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'Buckwild' stars on stereotype criticism: We only represent ourselves

Just as "Jersey Shore's" reality TV reign ends, another potentially polarizing MTV show is poised to claim the controversy-stirring, stereotype-perpetuating title.

"Buckwild," a new series that focuses on the lives and wild times of nine twentysomethings in West Virginia, gained notoriety before the first episode even aired. Sen. Joe Manchin recently wrote an open letter to MTV stating that he was "repulsed" at the thought of what he fears will be an Appalachian sendup that coaxes young people "into displaying shameful behavior" and gives the rest of the world the wrong image of his home state.

But fear not, say the stars of the show. During a Thursday morning visit to TODAY, Shae Bradley and Shain Gandee insisted they're not going to give the world an image of anyone but themselves.

"Well, as far as the criticism goes, I represent myself and myself only," Shae said. "So to say that nine individuals represent the whole state of West Virginia is just silly, you know? Even my best friends on the show, if they do something embarrassing, that's on them."

Shain agreed and stressed that the show was really just a glimpse of their "you only live once, so live it up" way of life.

Their "Buckwild" antics premiere Thursday night at 10 on MTV.

Do you think critics of the show should give it a chance, or do you think the reality TV series is just a bad idea? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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