I really enjoy reality TV shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Intervention, True Life, and Gypsy Sisters. If you blend those all together, take away the censors, and greatly amplify the shocking antics, you’d get The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. It’s a documentary following four generations of the Whites, a family of outlaws from Boone County, West Virginia. This could quite possibly be the most dysfunctional and entertaining family I’ve ever encountered.
I’ll introduce you to some of the members:
Bertie Mae White: She’s the matriarch of the White family at 84 years old. Bertie Mae doesn’t like it when her children blow pot in her face and crush up and snort pills. They do it regardless. Bless poor Bertie Mae.
Jesco White: The wildest White in my opinion, he’s one of Bertie Mae’s children. He’s a “famous” mountain dancer who huffed gasoline growing up, followed in his deceased father D Ray’s dancing footsteps, and legitimately frightens me. The film White Lightnin’ is based loosely on Jesco’s life.
Mamie White: Mamie is my favorite member of the family. She is Jesco’s older sister and she likes to party. Mamie sings a mean “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and seems to be a prescription drug dealer. She wants her funeral to be a wild party. I respect that.
Sue Bob White: The self-proclaimed sexiest White, Sue Bob is Bertie Mae’s youngest child. Her son Brandon shot a man’s face off and almost killed him. He’s in prison. Apparently she’s in jail now, too. Don’t take her to Taco Bell. I repeat: Under no circumstances should she ever be taken to Taco Bell.
Kirk White: Kirk is one of Bertie Mae’s grandchildren. CPS took her baby before she could even leave the hospital with it. I think it might have been because Kirk and another woman were snorting pills in the hospital room right after she gave birth, but what do I know. Kirk goes to rehab and gets clean by the end of the documentary. But, not before flashing her boobs on a night out.
Those are some awesome names, right? While this documentary is very funny, it’s also eye opening. The culture of Appalachia is very different to that of the rest of the U.S. Coal mining is still a popular and dangerous job there and poverty is just a way of life. Boone County doesn’t seem like an easy place to succeed. I can’t really blame the Whites for resorting to crime to survive. Getting social security checks for all of your children by claiming they’re all crazy is some next level shit, though.
It’s clear that the little kids in the film weren’t raised in the most innocent atmosphere. Kirk’s son Tylor drops f-bombs and says he’s going to kill her ex-boyfriend. He was literally bouncing off the walls after drinking 6 cans of soda. It’s inappropriate behavior for any age, but it’s extra alarming coming from a child. The insane part is that the parents see nothing wrong with their kids swearing and doing whatever they please. That’s how they were raised and the cycle continues.
There’s a rumor floating around that the Whites were supposed to get their own reality TV show. That would be epic! I don’t know what channel could show it, seeing how explicit it is. Mamie claims that Johnny Knoxville, the executive producer, didn’t give the family as much money as they were promised for the film. She feels like her and her family were used and I can definitely agree with her. Throughout the documentary, it was obvious that producers were egging the family on. Shock value sells.
If you love drama, obscenity, and picnic table clogging, then this documentary is a must-see. It kept me enthralled and I’ve watched it numerous times. I swear my Southern ancestors draw me to this stuff.