Mema’s got a mouth on ‘Hollywood Hillbillies’


Mema is the opinionated star of “Hollywood Hillbillies.” (Reelz)

She blithely pops her false teeth in and out. Her motto? “I love to cuss. It makes me feel good.” She’s Delores Hughes, aka “Mema,” star of the reality show “Hollywood Hillbillies” (9 p.m., Tuesdays, Reelz), in which her Georgia family heads west so grandson Michael, who made the viral “Gingers Do Have Souls!!” video, can find fame.

Mema has interesting views about Jews. She’s skeptical about Michael’s boastful talent manager but concedes: “The one thing he has going for him is he’s a Jew. You know, Jesus was a Jew.” When the manager mounts a mechanical bull at a restaurant, she says, “I’ve never seen a Jew on a bull before. I wonder if that’s even kosher.”

Mema’s commentary comes in the wake of high-profile prejudicial remarks by reality stars. “Duck Dynasty’s” patriarch called homosexuality a sin and said black cotton pickers he knew in the pre-civil rights era were “singing and happy.” Juan Pablo, the current “Bachelor,” said casting gay men in the show would not be “a good example for kids.”

So far, I think Mema’s OK. To my Jewish ears, her stereotypes aren’t offensive. And they serve as teachable moments: There’s nothing non-kosher about riding a mechanical bull!

Marc Silver has been watching TV since the days when people wrapped aluminum foil around TV antennae to improve reception.
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