s name in vain to get their point across,” said Wiley, while shaking her head in disapproval. “That was uncalled for and wasn’t needed. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.”
“Why couldn’t they have done a show about some of the good, God-fearing Christians who live here? I’m sure there’s plenty of Hatfield and McCoy descendants that attend church and lead a life filled with good morals and standards. That’s the problem with this world today though; if a show doesn’t have cursing, nudity and sex – no one wants to watch it.”
Ruth Fields of Williamson had positive comments to make about the show but said she realized she is a minority, even among her family members and friends.
“I liked it,” said Fields. “Although I thought the cast members needed to act more spontaneous and not like they were reading cue cards, I found it to be quite entertaining. It’s always a good thing when you can turn on a prime-time show and see faces that you know and recognize, and I understand that a lot of locals got to make cameo appearances in several of the upcoming episodes and I really look forward to that.”
“If this show manages to help out town by increasing tourism or businesses, I’m all for it.”
The Hatfield’s and McCoy’s: White Lightening series is scheduled to air its second episode this Thursday night at 10 p.m. on the History Channel.