Editorial: ‘My Brother, My Brother and Me’ brings positive exposure to Huntington
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Lately, Facebook and Twitter have been buzzing about “My Brother, My Brother and Me,” a comedy advice podcast turned original Seeso production. “MBMBaM,” the abbreviated title, stars Huntington natives Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy and Griffin McElroy and premiered Feb. 23 on NBCUniversal’s subscription streaming service.
People have been raving and ranting about the McElroy brothers and their various goofs around downtown Huntington, including Mayor Steve Williams’ role as a sort of shenanigans protector, keeping the brothers in check but allowing some small hijinks here and there. The comedy is great and the brothers are at peak form throughout the six-episode-long first season; it’s unscripted, follows the podcast’s original format and introduces new bits effortlessly.
One of the coolest things about “MBMBaM” on Seeso is also one of the simplest: exposure.
The McElroy brothers’ show, whether intentional or not, acts as a platform for Huntington to really get an idea across — Huntington is way more than drug abuse and crime.
We see Justin, Travis and Griffin bolster their resume by working at various spots on 4th Avenue like Rio Grande, Paula Vega Cupcakes and Bow Love, return to Huntington High School to help a teacher learn to connect with her s
tudents better and be completely “in charge” of Safety Town, a small city built to teach children how to properly obey traffic signals. McElroy father extraordinaire, one of the stars of “Adventure Zone” and Huntington celebrity, Clint McElroy, makes an appearance every episode, meeting with the brothers to help them develop ideas or to offer a bit of advice in solving questions. Even chief of police Joe Ciccarelli makes an appearance.
The point is, the McElroy brothers are actively changing the rhetoric and perception around Huntington. Instead of focusing on the city as “the city who saw 26 opioid overdoes in less than four hours,” we can start viewing Huntington as this big, goofy, welcoming place — a place where you can most definitely throw a parade to celebrate tarantulas, survey a dorm room for its hauntedness and search for secret societies.
Flipping the Jewel City’s narrative is good not only for the city, but for all of its citizens, too. Oftentimes, West Virginians are portrayed in a negative light when they’re featured in, really, any type of media — think Jesco White, or that video of an unfortunately backwards individual at a Chili Festival in Mt. Hope, whose thirst could only be quenched by a two-liter of Mountain Dew.
Instead of outsiders viewing West Virginians as backward, ignorant and hateful, “MBMBaM” may afford them the opportunity to see us how we truly are, hard-working, fun-loving people — not just stereotypes.