LOS ANGELES – MTV's latest docu-series is called “Big Tips Texas” and stars a handful of girlfriends working at the bar Redneck Heaven just outside of Dallas, while “hoping to make their dreams reality.”
“United by the bonds of sisterhood, these women’s lives are loaded with tons of comedy, drama and heart,” reads the MTV press release. “They fight, make up and love like sisters all while working their way towards adulthood one crazy shift at a time. Whether they’re spending their free time on Lake Lewisville, planning their futures or getting dirty on the ranch, they’re living it up and letting loose every day.”
Which in MTV-land involves wearing as few clothes as possible, cat-fighting, "hooping" with guys, hanging out of the sports cars, grabbing each other’s backsides, and being proud to be referred to as a “Redneck girl.”
“Big Tips Texas” doesn’t debut until October 9, but critics are already lashing out against network, which targets viewers as young as 12.
“First Miley Cyrus and now this? The combination of the increasing spending power of younger and younger girls and the increasing need to sexualize these young girls leads to a lowering of good taste,” popular culture critic Elayne Rapping told FOX411. “And to say the least, enough already.”
But MTV cast bios assure us that these “hard workers” are seeking something more in life than just drunken good times. There’s Amber who is “usually causing a ruckus as her alter ego Sexy Kitty,” “the sexiest bartender” Claire who “loves bartending so much that she even turned down an opportunity to work in the corporate office,” and Sabrina who “dreams of one day returning to college.”
Meanwhile, Kirstyn will “do anything it takes to get her TKCC fashion line off the ground,” Morgan is intent on saving to be a “barrel racer in the rodeo,” and Macy who “knows her way around a farm and firearms” and is described as a “liberal country girl,” plus several more.
“I hope nobody is naïve enough to think MTV has some kind of public service message hidden beneath the surface of this program. It’s a flimsy excuse to show attractive young women in scant apparel and it communicates a terrible message to both the young men and the young women who are watching,” said Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the Parents Television Council. “To the young women it says that ‘empowerment’ means taking off your clothes. To young men it says that it is okay to treat women like a piece of meat. There’s your viewing pleasure.”
In addition to their “big tips,” an entertainment industry insider anticipates that each subject is likely earning about $1,500-$2,500 an episode to further their career prospects. However, if the show promo is anything to go by, experts warn it might not be such a glowing credential for the resume in the long run.
“The idea of taking your clothes off for bigger tips constitutes ‘working hard’ is offensive to all the millions of women who actually do work hard at part-time jobs while going to school full-time, trying to land internships or study for grad school so they can make a better future for themselves while keeping their dignity and self-respect intact,” Henson said. “(The girls) should be aware that it’s going to be difficult for prospective future employers to take them seriously after they’ve been seen acting as they do in the trailer.”
However, others argue that the forthcoming reality stars can do whatever they desire to earn their keep, just as viewers can watch and not watch whatever they choose.
“We live in a capitalist society, where advertising revenue is valued more than taste, therefore networks cannot be held responsible for cheap programming that simply responds to what their audience demands,” explained Hollywood-based pop culture expert Jenn Hoffman. “After seeing the record-breaking ratings for ‘Jersey Shore,’ it is still a very simple equation. Big ratings equals big money. If people want better shows they have to actually watch better television.”
A rep for MTV said the subjects for the show were unavailable for interview.
Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.