Saturday, November 24, 2012

What if their lives were TV shows?

Just because the Barefoot family doesn't have electricity or running water wouldn't necessarily mean that their lives couldn't make for great television.  After all, the real-life Duggars of Tontitown, AR don't watch TV, yet they've allowed TLC to film their lives for years, and they are the stars of one of the network's most popular shows!

So what if their lives were indeed TV shows?  Well, one can begin with Buddy Wayne: Coming Home, a documentary series about how my title character is adjusting to his life without privilege, and how his family and friends are helping him along the way.

Of course, inevitable success would lead to at least one spin-off.  In fact, what is to say that B.W. makes a whole network out of it, as Oprah Winfrey and "televangelist" Jimmy Swaggart have done? In fact, I have conceived of an entire TV channel called Barefoot Media Network (BMN).  Here are the program descriptions:

Annie’s Book Club
In the absence of TV, a common form of entertainment is to listen as people read from popular books and newspaper articles.  Gillie Ann Barefoot does just that on this series.
At Home With Brenda
Brenda Barefoot, the family’s leading housewife, shares recipes, crafts, and household chores.  She will have occasional guests from which she can learn to do her jobs better.
Belinda’s Doll House
Belinda Barefoot, adorable and bright, uses her extensive doll collection to tell traditional children’s stories and invent new ones.
Bluegrass Barn Dance
In the tradition of the Grand Ole Opry and the Carter Family Fold, the Spears Family Band hosts this concert and weekly dance from their homestead, in a beautiful area resembling the Appalachia that has been sadly lost due to industrialization.  (Brittany L. Spears is B.W.’s former wife.)
BMN: Best of the Week
Missed any of the exciting programs Barefoot Media Network TV carries?  Watch (or record) this two-hour block on weekend mornings.
Boys’ Night Out
The six oldest males (B.W., Bobby, Popeye, Ralph, Harvey, and Bunky) play games, tell stories, and have fun after a hard day’s work at the farm.
Buddy Wayne: Coming Home
This is the flagship show of the network.  It is the weekly story of Buddy Wayne Barefoot, the only person ever to win both a major sports championship and a major entertainment award.  But one day, he is swept away to a new world, one without electricity, running water, or other modern features.  Under the circumstances, he leans on his family and friends to help see him through his new life - and learns values that last forever.
Bunky’s Talent Roundup
Britton Lee “Bunky” Barefoot, the family’s irrepressible teenager, invites the entire family to show their entertainment side.  See B.W.’s best-selling guitar solos, Annie’s piano prowess, the Barefoot Boys’ Southern gospel, Bunky’s drumming and comedy, Hambone’s making music with her body, and more.
Classic TV blocks
These shows are of special interest to the Barefoot family.  The older members grew up on them, and the younger ones yearned to see them.
  • Weekdays features The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Little House on the Prairie, and Matlock.
  • On weekends, the Western classics The Big Valley and Bonanza are seen back-to-back.
Do Anything with Harvey
Harvey Barefoot shows how to make a wide variety of projects, from woodcarvings and dolls to mule’s shoes and copper pots.
Family Church Services/Church Sing-a-Long
The Rev. Ralph Barefoot is pastor during three weekly services.  Sunday at 11 a.m. is the traditional observance.  The Sunday night service is a sing-along similar to those common in rural churches years ago, based on the shape-note concept.  Wednesday is largely a Bible study session.
Family Game Night
Board games and trivia mark Friday nights at the Barefoot farm house.
Gettin’ Out with Ralph
Ralph Barefoot, who is the family’s master at hunting, fishing, and outdoor life, shares his unique adventures from the “back 40.”
Girls’ Night Out
The five oldest females (Brenda, Jennifer, Annie, Hambone, and Brandy) participate in quilting bees, make homemade crafts, sing, and tell stories.
In the Treehouse with Bryson
The other children’s show stars the youngest resident, Bryson.  By using play and interaction with B.W., Belinda, and his school friends, Bryson learns all about the life he never lived before and does so in an amusing way.
Popeye’s Memory Lane
Alonzo Barefoot tells old family and community stories from some two centuries of Barefoot clan life in North Carolina.
Religious blocks
These programs represent the moral compass that has guided the Barefoots’ lives for decades.
  • Weekday mornings feature old programs from J. Vernon McGee and Joyce Meyer, rerun episodes of Life Today and feature segments from The 700 Club, and highlights of crusades from Billy Graham and Jimmy Swaggart.
  • On weekend mornings, Rev. Lyman Bowling, the official leader of the new Confederacy, gives services broadcast from the Virginia hills.  This is followed by the “Sunday school” block: Bible Bowl, Davey & Goliath, The Flying House, and Superbook.
Shootin’ the Breeze
Every Monday night, all 11 residents aged 15 and older come together at a communal table to eat and talk.  Everyone is expected to speak their mind freely about all things past, present, and future, both within their family and the outside world.
Various programs
Once a week, BMN presents related programs from other families (McLambs, Ribbles, Bowlings, etc.), holiday shows (Easter, Christmas, etc.), or other one-time specials.  (The Bowlings are in this post.  I wrote about the Ribbles in Chapter 4 of my book.  Billy Bob Ribble [formerly Bryant] is a legendary football player and bull rider, while his wife Krista is a barrel racer.  Billy Bob saved Krista from drowning when both were young.)

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