Jun 25 2008
01:32 pm

Everybody picks on Newport and Cocke Co. because, well, they're such an easy target (although Knox Co. and Blount Co. are competing for the bullseye). But this is a little much.

The starstruck Knoxville News Sentinel reports on CMT's new "reality" comedy show, "Outsider's Inn," which recently began production in Cocke Co. The premise is that "big Hollywood stars" run a backwoods country inn, hilarity ensues.

According to the KNS, the hilarity includes a goat in the kitchen, guests bringing pigs and mules, and the Sheriff riding in on horseback, while the elite, culture-shocked stars react.

The report also says one scene was filmed at a "small medical center" instead of the regional hospital to emphasize "the quaintness of a small town feel."

(Bobby Brown is also said to have taken some guests out on a bear hunt. We hope TWRA wasn't around. Bear season isn't until November.)

The article says that the show isn't strictly "reality," because all the situations and gags are set up to capture the "honest reactions" of the stars.

Right. How can there be "honest reaction" to such ridiculously lame and stereotyped setups?

But in their attempt to play up the "fish out of water" angle, CMT missed the boat entirely.

The Christopher Place setting (renamed "Pigeon Inn" for the show) is a world-class, AAA Four Diamond bed and breakfast resort, right there in Cocke Co. I had never heard of it, but it sounds pretty fabulous. I might have to go check it out sometime.

But there's more. A reader writes that it's actively marketed to the gay and lesbian community. It's listed in the Gay Yellow Pages with designations indicating "A gay-friendly business," catering to "gay and non-gay patrons." It's also listed on "Rainbow Destinations", a directory of "gay/lesbian owned or friendly accommodations worldwide."

CMT missed a chance to juxtapose Southern Appalachian (not to mention Cocke Co.) stereotypes with the very real image of a successful, highly regarded business that provides luxury accommodations to a sophisticated, diverse clientele from all over.

But CMT knows their audience, and goats in the kitchen and pigs in the guest rooms are apparently funnier and more interesting.

Frank Strovel III's picture

I think Cocke County has

I think Cocke County has pretty much created its own stereotypes (cockfighting, corrupt sheriffs, chop shops, huge pot busts, etc).

No need to blame CMT (as much as I dislike the channel).

R. Neal's picture

Heh. They really need to

Heh. They really need to have a cockfighting episode.

Here's my favorite Cocke Co. story.

I went to a band clinic up there in Newport one time in high school. It was some kind of invitational thing for kids from all over the state. I don't remember exactly how I got invited.

What I do remember was standing in line for my housing assignment with a bunch of other kids, and this handsome, important but casual looking dude came walking down the hall, pointing at kids, saying "you," "you," "you," etc. until he had rounded up about six kids. Some of us were "longhair types," and wondered what kind of trouble we were in now.

Turns out he was picking out kids to put up in his exclusive bachelor's pad. On the way over, we stopped at a local grocery store, and loaded up two carts with stuff. At the checkout, it was "Hello, Mr. Forbes." "How are you Mr. Forbes?" When they finished ringing it all up, it was "Put that on your account, Mr. Forbes?"

As we were leaving, he told us "If you boys need anything, anything at all anywhere in this town, just tell them you're with Forbes."

We still didn't know what this was all about, but we arrived at Mr. Forbes bachelor pad to find an awesome stereo with an incredible assortment of 60s albums and a fridge stocked with beer. (Did I mention we were 15 and 16 year old band kids?)

On his way out, Mr. Forbes handed us the key and told us to enjoy ourselves and to let him know if we needed anything. We never saw him again.

We later found out that Mr. Forbes was the local high school champion football coach, and he got whatever he wanted in Newport (and probably didn't pay for much or any of it).

Needless to say, we had an excellent band clinic adventure.

airrn's picture

Band Camp

This one time, at band camp?????????

Rachel's picture

I always take my pig when I

I always take my pig when I visit a B&B. Doesn't everyone?

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