Controversial Murrells Inlet reality show has its first airing

Party Down South, the reality TV show that caused so much heartburn in Murrells Inlet last summer, had its premiere on the CMT channel Thursday at 10 p.m.

Uncle Tito's Bar and Grill was among the Murrells Inlet businesses that held viewing parties for the show.

People who lived next door to King's Krest, the creekside home where the show was filmed, complained about noise, abusive language and rowdy behavior they say came from the cast and crew.

But some others in town saw it differently.

The manager of American Fitness gym, where some scenes were filmed, says the cast and crew were very respectful.

"I can't judge what may have happened to other people," said Rick Sume. "I would definitely have (the cast and crew) back. They were very courteous and nice to us."

Sume will be watching the show and says critics should just give it a chance.

Lifelong Murrells Inlet resident and day spa owner Kelly Shirley will be watching the show, too, just out of curiosity, but she doesn't like what she's seen so far.

"I just don't feel that this little town needs something like that. To me it's just not necessary and they can keep it in Hollywood," said Shirley.

Sean Bond, the chairman of Murrells Inlet 2020, a group dedicated to improving the beautification of the town, said in an email to NewsChannel 15, he'll watch the show just enough to participate in conversation about it.

"As members of the community we all have tremendous pride in our home and its environment and always wish to see it as its best," Bond said in the statement.

That part about seeing the town at its best is what worries Kelly Shirley about Party Down South.

"It's just not what I like for the rest of the world to see us as."

Jerry Oakley, the Georgetown County councilman who supported an ordinance to limit future filming in residential areas, says he may watch the show's premiere, just to see what it's like, but he says it depends on what basketball games are on at the same time.

CMT will air ten episodes of the series. The network has not said anything about a second season.