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Murrells Inlet: Reality show is wake-up call, pastor says
By Jason Lesley
Residents of Murrells Inlet could emerge from the filming of a reality television show with a stronger appreciation for their community, according to a local minister.
The filming of “Party Down South” is taking place at a marshfront home within sight of Belin United Methodist Church, and pastor, the Rev. Mike Alexander, said that some good can come from the experience.
“I wish this had never happened,” he said, “but we can’t undo it.
“What I hope young people get from this is that we live in an incredibly beautiful spot. It’s beautiful not only in landscape but with beautiful people who are decent, hardworking and honest. I want young people to treasure and value our little corner of the earth.”
The show – which has also been titled “The Dirty South” or “Down South” – is being produced for Country Music Television by 495 Productions, the company responsible for “Jersey Shore” on MTV and a host of other reality programs. The premise of the eight episodes is to follow a group of young men and women as they “live it up” at a rental home on the inlet, King’s Krest, and Lawshe Plantation near Andrews.
Alexander said reality TV is not reality, and he hopes the show will serve as a wake-up call to people who glorify excess.
“We are not going to be portrayed as Murrells Inlet,” Alexander said. “It’s all staged.
“How do we want to be perceived? We’re not loose without values, partying all the time. We need to be careful how we live. Our actions reflect on the integrity of this community.”
Alexander hopes parents and citizens become more engaged in the community. Some, he said, have taken it for granted that things won’t change for the worse. He wants people to think about the inlet’s future and get more involved in community and political action.
“We’ve got to learn something, or we are in trouble,” he said. “We’ll lose our uniqueness. We don’t need to stroke out but ask, ‘What do we want Murrells Inlet to be like?’ We’ve got to work hard to maintain the uniqueness. We can’t sell out. We just can’t sell out.”