Is "Vineyard" Reality TV Show "Worst Idea Ever"?

Some Islanders are expressing their displeasure at news of a planned "coming-of-age docu-soap" set on Martha's Vineyard this summer. Read their sometimes scathing comments and add your own, pro or con.

It's the talk of the Island: Word that Disney/ABC has greenlighted a Martha's Vineyard reality TV show has spread quickly since ABC Family announced the program yesterday.

We were warned: Back in 2009, the MV Times ran an article about the proposed "docu-soap," which was casting for 19- to 28-year-olds.

Now that the program has been picked up by ABC Family, here's what readers said when we posted the news on Patch and on our Facebook page yesterday:

On Patch (see Reality TV Show "The Vineyard" Announced)

  • "As long as the production doesn't impede traffic...and doesn't at all resemble Jersey Shore...I'm all for it! I'm sure most of the residents and visitors would tune in (whether they admitted it or not) and it could provide some jobs to say nothing of a likely boost to the island economy overall. Lord knows....the island is full of actors!"
  • "The Vineyard is such a great place to chill... why bring the drama??? Ugh."
  • "I will not watch it."
  • "This is very sad news indeed..."
  • "The CW already filmed a pilot reality Vineyard show a few years back that never took."
  • "Yuck!!!! ABC will reap the low-ratings it deserves with this abomination."
  • "This is the worst idea ever. I find the idea completely disrespectful, distasteful, and utterly appalling. The last thing our world needs is another unreal reality series. ABC should be ashamed. Let's try raising global consciousness, and make people aware of things that really matter. Good health, growth, pure and true happiness, these things do not exist in the drunken and slutty world these TV producers think is right for anyone, let alone our children to see. Come on people. Let's actually get real."
  • "Gross. Go away."

On Facebook

  • "Let's hope it doesn't do for the Vineyard what "Southie Rules" did for Southie."
  • "How was this allowed to happen? Who was the knucklehead who gave this approval? Really!!"
  • "Nothing like a 'reality' fantasy to give people more false ideas about the Vineyard! Sorry, but I hope this series is a flop."
  • "I really hope this is a joke."
  • "I REALLY hope this is a joke. A bad joke."
  • "The dumbing down of America continues."
  • "No! This a horrible idea! Stealing the magic of the Vineyard. Let the island remain a special and unique treasure without the stupidity of this reality show nonsense!"

According to TV By the Numbers, a press release from ABC Family reads:

“The Vineyard,” a dramatic coming-of-age docu-soap, follows a handful of 20-somethings in Martha’s Vineyard for the summer.

Tight quarters, new friends and new rivals, all living, working and playing together, make this picturesque playground ripe for mischief and romance.

The day, time, cast and location for the show were not specified in the press release.

What's your reaction to the news? Tell us in the comments.

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Jewlzi February 15, 2013 at 12:40 PM
a new low...
annie February 15, 2013 at 01:53 PM
How ironic that I grew up in Jersey, hating the Jersey shore, bought a house in MV and make the six hour trek to the beach rather than an hour, and now some idiot wants to taint it with a reality TV show? Absolutely no good can come from that. MV is a hidden Gem. I vote to keep it that way. Whoever has the power, please say NO NO NO!
steve auerbach February 15, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Of course it's a horrible idea. But that's what makes America the unique place that it is, the freedom to waste peoples' money and brains on truly stupid projects! None of us have to watch it of course, and if it brings jobs to a place that is sorely in need of them, then it's a good thing in that regard. When one of you (us) comes up with a plan to bring clean, year-round employment and affordable housing to the Island, a truly fine place will have been created.
JuLee Reeves February 15, 2013 at 02:32 PM
I would rather see a show that highlights all the wonderful aspects of the island. Everyday heros, people who contribute to society, Ferry captains and emergency personnel who make sure a kid gets to the hospital in a blizzard, Illumination Night, picnics on the beach, the wondeful old houses. There is plenty of good stuff out there to talk about.
Michael Skelton February 15, 2013 at 02:52 PM
MV is the perfect place to get away from the craziness , why ruin it? Turn the place into the Jersey Shore ugh .
Colin Ewing February 15, 2013 at 03:18 PM
I hate reality TV! I would probably take a peek at it and then never watch it again.
Holly Nadler February 15, 2013 at 03:32 PM
It's possibly a good thing: people will see the yawning gap between the 1%-ers frolicking (in the public's imagination) at Ted Dansin & Mary Steenbergen's parties, and these poor kids on the reality show stumbling over piles of each other's laundry, scarfing down cornflakes from an otherwise bare larder, and lurching off to work their four crappy jobs.
Susan February 15, 2013 at 03:50 PM
The only difference I can see about this 'reality' and the reality of the hordes of college kids who come here, live in squalor, work two menial jobs (or an unpaid internship) end up in the court report for bar brawls is that this one will be professionally video-taped.
William Waterway February 15, 2013 at 03:53 PM
The program's demographic of 19-28 year-olds leaves much to be desired relative to representing "MV reality." Why not include older folks who make up a significant portion of our community. I also hope the show reflects the culture andbeauty of this island that attracts so many people of "all" ages - including the 19-28 year-olds.
Tom Hodgson February 15, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Some worse ideas: Racism, Xenophobia, Hitler, The Building Code as now written, oh heck, list of "worst ideas" could go on and on, when considering how petty this foolish teevee show could be.
Martha Magee February 15, 2013 at 07:35 PM
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye" ~ Antoine de Sainte-Exupery
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) February 15, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Love "Le petit prince," Martha! I cling to my 1960s copy because the more recent translation is just not so wonderful. One of my best friends needlepointed "le boa qui availait la fauve" and had it made into a pillow for me. I cherish it.
Barbara L February 16, 2013 at 02:00 PM
Why? We don't need the type of people a show like that will bring to the island.
Ann M February 20, 2013 at 01:16 AM
I think it is the worst idea ever! Such a beautiful serene island - don't ruin it by a reality show. Why not do a story about the craftsmen, farmers, and artists and attractions that make it such a beautiful place to visit or live there.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) April 17, 2013 at 10:35 AM
I interviewed the production coordinator for nearly an hour yesterday, for an upcoming article. She told me they want to showcase the best aspects of the Island - more like "The Hills" than "Jersey Shore," she said. They're also hiring locally: http://marthasvineyard.patch.com/articles/hiring-the-vineyard-reality-tv-show-seeks-production-assistants
Steven Bayne May 01, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Makes me want to consider not coming to the 'Yard' for my typical summer chill time. I hope the 'popularity' (tongue FIRMLY in cheek) of the show doesn't disturb the allure the island has had for visiting families and area residents, let alone long time renters...
Jamie Lynn June 23, 2013 at 07:39 AM


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