‘Myrtle Manor’ premieres to mixed reaction from residents

mprabhu@thesunnews.comMarch 4, 2013 

— Cast members of “Welcome to Myrtle Manor” were mostly pleased with the premiere episode that aired Sunday night on TLC while many Myrtle Beach residents and regulars shared their displeasure on various forms of social media.

The show features owners and residents of Patrick’s Mobile Home Park off Highway 15.

Five of the 17 cast members – and Gus the dog – gathered at Gem City Pizza in Myrtle Beach to watch the show with a group of about 30 people. At points throughout the show, cast members laughed loudly and shook their heads as they recalled the way they spent the previous summer when the show was filmed.

“That was my favorite day,” Lindsay Colbert said of a scene filmed during a pool party at the trailer park.

Shannon Martin, spokeswoman for TLC, said the ratings for Sunday night had not been released as of Monday afternoon.

Most cast members told The Sun News last week that they were not worried about how they would be portrayed on the show, adding that they always were themselves when filming. There were a few things they felt they needed to explain.

Miss Peggy Beaulieu, a 30-year resident of the park, said last week that some of her friends called her when they saw a preview of the episode in which she goes skinny dipping at the pool party. Beaulieu had just finished battling breast cancer for the second time and learned she was healthy right before filming.

“I’ve had several people call me because of when I’m in the pool,” he said. “But I can [deal]with it.”

The first episode also featured an argument between Taylor J. Burt, 28, and his “on-again-off-again girlfriend,” 20-year-old Jessica Burke. Burt, who said he saw the episode on Friday, was concerned with the way he looked.

“I look like such [a jerk] tonight,” he said on Twitter a few hours before the show.

But his mother, Anne Johnson, who also is a cast member, expressed her support of her son at the watch party.

“I’m so proud of how Taylor handled this situation,” she said to the people sitting near her.

Myrtle Beach city spokesman Mark Kruea said Monday that he had recorded the show but had not yet watched it.

“We’ve had about a half dozen phone calls and emails come in,” he said. “The people who called us aren’t happy about it and have a mistaken idea that the city is somehow endorsing the show or producing it.”

Myrtle Beach resident Kristin Schnaus said the show was what she expected it to be. She and Ashlyn Ludwig of Murrells Inlet stopped by Gem City Pizza for the party hosted by Burt.

“It’s like any other reality show,” she said. “It’s kind of like ‘Jersey Shore’ at the beach.”

Myrtle Beach residents and frequent visitors took to Twitter, Facebook and the comment section of The Sun News to share their thoughts on the show. Common complaints were that the show made the city look bad, that the show was staged and scripted and some said they found the episode to be boring.

Ludwig said she didn’t feel the first episode made Myrtle Beach look bad and hoped future shows didn’t hurt the city’s image.

“I just hope Myrtle Beach is portrayed in a good light,” she said. “At the end of the day, that’s what’s important.”

Both said the episode seemed a little slow but said it was to be expected with a premiere. But will they watch again?

“Oh yeah,” Schnaus said. “We have to.”

Ludwig added: “I live here. We have to keep watching.”

Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.

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