Making sense of MTV's 'Buckhead Shore' with the cast and previewing the first episode

Rodney Ho, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Entertainment News

ATLANTA — In 2009, when basic cable reality TV was ascendant, MTV hit the jackpot with "Jersey Shore," which unleashed what would become household names like Snooki and the Situation upon an unsuspecting world. A summer home full of hilarious characters who would get drunk and clash and party and just be absurd.

MTV has since replicated that formula with "Floribama Shore" and now "Buckhead Shore."

The entire premise is patently absurd in one sense because the geography of Buckhead belies the name. There is no real shore there. But MTV isn't exactly known for documentarian exactitude.

Parker Lipman, a scion of the Zaxby's fast-food chain in his early 20s, has a group of eight close friends who live in and around Buckhead and join him every summer at his family lake house in Lake Burton 100 miles northeast of Atlanta. He pitched the show with his on-again-off-again girlfriend Katie Canham and MTV bit. This was taped largely last summer.

"We've been coming to my lake house collectively for the past 10 years," said Parker in a brief group interview the cast did with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via Zoom. "The shore is a way to get out of that fast-paced life in Buckhead."

"You get the Buckhead part of it because we all work and party in Buckhead," said cast member Bethania Locke. "Parker's house has been our escape during the summer. It's piecing them both together. We're at the lake part of the time, then we see our lives in Buckhead."


On the first episode, Parker described himself as "a country boy at heart and a city boy in my pants." He paused, then said, "God! I hope they don't [expletive] use that!" (Of course they did.)

Parker to the AJC said he also loves his family business of fast-food chicken. "It's a way of life for me," he said. "I grew up at headquarters." He currently works in the "expansion" division adding new outlets.

Juju Barney is one of his best friends. His dad opened the legendary Atlanta strip club Magic City in 1985 and he and his older brother now run it. "Parker is the king of chicken strips," he said during the first episode. "I'm the king of stripper chicks."

"We're all in our 20s, trying to figure out our lives, trying to grow and make a name for ourselves," said Bethania, a teacher. "We are a very diverse group of friends so you see a lot of culture. Our families are involved. It's a good look at our lives beyond Buckhead and the partying ... I grew up a lot this past summer."


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